How to Ship Your eBay Merchandise with UPS - dummies

How to Ship Your eBay Merchandise with UPS

By Marsha Collier

Today’s UPS is a $45 billion company focusing on enabling commerce, and thus eBay sellers, around the world. Every day UPS delivers more than 15.8 million packages and documents — much of which represents eBay transactions.

UPS considers neither Saturday nor Sunday to be delivery days. So when your package is quoted for a 5-day delivery and those five days cross over a weekend, add 2 days to the delivery schedule. (The USPS and FedEx Ground deliver packages on Saturday.)

Here are some quick facts about UPS:

  • Shipping with UPS requires that you pay a different rate for different zones in the country (zones 1–8). The cost of your package is based on its weight, your ZIP code (where there package ships from), and the addressee’s ZIP code (where the package is going). To figure out your cost, use the handy UPS cost calculator.


  • UPS offers a chart that defines the shipping time for your ground shipments.

  • Each package has a tracking number that you can input online to verify location and time of delivery.

  • Ground service delivery to a residence costs $2.80 (3 Day Select an additional $3.20) more than delivery to a commercial location.

  • UPS delivers packages Monday through Friday.


Annual rate increases are why being lulled into complacency can be dangerous. Evaluate your shipping charges and your shipper’s fees every year to keep up with the increases and possible cuts into your bottom line.

While most people think that UPS Ground is cheaper than the post office, it’s not true in every case.

Every UPS package is automatically insured for up to $100, assuming you declare a value. Insurance up to the first $300 is $1.80. After the first $300, it runs $.60 per $100. The post office charges extra for this service, but you can save money either way by using a private insurance policy for your packages.

The de-facto standard for eBay shipping is Priority Mail. Compared to UPS 3-Day Select, Priority Mail is the clear cost-saving winner if you must ship packages for swift delivery.

For heavier packages, UPS is considerably cheaper than Parcel Post for packages over 6 pounds. After your packages pass that point, and if time is not of the essence, UPS may be the best way to go.

Variable UPS rates

When you ship via UPS and are trying to figure out how to get the best rates, you have quite a conundrum. UPS basically has three rates for small-time shippers:

  • Retail rate: This is the rate you pay when you go to the UPS Customer Center and they create the label for you. It’s the most expensive. With the eBay/PayPal solution, you can save yourself some bucks by printing your own bar-coded labels and dropping the packages at the Customer Center or giving the packages to a UPS driver.

  • Standard rate: Use UPS for the rare large box or heavy shipment. An on-demand, or occasional, shipper can call UPS for a next-day pickup. You have to pay an additional $2.75 per package for the driver to pick up from you if you don’t feel like bringing the package to the UPS local counter.

  • Daily account: When you hit the big time, you’re able to get the lowest UPS rates and have a driver make daily stops to pick up your packages. Are you suffering from the delusion that it costs a bundle to have regular UPS package pickup service? Surprise — it doesn’t really.