For Seniors: How to Inform eBay Buyers about Shipping Options and Costs

When you sell an item on eBay, most of the time you will be shipping it to your buyer. You need to decide where you’re willing to ship your item. Here are the choices eBay offers on the Sell an Item form:

  • Ship to the United States only: This option is selected by default; it means you ship only domestically.

  • Will ship worldwide: You’ll ship items to countries worldwide.

    When you indicate that you’ll ship internationally, your item shows up on the international eBay sites, which is a fantastic way to attract new buyers! eBay has lots of good international users, so you may want to consider selling your items around the world.

  • Will ship to United States and the following: If you’re comfortable shipping to certain countries but not to others, make your selections here; they show up on your listing page.

Traditionally, the buyer pays for shipping, so you must decide how much to charge. You also have to calculate how much this item will cost you to ship. If it’s a small item (weighing under a pound or so), you may decide to charge a flat rate to all buyers. To charge a flat rate, click the Flat Shipping Rates tab and fill in the shipping amount. Before you fill in the amount, be sure to include your costs for packing and insurance charges.

If your item weighs two pounds or more, you may want to use eBay’s versatile Shipping Calculator. Because UPS and the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) now charge variable rates for packages of the same weight, based on distance, using the calculator simplifies things for your customers (and you). The calculator automatically appears on the item page so that prospective buyers can type in their ZIP codes and immediately know how much shipping will be to their locations.

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Be sure you’ve weighed the item and know how much your handling charge will be. The calculator allows you to input a handling amount — and then adds it to the overall shipping total — but does not break out the amount separately for the customer.

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