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Ebay Shipping Guide -Tips On How To Ship An Item On Ebay (Mailing Packages)

Updated on September 19, 2013
How to ship items on Ebay
How to ship items on Ebay | Source

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Before You Sell An Item On Ebay

I have personally been in the situation where two of my items had sold, and I had to scramble to get them packed and shipped. Preparation will help to eliminate the stress of rushing to ship the items you have sold on Ebay, and it will help you to ship your items with as much protection possible.

Shipping Preferences

Before you start your Ebay listing, outline your shipping preferences in the item's description. Ideally, save a Word document with this information so that you can paste it at the bottom of all your listings.

Decide whether you will ship internationally, or only nationally. Make it clear that you will only ship to a verified address and that payment has to be made within a certain time period, or you will relist the item. If you want to be safe, only accept PayPal as a method of payment for your Ebay items.

Gather Shipping Materials

You will need boxes, bubble wrap, newspaper, cardboard, packing tape, and possibly some other things. I will go into more detail later when I talk about how to pack your item. Just make sure you have packing material on hand so that when it comes time to ship the item, you will be able to tape the box shut, put on a label, and ship it.

Boxes for shipping Ebay items
Boxes for shipping Ebay items | Source

How To Pack Your Item

Packaging Guidelines

So now you have your item listed with your shipping preferences listed in the description, and you have all the packing material that you will need to ship your Ebay item once it has sold.

Keep in mind that you do not want to finalize the packing of your item until it sells. Simply plan out how you will pack it in the box to make sure your packaging method will work. Follow these principles of what your packaging should do in order to better pack your Ebay items for shipping.

Your Packaging Should:

  • Get the item to the buyer in the same condition it is in when you ship it
  • prevent the item from being bent, broken, or bumped around, causing damage
  • Fill the entire box
  • Be secure to keep the item in its place
  • Protect the item from any unexpected drops

The Box

The box that you place your item in for shipping needs to be a few inches bigger than the item all the way around. This will allow you to use packing materials to protect your item inside the box without having too much or too little extra protection.

The box does not need to be too big, as this will only make the cost of postage higher for your buyer. Additionally, a box that is too big may cause the item to shift around in the filler, making it easier for damage to occur.

A box that your item barely fits into is also not a good idea, because it limits the amount of protective packaging that you can use to protect your item. The small box alone does not offer much protection, so you need to at least be able to wrap your item in bubble wrap. If you can't do that, you need a slightly larger box.

Some items are better shipped in a bubble mailer. Use your judgement with these items, and still package your item for maximum protection. In the future, I will write an article on how to ship specific items, including items that are best shipped in bubble mailers.

Bubble wrap for shipping Ebay items
Bubble wrap for shipping Ebay items | Source

Bubble Wrap

You can use bubble wrap to ship almost anything. If you wrap your item in bubble wrap, it is fairly protected, and you can sometimes fit the item directly into the box with just bubble wrap if it fills the entire space.

Make sure your bubble wrap is not uneven. Feel around all the edges to make sure there are no spots with only one layer of bubble wrap for protection if you wrapped the item more than once. Once the item is evenly covered in bubble wrap, use scotch tape to temporarily keep it in place.

Once you know an item will sell, use packing tape to secure the loose ends, but be sure that the tape does not touch your item to ensure that it arrives in the same condition that you sold it in.


You can use crumpled up newspaper as filler for your package. Typically breakables will be separated from one another with newspaper, and wrapped in bubble wrap. You can use other things besides newspaper as packaging filler, such as packing peanuts, foam, and Styrofoam.

When using newspaper as filler, try to fill the bottom, sides, and top with the crumpled up newspaper. Use less newspaper if you don't need a whole sheet to fill the box.

Cardboard for shipping Ebay items
Cardboard for shipping Ebay items | Source


Cardboard can be very useful for packing items to ship. One way to use cardboard is to actually use other boxes. Simply put your smaller items in a safely packed box, and pack that box into a slightly larger box for extra protection.

Another way to use cardboard for packaging is to use flat sheets to make large shims. This can be effective if your item is just a little loose inside the box and you don't want to or can't use any more filler.

Cardboard is extremely useful in shipping sports cards or trading cards. The rigid cardboard helps keep the cards from bending.


Don't be afraid to use your imagination when trying to decide how to pack your Ebay items. Anything that you can think of can be used to protect your item in shipping, as long as it is clean and has good protective properties.

You can easily recycle shipping materials from packages that you receive. The giant air bubbles that most Amazon uses make good packing material that will keep your items safe. Reuse all the packing material you can, it will cut down on your costs.

Pack It!

Pack your item according to these guidelines. Make sure it is protected by bubble wrap, cardboard, filler, or whatever you need in order to keep it safe. Once you have your item has been sold, and you have it safely packed, tape up the box so that it cannot come open on its own.

PayPal shipping labels for Ebay sales
PayPal shipping labels for Ebay sales | Source

Paying For Shipping

This part can be tricky the first few times you do it. Keep a cool head and go through each step slowly, and you will make it through.

Shipping Labels

PayPal allows you to print your own shipping labels from home to save you from having to do it at the post office.

Make sure there is a large enough balance in your PayPal account to pay for your item's shipping, and select 'print shipping label' under sold items. You will be prompted to make a few selections and then pay for the postage. You can now print your shipping label and attach it to the package with packing tape.

If you don't want to use PayPal to print your shipping labels, you can take your packages to the post office and they will do it for you. Keep in mind that buying shipping labels from PayPal is cheaper than going to the post office.

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  • Prepare your package before you sell it, but don't seal it until the item sells
  • You can never use too much bubble wrap, unless it prevents your item from fitting in the box
  • Print shipping labels at home to save shipping costs
  • Recycle shipping supplies from Amazon or other personal shipments
  • Don't rush the packing process, you may end up forgetting to do something or damaging the item

The way you ship items is part of your Ebay reputation. Maintain a good reputation as an Ebay seller by packing your sold items so that they will be safe upon arrival.

© 2013 Ryan Askew


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    • ebay-parcel profile image

      Simon Wright 3 years ago from Nottingham

      If your eBay store is getting busy (good), a courier consolidator such as Parcel2Go is best for adhoc shipping. For bulk delivery, GFS or Parcelhub are better as they provide software integration.

    • profile image

      LisaKeating 3 years ago

      Hello fellow Texas eBayer! I just wrote a hub on eBay shipping also. You might want to check it out. I have other thrifting and eBay related hubs. I'm now following and will be reading some of your other hubs soon.