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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Clean-up & Packaging Tips

Packaging & mailing items I've sold on EBay comes at the end of a very long process of making cash.

The process goes like this:

I shop at thrift stores.

Bring the stuff home.

Take the tags off.

Take photos.

Post them on EBay.

Wait for them to sale.

So what comes next is a part of the process I don't enjoy a whole lot.
Let me compare it to making cinnamon rolls. I love making cinnamon rolls.
Here's my fresh & easy pizza dough I bought.
I bring the dough home and roll it out with my little helpers.
Add the cinnamon, sugar and butter.
They turn out great everytime.

The last step in the process isn't much fun.

The clean-up!

Sure, the dog does her part by eating what falls on the floor.

Shipping feels like "the clean-up (without the dogs help)."

I have tons of these flat-rate envelopes. Anything I can fit in this envelope ships for $4.90.
The envelopes are free at your local post office (or they deliver if you order them on-line).
Here's an example of how I package an Old Navy Plus Size 22 Denim Jean Long Straight Skirt I sold.
It's big and heavy, but I can fit it in my flat-rate envelope like this:
Notice I write out what goes in the envelope while I copy down the addresses from my email. I've already sent out my shipment from last week, but I have over 100 items listed for this week. I've received a lot of great tips from readers regarding packaging and shipping. I wish I could share a cinnamon roll with you.


  1. Hmm...shipping doesn't sound like a whole lot of fun, but not nearly as bad as I thought it would be. I could get an envelope and put stuff in it. :)

    Do you have any tips for storing your inventory? Right now I'm mostly selling off stuff we have lying around the house anyway, but I'm also starting to buy stuff just to sell it. It's starting to take over the house. It's in the guest room, the family room, the closet, the hallway, the entryway.... Pretty much everywhere except the bathtub. And at the rate I'm going, it could be next.

  2. You left out the hardest part which is closing that envelope. Your not allowed to tape those shut. I use those but now I print the shipping lable at home so I don't have a choice but to put tape where it is needed. :)

  3. Okay, here are a couple of tips. You can sign up for a UPS account and get 1/2 sheet self stick labels as a supply item for free. I print labels on these and stick them right on the package. They say UPS only on them, but I cut that off. Printing and paying for shipping through paypal saves you money on shipping through the postal service. No standing in line, my p.o. knows me and I just walk past the people in line and drop off my shipments OR I schedule them to pick up my packages and I don't even have to go to the post office.
    Have fun.

  4. I found your site today and I love it! Please post something that you have repurposed to Vintage Suitcase Friday!

  5. I bought a bunch of 1/2 sheet sticker labels off of ebay and print them with paypal shipping. So much easier. I also purchased a USPS scale that helps me know down to the oz how much things weigh. This allows me to offer first class mail as an option. I also purchased a bunch of the white w/silver lining bags like Old Navy ships with off of Ebay, keeps the weight down and I can use these for first class and parcel post.

    Just thought I'd share a few more tricks of the trade that I've learned from being an ebay seller.

  6. You can tape the flat rate envelopes shut, it just changes it from flat rate to pay by weight. It is still priority mail. The times I've had to tape it shut and it has been weighed it went from the flat rate of $4.90 to between $5.20 to $5.60. Not that much more. Thanks for the shipping tips. I love any tips and how tos that you have to offer.

  7. Hi laura, thanks for the great tips.
    The shipping info helps alot since I'm not sure how to list my items for shipping.. I am brand new at this and posted a few items on ebay from my own closet and they are starting to sell. It is alot of fun. I'm trying to figure out the combined shipping for customers and I'm not sure I did it rigtht. I love your blog!!