3 Money Saving Tips for eBay Sellers

July 25th, 2019 Comments off

We currently sell about $14,000 a month in preowned merchandise on eBay, but expenses are high, and we’re always looking for ways to save money. If you want to be a successful eBay seller, it’s extremely important to run your business lean and mean.  The following tips will help you keep as much money in your pocket as possible.

Tip #1 – Sign Up for the PayPal Business Debit Card

First of all, sign up for the PayPal Business Debit Mastercard.  The PayPal debit card allows you to spend the money in your PayPal account while you’re out and about.  Cardholders earn 1% back on all purchases when they use the card as credit. Stamps.com customers can even use their PayPal debit card to purchase postage – this is a great method to get cashback on one of that largest expenses for online sellers!  We basically live off our card, so we get about $50 back a month.

Tip #2 – Scrutinize Your eBay Invoice

Another way to save money, is to go through your eBay invoice each and every month with a fine-tooth comb.  I am embarrassed to admit that I haven’t always done this.  In the past, if my eBay bill seemed about right, I didn’t bother to check it.  Not anymore.  A while back I was going through one of my invoices and realized that on a few of our listings, we were being charged for features that we didn’t want.  I’m not sure how that happened. For example, we were paying $1.50 per month for the item subtitle fee on a listing that had been sitting in our store for 10 months.  Uh oh.

Tip #3 – Perform a Physical Inventory Every Six Months

You can’t make money on merchandise that isn’t listed.  Once every six months eBay sellers should perform a physical inventory of the items they are selling.  I can’t tell you the number of times we’ve done inventory only to discover that, for some unknown reason, products we thought were listed were no longer on the site.  Many of the items we sell can get old over time, so it’s extremely important that we move product in and out as fast as possible.  If an item sits too long, we may have to throw it away.  What a waste of money!  It is extremely important to figure out what you have before going out and spending more money on inventory.

If you are a serious eBay seller, you need to run your business like a well-oiled listing machine. Following these tips will help you reach that goal!

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.

Categories: Ebay Shipping Tags:

Finding Profits At Estate Sales – A Guide for eBay Sellers

June 21st, 2019 Comments off


Part 1 – The Kitchen


Estate sales can be overwhelming.  So much to look at, so little time.  In order to navigate the waters of this very special type of sourcing opportunity, it is important to stay focused and informed.  This is the first of a multi-part series that will help you narrow your search for profitable estate sale items to sell on eBay.

Cooking Up Profits

Always start your estate sale adventure by visiting the kitchen.  Every house has a kitchen, and many of them are filled with amazing finds that not everyone knows about.  The following items are relatively common and can be worth quite a bit of money.

Pots and Pans

First of all, look for high-end pots and pans.  High-end pots and pans are hot property on eBay, and they are often overlooked by pickers.  Brands such as All-Clad and SaladMaster bring in the big bucks, and copper pots made in France are always in demand.


Thereafter, check out the knife drawer.  Knives are high-profit, lightweight items that are easy to ship and can be purchased for next to nothing.

Look for brands such as Wüsthof, Henckels, and Cutco.  Note: When it comes to knives, the bigger the better.  For example, chef’s knives and cleavers usually sell for quite a bit more than steak knives.

In addition, be sure to pay attention to condition.  Unless you are skilled at restoring blades, only purchase knives with blades that are not bent or chipped.  Note: Knives that have been stored in drawers instead of knife blocks often have bent tips.   

Flatware Secrets

Flatware is another product found in the kitchen that can be quite valuable.  Flatware can, of course, be sold in sets, but many people buy individual place settings or pieces.  FYI:  When listing flatware on eBay, write the brand and style name in the title of each listing.

Sterling Silver

When looking for flatware, many sellers search for sterling.  Sterling silver flatware is difficult to find at a good price because most people realize that it is valuable.   Sometimes, however, sterling is not marked clearly or the markings are hard to see.  This is why it is important to use the magnifying glass feature on your cell phone or a loop to inspect flatware closely.

The Sterling Score

In addition to sterling silver flatware, look for sterling silver platters.   A few years back we purchased a silver platter for $8 at a professionally run estate sale.  The back of the platter was engraved with a series of symbols, but the word sterling was nowhere to be found.  After doing some research, we found a guide to these symbols online.  Eventually, we determined that the item we had purchased was, indeed, made of sterling silver.  A local silver buyer offered us $1000 for our $8 purchase.



In addition, we sell silverplate.  While it is true that certain brands of silver plated flatware sell for a fortune, we usually do not often find these brands.  That is why we focus on selling silverplate in lots.  Silverplate can often be purchased inexpensively at estate sales as many people do not believe it is worth much.  Crafters, however, love silverplate.  We store the silver plate we find in large flat rate boxes.  When a box is full, we list it on eBay.

Mixers and Blenders

Finally, look for high-end blenders and mixers.  Vitamix and Blendtec blenders, for example, can be worth a fortune.  Even broken blenders can be sold for parts.  KitchenAid and Bosch mixers are also quite popular.

So the next time you’re at an estate, head for the kitchen first.  It’s a goldmine if you know what to look for!


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.

Categories: Ebay Shipping Tags:

Stamps.com Offers Shipping Cost Refunds for eBay Guaranteed Delivery Door-to-Door Program

December 11th, 2017 Comments off

According to Deloitte, 54% of e-commerce buyers want to receive their products within 2 days of placing their order, while 89% expect to receive their product within 3-4 days of placing their order.  Customer expectations are changing, and online retailers need to deliver packages quickly in order to stay competitive.


eBay(R) launched the Guaranteed Delivery Program, allowing buyers to easily find products that are guaranteed to be delivered within 3 days or less.  With this eBay program, sellers have two Guaranteed Delivery options:

  • Door-to-door: With this option, sellers determine and guarantee their own delivery dates based on their ability to deliver to various regions and their carriers’ service level by region.
  • Handling time: With this option, eBay determines and guarantees the delivery date. Sellers must guarantee same-day or one-day handling and must print their labels on eBay Shipping.

Stamps.com Offers Refunds on Late USPS Deliveries
For eBay sellers who use the “Door-to-Door” option and print their labels on Stamps.com, we’re happy to announce that you will now receive refunds on shipping cost and return shipping labels if your orders are delivered late. This feature applies to all eBay Guaranteed Delivery “Door-to-Door” orders that are using one of the following shipping services:  Priority Mail Express, Priority Mail or First Class Package Service.

If an order that is part of the eBay Guaranteed Delivered “Door-to-Door” program is delivered late from the USPS, the seller will have the following options:

eBay Guaranteed Delivery (Door-to-Door) Options for Late Delivery on eBay Orders
Buyer Options: Seller Responsibility: Stamps.com Offers:
Return the item purchased 1) Refund item price
2) Refund shipping costs
3) Provide free return shipping label
1)  Stamps.com will provide credit for shipping costs

2) Stamps.com will provide credit for return shipping label cost

Keep the item purchased – shipping fee paid by buyer 1) Refund shipping costs 1) Stamps.com will provide credit for return shipping label cost
Keep the item purchased – product included free shipping 1) No action needed by seller (eBay will provide buyer with $5 voucher on next purchase) 1) No action by Stamps.com (eBay will provide buyer with $5 voucher on next purchase)


Requesting Refunds for eBay Guaranteed Delivery Program through Stamps.com
Stamps.com is offering the same guarantee that eBay provides for sellers who use the Guaranteed Delivery Door-to-Door option. When a guaranteed item doesn’t arrive in allocated delivery time communicated to the buyer, you can request a refund for postage paid through Stamps.com.

To request a refund, send an email to EGDrefunds@stamps.com.  In the email, please include:

A) Your Stamps.com Username:
We use this to verify shipments and will apply refunds to your account balance.

B) Package Tracking Number (for product delivered late):
We use the package tracking number to verify that shipments meet our Guaranteed Delivery requirements using the following information:

  • Order Date
  • USPS Arrival Scan Date and Time (Must be scanned into the USPS before the end of the business day following the order date.)
  • USPS Delivery Scan Date and Time

C) Refund Requested (Shipping Cost and/or Return Shipping Label Cost):

  • Shipping Refund only:  Enter the amount eBay refunded to buyer.
  • Return of Item plus Shipping Costs:  Enter the shipping cost to the buyer as well as the cost for the return label.

D) Proof of Compensation:
Go to the eBay listing in question, print the details of eBay compensation to buyer as a PDF, and include it in the email.

Stamps.com will review the eBay Guaranteed Delivery refund request(s) and respond within 7 days.  Any refunds will be applied to your Stamps.com account balance.

Get more info on the eBay Guaranteed Delivery program.

Source: Deloitte – 2017 Holiday Survey: Retail in Transition

5 Tips for Easy Holiday Shipping

December 4th, 2013 Comments off

blog_5-holiday-shipping-tips-headline2Follow these simple tips to maxmize your shipping just in time for the holidays.

#1 Ship Products as Fast as Possible
During the holidays, expectations for delivery are high and tolerance for delays is low. Try to ship products out the same day the order was placed to keep customers happy! Maintain an accurate list of shipping carrier pickup times to ensure your shipments are mailed at the earliest possible opportunity.

#2 Pre-Pack Your Orders During Downtime
Survive the holidays by pre-packing orders during the calm before the storm. Fulfill orders for commonly shipped items and write package weights on the surface of boxes. This way, you’ll be ready for an unexpected rush.

#3 Keep a Healthy Inventory of Shipping Supplies
The last thing you want is a lot of holiday orders and nothing to package them with. Keep a good inventory of supplies and order enough necessities and free USPS packaging to last you throughout the holidays.

#4 Eliminate Trips to the Post Office
If you are shipping with Priority Mail or Priority Mail Express, save time by scheduling a free USPS Pickup online. There’s absolutely no additional charge for home or office pickups, no matter how many packages you have.

#5  Always Update Your Customers
Use Email Notifications for Package Tracking: When a purchase is made online, customers want to know that their packages are in transit. Make sure your shipping system can automatically send out a shipment notification email that includes a link to the tracking number. It will help eliminate Customer Support calls and make for happier customers.

Top Questions & Video: International Shipping Webinar

October 30th, 2013 Comments off

Stamps.com recently participated in a webinar for the Top Rated Seller Webinar series, a monthly webinar that focuses on helping eBay sellers expand sales.  The October topic was “Best Practices for International Shipping” and it featured Bryan Goodman and Jason Smith from ThriftingWithTheBoys.com. If you missed the webinar, watch the recording below.

Here are the top questions and answers from the webinar:

#1  What is the best shipping option to Alaska & Hawaii? While carriers like FedEx and UPS charge additional fees to mail to Alaska and Hawaii, the USPS mails to Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Guam and other U.S. territories for the same cost of domestic postage.   So if you live in Dallas and need to send a package to Alaska, it is the same price as sending a package to Houston.  (Eric Nash/Stamps.com)

#2  Why doesn’t Mexico order anything from me? I have the country turned on, yet I never get any sales – is there a way to get listed better in search? Mexico has never been a great one for sales for me, only a few here and there. Not sure it is worth the time and effort to market there.  Better to concentrate on getting sales everywhere.  Perhaps use of social media targeting Mexico might improve visibility.   (Bryan/Jason – ThriftingWithTheBoys.com)

#3  What insurance do you recommend for First Class International packages? Your best bet is to use a private insurance program such as Stamps.com Insurance (insured by PIPInsure.com), U-PIC or others.  These programs allow you to insure all mail classes including First Class Package International Service and they are much cheaper than USPS insurance.  Also, you can file claims online and claims are typically processed within 7-10 business days. (Eric Nash/Stamps.com)

#4  Is there a way to set up the eBay International Shipping Calculator to calculate the shipping costs plus a small handling fee from seller in eBay? Yes, there is a way to add handling fees for international packages.  You should see a handling fee box at in the pricing area. This image should show you where: http://screencast.com/t/At0wXfqKS    (Bryan/Jason – ThriftingWithTheBoys.com)

#5  Would you have any advice for shipping expensive items (anywhere from $250 – $1,000) internationally? I would suggest using Priority Mail Express International (formerly known as Express Mail International).  The service comes with $200 of insurance and packages are delivered within 3-5 business days, with money-back guarantee for certain destinations.  You also get complete tracking. (Eric Nash/Stamps.com)

#6  Who does the Global Shipping Program benefit and how much does it cost?  What does the buyer get charged for shipping? It benefits those sellers who are afraid to sell internationally by giving you an added layer of protection. As a seller you need to get the item to a warehouse in Kentucky. The only cost is what it costs to ship the item to Kentucky.  The Global Shipping Program handles the rest.  Best way to see what a buyer is charged is to view your listing from another county’s website.  (Bryan/Jason – ThriftingWithTheBoys.com)

#7  When will Stamps.com work on a Mac? Stamps.com will not be building out a dedicated software product for Macs.  Customers using a Mac can use our Stamps.com Online Product, which is completely web-based.  Batch imports (method that allows you to import orders from eBay, Amazon, Etsy, etc.) is currently being developed for the Stamps.com Online product.   ETA is in early 2014. You can see an example of Stamps.com Online at http://www.screencast.com/t/6s6Imh8b .  (Eric Nash/Stamps.com)

#8  What is the benefit of using Stamps.com over just printing labels from eBay? Can I use it for my Amazon shipments? Stamps.com is built for people who need to speed up their shipping process.  Printing labels inside Stamps.com is much quicker than eBay Shipping, USPS Click-N-Ship or other shipping software programs.  Also, you can import orders from multiple eBay accounts into one interface, as well as import orders from Amazon, Etsy, Shopping Carts, PayPal, and other marketplaces/data sources.  This turns Stamps.com into a shipping label management system.  You can print labels by product, box size, destination, etc.  (Eric Nash/Stamps.com)

#9  Should I wrap/package things differently when selling internationally? Not really, unless you expect it to get rougher handling or be exposed to extreme weather elements that could potentially harm what is inside.  Just realize that these shipments are subject to being opened by authorities so you may want to make it fairly easy to open and be re-wrapped.  (Bryan/Jason – ThriftingWithTheBoys.com)

#10  When do I need to include that plastic envelope on my package for the Customs Forms? The customs envelope is for the USPS Form 2976-A Customs Form, which includes 4 copies of the standard Customs Form.  Generally speaking, you need to include this on any Priority Mail International or Priority Mail Express International package.  If you are shipping with First Class Package International Service, generally you can use the USPS Form 2976 Customs Form, which is a one page form. (Eric Nash/Stamps.com)

#11  Do you have a list of countries that currently support First Class Package International Service Tracking? Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Croatia, Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, Israel, Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain, and Switzerland. (Eric Nash/Stamps.com)

#12  If the customer doesn’t receive their package, do you refund the customer for the item and shipping? Yes, how would you want to be handled if you purchased an item and it never arrived?  (Bryan/Jason – ThriftingWithTheBoys.com)

#13  I have shipped International for years, I always enclose packing slip, do I need to always do that? Stamps.com suggests you always include a packing slip in your international packages.  Some countries require it as your package goes through Customs.  Also, if the label ever came off during shipping, a packing slip with the sender’s address and recipient’s address will help the local postal authority properly identify the package. (Eric Nash/Stamps.com)

#14  I have a lot of problem with UK shipments not being delivered and therefore we have stopped shipping items there. Any suggestions? Keep shipping to the UK. Very few problems and now with better tracking your problems should be minimized.  (Bryan/Jason – ThriftingWithTheBoys.com)

#15 How do you track a package once it passes customs? USPS tracking for international packages is getting better every day.  This image http://www.screencast.com/t/rckEvhobu  shows examples of how a Priority Mail package travels to its final destination.  Note:  Tracking is different for every country, but the USPS continues to try and improve/standardize the tracking. (Eric Nash/Stamps.com)

#16  How do you protect against us sending an item and then a customer deciding against paying the custom fees or taxes and doesn’t pick up the item, and then contacts us that they didn’t get it. We then are required to refund the customer! I find this is happening way too often. This may be an instance where you might want to consider using the Global Shipping Program.  (Bryan/Jason – ThriftingWithTheBoys.com)

#17  How do we know how much a buyer has to pay for customs, or is that already included in the calculated shipping price? When you are shipping an item to an international destination yourself, the buyer would be responsible for researching the import fees (known as “landing costs”).  The buyer would need to go to the specific country’s Customs site, where all the fees and tariffs would be listed for specific products.  These listings are normally very general in listing (i.e. “men’s shoes” rather than “Nike Air Jordans”).  If a seller uses eBay’s Global Shipping Program, all of the tariffs, taxes and duty fees are shown to the buyer along with a brokerage fee.  (Eric Nash/Stamps.com)

#18  Do you offer return policy for international shipping? Sure, same as US, buyer pays for return shipping.   (Bryan/Jason – ThriftingWithTheBoys.com)

#19  I use Inkfrog with Stamps.com for shipping and the International labels print with the Electronic Delivery Confirmation to the additional countries recently added for First Class Package International Service. When I go to Stamps.com directly to print labels to any for these countries, I don’t get the Electronic Delivery Confirmation.  Why is this happening? You need to download the latest version of the Stamps.com software.  The current version of Stamps.com is Version 10.5. You can download it at http://www.stamps.com/download/  (Eric Nash/Stamps.com)

#20  Another very important point to consider is Paypal Seller Protection plan does not cover all countries.  Do you still sell into countries not covered by Paypal Seller Protections? Yes, but if it was a very expensive item I would consider alternative ways to guarantee arrival such as Priority Mail Express International  (Bryan/Jason – ThriftingWithTheBoys.com)

#21  Does Stamps.com show list of prohibited items per country? Yes. When using Stamps.com, the program automatically will show the product prohibited items/restrictions in a window next to the package details.  The window will automatically appear based on the country you are shipping your package to, pulling the data from the address field. You can see an example of this window at http://www.screencast.com/t/BZYs3Ow3a (Eric Nash/Stamps.com)

#22  Can we use label paper for the one page Customs Form? Yes, the one page Customs Form (USPS Form 2976) can be printed on regular paper or on a 4″x6″ adhesive label and placed directly on your package.  No Customs envelope is needed. (Eric Nash/Stamps.com)

#23  Is there a $400 limit on Priority Mail International. Or can we ship higher value items with Priority Mail International by providing additional forms/documentation? For regular Priority Mail International packages, you are able to mail an item up to $2,500 in value as you normally would.  If your item is over $2,500 in value, you’ll need to include an Internal Transaction Number (ITN) number on the Customs Form and you may be required to get a license or perform other actions.

There is a $400 limit for smaller Priority Mail International packages.  Those packages are ONLY the Priority Mail International Flat Rate Envelope (regular, legal sized or padded) and the Priority Mail International Small Flat Rate Box.  For those packages/envelopes, and only those packages, the contents may not exceed $400 in value. (Eric Nash/Stamps.com)

#24  Priority Mail Express International to Russia required us to go to the Post Office. However, Priority Mail International to Russia for the same package was accepted. What is the logic? As long as you print your shipping label using online postage, you should not need to drop your package off at the Post Office.   When you use online postage, the software prints an electronic round stamp on the Customs Form.  This electronic round stamps indicates to the USPS you are a “Known Mailer” (you have an established online postage account in good standing) and you may give your international package to your daily mail carrier.  You do not need to go to the Post Office.

About ThriftingWithTheBoys.com and ShippingWithTheBoys.com: Jason Smith and Bryan Goodman are Top Rated Sellers who have each been selling on eBay for over 12 years. Nearly all of the products they sell come from thrift stores. Known in the eBay community as “Thrifting with the Boys,” Jason and Bryan are regular guests on eBay Radio and have presented to standing room-only audiences at eBay on Location, eBay Radio Party and other e-commerce events. They also serve as Worthologists for Worthpoint, lead a popular Facebook group and offer thrifting excursions. Jason and Bryan recently created a new shipping educational website called ShippingWithTheBoys.com, where they share knowledge, advice and success stories on how to ship products worldwide.

Top Rated Seller Webinars is a FREE monthly webinar series that provides educational information for eBay and e-commerce sellers.  The webinar series is underwritten by Stamps.com, PageMage, Outright, eBay Radio, Terapeak and Kabbage.

Call us toll-free at 1-888-434-0055, Monday - Friday, 6 AM - 6 PM Pacific Time.