When starting out as a business on eBay & Amazon, there are always a few unexpected costs and charges that you either didn’t consider or expect. You’ll also find that costs you had anticipated, are actually rapidly amounting, and substantially eating into your profit margins.
Kate Hulley, owner of Boxed-Up Packaging, deals with eBay and Amazon sellers on a daily basis, and is on-hand to provide her expert advice on how to slash your outgoings and help to improve your return on investment.
Consider your packaging
Which packaging is going to provide you with the durability to keep your goods safe, protected and weatherproof, but is lightweight enough to keep shipping costs down? When choosing a packaging supplier for your eBay business, conduct considerable research into corrugated cardboard box manufacturers and strive to achieve a delicate balance between cost efficiency and quality.
Choosing your postage options
Don’t pluck your postage prices out of thin air. If they’re too low they might not cover the cost, but too high and they’re likely to put buyers off. Take into account that your postage prices must also cover your packaging expenses, which is why it’s important to ensure your packaging is cost efficient. If you’re sending light goods using Royal Mail’s price finder for indication of what it’ll cost you to send. For heavier goods, it may be worth researching courier charges instead.
Streamline your selling
We’ve all heard the phrase ‘time is money’, but if you sell high quantities of typically low priced items, time spent uploading, packing, labelling and shipping can indeed be very expensive! Create libraries of listing templates and bookmarks and consider using Turbo Lister for uploading bulk listings. Be prompt and keep on top of transactions by shipping them as soon as possible.
If you’re selling more than 100 items per week, take a look at third party providers such as Channel Advisor or Marketworks.
Keep on top of eBay promotions
Familiarise yourself with eBay seller promotions and strategise your selling around them. If you know to expect an upcoming offer, postpone your selling until you can take advantage of that. Remember – you get to list 20 items a month for free. As it costs more to list items with a higher starting price, you might want to prioritise selling these first, so that if you do list more than 20 items a month, you’ll pay a smaller insertion fee.
eBay also run ‘free listing days’ and so it’s well worth keeping in-the-loop with your eBay communications and the eBay seller communities so that you’re able to take full advantage of these.
Strategise your timing
Much eBay selling is all about timing. Sundays are the busiest days on eBay, so we’d recommend scheduling your listings to start on a Thursday. This allows you to take advantage of 10 day listing durations and the busyness of a Sunday! To cut costs even further, put time aside to list them yourself on a Thursday as opposed to scheduling, as you’ll incur an eBay fee for the privilege of doing so!
Packaging suppliers for eBay sellers
Need boxes for selling on eBay? Get in touch with the Boxed-Up team on 01942 524 256.