I'm a diehard thrifter and garage sale addict! I love the thrill of the hunt! And I love making CASH from trash so I also resell on eBay and Etsy. I share my successes to inspire you ... and my failures so you learn from my mistakes. Please join me on this wild and crazy ride of making cash from trash!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Selling on eBay: International Shipping with Stamps.com

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First, I want to thank you for your kudos and comments on yesterday’s post about the cross stitch kits.  And, I also want to emphasize that not all needlework kits sell for that much.  I agree with Jennifer B. who commented that most cross stitch kits sell for an average price of $15, although I’ve had a couple of needlepoint kits sell for $20-$25.  Jennifer provided great additional information and I recommend reading her comment here.

I am still at a real loss as to why these kits sold for so much, but I did have a few clues that these might be good sellers:

  1. They were complete kits and were brand new.
  2. They appeared to be European.
  3. Instinct told me that the names Eva Rosenstand and Clara Waever were better than Leisure Arts.
  4. The kits were vintage from the 70s and 80s.

I also find it interesting that four of the five winners were Japanese; and in fact, I believe most of the bidders – even non-winning – were from Japan.  I can only speculate that needlecraft is highly prized in Japan; and perhaps with the horrific devastation, they are now trying to replace their losses.  I am glad Japan is making a comeback!


A couple of you also commented that you don’t normally offer international shipping, although you will ship international if requested.  I cannot emphasize enough the big loss in sales when you do not offer international shipping.  It is as easy as domestic shipping! 

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I know you can now print international postage directly from eBay*, but I prefer to use Stamps.com.  Not only is it FREE, but they will also give you a FREE scale (just pay s/h)!  I get by just fine with the free version.

*Correction: eBay does offer flat-rate international shipping.  Not sure why I thought it didn’t.  I still prefer using Stamps.com simply because I can print on a 5-1/2 x 8-1/2 adhesive label which I also use for domestic shipping.  And I don’t have to sign the label as I do when I go thru eBay.  Not a big deal but it keeps it simple, as in KISS!

I linked my PayPal and eBay accounts to it and now print all my international shipping labels with Stamps.com.  No more waiting in line!  And, I go to the post office anytime and just drop the package in the chute.  Have been doing this for over a year and have NEVER had a problem.

Here’s a quick pictorial tour of how it works for me:

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Step One: This is the first screen you will see after clicking on the BATCH tab from the home screen.  You can hit the refresh button to make sure your imported sales are up-to-date.  In this screen shot, I have one international order from Canada.  I can select (check) this one order to edit and proceed to the next screen.

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Step Two: In this second screen, I can confirm the address, make changes if needed, enter the weight, select the shipping method and even buy insurance if I choose.  From this screen, I can also click SELECT to update the customs form, which will take me to another window.

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Step Three: This window is for Customs Information.  I fill-in a few simple boxes, agree to the the terms, and hit OK.  This will take me back to 2nd screen, where I click on the SAVE button.  I will end up back on the first screen.

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Step Four: Now that the information is updated, I am ready to print postage for my Canada sales order.  Not enough money in my postage account? No problem, I can easily buy more postage using my PayPal account. I then slip a shipping label into my printer, and hit the PRINT POSTAGE button.  This will take me to the next screen.

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Step Five:  Hit the PRINT button and before you know it, you have an international shipping label:

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This is a First Class International label, but I also use this for Priority Mail.  You’ll notice that I don’t even have to sign the label since all my information is already on record:

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I can request a Carrier Pickup, but I prefer to take my packages to the post office.  No waiting in line … just drop them in the mail chutes.  I can even go after hours … whenever it’s convenient for me.  How much easier can that be?

By the way, USPS now offers free padded envelopes for priority mail shipping.  I use these to mail bulky clothing items, like jeans and overalls.  You can see in the picture above how great they work.  I order them online and within a few days, they arrive at my door.  These free FLAT RATE padded envelopes are only $4.95 to ship and you can fit so much more into them.  I’ve even mailed flat shoes and sandals in them.

Whether you use eBay or Stamps.com, it is now so easy to ship internationally.  Why are you waiting?  Do not hesitate anymore and you’ll definitely see an increase in your sales!  I hope this post has encouraged you give it a try.  Check out the Stamps.com website for more info.  I think you’ll be glad you did!

6 comments:

  1. Hi, I LOVE reading about your big scores lately. So exciting. Just wanted to mention that you can ship Flat Rate through eBay. I do it all the time. Super easy.

    Jenny - dutchjhy3@hotmail.com

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  2. Thank you so much for the int'l shipping info. I haven't offered int'l shipping because I hear about so many problems w/it but I guess for every problem, there are countless successful deliveries. Are there any countries that you won't ship to?

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  3. Rita, Thanks so much for the International shipping information! I added International shipping to some of my auctions. I am hoping to see increased sales!

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  4. Hi, thank you so much for the great tutorial.

    I've always been afraid to ship internationally because of all the horror stories circulating around. But if it's going to boost my sales then it's definitely worth a shot.

    Keep up the great work, I love reading about your great finds!

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  5. So what happens when the buyer reports the item as lost since there is no delivery confirmation. I have to say those kits you found are a rarity. I used to do needlework and always look out for them. Never seen them before. Bucilla felt kits are also a good investment if you find them and are willing to start your auctions for what you paid or a little bit more.

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  6. I am SO glad that you posted this! I just found your blog from Vintage Junk in My Trunk, who linked to your post on cross stitch kits. I just had a sale to a buyer in London and I was dreading having to go to the PO because I have to drag my toddler and that's not fun for either of us. LOL

    I almost always ship First Class International because it's so much cheaper than any of the other methods. I'm thrilled that now I won't have to schlep myself and my 2-year-old to the PO! Thanks again, and I'm adding you to my Google Reader!

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