Accurate Shipping Estimates Mean More Profit for Online Sellers

Folks sell their treasures online for a myriad of reasons. Some finish their spring cleaning and sell the only-used-once exercise equipment. Others reach new life stages – babies grow up, empty nesters decide to downsize. Occasional sellers are inclined to list items on ebay or craigslist. Artists sell their creations directly from their studios or list them on Etsy or similar venues. No matter the reason for selling, the goal is to make money.

Pak Mail ships for online sellers, both online businesses and sporadic peddlers. Online business owners have learned – usually through trial and error – how to estimate shipping costs. The occasional seller may be caught unaware. She used the online venue’s shipping estimator, but may have used the dimensions of the item instead of the outer dimensions of the packaging. Here are some tips for the occasional seller using an online estimator:

  • Accurately measure the item – length, width, height – rounding up to the next inch.
  • Determine the packaging needed for the item.
    • Non-fragile items can ship in a box with inner dimensions the same as the item.
    • Fragile items must ship in a box that allows for at least 2 inches of protective packaging (bubble wrap and packing peanuts, not paper) around all dimensions.
    • Very fragile items, especially those with a high value, should be double-boxed.
  • Weigh the item, including the shipping box and all packaging materials.
  • Enter the outer dimensions of the final box and the final weight into the shipping estimator. Keep in mind that a box stamped on the bottom flap with 12”x12”x12” (inside dimensions) actually ships at 13”x13”x13” (outer dimensions rounded to the next full inch).
  • Enter the value of the item. UPS and FedEx include $100 declared value coverage at no additional cost. Items must be properly packaged to receive carrier compensation in the event of a damage claim.
  • Post your item for sale, making sure to account for the cost of shipping in your price.

If you don’t have time to do the packaging or the item is extremely fragile, odd-shaped, very large, or very heavy, consider using the services of a professional packing and shipping store. Get a quote for packing (possibly a crate or pallet) and shipping before posting the item online.

Eliminate shipping surprises and keep your profit!