Summer is a great time to go through the closets and other storage spaces in your house and get organized. Chances are, you have a lot of junk you just don’t use anymore. A yard sale is one way to go. The Internet has made it so much easier to sell items online through sites like eBay, Amazon and Etsy.
Selling online is sometimes easier than hauling everything out to the driveway and haggling over nickels. Still, what happens AFTER the online sale can be a bit of a headache. These tips on shipping can really save you time and money:
1. Get estimates – While it may seem reasonable to charge $5 to ship your old purse after it’s sold, don’t guess shipping costs. Call your preferred shipping provider and ask for an estimate, or check their website for a shipping cost estimator. Keep in mind it is just an estimate. Costs are ultimately determined by the item, the packaging and the value of any insurance.
2. Check for discounts – Many shipping companies, like UPS, offer discounts to corporate cardholders – think AARP and AAA. Although the price of shipping may not be discounted with your corporate card, the price of shipping necessities like boxes and packaging might be.
3. Consider getting an account – FedEx and UPS offer discounts to frequent shippers if you sign up for an account. An account allows you to print a shipping label from home. All that’s left is to take the package to a drop-off box or store. In some cases, you can call and have a driver come and pick it up from your home or office. If you ship a lot, this could be a worthwhile investment.
4. Know your packing materials – Although it is possible to save money by getting leftover boxes from your local grocery store or department store, these may not be shipping boxes. Shipping boxes are made to withstand shuffling through sorting centers and on to trucks and planes. For non-fragile items with a low value, non-shipping boxes are usually fine. Consider taking more care when shipping items that are fragile and expensive. Some shipping companies require specific packaging for loss and damage coverage. Investing in bubble wrap and boxes will help make sure a costly item does not get destroyed.
5. DIY – Do as much of the work as you can yourself! Especially fragile or expensive items may be best packaged by the pros. In most cases, though, try to save by boxing and taping up items yourself. Most shipping stores add an extra service charge for boxing/taping your items.
Selling items online can be a great way to get some extra cash and clean up, as long as the shipping doesn’t eat up your profits. Ask around at multiple shipping companies and get specific tips for what you’re looking to ship.
This has been a guest post by Kaitlyn from Martinsburg, WV
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