How to Lower eBay Shipping Costs

Lowering eBay shipping costs is pretty straightforward. What I’ll do in this article is explain how I use free boxes and multiple shipping services to lower my shipping costs and create an easy to follow program.

The first thing to review is what you’ll be shipping, and also the customers expectations on how fast it should be delivered.

If you’re shipping something heavy UPS Ground or Fedex Ground are great services and generally take up to 5 days, USPS Parcel in my experience takes much longer resulting in unhappy customers. Another side note on UPS is they give $100 insurance for free with any order.

The next shipping cost saver is free boxes from USPS, they will provide free boxes to anyone with an eBay account or an account with them free of charge. The only catch here is that you have to use their Priority service, but no matter because if you follow my advice it will still lower your eBay shipping costs.

To get your free boxes click here to visit the Postal Store from USPS


visit eBay’s page for USPS here.

The most common supplies I use are the flat rate boxes & envelopes, I’d order 10 of each to start with depending on how often you ship. You can do this with all the boxes but you’ll find that the boxes take up a lot of room, so be careful what you order. I’ve used all the boxes from time to time but the flat rate and the small boxes most frequently.

UPS and FedEx also give out free supplies but I don’t use them because they are only for their pricier services and seem to get expensive quickly.

The next step in our quest to lower shipping costs is to find cheap suppliers for boxes and space fillers. I generally use Office Depot out of convenience, but they are expensive. I only use them as a last resort if I don’t have any boxes that fit right. Staples seems to have the cheapest boxes from all the biggest retailers. You may also check out Sams Club or Costco if you have a membership as they sometimes carry boxes.

The other option is to put the word out that you need boxes regardless of size or shape. Your family and friends will provide a good selection of boxes as they probably shop online. If not ask stores around the area for their boxes.

For filler I use bubble wrap to surround the item, then depending on how fragile the item is brown paper filler or styrofoam peanuts. The peanuts get expensive so I use them less or pass the cost along to the buyer in my shipping estimate. The bubble wrap I get from Sams Club for $10.00, it’s a huge roll and lasts a long time. I also buy my tape from Sams Club in bulk.

Now for the actual process of adding shipping in my auctions

  1. I weigh the item
  2. If it’s over 2 to 3 lbs. I then see if it will fit in a Priority Flat Rate box
  3. If it doesn’t I know I’ll use UPS Ground to ship it
  4. If it does fit in a flat rate box I use that method – I check the current flat rate box cost and put that in my eBay auction.
  5. If it’s under 2 to 3 lbs. I calculate the shipping to zone 7 of my post office. (a quick note here the post office uses zones to determine cost as well as volume of the package being shipped – to calculate postage visit this site and type in your zip code at your shipping address – Next take note the first three of the zips in zone 7 from you and do a search in Google for a city within that zip code – just add the last two digits – I just guess them.)
  6. When putting in shipping costs add in a little of the cost for packaging and boxes if you have to buy them.
  7. Also add in a little extra weight about 6 ounces when you calculate shipping cost.

This about sums up my method used to lower ebay shipping costs, If you have any questions please contact me and I’ll be happy to answer them.

To get future articles and updates please join My Internet Experiments Newsletter – I promise never to rent or sell your information.


One Response to “How to Lower eBay Shipping Costs”

  1. [...] my Shipping Article and apply it – know how much to ship before you [...]

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.