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 USPS.com 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:
- 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).
- Put your label on the cardboard flat rate envelope now, if you wait for later it will look very ugly.
- 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.
- 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.
- Once the envelope is closed, put USPS priority mail stickers over the corners to make sure they do not catch on anything.
- 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.
- Rinse and repeat.
Good luck out there.