Selling on eBay: After the Sale

Making a sale on eBay is a great feeling—whether it’s your first or fiftieth. You did your research, set the starting price and took great photos, and it all paid off, and here’s hoping it paid off by a lot. At the very least, you are clearing your clutter. Now for the easy part: packing, shipping, labeling and sending.

Did I say “easy”? Yes, it can be! There are some great tools available and hacks to learn that will make the final steps of your eBay sale a breeze.

The first step is notifying the customer. Oh wait—that’s already done for you. eBay handles the notification, bill and even payment reminders. Once the payment is made, it’s go time.

Find the item. Yes, I have actually misplaced an item somewhere between taking the photos and the end of the auction. These days I keep all my “To Sell” items in one place. But, if you do lose the item, don’t panic. Wait 24 hours and look again, when you’re likely a bit more relaxed. And then, if you don’t find it, you can cancel the transaction and refund the money to the seller. Just enter “Cancel transaction” into eBay’s help section for more details.

Wrap it up. Sure, you can spend a lot of money on things like bubble wrap, but you don’t have to. Instead, try newspapers or pages from magazines or catalogs. If you are selling a bunch of items, you might want to stop by your local retailer and ask if you can take some packing materials off their hands. Book stores, stationers and gift shops receive shipments almost every day and would otherwise recycle or throw away the packing materials that come with them. (I’ve scored quite a few packing peanuts this way.)

Box it up. I think that, these days, everyone is mindful of taking care of the environment. Your eBay buyer will probably not hold it against you if you send the item in a previously used box or padded envelope.

Label it. Here’s something that can save you money: print your U.S. postage at home. You can print the label and postage in a jiffy, and save not only money but also the time it would take to stand in line at the post office. The first time I did this, I made a $16 mistake. If you make an error (printing the wrong amount of postage), get online with PayPal and file a claim. You’ll get your money back.

Ship it. When you list an item for sale, there’s a place to enter “handling time,” the time between receiving payment from your buyer and sending the item. Give yourself three to five days so you won’t be stressed, but be sure to mail it within that period. I recommend adding tracking information for most items, just in case.

And there you have it. Sit back, watch your positive feedback score rise, and think about what to sell next.

Conna Shannon

Conna Shannon

Conna is a writer, editor and aspiring filmmaker. She's into DIY, upcylcing and macrobiotic cooking. She lives in Monterey, California, with a yellow lab named Daisy.
Conna Shannon

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