Ebay’s Fast and Free program may put you over the top when a potential buyer is comparing your item to others.
For an item to qualify for the Fast and Free logo, you have to meet certain conditions:
- Both you and the buyer have to be located within the lower 48 states of the US
- Delivery can be estimated to be 4 days or less
- Your default shipping service is offered for free
- Your default shipping service is not “local pickup” or a freight service
- Your listing is not a classified ad
How to meet the qualifications
That seems like a bunch of qualifications to meet, but it might actually be really easy.
First, if your handling time can be 1 day, please do that. That gives you more time for the items to be delivered.
Second, if you can utilize USPS flat rate Priority Mail boxes cost effectively, you can easily qualify. 1 day of handling + 2 to 3 day delivery means your item will qualify.
Regular USPS Priority Mail will work, along with UPS and FedEx second day services.
Ebay will also automatically add the Fast and Free logo to your listings for people within a predictable service radius even if you don’t offer an expedited shipping service as your default option. For example, if you ship small items by USPS First Class mail to someone in another part of your state, chances are very good that your item would be delivered within 4 days. Ebay, based on previous transaction from your zip code to theirs, may add the logo in this case.
What’s in it for me?
- You get more exposure.
- You may get a leg up on your competition.
- It’s free.
- As long as you meet the requirements, you’ll automatically get a 5 star DSR rating on both shipping charges (because it’s free) and shipping time (because the item was delivered within the predicted window of time.
See if it makes sense for you to offer expedited shipping and quick handling times. You may find that it is worth it.
Ebay recently unveiled a new Global Shipping Program. I’m not sure if it is open to all US based sellers yet, but I am giving it a try. Here are my initial thoughts:
The Global Shipping Program allows United States-based sellers to sell internationally without having to deal with Customs paperwork or import taxes.
- All international shipments get shipped domestically to a predetermined shipment consolidation center. The seller only pays the domestic shipping rate.
- All shipments have tracking numbers for the entire trip to the final destination. Currently, USPS shipments are only tracked until they leave the United States. This should clear up some of the issues with packages not being delivered and being unable to track them to prove it.
- The shipment consolidation center processes the international portion of the transaction, including filling out customs forms.
- International shipping and import taxes are charged directly to the customer and are determined based on where that customer lives.
- Packages are shipped via faster methods than standard First Class International meaning your customer will receive their items up to 2 weeks faster.
- You can opt in or out of the program for each listing by just checking or unchecking a box on the “Edit Listing” screen.
Not so good things:
- The fees associated with the global export program (international shipping and import taxes) make it impractical to use with lower cost items. For example, I doubt that most buyers would be willing to pay $15 in shipping charges for a $20 item. Some might, but most will not. When your final sales price stay above about $50, it really starts to make sense to offer this as the primary international shipping method.
- The Global Shipping Program defaults to the primary shipment method in countries where it is an option even when you would like to offer standard international shipping. I’d like to give the buyers a choice.
- I wish Ebay would include an easy shipping and import tax calculator on the screen when creating a new listing to help determine whether it is the right move to offer the Global Shipping Program or not.
What are your thoughts?
There’s a whole world of buyers waiting for you when you offer your items for international sale. I shied away from selling internationally for a few years, just because I was afraid of what might happen.
When I took the leap, I realized that I had missed out on dozens (or hundreds, or thousands) of sales because I let fear control me. Don’t let that happen to you! Over the past several months, I’ve sold more items outside the US than in — the market is there.
Start out by offering just one or two items available to international bidders. See how they go. Get your feet wet and then decide if it is right for you.
Ebay does a great job of making the process simple. The customs forms are mostly filled out with listing data. All you need to do is print, sign, date, and ship!
Stop waiting and go international!