Shipping is involved in all online sales. The same attention you give to selling items, writing titles, and photographing, and cleaning items must be given to shipping. Sales can be killed with bad shipping, and your shipping will be evaluated with the other aspects of the transaction by your buyers. There are some clever hacks, that making shipping items easier.
Do Not Take These Shortcuts
Overstuffing flat rate mailers is a bad idea. If the item fits, use the mailer. Do not cram the item in the mailer, because it may burst open. Good judgement is necessary for flat rate mailers, and they are free. The padded versions work well for non-breakable items, small shoes, and clothing. Shipping fragile items by using padded mailers is not a good idea because they can break. Wrapping packages in brown paper is an old school method, and a bad idea with the automation, and machines involved in the way mail is processed today. The paper is easily ripped, or becomes mangled within the machines. This destroys the return, and shipping addresses. The shipping label must be affixed directly to the package to prevent it from becoming loose during the process of shipping. Beer, and alcohol boxes should not be used, since packages containing markings for alcohol, and alcohol itself are prohibited.
The Expense of Shipping Supplies
Packing peanuts, boxes, and bubble wrap are expensive, and has a negative effect on the environment. There are ways to achieve secure shipping, and save money on shipping supplies.
Pool Noodles as Packing
Pool noodles are long, made of Styrofoam, and kids often play with them in the pool. They provide cushioning, are light, work well around a frame’s edges, and can be wrapped around rounded objects. They need to be sliced lengthwise, the placed around the outer edges of needlework, framed artwork, and additional items with a frame. They can be cut up into pieces, and used for filler just like packing peanuts. They make a great material for packing.
Egg Cartons as Packing
Clean egg cartons provide good cushioning for items that are breakable. Use egg cartons to line the bottom of the box, place the items that are breakable in the center of the box, The use more egg cartons on the top, and the sides. This works as an inexpensive, and excellent cushion, and stops the items in the box from moving around. Ask your co-workers, neighbors, family, and friends to save their egg cartons for you, and they are free. If you become overstocked on egg cartons, you can sell those as well, and make money.
Trash Bags as Wrappings
Poly mailers do not have to be white. When big items such as wall hangings, and rugs are ordered online, black plastic is used for the wrappings a lot. The thicker black leaf bags work well for wrapping bigger items including bedding, rugs, and home décor provided it is not breakable. This method also works very well for soft goods. The bags must be taped securely, and the edges must be smooth. This will prevent them from becoming caught in the machines used for processing. Use the shipping workflow of the company to ship the items. This will allow automatic uploading of the tracking, so the customer can check their packages progress when it is in transit. The seller often receives a discount on shipping to save even more money.