Chapter 27. Choosing the Best Shipper for YourType of Business

One decision about your eBay business that seems easy is selectingthe right shipper — but actually it's one of the more difficult choices, at least if you care about your buyers. Shipping can make or break your customer service. Whoever delivers the package to the buyer is a virtual extension of your company.

Professional labels, clean boxes, nifty packing peanuts — those are the things you control. But safe and timely delivery falls into the hands of complete strangers. Once the package leaves your door, it's no longer under your control — yet somehow the buyer blames you for the tardiness or sloppiness of the shipping. Your bottom line isn't the shipper's concern, and no matter how many refunds you get for missed delivery schedules, it won't help when you have one irate customer after another. Simple equation: Irate customers = lousy eBay feedback.

So, what's a seller to do? Do you use the shipper that other sellers rave about? Perhaps opt for convenience over low price? After you decide on a shipper, how often do you re-evaluate its services?


Did you know that the big two — United Parcel Service and Federal Express — raise their rates every year? The United States PostalService raises its rates too, but the difference is that the media makes a lot more noise (it's in the newspapers and on the TV news) every time a postage stamp goes up by 1 cent. (Hey, that's traditional!)

It's easy to go on the Internet ...

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