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The most important part of selling on ebay

The most important part of selling on ebay is shipping. Whatever else people know, or don't know, about whatever it is you're selling, they know what it costs to mail it. And if you get that wrong, you will discourage people who will just look at your listing and say, *are they kidding?*. And many people will imagine that you are trying to cheat them. Sure, you were probably just ignorant of shipping and mailing costs, or maybe you were too lazy to do your homework before you ran your listing, but it still makes you look bad. And, of course, you can get the price of shipping so wrong that once you have mailed the item, you have lost money.

So here's what you need to do - learn the costs involved with shipping and mailing. No, it's not easy. Figuring out what it costs to mail something from The United States Post Office is a lot of work. Whatever you need to ship has to be weighed and measured. You need to decide on what level of service, whether it needs a delivery confirmation, whether it needs to be insured. You need to figure in the cost of the box itself, the cost of miscellaneous stuff like packing tape (yeah, that costs money). And the best way to learn it is to do it.

Personally, I like using Priority Mail from the United States Post Office. But you can also use Fed Ex, or UPS. You can mail First Class USPS, or Parcel Post, or Media Mail. It's up to you.

To me, the advantage of using Priority Mail is that I can print out the postage here from my computer and my friendly neighborhood mail carrier can pick it up from my front porch. Of course, Priority Mail is more expensive than, well, the cheaper options for mailing offered by the post office. If you don't factor in your time as part of the expense, you can do stand in line at the post office. Me, my time is worth more than that. And it takes quite a while for me to make a decent ebay listing, so I've already invested too much time to be selling something that will only make me pennies.

Oh yeah, and one more thing. No *handling charges*. Ever. Don't even think about it. If you can't make money from the auction price, and get the shipping charges exactly right, you shouldn't be selling on ebay.

See you on ebay! No pressure.