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Shipping best practices

Boost your sales and shipping DSRs and lower your cost to ship with these best practices

Open your business to millions of buyers

Sell to the world

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; many will only purchase items that ship for free. In fact, 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. Free shipping can pay for itself in many ways.

When you offer free shipping, you get:

  • More buyers likely to choose your item.
  • Lower Final Value Fees when applied to the full amount of sale, including shipping.
  • A boost in search results for your Fixed Price listings.
  • Automatic 5-star rating for shipping cost when your buyer chooses free shipping

Offer expedited or 1-day shipping

Buyers also like a choice. Now you can offer 4 domestic and 5 international shipping services in your listings. Garner the most sales and deliver really great customer service with FREE standard shipping as your first option and a 1-day service for buyers in a hurry.

You won't pay a higher Final Value Fee if your buyer chooses 1-day (or international) because when you offer these services, your fees are calculated on the first shipping option you specify. So if you specified free shipping as your first option, you pay zero fees on shipping even if your buyer chooses 1-day or international.

For example:

  • You offer free standard shipping as your first domestic shipping option and 1-day shipping for $20.00 as your second option in your item listing.
  • Your buyer chooses and pays for the 1-day shipping option for $20.00.
  • 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—you do not pay a fee on the $20.00 1-day shipping option your buyer selected.

1-day services offer next day delivery:

USPS

  • Priority Mail Express™
  • Priority Mail Express™ Flat Rate Envelope

FedEx

  • FedEx Priority Overnight®
  • FedEx Standard Overnight®

UPS

  • Next Day Air Saver
  • Next Day Air (offers Saturday delivery)

Expedited services offer a maximum estimated delivery time of three business days:

USPS Priority Mail

  • 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 Mail

FedEx

  • FedEx Express Saver®
  • FedEx 2Day®

UPS

  • UPS 3 Day Select
  • UPS 2nd Day Air

Ship the same day the buyer pays

As a rule of thumb, ship the item the same day your buyer pays. You'll automatically receive a 5-star shipping time detailed seller rating (DSR) as long as:

  • You specified 1-day or shorter handling time.
  • You upload U.S. Postal Service, FedEx, or UPS supported tracking information by the end of the next business day Pacific Time after the buyer's payment clears.
  • You upload U.S. Postal Service, UPS, or FedEx supported tracking information by the end of the next business day Pacific Time after the buyer's payment clears.
  • Delivery Confirmation or tracking shows confirmed delivery 4 business days from when the payment clears—or within your estimated delivery time if it's less than 4 days (for example, overnight shipping).

Save money on shipping and pass the savings on to your buyer

It's easy to deliver the shipping options your buyers want—and lower your overall costs at the same time.

Take advantage of online discounts:

  • USPS discounts for qualified eBay sellers. eBay Top-rated sellers and any seller with an average of 2,500 or more transactions per month now get Commercial Plus Pricing—savings of up to 35%—on domestic Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express shipments. No enrollment is necessary—qualified sellers automatically receive the discount when you pay for postage and 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 Special Pricing Program for eBay Sellers gives you discounts off the UPS Standard List Rates. Learn more about UPS discounts for eBay sellers and eBay PowerSellers.
  • 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 online only.
    • 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.
  • Make sure to upload tracking information to My eBay for every item you ship. You can do it for virtually any carrier. Your buyers 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 DSRs. Plus, you spend less time answering one of the most common buyer questions: "Where's my stuff?"
  • Tracking information and Delivery Confirmation also protects you in the event of an eBay dispute and is one of the qualifications for getting an automatic 5-star rating for ship time.
  • If you pay for shipping and print shipping labels on eBay or PayPal, this information is uploaded automatically to my eBay. You can also upload it manually.
  • 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.

Ship worldwide

Take full advantage of eBay's online global marketplace by specifying that you'll sell and ship to buyers in other countries. Later this year, items offered internationally that specify international shipping will get displayed in the main search results for eBay sites in Australia, Canada and the UK.

  • USPS First Class Mail International service saves you big on international shipping. For example, ship a 3 oz package from the US to Canada for just $1.75 (vs. $11.35 for Priority Mail).
  • You can specify different services for different countries—specify up to 5 international services.
  • Use eBay label printing and you can also print pre-filled customs forms.
  • For your international shipments, your Final Value Fees work the same way as for 1-day (see #2 above). When you offer international shipping, you pay Final Value Fees on the first shipping option you specify, even when your buyer chooses international.
  • For example:
    • You offer free standard shipping as your first domestic shipping option and First Class Mail International to Canada for $12.85 as your first international option in your item listing.
    • Your buyer chooses and pays for the international option for $12.85.
    • Even though your buyer chose the more expensive international option, your Final Value Fees are calculated on your first domestic shipping option. In this case, your fee will be calculated on free shipping—you do not pay a fee on the $12.85 international shipping option your buyer selected.
  • If you sell internationally, you can get insight in your Seller Dashboard into the service you provide to buyers from other countries to help improve your service and boost your international sales.
  • Remember, your US seller performance rating is based only on your transactions with US buyers.

Pay for postage and print labels right on eBay

You can pay for discounted postage, print shipping labels, and upload tracking right from My eBay—with just a few clicks.

Extra shipping tips and resources

FAQs

Read answers to frequently asked questions about eBay labels.

Save on shipping

Get special eBay discounts from USPS, UPS, and FedEx.

Like us on Facebook

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Follow shipping best practices

Boost your sales and ratings, and lower your costs.

eBay labels

From My eBay you can pay for discounted postage, print shipping labels, and upload tracking.

Create multiple USPS shipping labels

Print up to 50 USPS shipping labels at once.

Try the Shipping Calculator

Estimate shipping costs with ease.

Order Flat Rate Boxes

Get FREE eBay and USPS co-branded Flat Rate boxes sent right to your home.

Get automatic 5-star ratings for shipping

Boost your shipping DSRs and lower your shipping costs with these best practices.

Fast ‘N Free

See how offering Fast ‘N Free shipping can increase your sales and improve your seller rating.

Top stars and more sales

Offer Fast ‘N Free shipping: You’ll get an automatic 5-star seller rating on shipping and handling and you could increase sales by 11%.

Get guidance as you go

The latest eBay mobile app gives you suggestions for which shipping method to use and how much it will cost.