Finding the Perfect Shipping Carrier

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When considering shipping options, you first need to determine what types of packages you generally send (small packages that weigh less than two pounds or large and bulky packages) and then decide how you want to send your items. Planning your shipping method before you list the item on eBay.co.uk is a good idea.

Shipping the BIG stuff!

In the US, www.freightquote.com negotiates rates with several major freight forwarders. Before attempting to sell a heavy item, you can sign onto this Web site with the weight and dimensions of your shipment, and it gives you a free quote on the spot. The UK version of the service is under construction at the time of writing, but look for www.freightquote. co.uk in the near future.

Deciding on your carrier can be the most important decision in your eBay business. You need to decide which carrier is more convenient for you (close to your home base, provides pick-up service, gives better customer service) and which is the most economical (leverages your bottom line). Most eBay sellers send packages using ground service rather than airmail or overnight, but a shipper who can give you both options may be offering you a good deal because you don't have to deal with more than one vendor.

Settling on one main shipper to meet most of your needs is important because all your records will be on one statement. You may also need a secondary shipper for special types of packages. One shipper can't be everything to every business, so having an account with more than one can be to your advantage. Also, shippers may not sign up new accounts as readily in the middle of a strike or work slowdown.

In this section, we give you the low-down on the two major carriers - Royal Mail and Parcel2go (backed by DHL), as well as a small online service called www.e-parcels.co.uk Parcel2go and e-parcels.co.uk are run specifically for eBay.co.uk users, so you can see who fits your requirements. However, e-parcels.co.uk only delivers packages up to 30kgs; for bigger deliveries, visit its sister site www.deliverebay.co.uk. For a summary of shipping costs from these three carriers, see Table 14-1.

Delivery costs vary according to the size and weight of the parcel, as well as where you're sending it and how quickly you want it to get there. Compare prices - remember that these vary according to the parcel's vital statistics. Table 14-1 offers a general price guide.

Table 14.1 Sample Shipping Costs within the UK

Delivery Service

400g

600g

800g

DHL Parcel2go 3-Day Delivery

£8.99 + VAT

£8.99 + VAT

£8.99 + VAT

DHL Parcel2go Jiffy Bag*

£6.99 + VAT

£6.99 + VAT

£6.99 + VAT

Royal Mail Second Class

£1.14

£1.75

£2.90

Delivery Service

400g

600g

800g

Royal Mail First Class

£1.40

£2.15

£3.36

e-parcels.co.uk 48-Hour Delivery

£9.75

£9.75

£9.75

e-parcels.co.uk Next Day Delivery

£10.45

£10.45

£10.45

* Size restrictions apply to this service.

* Size restrictions apply to this service.

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