I love eBay Australia Post satchels and here's why:
They look professional, are easy to use and cheaper than other Australia Post products.
As of May 2012 it costs 15c to buy an eBay Australia Post (EAP) 500gm satchel or 20c for a 3kg satchel.
They are the same size as the pre-paid satchels but are cheaper to use and include tracking.
You can only buy the satchels on eBay through the Australia Post store, they aren't available through a post office.
500gm satchel (355 x 200mm):
The cost of sending a 500gm EAP satchel is $6.20 vs $7.20 if you buy a prepaid satchel at an Australia Post outlet.
The price for pre-paid satchels comes down if you buy packs of ten to either $6.84 each for 10 - 90 satchels or $6.45 if you buy a minimum of 100 pieces. Personally I find a $645 investment in Australia Post satchels a bit hard to handle financially especially for a small business person.
3kg satchel (405 x 310mm):
The cost of sending a 3kg EAP satchel is $10.55 vs $11.40 for a prepaid satchel at an Australia Post outlet.
The price for pre-paid satchels comes down to either $10.83 each for 10 - 90 satchels or $10.26 if you buy a minimum of 100 pieces. Again, an investment of $1026.00 in 100 satchels is a lot of money that I could spend on stock instead.
The satchel looks different to a pre-paid satchel from the Post Office. Its predominantly white with both the eBay and Australia Post logos printed onto it. I like that since my customer knows when they receive their parcel that it is their eBay order - hopefully something they've been looking forward to receiving.
Personally I don't like receiving my eBay orders in scrappy wrapping. Just recently I ordered some beauty products. Both high end lovely products but both were sent in scrappy looking little hand made packages that took ages to receive because they aren't standard sizes. It appears that Australia Post doesn't seem to handle them like standard sized parcels.
Postage cost was almost the same and I can honestly tell you that I would much rather have received them nicely wrapped in tissue and placed inside an EAP satchel which is fun to open.
Another great thing is that Australia Post automatically updates eBay with the tracking number and marks the item sent after payment has been processed.
Easy to use:
After you have received your satchels which is usually within a week you can start sending your parcels.
First sign up for a click and send account at www.clickandsend.com.au to create your username and password.
Australia Post is in the midst of changing the clickandsend website at the time of writing this so please forgive me if things have changed in this section.
After you've logged in you are directed to an announcements page. Click on "next".
Now you are on the shipments page and here is the best part!
Click on "Select eBay items" on the top left side of the screen and a list of your eBay items requiring postage pops up.
One line will be highlighted in pink, if you click on "continue" that person's address and contact details will be filled into the form.
Check the address is complete and the suburb is in the right place. Some people will write (using my example) Randwick in the address section and Sydney in the city/suburb line. Manually change the city/suburb to Randwick so the postcode is correct.
Now here are some of my tricks:
I usually post more than one item a day so to avoid confusion I write a very short description of the item next to the reference number on the top right side of the form. You only have space for 15 characters so keep it short. I sell variations which don't show in the description (like the size) so I keep eBay open to check on exactly which version of this item has been bought. For example BLKLACEDRESS 12
Enter the product code and click on "Check"
The product code for a 500gm satchel is 39712 and for a 3kg satchel is 39715
Tracking with signature:
I don't use this but have in the past. For expensive items tracking with signature is great but so far I've had no problems with tracking only.
I always click on "Email Notification" and request notification for the receiver.
Also, I tick the box "Send track advice to the recipient".
I don't provide the customer number since it takes time and I'm using this as a time saving device.
Choose service type:
If you have chosen to use an EPA satchel you will be asked to click on "Parcel Post"
If not you will be asked to fill out the dimensions and weight of your parcel and then a list of choices will be made available to you with prices shown.
Previously I was able to use click and send for international parcels and I'm sure this service will return but at this time Australia Post has stopped this service.
Add to basket.
You can repeat this process for multiple sales.
Before I finish I will often go back to "Select eBay items" and click on "refresh" to see if there have been any more payments. If not I go straight through to my shopping basket.
I live close to a post office and like the walk so I click on "pay now and lodge later" which takes me through to a payment screen.
Here I leave you to your own devices.
On the printing page you are able to request both a tax invoice and a transaction summary. Both have useful information but I usually only print the tax invoice along with the postage printouts.
Now, don't forget to sign the Aviation declaration - my Post Office seems to think this is important even if I send it within the same city so just make a habit of doing it!
Now pop the address slip (half an A4) into the clear sleeve on the front of the satchel and presto! you are ready to post.
No need to purchase sticky labels or write out envelopes.
My feedback regarding shipping is fabulous - I get so many comments from people saying how shocked they are about the next day delivery. Its not perfect but on the whole its the fastest and cheapest way I've found of sending items out to my customers.
Now for an EXTRA TIP:
Think ahead - I've been caught a couple of times because Australia Post takes a few days to process the orders for the satchels. I try to keep a couple of spare packs of satchels around because it can easily take a week for your satchels to arrive. So stay on top of your satchel orders.
I hope have found this guide useful and that its helped you in some way.
Good luck and happy posting!