Best Way to Ship on eBay: How-To Guide For Beginners

Marketplaces 101
Best Way to Ship on eBay: How-To Guide For Beginners

eBay is the largest and most lucrative online marketplace with 182 million users worldwide. 


If you are not yet selling on eBay, what are you waiting for? eBay has more active users than all of the other major reselling platforms, combined!  You can sell (almost) anything on eBay, with the most expansive list of categories and broadest global audience. 


eBay can be intimidating, with so many features and tools. One of the most frequently asked questions is How does shipping work on eBay?


Look no further! Here is everything you need to know about how to ship on eBay.


If you’re brand new to eBay, also check out this article: How to Get Started Selling on eBay


Don't miss out on boosting your online sales – Grab your copy of Vendoo's Ultimate Marketplace Guide for Resellers today!


How to Select Shipping Methods on eBay


Millions of eBay sellers ship items from their home with eBay’s easy and convenient tools. However, you will need the approximate weight of your item (packaged).


Depending on your item, the size, the weight, and other factors come into play to determine the cost of shipping. It is important to know how much an item weighs, which size package it will fit into, and if it will require packaging materials to ship safely. 


eBay Ship Tip: Keep various size boxes and mailers on hand to ship different items.


To estimate the shipping cost for your items, use the eBay shipping calculator. Then, you will need to select a shipping carrier: 


Shipping with USPS on eBay

USPS is highly recommended for eBay orders. USPS and eBay are partners, allowing you to receive a reduced shipping rate. Other benefits of shipping with USPS include:

  • Best shipping rates 
  • Convenient Drop-off locations
  • Free scheduled pick-ups at your door 
  • Free shipping supplies for Priority Mail
  • Accepts eBay QR codes


USPS international mail services include First Class, Priority Mail, and Priority Mail Express.


eBay Ship Tip: Use First Class Mail for items weighing less than one pound for the best rates. (If an item weighs more, it must be shipped via Priority mail). 


Also, make sure you check out: 10 Great Marketplaces Every Reseller Should Consider


Shipping with UPS on eBay 

UPS is another option for shipping, especially for large, heavy, or rushed orders. UPS has various services integrated with eBay including UPS Ground, UPS 2nd Day Air, and UPS Next Day Air. 

Benefits of using UPS include:

  • Significant discounts

  • Many convenient drop-off locations including select stores and drop-off locations 

  • Accepts eBay QR codes


Shipping with FedEx on eBay 

FedEx is another option for shipping that also offers great rates for large and heavy parcels. FedEx has the fastest delivery options as well, including FedEx Ground, FedEx Home Delivery, FedEx SmartPost, FedEx 2Day, FedEx Standard Overnight, and FedEx Priority Overnight. 


Benefits of using FedEx on eBay include:

  • Significant discounts 

  • Convenient drop-off locations including select retail stores and pharmacies

  • Accepts eBay QR Codes


While most sellers ship with USPS, UPS, and FedEx, if you prefer another carrier (or sell oversized items), you might also use DHL, OnTrac, Lasership, Spee-Dee Delivery, and Lonestar, among others.


Did you know that you can let your buyer choose (and pay for) the shipping service they prefer? You can select multiple shipping options in your shipping policies to allow for buyer’s choice of shipping and attract and accommodate more buyers. 




eBay Shipping Tip: For select light items (under 3oz) use an eBay standard envelope. These can be used on select collectibles including cards, coins, and currency, providing up to 70% off USPS First Class rates and integrated tracking. 


Establish Your Shipping Options on eBay

You can pick which shipping methods you want to offer your buyers when creating your listing. 


Depending on whether you're using the eBay quick listing tool, the eBay business tool, or eBay’s new listing tool, you will choose your shipping options as follows:


Selecting Delivery Options with eBay’s Quick Listing Tool:

With this tool, eBay shipping works similarly to other platforms, with just a few extra options. On the listing page, in the shipping section, you will select either a fixed cost or calculated shipping. With fixed cost, you will enter the cost. With calculated shipping, the cost is based on the package weight and dimensions that you will provide.


eBay will recommend a shipping service, but you can select your own if you prefer. You can also choose to offer free shipping (pay it yourself) or charge the buyer for shipping


Setting Delivery Options with eBay’s Business Tool:

Finally, to set your shipping options with eBay’s new listing tool, you have the options noted above, and additionally can create shipping business policies in your eBay seller Hub.


You can create business policies for shipping (in addition to payment and returns). These policies allow you to save shortcuts to your shipping preferences including carriers, handling time, and price mode (flat or calculated and free or paid). 


Creating shipping policies makes listing much faster, as your policy can encompass all of your preferences, allowing you to skip several selections at check-out. They can also be applied and edited in bulk. Learn more about eBay business policies here.  


To select shipping options on the listing page, you will choose flat shipping, freight shipping, or calculated shipping. Flat shipping is the same cost for all buyers, calculated varies by the location of the seller and buyer, and freight applies to large and bulky items.


You will provide either the flat rate or the dimensions and weight for the calculated and freight options, and opt for free shipping or charged shipping.


You can also select your preferred shipping service, handling cost (for calculated shipping only), and combined shipping rules. 


How to Combine Shipping on eBay

When a buyer purchases multiple items from you, you can send their items in one parcel (on most reselling platforms, this is called “bundling”.)


If you sell multiple items to a buyer, before they pay they can opt to request a total for the items in their cart. Then, you can send them an invoice with a combined cost. To enable this feature, make sure you “allow” combined payments and shipping in your settings. 


If the buyer has already paid, you can still apply combined shipping by going to the orders tab, selecting the orders that you would like to combine, and sending a revised invoice and partial discount for the difference. 


Shipping combined orders is simple. Once you have received payment, you can create a shipping label from any one of the orders and update the tracking number for all of the individual orders to reflect the (combined) tracking number. 


eBay Shipping Tip: When offering free shipping, make sure you are using a mailing service (like USPS priority mail) that offers standard rates for all United States territories. Otherwise, you will incur astronomical costs for shipping outside of the continental United States.


Did you know that you can use your eBay business policies in Vendoo? You can set your favorites as defaults in Vendoo to make for much faster listing. Check out how it's done in this video.  


eBay shipping can be confusing with so many options, but each option presents opportunities to customize your experience and broaden your exposure. Try out various options and see what the best way to ship on eBay is for your reselling business!


What is your eBay shipping policy? Share with us below! 

You might also be interested in the article: eBay Tips From an Expert: How to Make More Sales on eBay

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