Ship eBay Items in Mailing Envelopes to Save Money - dummies

Ship eBay Items in Mailing Envelopes to Save Money

By Marsha Collier

You’ll be shipping your eBay stuff in an envelope or a box. Don’t be quick to discount shipping in envelopes. Any item under 13 ounces can be shipped via First Class mail — and that can represent quite a savings.

Mailing envelopes come in many types of materials. Some are sturdier than others. Here’s what many eBay sellers use:

  • Polyvinyl envelopes: If you’ve ever ordered clothing or bedding from any of the television-shopping clubs, this is what they came in. Polyvinyl envelopes are lightweight and puncture- and tear-resistant. They are the most durable envelopes available. Who says you have to ship in boxes?

  • Tyvek envelopes: You know those really cool, indestructible white envelopes you get from the post office or FedEx? They’re made of DuPont Tyvek, a spun-bonded olefin fiber. Tyvek has all the benefits of vinyl envelopes, plus it breathes (allows air to reach your product) and has a higher strength-to-weight ratio than other envelope materials. (That “ratio” business means it’s very strong, yet feather-light.)

  • Bubble-padded mailers: These envelopes are lined with small bubbles, similar to bubble wrap. They’re great for shipping a variety of items and are the most popular with eBay sellers.


    Bubble-lined mailers come in different materials:

    • Plain-paper bubble mailers are the cheapest way to go, but they can be damaged in the mail if you use them to ship heavy items. The way around that problem is to wrap cheap, clear packing tape once around the envelope in each direction.

    • Vinyl bubble mailers aren’t expensive and are a super protective way to ship. They’re 15 percent lighter than paper bubble mailers and are water-resistant.

    If you send items that can fit nicely into bubble-padded envelopes, use them. This type of envelope is perfect for mailing small items or clothing using First Class mail. The envelopes are available in quantity (an economical choice) and don’t take up much storage space.

    Size Measurements (in Inches) Suggested Items
    #000 4 x 8 Collector trading cards, jewelry, coins
    #00 5 x 10 Postcards, paper ephemera
    #0 6 x 10 Doll clothes, CDs, DVDs, Xbox or PS2 games
    #1 7 1/44 x 12 Cardboard-sleeve VHS tapes, jewel-cased CDs and DVDs
    #2 8 1/2 x 12 Clamshell VHS tapes, books
    #3 8 1/2 x 141?2 Toys, clothing, stuffed animals
    #4 9 1/2 x 141?2 Small books, trade paperbacks
    #5 10 1/2 x 16 Hardcover books, dolls
    #6 12 1/2 x 19 Clothing, soft boxed items
    #7 14 1/2 x 20 Much larger packaged items, framed items, plaques