Shipping best practices

Increase sales, boost your detailed seller ratings, lower your shipping costs, and more

Shipping Best Practices

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  • Offer free shipping

    Online buyers consider the total cost—item price and the cost of shipping—when deciding what and where to buy. Buyers especially love free shipping, and some will only purchase items that ship for free. In fact, studies show that buyers are more likely to choose an item with free shipping over an item with a shipping charge, even if the total cost is the same:

    • Buyers are more likely to choose your item
    • Automatic 5-star rating for shipping cost when your buyer chooses free shipping
  • More shipping options

    Online shoppers expect speedy delivery that’s either free or low cost. You can increase sales and deliver great customer service by offering free standard shipping as your first shipping option and 1-day (or international) service as an option for buyers in a hurry. Your fees are calculated on the first shipping option you specify, so you won’t pay a higher Final Value Fee if your buyer selects 1-day shipping.

    For example:

    • You offer free standard shipping as your first domestic shipping option and 1-day shipping for $15.00 as your second option in your item listing
    • Your buyer chooses and pays for the 1-day shipping option for $15.00
    • Even though your buyer chose the more expensive 1-day option, your final value fees are calculated on your first domestic shipping option. In this case, your fee will be calculated on free shipping, and you do not pay a fee on the $15.00 1-day shipping option your buyer selected.

    1-day services (next day delivery):

    • USPS
      • Priority Mail Express™
      • Priority Mail Express™ Flat Rate Envelope
    • FedEx
      • FedEx Priority Overnight®
      • FedEx Standard Overnight®
      • FedEx Priority Overnight One Rate®
      • FedEx Standard Overnight One Rate®
    • UPS
      • Next Day Air Saver
      • Next Day Air (offers Saturday delivery)

    Expedited services (maximum estimated delivery time of three business days):

    • USPS
      • Priority Mail Flat Rate Envelope
      • Priority Mail Small Flat Rate Box
      • Priority Mail Medium Flat Rate Box
      • Priority Mail Large Flat Rate Box
      • First Class Package
    • FedEx
      • FedEx Express Saver®
      • FedEx 2Day®
      • FedEx Express Saver One Rate®
      • FedEx 2Day One Rate®
    • UPS
      • UPS 3 Day Select
      • UPS 2nd Day Air
  • Tracking information

    Keeping tracking information up to date is easy, and helps both buyer and seller.

    • Make sure to upload tracking information to My eBay for every item you ship. You can do it for virtually any carrier. Your buyers will receive tracking information via an automated email, and they can access it from My eBay.
    • When buyers are able to track the progress of their shipment, they tend to be more satisfied and leave higher detailed seller ratings. Plus, you spend less time answering one of the most common buyer questions: "Where 's my stuff?"
    • Tracking information also provides built-in seller protection throughout the resolution process
    • For seller protection, the carrier’s tracking details must include a delivery scan with the delivery date that meets the estimated delivery date and the recipient’s address (note that some carriers only show the recipient’s city). Uploading tracking info helps you meet your on-time shipping metric and is a requirement for being a Top Rated Seller. eBay labels makes it easy to meet this requirement as tracking is automatically uploaded to MyeBay.
    • Uploading tracking information also protects you in the event a buyer claims that they did not receive an item, and is one of the qualifications for getting an automatic 5-star rating for ship time.
    • If you print shipping labels on eBay, the carrier tracking information is uploaded automatically to My eBay. You can also upload tracking numbers manually for each transaction. If you use third party services or bulk tools to list your items, uploading tracking information to eBay is easy. Most major third-party label printing tools can be integrated with eBay to automate the process.
  • Save on shipping

    There are lots of easy ways to save money on shipping. eBay sellers can take advantage of the following online discounts:

    • Volume discounts are available via USPS, FedEx, and UPS:
      • USPS discounts for qualified eBay sellers. eBay Top-Rated Sellers and any seller with an average of 300 or more transactions per month get Commercial Plus Pricing—savings of up to 24% — on domestic Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express shipments, and also special discounted rates on domestic USPS Priority Mail Express shipments and USPS International products of up to 32% off. No enrollment is necessary—qualified sellers automatically receive the discount when you print your shipping labels with eBay labels.
      • FedEx® volume discounts for all eBay sellers. Get eBay's exclusive FedEx® volume discount rates automatically when you print labels on eBay—up to 37% savings on select services. No need to sign up. Choose from a variety of FedEx® services including: FedEx Priority Overnight®, FedEx Standard Overnight®, FedEx 2Day®, FedEx Express Saver®, FedEx Ground®, FedEx Home Delivery®, and international services.
      • UPS discounts for eBay sellers. The UPS Savings Program for eBay Sellers gives you discounts off the UPS Rates. Learn more about UPS discounts for eBay sellers
    • Use USPS Priority Mail Regional Rate boxes to cut the cost of short-distance shipping in half
      • Ship packages of up to 20 lbs. within your own region using USPS Priority Mail® Regional Rate boxesavailable on eBay labels.
      • For example, if you ship a 10 lb. package from San Jose to Sacramento:
        • Priority Mail® costs $9.80
        • Priority Mail® Medium Flat Rate Box costs $10.50
        • Priority Mail® Regional Rate Box A costs only $4.97
    • Get free shipping supplies and zero-out your handling fees:
    • Offer combined shipping discounts:
      • The combined shipping discounts feature gives you a variety of ways to offer your buyers a discount on shipping when they purchase more than one item from you:
        • Charge for shipping the item with the highest shipping cost, and then add an additional lower cost for each additional item
        • Subtract shipping costs for each additional item purchased
        • Offer free shipping on additional items
        • Combine items into one shipment

Ship Worldwide

The Global Shipping Program makes cross-border shipping a breeze

eBay can help take the hassle out of international shipping. With the Global Shipping Program, sellers simply send their sold item to the Global Shipping Center in Kentucky. The program takes care of the rest, including:

  • Customs forms
  • Import fees
  • End-to-end tracking
  • Delivery to your buyer

The Global Shipping Program also helps you ship smart by offering protections like 5 stars for shipping/handling, 5 stars for shipping time, and negative/neutral feedback protection. Sell with confidence to shoppers in over 100 countries—and counting!

Tools and Resources

eBay labels

Save time and money on USPS and FedEx postage.

Carrier Options

Ship the way you want with a variety of delivery options.

Shipping Calculator

Estimating shipping costs just got easier.

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