One of the biggest obstacles for any new eBay seller is shipping.
It was a big learning curve for us which is why I wanted to write about our eBay shipping tips for sellers who ship clothing.
I know when we started out, we stood in line at the post office every time we had an order to ship.
With the consistently long lines at the post office, the shipping process became time-consuming and costly.
I quickly searched for information about how to ship more efficiently. I learned about using eBay’s shipping labels and it cut our package prep, shipping costs, and drop-off time significantly.
Below are my tips for how to ship clothing using the USPS free priority mail envelopes and boxes.
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Be Wary of Ebay Shipping Tips on YouTube
Before I get started, I wanted to point out that there is already a ton of information on YouTube about anything and everything selling on eBay.
I think it’s awesome that these other sellers have taken the time to share their experience and eBay shipping tips. However, not all of the shipping advice is good advice.
When I was learning how to ship, YouTube was an invaluable resource. Yet, there were some videos which showed how to ship clothing in a way that I knew would not go over well with customers.
For example, I watched one video where someone wrapped a two-piece suit into a 9.5″ x 12.5″ priority mail envelope.
After all was said and done, the envelope was so tight, I can imagine the customer being baffled as to why the suit they’ve spent good money on was delivered in such a small package.
Be wary about the advice you read or watch online. Not all of it is bad and you can still get some good information out of them.
Always ask yourself how you would feel receiving your package the way they are recommending.
Tip #1: Invest in Polybags for Packing Clothes
We pack each and every item (even non-clothing items) in polybags with a suffocation warning. The 9×12 size is usually sufficient for shirts, some shorts, and thin dresses. The 14.5×19 polymailers are ideal for heavier items such as jeans, sweaters, etc.
Placing your clothing in poly bags make your items appear much more professional. We fold each item nicely before placing them in a bag.
Rather than stuffing a shirt or pair of pants into an envelope and sealing it up, the customer will see that you take pride in your items. Not only that, but they add an added layer of protection.
Tip #2: Order Free Priority Mail Envelopes and Boxes
You don’t need to pay for shipping supplies using USPS. The post office will send you free envelopes and boxes for both priority and non-priority mail shipping. Keep in mind that if you order priority mail shipping supplies, you must ship priority mail only.
There are only three USPS packages we use the most:
- 9.5″ x 12.5″ Priority Mail Padded Flat Rate Envelope
- 11-5/8″ x 15-1/8″ Priority Mail Tyvek Envelope
- Priority Mail Medium Flat Rate Box – 2
We use the Priority Mail Padded Flat Rate Envelopes for shipping shirts, some shorts, and some dresses. It costs $6.80 to ship using this envelope. It will ship any weight for the same price.
The Tyvek envelopes are great for shipping heavier clothing such as pants, jeans, and some shorts.
This envelope’s rate starts at $6.80 (I believe) and then goes by weight. The heavier the item, plus the distance it will travel, will determine the final cost.
The Priority Mail Medium Flat Rate Box – 2 is good for even heavier items of clothing like a suit jacket or very heavy jeans.
This box costs $13.45 to ship regardless of how heavy the item is. This is why it is called flat rate.
I like priority mail because the items arrive quickly and customers really like the quick shipping. Keep in mind that if you want to save more on shipping costs, you can buy poly mailer envelope bags and ship lighter items First Class so long as they are no more than 13 oz in weight. Items should arrive between 2 – 6 days going First Class.
Tip #3: Purchase a Kitchen or Shipping Scale
When you’re shipping Priority Flat Rate, there is no need to weigh your items. For non-flat rate shipping, it is wise to have a kitchen or shipping scale to weigh how many pounds or ounces your package will be.
It makes it easier to use with eBay shipping labels so that you pay the correct amount of shipping before creating your shipping label.
Right now we use a digital kitchen scale which suits our needs. However, we are looking to upgrade to this particular shipping scale in the near future.
Tip #4: Utilize Ebay Shipping Labels
You can save time and money by learning how to use eBay shipping labels. There are many YouTube videos that will show you how to use them.
You save money because eBay offers shipping discounts for using their labels. You save time because printing your labels eliminates having to stand in line at the post office.
You can print your labels on plain paper and tape them to your packages. For a more professional look and to save tape, you can also use Avery shipping labels.
We use Avery 8126 shipping labels.
I hope the eBay shipping tips above can save you time and money. The way we ship isn’t necessarily the best or most efficient.
However, it works well for us. Read as much as you can and watch YouTube tutorials to learn more. Many eBay sellers offer up excellent eBay shipping tips that may help you out tremendously.