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eBay logistics help? (postage, shipping, customer/order management)

Discussion in 'Ebay' started by TonySpaghetti, Mar 27, 2013.

  1. TonySpaghetti

    TonySpaghetti Newbie

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    New BHW member here :cool:. Glad I found this place, Warrior Forum is a joke.

    So I'm finally going to start and take the eBay plunge and I would like to lay a solid foundation for my logistics. I essentially want to start off relatively right so that it will streamline my processes and make expanding easier.

    My goals are to start off selling 1-5 products a week and in 12 months I hope to be selling 20-30 products a day. Do you think this is realistic or a fantasy?

    I know I'm asking for a lot of information. I've done a lot of research but I would also like some firsthand knowledge from people in-the-know and this is definitely the best place for that.

    1) What service is the best to use for printing USPS postage? I plan on using eBay, Amazon, and Etsy as my markets.

    2) What is the best way to print the postage? Laser printer with label sheets? Dymo printer? Something else that I have not considered?

    3) Does having a scale and weighing packages matter? Will I save any money by doing this?

    4) Is there any software to automate my relations with customers as in applying and sending tracking #'s? I would like to automate as much as humanly possible.

    5) Can you recommend any must have software for eBay selling, customer management, product research?

    Literally any and all help is appreciated. :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2013
  2. GiorgioB

    GiorgioB Supreme Member

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    Hi Tony

    Welcome. I think 1-5 orders a week is a pretty easy target, I'd set myself 5-10 a week (it also depends on your prices, margins, product niches, etc.; but hell, just my 2 cts). 20-30 a day in one year is a good target I think..

    For the shipping labels, I believe USPS must have a software interface that you should be able to install and print out everything in a few copy-pastes and clicks.. (fedex and DHL work lie this)

    For the scales, yes, better get them. Postage companies will weigh again but if you do it yourself and mark correctly on your parcels, they will be processed more quickly I think.

    For ebay I've used Terapeak for product/market research and Channel Advisor for shop management.. ergh, to be honest can't really give my opinion cos I hate and don't do ebay anymore.. much better off doing ecomm.

    By the way, I'm in China and run a sourcing agency here on the side of my ecomm ventures, if you want some products from China or want to list my products, let me know and we can discuss further!
     
  3. pixelgrinder

    pixelgrinder Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    1) What service is the best to use for printing USPS postage? I plan on using eBay, Amazon, and Etsy as my markets.

    eBay has built in postage + tracking numbers label printing services. You can select the shipping, print the label and the tracking # is automatically uploaded for your customer.

    2) What is the best way to print the postage? Laser printer with label sheets? Dymo printer? Something else that I have not considered?

    To start, you can use normal paper and tape the shipping labels. Once you start getting a few orders you can upgrade to the label sheets

    3) Does having a scale and weighing packages matter? Will I save any money by doing this?

    Theres absolutely no reason not to do this. A scale is cheap, like $20 and will save you money.

    4) Is there any software to automate my relations with customers as in applying and sending tracking #'s? I would like to automate as much as humanly possible.

    As I said above, ebay provides all of this.

    5) Can you recommend any must have software for eBay selling, customer management, product research?

    eBay completed listings
     
  4. TonySpaghetti

    TonySpaghetti Newbie

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    Wow thanks for the input guys! Solid advice so far :)
     
  5. foghorn

    foghorn Registered Member

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    Pixel hit the nail right on the head.
    1) You can print USPS and FedEx from eBay with two clicks and tracking is automatically uploaded and a automatic email is sent telling the buyer the item is shipped(edit this is your setting). UPS you will have to now do manually unless some program can do that. Sorry don't know what program that would be.
    2) Dude I still use my regular laser printer, some scissors, and tape. Just don't tape over the barcode or printed address. Tape around the ENTIRE edge of paper or machines will rip it off. Remember the label and tape adds almost an ounce to the total package weight and although my usps ppl love me and wouldn't care some will send it back for being an ounce overweight on a 10 lb package! Don't wast two days on a dumb mistake on a item that is supposed to arrive in 4.
    3) A Scale is a must!!! If no scale always use priority flat rate Packaging. Only other option is to weight and pay for them at the post office. I did this in the beginning. Postage cost more and tracking is extra. You must have tracking! Also you will have to enter tracking numbers individually by hand. You need to weight each item with packing material before you even list. Items over 13 oz will cost a lot more to ship.
    4) What he said.
    5) What he said. But remember sold listing I have found to be inaccurate! When I look up my own name under sold listings it seems like 30% or more never show up. When you search an item by highest price it seems like a few at the top can be bogus. Just because it says sold doesn't mean a buyer didn't make a mistake or the bidder had 0 feedback and never payed or it was returned and refunded. But all that being said it is still the best way to research a product. Look at how many are listed and how many are sold. The sold listings are usually saved for three months so if you see 100 sold thats for three months. Its a good way to see how fast items are actually selling. Look up scrap catalytic converters. Their are usually only 10 for sale but like 1000 sold. That is a great market to be in! Now look up parts for a 1993 Chevy lumina. Yes parts are selling every day with 500 total sold on eBay history but 20,00 are for sale! Now you know how to find a good versus bad market to be in with a total of 5 mins invested. Another method is to find a seller who is getting good prices and making sales all the time. You will notice that these successful people have a reason for being successful.
    You seem like you want some tools to stream line this as much as possible and that a good way to start thinking but you have to learn ebay first. Just sell anyway you can now and play around with all the options. Try Blackthorne through eBay you get a 30 day trial and it looks very powerful (just trying myself). You can export your listings to file types that can be recognized by other eBay type sites or other programs that can post to these sites.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2013