No matter what you sell on eBay having a digital scale is probably the second most important item you will need in order to be successful (a digital camera is the first). If you’ve ever shipped a package you know that you need to have the correct weight so that you have the correct postage on it. If you estimate the weight you’re either going to pay too much for postage or your package will be returned for not having enough postage. With the price of stamps these days you cannot afford to pay too much for shipping. If you’re an eBay seller you already have enough fees to consider without having to worry about postage too. Sometimes sellers will offer a flat rate shipping fee. This is okay to do once in a while depending on what you’re selling, but most of the time you need to charge close to actual shipping (a small handling fee is okay) so that your buyers will want to buy from you. Believe me, they know if you’re overcharging and will click away from your auction and go on to the next. Also, it is against eBays rules to charge excessive shipping, if you try to do so your auction will get pulled and you will risk losing your account.
So, to solve this problem (and to make your life so much easier) you need to get postage scale. There are many types of scales available but the best for weighing the most accurately is a digital scale. The next thing you need to decide is how much weight capacity you need for the digital scale you get. This will depend on what you are selling. If you’re selling something heavy then you will need a heavy duty scale, but if you are selling mostly lighter weight items such as clothing or books then you will most likely only need up to a 5 lb. capacity scale.
You may be asking, why do I need a scale when I can just take my packages to the post office and have them weighed for me? The problem with that is :
#1 You need to know the weight of your package before you list the item on eBay. Unless you package it up and take it to the post office before you list it you will not know the accurate weight. And even then you do not know who’s buying your item which means you do not know where it’s being shipped. If your package is over a certain weight this does matter depending on the shipping zone. You need to know what you’re going to charge for shipping before you list the item and your bidders need to know what they will have to pay. If you do not list your shipping charges you will lose bids.
#2 You just made an extra trip to the post office. Can you imagine having to stand in line behind 10 people just to get the weight of your package and then after it sells you will have to go back down there and stand in line again to pay to have it shipped? You don’t have time for that.
And the #3 reason why you need a cale is because you have no reason not to get one. Did you know you can get one for free shipped to you?
Just think, If you have your own scale you can start printing your own postage at home, all you need is a printer & paper. You don’t need anything special just a regular printer that prints legibly. All you need to do to ship your package from home and never have to go to the post office again is #1 Weigh it – make sure you remember to include the whole package which means the item you’re selling, the box you’re shipping it in and the packing material. #2 Print the postage right from your computer and tape it to your package. #3 Schedule a free pick-up from USPS directly from your doorstep. Yes, your postal carrier will pick up your package for you, all you need to do is go online and schedule a pick-up at least a day in advance.
Imagine never having to go to the post office again! How much time & gas will you save? And don’t forget your sanity – if you have kids and you’ve ever had to stand in line at the post office for 20 minutes with them and a handful of packages then you know what I’m talking about. So join thousands of other successful eBayers and find out how you too can get a free digital scale and free postage and start shipping from home.
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Christine Mitchell is the webmaster of the eBay Blog – eBay What’s Selling which features articles, tips on what to sell and many resources helping eBayers to succeed in their eBay businesses.