Shipping eBay Items via UPS - dummies

By Marsha Collier

The folks in the brown UPS trucks love eBay. The options they offer vary, with everything from Overnight service to Ground service. UPS also takes many of the odd-shaped large boxes, such as those for computer equipment, that the U.S. Postal Service won’t.

UPS makes pickups, but you have to know the exact weight of your package so that you can pay when the UPS driver shows up. UPS charges for this service unless you have a daily shipper account and ship a minimum number of packages with UPS per week.

The rates for the same UPS shipment can vary based on whether you have a business account with UPS, whether the package goes to or is picked up at a residence, and whether you use the right kind of form. If you’re going to use UPS regularly, be sure to set up an account directly with UPS.

Although UPS offers “discounts” to eBay PowerSellers and Top Rated Sellers, don’t be fooled. If you ship mostly a few small packages a week, you’d have to ship truckloads on a daily basis to compete with USPS rates.

For rates, click the Shipping tab on the UPS home page and then click Estimate Cost on the left side of the page, which gives you prices based on ZIP codes and package weights. (Note the ominous “estimate” rates.)

The Quick Cost Calculator prices are based on what UPS charges its regular and high-volume users. When you get to the counter, the price may be higher than what you find on the web.

The UPS site offers a transit map that shows the United States and how long it takes to reach any place in the country (based on the originating ZIP code). If you’re thinking of shipping that compact refrigerator to Maine, you can check out this fun and informative page.