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Old 04-04-2012, 07:17 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Ebay Shipping Questions - Please Help!!!

I'm new to selling on ebay, and have some questions after mailing my first batch of cards. I ship cards in a penny sleeve/top loader/bubble mailer and charge $2.50 domestic and $3.50 international. The post office classified these as parcels and charged $1.95 domestic and $3.00 international. Seeing as how a lot of my cards sell in the $1 to $2 range, those shipping prices combined with ebay and paypal fees result in a terrible profit margin. For example, card sells for $1.25+$2.50 shipping=$3.75 payment-$0.41 paypal-$1.95 shipping-$0.25 shipping supplies-$0.34 ebay (just FVF, free listing)=$0.80 left over.

That being said, I did some research on mailing rates, and noticed that these could be sent as a letter if they are less than 1/4" thick. A non machinable surcharge for being rigid is applied, which I assume keeps the package from going through a machine that would bend the package and possibly damage it, resulting in a much more manageable cost of just $0.65 domestic and $1.25 international. Now 1/4" inch is a fine line, but it seems like regular cards in the thinnest top loader would qualify, while cards such as UD Black, Exquisite, and jersey cards in thicker top loaders are over the threshold and must be sent as parcels regardless.

Would sending bubble mailers as letters increase the likelihood for damage? I noticed I have received some packages with only $0.65 shipping and they seemed just fine. I would like to send all non-thick packages in this manner but just want to make sure they will be safe. I also want to be fair, so I was considering dropping my shipping charges to $2.00/$2.50 for thin cards, but raising them to $3.00/$4.00 for thick cards that would have to be sent as parcels. Is this structure reasonable? I think it works on my end, but I wanted to make sure buyers would consider it fair in terms of price and getting what they pay for.

Also, I noticed it is recommended to ship cards in a team bag and with cardboard decoys in addition to penny sleeve/top loader/bubble mailer. I have not yet bothered with this, mostly because I have never received damaged cards that were sent in penny sleeve/top loader/bubble mailer alone. Adding cardboard would also add thickness, which would moot my previous points about sending as letters. I want to be professional but it seems like bubble mailer and top loader do the trick just fine. Any thoughts?

Lastly, what is proper etiquette for taping the outside of a package? I didn't tape up any of my previous shipments because I personally do not like receiving a package that is over taped, and I have never had problems with damage while receiving untaped packages. Maybe just one piece of tape across the seal of the bubble mailer? Even that sounds unnecessary to me since the bubble mailer's seal seems to work fine, so just wanted to see what other people think.

I am very small scale seller, so I am hoping to keep supplies/costs to a minimum, but I also realize people have expectations as to how their cards will be shipped. I am hoping to find the right balance, so if anybody has some helpful feedback to offer, I would really appreciate it. Thanks.
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Old 04-04-2012, 07:52 PM   #2 (permalink)
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1. Print from home, it will cost you $1.68 including Delivery Confirmation.

2. Send international at your own risk, personally I would block international (sorry).

3. Use decoys or cardboard regardless of what your personal opinion is. You will receive low DSR's and drastically increase the likely hood of either damaged cards or complaints of damaged cards.

4. Selling cards for only a couple dollars on Ebay is not a profitable business (unless you can do enough quantity).

This is what I do:
Penny Sleeve -> Top loader -> Team sleeve -> 2 sheets cardboard -> sheet bubble wrap -> bubble mailer. Cost $.23 + $1.68 (shipping) = $1.91

Last edited by DaveTaplin; 04-04-2012 at 07:55 PM.
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Old 04-04-2012, 08:05 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveTaplin View Post
1. Print from home, it will cost you $1.68 including Delivery Confirmation.

2. Send international at your own risk, personally I would block international (sorry).

3. Use decoys or cardboard regardless of what your personal opinion is. You will receive low DSR's and drastically increase the likely hood of either damaged cards or complaints of damaged cards.

4. Selling cards for only a couple dollars on Ebay is not a profitable business (unless you can do enough quantity).

This is what I do:
Penny Sleeve -> Top loader -> Team sleeve -> 2 sheets cardboard -> sheet bubble wrap -> bubble mailer. Cost $.23 + $1.68 (shipping) = $1.91
What he said. As for nonmachinable's, they are just as safe. I send a lot of cards out in a nonmachinable bubble and PWE even.
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Old 04-05-2012, 01:58 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveTaplin View Post
1. Print from home, it will cost you $1.68 including Delivery Confirmation.
Really minor thing, but 3 ounces First Class through Ebay/Paypal is only $1.64. Tiny I know, probably not worth pointing out, but I did it anyway, so feel free to shoot me.

Last edited by MasterOfTheDark; 04-05-2012 at 02:10 AM.
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