If you’re selling on eBay, you know that shipping on the marketplace can be a time-consuming affair. It’s exciting to make a sale, but then comes the process of picking, packing and shipping. Before you know it, these simple tasks have eaten up most of your day, and you have little to no time to focus on selling and growing your business.
It’s time to make a change. These timeless tips will help you ship faster, improve accuracy and save money along the way. Read on to learn more.
You’re likely familiar with your products’ shapes, sizes, weights and dimensions, especially when your business is just starting out and your catalog isn’t yet extensive. If not, eBay provides a very handy Guide. Now, it’s time to familiarize yourself with their shipping weights and dimensions. Protective materials like air pillows and packing peanuts add weight to a shipment once it’s all packed up, and the box it’s in will be slightly larger than the item itself. Remember to leave room for protective materials when choosing a box, but don’t choose one that is too oversized. Customers see this as wasteful and not in alignment with the eco-friendly practices they’re looking to support.
Knowing all the for your eBay shipments will make your entire fulfillment process more efficient than ever because there will be no guesswork. You’ll know which packaging materials to have on hand and what those final measurements are so you can get the best rates available. This will speed up order fulfillment, so your packages get shipped out faster.
When it comes to ecommerce shipping, it’s all about great rates. Finding the most cost-effective shipping strategy for your eBay business and its needs will be a matter of trial and error, so be sure to research thoroughly. There are big name carriers like UPS, USPS, FedEx and DHL, but there are also regional options like OnTrack and Lone Star Overnight that can get your products to your customers quickly and accurately.
This is where knowing your shipping weights and dimensions will come in handy. Most shipping carrier websites have rate calculators so you can see in a matter of seconds what it will cost you to ship each order. These costs will influence whether you can offer free shipping, which is a major advantage for the online stores that can afford it—shoppers flock to free shipping.
Even better than the calculators are rate aggregators that help you explore your options. The best option, however, is finding a shipping software that will do the work for you so you can get the best rates every time.
The advent of software has saved millions of hours across hundreds of industries, and ecommerce is no different. There are plenty of solutions that can streamline your everyday processes and make your operations that much more efficient, including services like ReadyCloud’s eBay shipping software and a variety of other possible services that you can use.
When you use shipping software, you create easy-to-follow workflows and save time by setting shipping rules that automatically find and select the most efficient shipping method. It will scan carriers’ rates, so you always have up-to-date and accurate information. You’ll then ship each order with the cheapest rate and the fastest delivery time possible. Along the way, you’ll build brand loyalty because your customers will appreciate the transparency, they get by seeing real-time shipping costs.
Additionally, eBay shipping software displays all your shipping data on one user-friendly dashboard so there is no complicated navigation to be able to see things like shipping bills, where to print shipping labels and order management.
Amazon Prime has set a new standard for ecommerce delivery time with its free two-day shipping and options for same-day and next-day delivery. Now, consumers expect this service from other brands they shop with, even when these sellers are still running small to midsize businesses. The problem is this: Shipping carriers can only cover so much ground in 48 hours. Proximity is the key, but when you don’t have inventory close to your customers, it is hard to deliver their orders to them quickly.
Micro-fulfillment centers and flexible fulfillment warehouses are the secret weapon in this scenario. They are not full-scale warehouses that store your entire inventory, but they act as steppingstones so your delivery drivers can reach more customers in a short amount of time. If you have these mini hubs in multiple regions of the country, you can feasibly get your orders to your customers in that two-day window they’ve gotten used to.
There are several eBay shipping software options on the market, but very few are worth your time and money. Aside from great rates, you want to look for usability, reliability, additional features and more. Here’s a brief explanation of what each of these means.
Usability: Many solutions are overly complex and won’t integrate into your everyday workflows. After onboarding, many users abandon the technology because it isn’t user-friendly.
Reliability: There is no use investing in a software that isn’t going to work. Make sure you utilize a free trial, if available, and read reviews of other users’ experiences.
Additional features: You can (mostly) run your business from your eBay shipping software if there are add-ons available. Look for features like CRM and returns to maximize the usage of your software solution.
Selling on eBay has its advantages. As a marketplace, it already attracts shoppers who are online to browse and buy from any brand they find favorable. This gives sellers a major opportunity to reach consumers without first spending the time developing brand recognition on their own websites.
If eBay sellers streamline their shipping operations early in the business, they can build brand loyalty that way by offering fast, low-cost delivery and accurate information to their customers.