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Ebay Sellers – Tips to Ship Fragrances through USPS

April 4th, 2011

Fragrances are a profitable item to sell on eBay, but shipping them through the U.S. Postal Service can get tricky because they are  flammable suzanne-wells_1and hazardous. Perfume, cologne, and fragrances in general are made from aromatic oils blended with alcohol. Because fragrances are a common household item, you may not consider them as a hazardous liquid. However, when fragrances are subjected to temperature changes or atmospheric pressure, the alcohol ingredients can become a volatile and hazardous substance.

Proper Packaging is Key
When eBay sellers are shipping fragrances, you must be sure to package them carefully. Glass bottles can shatter in transit if not packaged correctly. Always wrap glass fragrance bottles in several layers of bubble wrap. Then, set the wrapped bottle inside a box with at least 4 inches of space between the wrapped bottle and the box. Fill in the space with packing peanuts or shredded newspaper. If shipping multiple bottles, wrap each bottle in bubble wrap individually. Make sure there is plenty of space between each bottle inside the box and ensure the different bottles don’t touch each other. Fill in all the empty areas with plenty of packing peanuts. Once the box is closed and taped properly, try shaking it lightly — you should not hear anything moving around inside the box.

USPS Mail Classes to Use
The USPS only allows fragrances to be shipped by ground methods of transportation such as Parcel Post. USPS regulations also require your package to be labeled with the words “ORM-D Parcel Post” clearly written on the outside of the box.

Due of their flammable nature, they may not be shipped by air via expedited services such as Priority Mail or Express Mail. And since there are no ground shipping options to international destinations (including Canada), fragrances cannot be shipped internationally. Also, shipping fragrances to Hawaii is not permitted since there are no ground shipping options to the islands.

If you are selling empty collectible perfume bottles, the rules are not as strict. The bottles are empty, and therefore, not flammable or hazardous. Just make sure you package the bottles with care as described above. The fragrance bottles are still fragile and need special attention.

About the Author
Selling on eBay since 2003, Suzanne Wells aka The eBay Selling Coach has sold over 17,000 items as a one person operation and has achieved the status of Silver Level Power Seller on eBay.   Suzanne’s book, The Stay-at-Home Mom’s Guide to Successful eBay Selling helps eBay sellers learn what products to sell, where to find them and how to successfully market on eBay.

  1. August 11th, 2011 at 18:25 | #1

    Hi,
    Thanks for all your advice and these very useful tips. I am delighted after reading this post of yours. I was very much unable to understand on how to ship some nice perfumes, but now I have understood.
    :)

  2. Sharbornj
    April 21st, 2011 at 17:57 | #2

    Please get your facts straight I have been shipping these items through the mail for over 20 years with no issues you just have to have the proper labels box they only fine you if you don’t tell them what you are shipping and since you can’t ship these items internationally there is no tsa or customs involved. only ship these items via parcel post

  3. Dragonscents
    April 15th, 2011 at 15:01 | #3

    I agree with Granny. One thing that’s being overlooked. Real Essential Oils are not made with alcohol. They contain oils & oils only & are traditionally non-flammable. I engage in the Wicca practice and am also a certified Aromatherapist. Alcohol is prohibited from being added to our oils. Period! This article is referring to the cheap oils that vendors on eBay sell. Not true Essential Oils.

  4. April 11th, 2011 at 22:56 | #4

    The problem is alcohol content (higly flammable), but the other problem is conbustible (cans and bottles under pressure). Both of these can cause an explosion and/or fire. That’s the bottom line. When in doubt, don’t ship it.

  5. Phyllisjimfield
    April 10th, 2011 at 22:20 | #5

    Sorry, but I totally DISAGREE with this article. You cannot ship perfumes, shaving creams, and anything under pressure through the mail. If the post office opens the package (or TSA) or Customs and finds perfume under pressure — YOU can get fined up to $10,000 PER INCIDENT for putting unsafe items into the mail. Beware!

  6. Renee527
    April 5th, 2011 at 09:37 | #6

    Thanks! I had no idea.

  7. Postid111
    April 5th, 2011 at 08:09 | #7

    Nice article. Also, insure your shipments with ShipSaver on eBay.

  8. Granny
    April 5th, 2011 at 02:15 | #8

    The author should check their facts.. I am also a Silver Level eBay seller and have sold there since 2001…..ALL Fragrances are NOT controlled substances. I have worked with my Post Office and shipped Fragrances worldwide for over 9 years. ONLY Fragrances containing alcohol and Essential Oils are Controlled substances and require the ORMD sticker. Those same items May Not ship internationally at all. In fact, to ship those any fragrances, either the shipper (you) or your Post Office is required to have a copy of ALL the MSDS sheets on any oils you ship. Regular Fragrance Oils used for crafts and without an alcohol base are not Hazardous, nor are they a controlled substance. They can be sent by any class of mail and internationally, however, you must still have an MSDS on file

  9. April 5th, 2011 at 00:41 | #9

    Ya it’s absolutely true that fragrances are a profitable item to sell but there is a risk while shipping them internationally..But the services provided by eBay for selling are remarkable as compared to others.

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