How to Set Shipping Terms for Your eBay Item - dummies

How to Set Shipping Terms for Your eBay Item

By Marsha Collier

Before you complete your auction listing, you need to select your shipping options. You have three basic options, depending on whether you’re willing to ship internationally. Here are your choices:

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

  • Will ship worldwide: The world is your oyster. But make sure that you can afford the time for the extra processing of customs forms.

  • 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 item page.

When you indicate that you will ship internationally, your item shows up on the eBay International sites, which is a fantastic way to attract new buyers! (Although, you can pay up to $0.50 extra for U.S. seller’s listings to appear on the International sites.)

eBay has lots of good international users, so you may want to consider selling your items around the world. If you do, be sure to clearly state in the description all extra shipping costs — and that the buyer is responsible for any customs charges.

The buyer pays for shipping (unless you choose to offer free shipping), and this is the point at which 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 how much the insurance charges will be.

If your item weighs 2 pounds or more, you may want to use eBay’s versatile shipping calculator. Because UPS and the U.S. Postal Service now charge variable rates for packages of the same weight, based on distance, using the calculator simplifies things for your customers (and you). Be sure that you weigh the item and know how much your handling charge will be.

The calculator allows you to input a handling amount and adds it to the overall shipping total but does not break out the amount separately for the customer. The calculator also conveniently calculates the proper insurance amount for the item.


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.