Seller Confessions: My Biggest eBay Fails

September 24th, 2018 Comments off

Nobody wants to lose money, but even the most experienced eBay seller makes mistakes.  Here are three of my biggest eBay fails.  Read and learn.

 The Trader Joe’s Nightmare

About 8 years ago, I bought $1,000 worth of Trader Joe’s sea salt caramels to sell on eBay.  I’d never sold food before, but I looked them up, and they were in demand.  I soon realized that I had purchased too many.  Before I knew it, summer arrived, and I had stacks and stacks of these tasty treats sitting in my garage.  Although we were still getting orders, they were melting in transit.  People were not happy.   Unfortunately, I couldn’t wait until winter to get rid of them because they had an expiration date.  We started eating sea salt caramels for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  What else could we do?  I gained five pounds trying to get rid of those suckers.  Eventually, I gave the rest away as presents.  Remember: If you’re going to sell food, always check expiration dates, and be careful buying items that cannot be shipped in hot weather.  Lesson learned.

The Shoe Emergency

Many of our biggest fails involved shoes.  Years ago we did not understand the importance of inspecting preowned shoes before listing them.  Shoes can look brand new but may fall apart the first time they are worn if they have been sitting in a closet for years.  For example, some manufacturers produce soles that do not stand the test of time and will disintegrate or even split in half if they get old.  When we first started selling on eBay, we listed a pair of name brand clogs.  The woman who bought them worked at a hospital and thought they were an amazing deal!  Unfortunately, the first time she wore them to work, she left a trail of rubber wherever she walked.  The soles were literally disintegrating all over the emergency room.  Uh, oh.  Instant refund.

The Fashion Fiasco

In another instance involving shoes, a buyer purchased a pair of beautiful designer heels.  She wore them to work with her favorite outfit.  A few minutes after she got to work, one of the heels fell off – the entire heel.  So embarrassing!  She hobbled around the office for the rest of the day.  Luckily, she thought it was funny.  We quickly issued a refund, and offered to send her a pair of shoes for free.   We now know the importance of closely inspecting all preowned shoes before listing them on eBay.  In addition, we have purchased a one million dollar insurance policy that covers us if anything goes wrong with the products we sell.

Selling on eBay is an adventure, but, like anything, it does come with some risks.  Luckily, each of these fails taught me an important lesson and made me a more successful seller!

 

About the Author

Miriam Otto is an eBay blogger and credentialed teacher with 13 years’ experience selling on the site.  She was a frequent guest on eBay Radio and has participated in eBay seller panels and projects.  Her blog, The eBay Life, is an all-in-one resource for eBay sellers.

Save time and money with Stamps.com automation tools

November 28th, 2017 Comments off

As your online business grows, you’re likely looking for ways to make the workflow easier so you can get orders out the door as efficiently as possible. This is where automation comes in handy. The robust Stamps.com software offers automation tools to help ecommerce businesses streamline tasks while minimizing or eliminating the chance for human error.

Here are three ways Stamps.com can help save you time and money through automation:

  1. Automatically import orders

Manually typing in address information for a shipping label is a time-consuming task, and one that could lead to errors. Eliminate this process by automatically importing your orders via the Stamps.com Order Import tool.

Stamps.com has direct integrations with eBay, Etsy, Amazon and many other shopping carts. Once connected, Stamps.com will automatically import orders, allow you to print multiple labels, and will then send the tracking information back to your order source.

  1. Increase fulfillment processing speed

The faster you can process an order and get the product to the buyer, the happier your customer will be. The longer it takes to deliver packages, the more likely customers are to contact your support center looking for the whereabouts of their package.

Use Stamps.com’s Preset feature for your commonly shipped items. If you find that you are using the same shipping options on many orders, you can create various templates for these options. These templates can consist of mail class, weight, dimensions, and even customs form information. When this template is applied to your order or a group of orders, all of the various shipping choices defined in the template will be applied to the orders selected.

Stamps.com also offers the Shipper Toolbar, which can save you time if your orders are in a database or spreadsheet and you process them individually.  Simply scan a barcode or type an order number and all of the order information will populate, and your shipping label will be ready to print.

  1. Lower shipping costs

Shipping costs change every year and identifying the lowest cost option can be challenging. Don’t leave this decision up to your shipping staff.

The Stamps.com BestRate USPS Shipping Rate Comparison Engine automates mail class and shipping rate selection for your packages. Once you set up these rules, Stamps.com will automatically select the best mail class for your package based on the attributes for that specific package, such as box size, delivery time, shipping rate and destination. Want to only ship using Priority Mail? The BestRate tool will select the lowest cost option among all Priority Mail options. Want to save as much money as possible and aren’t worried about delivery times? Try the “Use least expensive mail class” option.

Have any questions about how Stamps.com can help you with automation? Contact us at 1-855-889-7867.

Categories: Software Updates Tags:

Stamps.com makes Forbes Magazine’s Fast Tech 25 List

November 3rd, 2017 Comments off

Stamps.com has been named to Forbes Magazine’s Fast Tech 25 List. With a three-year averages sales growth of 42 percent, Stamps.com ranks sixth on the 2017 list of the 25 fastest-growing public tech companies.

Forbes chooses from thousands of publicly traded companies for its Fast Tech 25 List, selecting the top tech companies that stand out for trailing three years of strong, profitable growth combined with industry-leading projected earnings growth for the next three to five years.

The full ranking is as follows:

  1. Grubhub
  2. Facebook
  3. Arista Networks
  4. Paycom Software
  5. Ellie Mae
  6. Stamps.com
  7. NetScout Systems
  8. Veeva Systems
  9. Gigamon
  10. Shutterstock
  11. Fortinet
  12. EPAM Systems
  13. Salesforce.com
  14. LogMeIn
  15. Total System Services
  16. CoStar Group
  17. Ultimate Software Group
  18. Athenahealth
  19. Amazon.com
  20. Virtusa Corporation
  21. Vantiv
  22. Alliance Data Systems Corporation
  23. PayPal
  24. RedHat
  25. Alphabet
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USPS Testing Automated Parcel Drop Stations

October 19th, 2017 Comments off

The next time you pop into the Post Office to drop off a package you might have a new option for handing it over for shipment. The U.S. Postal Service is currently testing Automated Parcel Drop (APD) self-serve kiosks in a handful of Post Office locations.

How does Automated Parcel Drop work?

The APD is a self-service machine with which you can ship packages using pre-paid shipping labels, as well as merchandise return parcels.

Many e-commerce sellers are familiar with dropping off packages at a designated location within the Post Office. As long as your package includes pre-paid shipping label—typically printed from an online postage vendor such as Stamps.com—a seller can bypass the line and simply drop their packages off for delivery. However, this process does not generate an acceptance scan until the USPS employee processes the package, which could be many hours after drop off.

The APD fixes that problem by allowing a seller to scan the label (generating an acceptance scan) and deposit the package inside at the self-service kiosk.

“For our small-business customers and customers that shop online, Automated Parcel Drops make shipping and returning packages a smoother, simpler process,” Kelly Sigmon, USPS Retail and Customer Service Operations VP, said in an article introducing the APD kiosks.

Using an Automated Parcel Drop is a quick process—just scan your package’s pre-paid label barcode, deposit the package through the APD’s door and take your tracking receipt, which notes an acceptance scan date, time and other tracking information. Maximum parcel size the APD machine can accept is 24” by 16” by 12”.

“I love it. You press a button, scan your package, lift the door, place package inside, close it, and it prints a receipt,” says one eBay Community user of the Automated Parcel Drop kiosk located in a Cupertino, California Post Office.

USPS is currently testing the Automated Parcel Drop kiosks in five Post Office locations (in California, Florida, New Work, North Dakota and Virginia) with more installations planned, as well as improvements that will allow APDs to accept packages with labels printed from mobile devices.

 

Categories: USPS News Tags:

Zip Codes Available for Sunday and Holiday Delivery with Priority Mail Express

June 23rd, 2017 Comments off

If you need to get a package delivered quickly, you can’t beat Priority Mail Express. With overnight delivery to most locations in the U.S. and second-day delivery in outlying areas, this is the fastest USPS domestic shipping service available. The service also includes some great features such as free parcel insurance up to $100 in value, delivery signature confirmation and even a money-back guarantee if your package is not delivered on time.

Sunday and holiday delivery ($12.50 additional fee is required) is also available in many major markets—more than 12,000 ZIP codes across the country! The following list includes every ZIP code where Priority Mail Express Sunday and holiday service is available.

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