Amazon and eBay best practices?
April 11, 2008 12:05 PM Subscribe
I need advice for selling my used stuff online via eBay and Amazon--more specifically, the shipping and order management part of it.
posted by cosmic osmo to Shopping (7 answers total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
I've been selling on eBay for a while and feel pretty comfortable with most of the process (taking pictures of the item, creating an auction template, when to list, etc.) In a flash of brilliance early this a.m., I signed up for an Amazon seller's account and listed a bunch of CDs I had been planning to sell and much to my surprise, I have already sold some! So far, so good.
All of this is very low-volume: I have at most 5 eBay auctions a week, and right now I only have about 30 things listed on Amazon. I'm using GarageSale to create and manage my eBay auctions, and Delicious Library to organize my Amazon sales. For eBay, I ordered a bunch of USPS Priority Mail boxes, quote a flat rate for shipping within the U.S., pack the items as the auction ends its nearing date and then once I get paid via PayPal (and the money is immediately whisked away into my checking account) I hand-address the packages and bring them down to the local P.O. to ship (always with delivery confirmation, and sometimes the buyer will pay for insurance). So far I've been pretty good at 'guestimating' shipping costs and haven't had any complaints from buyers.
This has been going well so far--all of my auctions end Sunday nights and by the time I go to the P.O. on Tuesday mornings, usually all of the buyers have paid. Sometimes I have to make a second trip to the P.O. later in the week, but I live less than 5 minutes walking distance and rarely wait in line for more than 10 minutes if I go on a weekday morning, so I don't really mind.
My question(s): What's the best way to ship books and CDs, given that Amazon gives you around $3 to do so? Should I start using some kind of online postage payment system (Endicia? Stamps.com? Whatever PayPal offers?) for either eBay or Amazon, or both? Is it worth it to buy things like scales or special printers? I have an HP Ink Jet printer, use Macs (Leopard) exclusively, and use PayPal (at least for eBay). As mentioned above I also use GarageSale and Delicious Library, and would love anything that integrates well with what I already have. How do I make my life easier, especially given that I have also just started selling on Amazon?
I've looked up previous questions about selling on eBay and Amazon, but if you have additional tips for using either (especially Amazon!), mostly with regards to shipping and order management, I'd love to hear them. I've also waded through the seller forums at both sites, but they seem geared toward people who do this for a living, and I'm just trying to clear out some storage space while also potentially making a few bucks.