If you’re a regular reader of my blog you’ll probably already know that I sell on eBay quite regularly. I have my frustrations with the platform of course, but it is my go-to site for shifting clutter and making extra money.
When I ask people what puts them off selling on eBay, I usually get one of three responses:
I agree with all of these, but the benefits outweigh the frustrations for me. That said, there are ways I try to minimise the inconveniences of selling on eBay and one of those ways is by streamlining my posting process.
I’ve created an area where I keep everything I need to send a parcel for when I’ve made a sale on eBay. Having everything to hand ensures that I don’t waste time looking for packaging or wondering where I put the Cellotape. It means that I can easily keep stock of what I’ve got and can order extra supplies when I see I’m running out of something.
If I find myself looking for something that isn’t in my kit, I’ll add it to it so that I’m not searching for the same thing next time.
Printing My Own Labels
This was an absolute game-changer and if there’s one thing I recommend to anyone selling on ebay, it’s print your own labels.
You don’t need a fancy label printer – you can print straight onto normal A4 paper and cut the label out and cellotape it directly onto your parcel.
If saves so much time! All you need to do is package your parcel, weigh it (I use kitchen scales) and then click on the ‘print postage’ button next to the item you’ve sold. You’ll then be taken to the label printing page on ebay where you can choose to send by either Packlink or Royal Mail. To be honest, I’ve never used Packlink – I occasionally used myhermes for larger parcels before it changed, but haven’t tried this option yet.
I choose Royal Mail. You then put the item weight in and select the appropriate option (large letter, small parcel). Then confirm and pay.
This takes the payment for the postage directly from your Paypal account. You then print the label, cut and stick it on and it’s good to go!
Do You Need Proof of Postage?
One of the biggest ball-aches of selling on eBay for me was the queuing in the Post Office. Handwriting the labels used to be a massive pain, but queuing and paying for postage was definitely the worst – particularly if the post office was busy.
If you’ve already paid the postage and attached your own labels, you don’t need to go to the counter – unless you want proof of postage, or you’ve opted to send your parcel signed for.
Lots of people recommend doing this for piece of mind, but unless what you’re selling is particularly valuable I wouldn’t bother. My rule is if it sells for over £20 then I’ll send it signed for. But aside from that I take my chances – you do what feels best for you.
If you’re happy to send without proof of postage or signed for, then it speeds the process up ten-fold.
Not sure? Here’s what you need to know:
Proof of Postage
Proof of postage is required if you want to make a claim for a missing parcel. You are automatically covered for up to £20 if you send a parcel by standard post. But you need proof of postage to make a claim. Proof of postage is essentially a receipt with the Post Office stamp to verify that they have received your parcel into the delivery network.
Signed for is a more expensive option (usually around £1 more) and requires a signature on delivery. If you’re sending anything worth less than £20 , I genuinely don’t think it’s worth it. Plus buyers are not going to be happy to pay the postage costs. Use signed for to cover you for items over £20 in value in case they go missing or the buyer tries to dispute receiving it.
Proof of Delivery
If you print your parcels via ebay Royal Mail, it will automatically upload a tracking number to the listing which the buyer can use to see where their parcel is in the system.
You can also use this number to check if the parcel has been delivered.
Often I’ve had buyers claim they haven’t received an item and I’ve screenshot the delivery confirmation from this tracking number and it has resolved the claim every time.
Again, it’s up to you to decide how much reassurance you need. But I’m at a point where I’m happy to take the risk. In 10 years of selling I’ve never genuinely had a parcel go missing.
Skipping the Post Office
Because 9 times out of 10 I’m happy to not have proof of postage, I skip the Post Office altogether. If my parcel is small enough, I pop it directly in the post box at the end of my street. This saves me a tonne of time and hassle.
If the parcels are too big I drop them to my local Royal Mail Delivery office – since they don’t offer counter services, it’s never busy so I can just walk in, hand my ebay parcels over and walk out.
If you don’t have a delivery office near you, you can equally just hand them over the counter in the Post Office.
Unfortunately, the counter staff at mine still insist on weighing the parcels and double checking my labels which is counter-productive for all parties and why I avoid it if I can! (PS – my parcel weights are always correct – I’ve never undercharged by doing it myself!).
Hopefully you’ve found that helpful, and I’ve encouraged you to give it a go. Honestly it’s so much easier! It can still be tedious, especially if you’ve made a few sales but just taking away the handwriting of the labels and the lengthy queuing in the Post Office has made selling on eBay so much easier for me!
What have you done to simplify sending eBay parcels?