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You have decided to start selling on eBay and started knocking up some listings, but have you thought about how you’re going to package any sales you make?
Packaging doesn’t have to be fancy and it doesn’t have to cost you too much either.
I send the majority of my parcels in large letter sized mailing bags, which I buy in bulk. I have never received any complaints about my packaging and I believe this is the most efficient and cost effective method of packaging. When I have purchased clothing myself from eBay, I have sometimes received clothes in jiffy bags or wrapped up in colourful tissue paper. Whilst this is a nice touch, it is certainly not something I expect as a buyer and given the rising cost of postage and the final value fee that eBay charge on postage I think it’s an unnecessary expense.
I also like these bags because they are waterproof, so the contents stay protected. They are lightweight and the correct dimensions for large letter so you do not have to worry about extra weight or measuring your parcels. They also have an adhesive strip, so you literally pop the item in the bag, remove the strip and seal it which saves time to wrapping.
If you are selling clothes, fold as flat as possible and you might be able to meet the sizing requirements for large letter and therefore save money on postage.
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I keep a stock of brown paper rolls for selling shoes as where possible, I like to send them in a box. I also use brown paper for items that do not fit into a mailing bag – as these are few and far between I don’t see the point in buying larger bags. To ensure the item is still protected from water, I wrap in a carrier bag first and then wrap it in brown paper sealed with parcel tape.
I use jiffy bags to sell the occasional DVD. I might also use one for small, fragile items that I might sell. Again, I have purchased just the large letter size. If I sell something small and delicate, I cut the envelope in half and keep the other half to use again.
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Most of my mailing supplies come from eBay. I buy mailing bags in bulk, as the more you purchase the cheaper they become. I last bought 1,000 which is probably a little excessive but I shared some out with family members. You can find the links to the products I buy below:
Letter Sizing Guide
If I run out of packaging and have a sale I need to dispatch, I’ll nip to a local poundshop/value shop and buy packaging from there – it’s more cost effective than going and buying packaging from the post office but I wouldn’t recommend it if you’re planning on selling a lot as it can become quite expensive.
Keep packaging from incoming mail and let family and friends know that you are selling on eBay and ask them to save theirs for you too. Buyers do not mind recycled packaging. I often reuse jiffy bags I’ve received and just cross out the name and address with permanent marker and stick the postage label over the top. It is also useful to keep a stash of bubble wrap and small boxes so store them with your eBay supplies as you come across them.
If you cannot put your hands to anything you could use plastic bags or black bags – just ensure that it’s tightly sealed and the label is clearly visible. The most important thing is that the item arrives in the condition it was sent in – so it needs to be waterproof and if it is breakable the contents need to be protected.
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I have a large basket which contains all the things I find useful for ebay and use on a regular basis:
Letter Sizing Guide
Spare Ink Cartridges
Having these items all together speeds up the posting process and allows you to see when you’re running low on something so you can restock.
If your name and address doesn’t automatically print on the label, or you send your parcels from the post office, ensure that you write your address somewhere on the parcel in case it doesn’t get to the buyer so that Royal Mail can return it to you.
I tend to write on the back “RETURN TO: DOOR NUMBER, POSTCODE”.
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I started Katie Saves while on Maternity Leave to document our adjustment to living on less. Now back in work - I blog about making extra money, saving money, getting my life organised and being a new mum. Join me!