Easy ways to keep eBay costs down & save on p&p

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Keeping your postage and packaging costs down, is key to saving you money, attracting more buyers and beating your competitors
You can also operate a more environmentally friendly ("greener") business if you recycle where possible.

Here's some useful secrets:

For cardboard boxes:

  • You can often get these free from your local supermarket. Tesco and Morrisons for example often put their surplus boxes out by the tills, and the good thing is that they come in different shapes and sizes. Why pay when you can get them for free?

For bubble wrap, polystyrene etc:

  • You can also often get bubble wrap free from your local supermarket too (look inside their empty cardboard boxes by the till)! This can save you fortunes as a roll of bubble wrap costs anything from £1 upwards!!!
  • Otherwise why not ask for the surplus polystyrene beads / foam at your local Furniture Store? Often they are happy to play an active role in recycling and so will provide you with these for FREE!
  • For some items, newspaper can often help cushion your items.

For other supplies such as envelopes, mailing bags, parcel tape etc

  • Make sure you shop around for the best prices. The post office tends to be one of the dearest suppliers, so where possible I would try to avoid them. For the best costs, I recommend buying in bulk (eBay is obviously good for this or a local or online Cash and Carry) - often the more you buy, the more you save! If you are also lucky enough to have a market nearby - maybe you could try bartering with them for volume discounts. Otherwise pop along to your local Pound Shop or Wilkinsons.
  • Don't forget it's always an advantage to re-use any packaging from items you have brought yourself or place a wanted ad on your local Freecycle!
  • Not many people also know this, but often the delivery company you use (including the Post Office and other companies such as UPS etc) provides FREE Special Delivery bags and overseas mailing stickers etc - don't be afraid to ask them for a supply of these, they are their to help and when it comes to cash, every little helps!

To save on postage:

  • If you send lots of small items then don't forget to stock up on 1st and 2nd class postage stamps before April of every year, as once April arrives the prices of postage stamps go up! This can save you loads.
  • If you send large items every now and then, then eBay is often cheaper than your local post office for this (type in "delivery" or "courier" service on eBay to see) - not only is it often cheaper, but they also collect the parcel from your home, saving you the trip to the post office!
  • If you send lots of items regularly, then make sure you ask your local Post Office what discounts are available - otherwise contact other delivery companies such as DHL, Parcel Force and UPS etc for rates

Hope this helps - I'm not connected to any of the companies listed above. Please "like" this guide if you found it useful :-)

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