Thursday, July 17, 2008

Shipping Tips Learned the Hard Way

Pop the cork, I made my first sale on ebay!

(Yeah, yeah, I hear you out there saying "Welcome to the 21st century, slacker." Jibe noted.)

It was an exciting moment for me, but unfortunately it wasn't all rainbows and sunshine.

I was pretty clueless about, of all things, shipping the item to the buyer. Here are the issues I had...

1. I was tempted to print a label and send it from home, but I wasn't going to be home to send it and didn't want to (or know if I even could) just leave it outside for a pickup.

2. I didn't want to send it from work because I didn't particularly want the recipient to know where I work.

3. So I went to the local UPS Store, innocently, and perhaps stupidly. For starters, in the auction price I way underestimated how much shipping would cost so I had to eat a few bucks on that end since I figured in a set shipping price. (Lesson learned: either explicitly leaving shipping cost blank and make sure buyer knows that they will pay full shipping price, or get a more accurate estimate in the first place, if possible.) Also, at the UPS Store, I blindly brought my item without a box, figuring, "Okay, UPS gives away free boxes for shipping all the time, right?" Well maybe I'm just clueless but I wound up paying three ($%@ing) dollars for a box that was no bigger than a toaster oven (or a breadbox, if you must). So that was a major rip. Three bucks for a stupid box. Wow.

In the end, after making these poor decisions about shipping I hardly made anything on the sale and I wound up spending a lot of time on it to boot.

I'll chalk it up to beginner's errors and see if I can improve on it in future sales. But hopefully you don't make the same dumb errors and assumptions that I did.

Happy selling!

(And shipping!)

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