So much has been written & recorded lately about carbon footprints & shopping on ebay certainly saves a great deal of time, energy, petrol (to shopping malls), but as an ebay seller we want to look at saving money on our shipping costs and if possible also on reducing our carbon footprint.
I found when I first started using recycled packaging my customers didn't like it - they thought I was mean, stingy or worse...... perhaps dirty - gasp!
What to do - I wanted to keep recycling, but as we all know we are in a world where we like our things to look nice.
After much brainstorming - we solved the problem - a small sticker printed from the ink jet that said "all packaging used by Renascent is recyled, we hope you continue the cycle" & a little picture of a free flying bird.
I designed it in corel draw - it took around 3 minutes and printed it on a pack of stickers from officeworks - I think around 2000 stickers cost $20 (I use all refilled ink cartridges - we stock a high quality system through Renascent, so all our ink costs are negligible & no plastic cartridges regularly thrown away............. but that's another guide I will write at some stage)
Label now stuck over every recycle packaging & prominently displayed..........
Wow - the change in feedback - amazing! Instead of YUK, I started getting - "hey, love your recycling, good on you"
The customers love it and as long as you let them know they are also doing their bit, everyones happy - win/win solution.
So.............. labelling solved, stuck on all packaging, now where to get the recycled packaging from.
Well, you could go and buy it, I guess that's an option, but this guide is also about saving YOU money, so.......... outside our local supermarket there is a big cardboard skip bin, every day they throw out 100's of clean cardboard boxes, they are more than happy for you to take what you like (as long as you don't climb in) as they pay to have it taken away - so you are saving them money.
Start looking & you will discover how much you throw out in your own home............... we now reuse all cereal boxes, biscuits boxes, long life milk cartons - washed & dried with top cut off - anything that comes in a box.
Invest in a paper shredder - I think they are now down to $30 at officeworks - shred up all your junk mail, invoices you no longer need, scrap paper, etc, you will have heaps!
Use this to pack around your items in the boxes, you will find the small size boxes fit snugly in the aust post bags too & protect all your items.
Another great idea - I saw this one on "you tube", keep all your milk, soft drink, juice, lemonade bottles, wash & clean them, cut the tops off - (use these over little seedlings -like mini glasshouses, to protect them from slugs until they grow) and then pack some shredded paper in the bottle and pack your items in, they are strong, lightweight & not adding to our plastic waster problems - your stickers & great ideas may encourage your buyers to recycle them again too.
Here's s few other ideas:
Reuse EVERYTHING, keep envelopes, bubble wrap, boxes and foam packaging. A friend of mine rgularly gets packages filled with foam packing - I ask her to keep it all for me. Any foam packing - eg - around a TV, break it up and use it in the boxes too.
Buy in BULK - I buy my bubble wrap from ebay in 100m rolls and then roll it down into smaller ones, it costs the same as 15m from the stores.
Also on ebay - I buy my invoice enclosed stickers, bulk packing tape, heat sealers, basically everything I need - often 100 is not much more than 10 - don't need 100 ? Buy them anyway and break them into lots of 10 and onsell them on ebay - win win!
AUST POST: Get an account, they are easy to apply for - hey you are basically telling AP that you wish to regularly buy off them. The benefits are that you can make a phone call to order anything you like & they deliver to your door, all items are put on a monthly account - 1 bill to pay. If you buy 10 of each post bag you get a 5% discount (it all adds up) Buy a box of 100 prepaid registered mail stickers & it saves quite a lot. You can drop off at your dominated post office or for $11 they will come & pick up from you.
Run more than 1 ebay store? No problems, they can open sub accounts under different names and seperate invoices, however when they come to do the pick up, reguardless of how many sub accounts, it's still the 1 pick up fee (you may have to push for this one - but do so and they will agree)
Main concern an account gets around - is that your parcels are ONLY based on weight, no more cubing & hiking up your fees over 3 times the weight amount if large.
Some Aust post depots are now cubing - even on accounts - does your box have to be square? Crush in the corners, pack it in an irregular shape and it cannot be cubed - you will pay on weight only.
Don't have an account & still want to get around cubing - squash the end of your box or make it mishapen and pop into a black garbage bag to send - can't be accurately measured - can't be cubed! Just goes back to the weight.
I had 1 parcel that was going to cost $98 cubed. I kicked the corners in a bit, wrapped a layer of bubble wrap and a plastic bag around it & took it back - $28 !!!!
If things are thin - get them under 2cm and they can go as a large envelope (up to 500gm) with considerable savings.
Funny bumpy items (as above) wrap a thin piece of card around them & slide them in a large envelope - still sent as an envelope
With an account - you need to weigh things yourself as the postal mail centre often don't do so, buy a set of scales to weigh (cheapest on ebay) & print out the aus post website pages so you can easily look up charges for postal inquiries & provide your buyers an accurate postage cost.
Sending over 1000 parcels per year - 20 per week. You are eligible for a Click N go Aust post account which saves considerable time & money
Many warehousing agents are now able to assist you with bulk shipping - cheaper than Aust post and everything has a tracking number & FREE pick ups.
Also inquire with courier companies
BE ACCURATE WITH POSTAL FEES: Buyers get grumpy if they pay $8 & see $1.10 worth of stamps on their item. If you have an account - you will stamp your parcels with a postage paid stamp which does not show the total - make an error (in your favour) & the buyer will never know about it.
I hope some of this is helpful to you, thanks for your time in reading
Remember to look at some of my other guides and if you found them helpful - please rate them as such
Kind regards, Lesley Renascent College ebay store
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