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So I am selling on ebay and other sites to earn extra money while I am in school. I am looking for ideas on how to ship inexpensively. Should I buy a scale? Where do I buy packaging materials in bulk? Any suggestions? I don't want this to eat into my profits and I want to be as efficient as possible. I can't work a regular full-time job and I am enjoying the online sales. It is just this portion has always frustrated me over the years. 

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It does help to have a scale to weigh things and then check on the USPS website to see how much the cost of shipping is before pricing an item.  Recently, I sold some Saxon Math and the price I got when I put the weight in online at home and when I actually mailed it was spot on.  And all I have is a digital kitchen scale.

 

Media Mail is the route I always go for books, cd's, and dvd's.  Rates start around $2 - $2.50 per package so, again, adjust your prices accordingly if you do postage paid pricing, or make sure you put at least that much in to defray the costs of shipping. 

 

Shipping materials can get pricey, so save boxes every chance you get because that will help right there.  I use mailers I buy in bulk from Walmart (I keep at least 3 different sizes on hand) and also invest in bubble wrap (I also save as much of that I can from shipments I get from Amazon, etc. as well).  Keep plenty of packing tape on hand too.  If you want to add a dollar or two to the shipping price (or the total price if you do postage paid) to help defray the cost of the materials then do that too.   After you've done enough sales and shipments, you'll get an idea of how much everything will cost.  Generally speaking, you will have to spend out a little, but you should make enough back for it to be a positive thing. 

 

I LOVE my online book selling and have made some good money over the years. I enjoy getting the books out of the house and into the hands of someone who will use and enjoy them and also the money I make usually helps with the cost of new school books or small things for myself or holiday shopping.

 

My dream would be to open a bookstore (used and/or new), but that's just a dream (for now). :-)

 

 

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If you are selling, for example, books, on Amazon, the Standard Shipping I pay (to a U.S. Destination) is $3.99.  The Chemistry textbook I bought for DD on Amazon was shipped from Ohio to Miami FL via USPS Media Mail and it was very fast, as was the textbook I'd previously purchased from them. And they are a much bigger Seller than you are. The huge Sellers often ship via DHL Global Mail or FedEx SmartPost, which takes the packages into Orlando and then Tenders them to the USPS in Orlando, for delivery in Miami.   I have never purchased on Abe Books (owned by Amazon) but I have seen some Sellers that sell on Amazon selling the same books on Abe Books and charging as little as $3 per book for shipping.  I think you should price the shipping to the most expensive (farthest) place from you in the lower 48 states.    You may make a little and you may lose a little on the shipping, so price the merchandise accordingly.  If you have a scale I think you can print out the shipping labels with postage paid on Amazon or eBay.   GL!

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You can go to the USPS website and order free shipping supplies. They deliver the boxes to your home. These would be for Priority Mail...so it would depend on what you are selling. I sell on Ebay and buyer don't seem to mind paying for Priority. I use a scale and print my labels at home, labels online are a bit cheaper than at the Post Office. I use media mail for books, cds ect. Walmart is the cheapest place I have found that sells boxes locally.

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You can go to the USPS website and order free shipping supplies. They deliver the boxes to your home. These would be for Priority Mail...so it would depend on what you are selling. I sell on Ebay and buyer don't seem to mind paying for Priority. I use a scale and print my labels at home, labels online are a bit cheaper than at the Post Office. I use media mail for books, cds ect. Walmart is the cheapest place I have found that sells boxes locally.

 

do you do labelsonline for postage?

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You can go to the USPS website and order free shipping supplies. They deliver the boxes to your home. These would be for Priority Mail...so it would depend on what you are selling. I sell on Ebay and buyer don't seem to mind paying for Priority. I use a scale and print my labels at home, labels online are a bit cheaper than at the Post Office. I use media mail for books, cds ect. Walmart is the cheapest place I have found that sells boxes locally.

 

 

Do you recommend a certain scale? How do you print labels at home? From ebay's website?

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I bought an American Weigh Scales Table Top Postal Scale from Amazon for about $18. I've used it for about a year and haven't had any problems.

I print postage at home from ebay's website. This is very easy and you get a discount on postage.

If the package is less than 16 oz I usually use first class postage.

This shipping calculator can be useful-

http://www.ebay.com/shp/Calculator?_trkparms=clkid%3D2521745375397262459

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I print all my postage through ebay or paypal, depending on where I sold it. Almost always cheaper than usps.com or the actual PO. 

I got those thin poly mailers (not the padded ones) from ebay. But always price compare to amazon. I kept a spreadsheet by mailer size and qty to keep track of the best price. 

 

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I ship everything through Ebay or Paypal. I bought my scale at Walmart and get labels from another Ebay seller. If I am shipping something less than 13oz I will ship in a poly bag (purchased from ebay) heavier items go Priority..items over 10lbs go Fedex....of course this will all depend on where the item is being shipped to.

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Also padded flat rate envelopes are fantastic...you can order them free from USPS...it's right around $6 to ship anything that will fit in them...I can fit some shoes, mens jeans, snowpants...well you would be surprised what you can fit in them. I often have buyers asking to ship in them because it's so much cheaper than regular Priority Mail.

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I also do nearly all of my shipping through Ebay and Paypal.  I have a WeighMax 75-pound scale I picked up at a thrift store for a few bucks.  If it isn't an item you sold, but just a normal mail item, you can use www.paypal.com/shipnow.  If you print your labels at home and use carrier pickup, you should rarely need to go to the post office.

 

There are many good Facebook groups for thrifters and resellers.  A few that I belong to are as follows.

 

Thrifting With the Boys

Shipping With the Boys

The Reseller Society

The Thrifting Board

The Thrifting Lounge

International League of Thrifters

 

You can get a lot of good information and/or advice from these groups.

 

As others have said, you can get free Priority Mail supplies from the USPS website.  Your carrier will bring them right to your door.  I'm fortunate to have access to a nearly limitless supplly of boxes, bubble wrap, air bags, etc. at my workplace.  You can also scrounge up a lot of this just by looking around.

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