Best Ebay Shipping Practices

If your even remotely familiar with Ebay or know anyone who is, you’ve probably heard or blurted out the phrase, “Can you believe how much shipping is on that item?!?”.  I know I have.

When I made the decision to start selling on Ebay a little bit more than I had been before, I tried to just charge a flat rate based on what I thought the item weighed and what it would cost to ship.  This was a mistake.  I ended up losing a fair amount of money on shipping because of it.

I recently purchased a nice 35lb capacity electronic scale off of Ebay and have been using it religiously.  What a wonder it is.  Accurate to .2 ounces, I can accurately weigh and charge for shipping on any item that the scale can handle.

So why the title?  Because, if you want to have any repeat business, you have to have fair prices.  Also, if you want to get any value out of your product, your shipping has to be fair.  Sure, you can bypass a few ebay fees if you charge an outrageous amount for shipping and then sell the product for pennies, but is it worth the hassle?  So, what do I use as shipping fees?

I have a very simple algorithm for shipping.  Shipping is the calculated shipping cost of the item based on the weight I get from my handy-dandy scale plus a packaging and handling fee not to exceed $2.50.  I think it is a fair policy.  I have no problems telling my customers exactly what my policy is.  If you have a problem telling people your policy, then it probably isn’t a very good policy.  What do you use as a shipping charge policy?

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About Shane Ede

Shane Ede is an IT guy by day and a Entrepreneurial Blogger by night. You can follow him here on Thatedeguy or over on Twitter and Google+.


  1. Yeah, I’ve been using a 50lb dual mode scale for around a half year now on ebay and it really did cut down on the number of times I ripped myself off on shipping. I guess we’re just too nice underpricing our shipping constantly. 😉 But really the only thing I get ripped on now is shipping supplies. When I sold an LCD last week I didn’t think about the cost of buying a sufficiently large box to ship it in would cost me $11 at the UPS store plus another $5 for bubblewrap (They won’t honor insurance on anything packed in just packing peanuts for reference). My new policy is to buy all packing materials for large items and prepack them before listing so I can nail down actual shipping cost to exactly what it costs.

    Of course with smaller items its not an issue. I just toss them in a free USPS priority box with some packing material and off they go. With priority I just have to round the weight up to the nearest pound and slap a free label on it.

  2. This is the kind of thing you have to have if you’re selling online. People will admire you more if you’re charging fair prices for shipping, and not just trying to make extra profits for something they can’t benefit from.