10 TOP POSTING TIPS... SOME QUICK TIPS FOR EBAY SELLERS

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Here are my ten quick posting tips for eBay sellers, that will help get that parcel to your buyer with no trouble at all.  This is one of a series of no-nonsense, advert-free, "coffee break" guides I have written for UK based buyers and sellers. They're not too short, not too long, and I promise not to try to sell you anything. You can see my other guides by following the links at the bottom of this page but please let me know what you think, by voting for each one you read. Many thanks.

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HARNESS THE STRENGTH OF CARDBOARD


If you're sending a something flimsy through the post, you can cut down the chances of it being bent in the post by placing corrugated cardboard sheets each side, but at 90 degrees to each other. Corrugated cardboard is easily bent along the line of the corrugations, so making sure the ribs on the two sheets don't lie in the same direction will increase your parcel's chances of survival.

THE TROUBLE WITH JIFFY BAGS


Don't rely on the stickiness of that jiffy bag stick down strip, it's just too tempting for some, and many brands just don't seal as well as you might wish. Use some "FRAGILE" tape to not only permanently secure your package, but also to provide some theoretical security against rough handling.

STAMPS


Good old fashioned stamps stick much better than the printed label the post office would rather print out. Do you want to risk it falling off and have your customer pay a surcharge? If they've already printed the label before you can ask for stamps then work the label onto the parcel so there are no edges lifting.

THE LARGE LETTER MARGIN


That friendly person at the post office may be reluctant to say "No, that's too tight to go as a large letter - you'll have to pay the extra for packet". bUT, further down the line they'll have no such reluctance to slap on a nice fat surcharge. Do you really want some negative feedback just because you weren't in control of the situation. Pay the extra on borderline cases.

FOREWARNED IS FOREARMED


Weigh your parcels before you leave home and, using a chart that you have cunningly prepared earlier to save having to look up the same thing over and over again, mark the price you expect to pay on the parcel (perhaps where the stamps go, so it will be hidden later on). The reason for this is that we all make mistakes. Do you really want the person at the post office to charge you too little, risking a surcharge and the consequent negative feedback? Conversely, do you want to be overcharged? Know what you should be charged and everything will be fine.

DON'T BE A SKINFLINT


You know it makes sense. If you tip over into the next weight band then make a feature of the situation, by telling your customers how you don't cut corners. Remember, you can use up that extra weight allowance by including a free gift for your customer, perhaps, without it costing you any more in postage.

TWO SMALL WORDS CAN SAVE YOU A BUNDLE


Sending a parcel abroad? Make sure you mark the top left hand corner with either "small packet" or "printed papers" as appropriate. And tell the person behind the counter or you'll get charged the higher amount.

STOP - THIEF!


You know that sack in your local post office will be kicking around until collection time. Don't let your parcel be the one that gets nicked. It does happen, so make sure your parcel isn't sitting right at the top of the pile. Get them to start a new sack if necessary.

POSTCODE POLITICS


If you don't make sure that the postcode is on the last line of the address, and the ONLY thing in the last line, you might as well be telling the sorting office to hang on to your parcel for a bit until they get a chance to have a look at it. Machines that read the postcode will simply tip your parcel into the bin marked "Don't bother with these parcels until much later - ha ha ha" unless you comply with their rules.

PASS THE PARCEL


You've just had a parcel returned to you, but where's it been for the last six months. Well if the Royal Mail have to open your parcel to find out who the sender was it takes time, and lots of it. Just write your postcode and house number on the outside of the parcel and you will be rewarded for your foresight by a much faster return service.

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And there you have it. If you've enjoyed reading my guide, and hopefully your coffee too, and appreciate the fact that I didn't try to sell you anything (I did promise), then please give me the thumbs up by voting YES below. Thank you very much.
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