Friday, August 10, 2007

How to Cheaply and Safely Ship Clothing.

When I first started shipping clothing on eBay I waisted a lot of money on shipping products. I did this because I was unaware that the USPS was just giving envelopes, labels, and stickers away for free.

I would buy tyvek bags for about .45 cents a bag, at the local office depot. This was a big mistake. Office depot is expensive! Now I do all of my shopping at in the Priority section. The items are free and they ship them to your door. The items that make shipping for eBay a lot easier are: both of the flat rate boxes, flat rate envelopes, rolls of priority mail stickers, and tyvek envelopes.

I can ship a very large pair of jeans in one flat rate envelope, and sometimes two pairs of dress pants! This is great because it only costs 4.60 to ship. Cutting shipping costs will make your eBay experience a lot better. It could either make it so you can charge a bit for handling and not gouge your bidders. This way you can make a little bit extra per eBay transaction, and also have more interest in your auctions because of your reasonable shipping costs.

Here is my technique for safely packaging a pair of jeans into a flat rate envelope:

  1. Fold the jeans into quarters or fifths, but make sure it is small enough so that when you put them in the tyvek envelope, that the envelope can double over on itself. The tyvek envelope is to protect from tearing that cardboard can not withstand. Also they are slightly weatherproof. Some sellers put their pants in plastic baggies as well as tyvek to further protect them from the elements (I do not).
  2. Put your label on the cardboard flat rate envelope now, if you wait for later it will look very ugly.
  3. After you have a nice little tyvek package, maneuver it into the cardboard flat rate envelope. This can sometimes be tricky, watch out for paper cuts.
  4. Make sure the pants are in the very bottom of the cardboard envelope and then attempt close the envelope. It is easiest to close the envelope on a table, not in your lap.
  5. Once the envelope is closed, put USPS priority mail stickers over the corners to make sure they do not catch on anything.
  6. Put a piece of packaging tape over the seal, to make sure your package does not rip open. Maybe also put another piece of packaging tape over the addresses so that they are protected from the elements and do not watch off.
  7. Rinse and repeat.
If you get anything from this post let it be: Get as much free stuff from the USPS as you can possibly use. Instead of waisting money on envelopes, maybe buy some tissue paper to make your items look fancy. Or cut the costs completely and watch your profits from ebay grow!

Good luck out there.


Anonymous said...

Hi, this was very helpful to me!

Anonymous said...

Maybe I missed something, but why did you put the usps tyvek envelope into another flat rate cardboard envelope? Can't it be shipped as is in the tyvek envelope?
And do you need to use priority tape or can any packaging tape work? Thanks!

Eric Carlson said...

you need to put it in the flat rate cardboard envelope because that makes it cheaper to ship. The tyvec priority envelope just makes a good wrapper, and is more weatherproof. But if you ship it that way you get charged by the pound, unlike the flat rate you can ship as much as you can jam in there.

Also, you can use any tape on the flat rate envelope, but they will send you priority stickers for free that can be used very easily as tape for the corners.

Good luck!