It's no surprise that offering to ship can increase the number of bidders that participate in your auctions. But where do you start and how do you streamline that process?
The video below aims to answer that question. We go through the shipping process with PJ Fanberg of Fanberg Auctions to see how he manages shipments for his auction.
Your process may look different or you may choose to use a different shipping company, which is great! This is one affiliates process that seems to work well for him and we believe that you can take an idea or two to make your life simpler. To bullet point some of the takeaways from this video:
1. Systemize your process. Get to know it like the back of your hand so you don't have to reinvent the wheel every time. Create cheat sheets to help you remember. Get comfortable with your shipping company, the quoting process, and the materials you will need in order to ship effectively.
2. Have the right material. Having the right tools/materials is 90% of the job. Invest the time and energy to gather the right materials so you don't have to scramble each time. Buying shipping material will let you know how much you need to charge to cover your fixed costs.
3. There are huge branding and customer service opportunities in shipping. Do you need to have a nice label with your logo on it or to include the invoice in a separate envelope? No, but this extra step has a big impact on potential future buyers and sellers. Amazon has done pretty well with branding their shipping material.
Shipping Terms and Best Practices
Be clear and straightforward on your shipping policy. Make it easy to understand costs and when they can expect the items to be shipped. Don’t make them go through a maze of options, just assure them the simple steps you will take to assure their item will get to them safely. You may want to consider sending out shipping notifications, tracking information and arrival due dates.
Here is a shipping checklist that can be helpful:
- An assortment of cardboard boxes in different sizes. Uline can be a good option for purchasing. We see many auctions with bulk shipping boxes sold on K-BID as well.
- Tape measure.
- Full-size scale.
- Return address stickers with your logo. (stickermule.com)
- Clear packing tape.
- Good permanent markers.
- Packing peanuts or bubble wrap for breakables.
- Printout of your costs for different box sizes.
- Invoice stickers.
Fanberg Auctions prints their invoices on a word document that has some shipping cost/estimation areas. That word document has been attached to this page.