Lauren Leto is a busy woman. She’s best known for co-founding Texts From Last Night, the hilarious website that publishes the late night text messages you hoped no one would see. You may also know her from her witty and insightful guide to literary debate, Judging a Book by Its Lover.
More recently, she embarked on a plan to clean out her apartment and sell a few things using eBay and Shyp.
The result? She made $4,500 in just 16 days.
“I’ve been talking about it nonstop to all my friends,” says Leto. “I had never tried eBay because I was unsure about shipping — the overhead costs of packaging, the time. Now it’s so simple.”
Like many new sellers, Leto was inspired to try selling online when she discovered she wouldn’t have to leave home to ship what she sold. “My office is at my house,” Leto explains, “So I just have a courier come whenever a sale happens.”
What’s she selling? A little of everything. “I have so many dresses and stuff I bought for events but never wore,” she says. “I refreshed my home recently so I’m selling a ton of home decor stuff: a pasta-maker, throw pillow covers, stuff like that.”
“I feel like I’m selling at a discount because of the time I save thanks to Shyp.”
Even though she’s new to the world of selling on eBay, Leto has quickly developed a few tricks that help her move her inventory and maximize profits. “Pictures are very important. At first I was snapping something really quick, but now I focus on making it a quality photo,” she says. “I’ve been thinking about investing in a stand to hold clothes up.”
For Leto, success on eBay is about differentiation. “It’s not about price. It’s more about the description of the item,” she explains. “The more unique the item, the better it will perform.”
Plus, since she uses Shyp to handle all her shipping needs, she sees extra value in every listing. “I feel like I’m selling at a discount because of the time I save thanks to Shyp,” Leto says.
Now that we’ve taken the hassle out of shipping your eBay sales, we’re seeing Shyp customers all over the country decluttering and selling online for the first time.
Yet many folks remain skeptical. It seems too good to be true. How much time does it take? How exactly does the integration work? How easy is it really?
The truth is: It’s really, really easy.
eBay provides a wealth of knowledge to help new sellers get started, and a quick Google or YouTube search reveals a deep well of anecdotes and advice from experienced sellers.
But all that information can be intimidating. If you’re thinking about selling a few things around the house, you don’t have time to read an encyclopedia of best practices.
So here’s the short version — three steps to start clearing out space in your house and putting money in your pocket with Shyp and eBay.
Step 1: Choose what you want to sell.
Most of us have things all over our house or apartment that we would gladly trade for a few bucks. To think of it another way, Marie Kondo’s bestselling guide to tidying up advises you to get rid of any material objects that don’t inspire a feeling of joy when held in your hands.
Clean out your closet! Clothing is one of the most popular categories on eBay.
If you have an older generation iPad but want the new one, sell yours on eBay. Those dresses that have been hanging in your closet unworn? Perfect for eBay. And when you’re finally ready to part with the “I Believe” mug you picked up while passing through Roswell, NM — yup, it’s eBay time.
For your first eBay sale, choose something you know you won’t miss. You can always come back and list more stuff later.
Step 2: List and sell your items on eBay.
Here’s a tip that will save you tons of time creating your listings: Get the eBay app.
The eBay app allows you to duplicate a listing and use it as your own. For instance, suppose you’re selling a GoPro. With the eBay app, all you need to do is:
Search “GoPro” to find a similar item.
Open the listing and tap “Sell One Like This.”
Swap out the photos for your own, change a few words, and you’re done.
Good photos are essential to a successful eBay listing. Be aware of eBay’s requirements, and read through their photo tips if you’re a novice photographer.
In your listing’s description, be as detailed as possible while keeping it interesting for readers. You can utilize lightweight SEO tactics if you want to be extra strategic, but it’s not necessary.
Pricing your item is easy if you do a minute or two of research. Search for similar items to check their prices — not the starting price, but the price when the item sold. You may choose to set your own price a bit lower than this to stay competitive, especially if you’re just getting started.
eBay recommends offering free shipping for your item. Not only will this make your listing more attractive to prospective buyers, it will help you score a 5-star seller rating when your item sells.
If you offer free shipping and send your items with Shyp, you can count on us to find the lowest available shipping rate for your shipment.
Alternatively, you may opt to set a fixed price for shipping. We guarantee you won’t be charged more than what your buyer pays for shipping.
Once you get your item listed on eBay, you’re a few smartphone taps away from less clutter and more cash. Wait for that joyous ‘Your item has sold!’ notification, and prepare to be amazed.
Step 3: Open Shyp, tap, and ship.
As soon as you receive payment from your buyer, your sold item appears in the Shyp app, ready to ship. All you need to do is tap on the items you want to ship and request a pickup — that’s it.
Our couriers can take as many as 20 items per pickup, and since we provide packaging at no extra cost, you don’t need to worry about folding cardboard or keeping a stockpile of bubble wrap.
It’s best to ship your sold items the same day you receive payment. We’ll automatically mark your listing as ‘Shipped’ and upload tracking information to eBay, plus we’ll notify your buyers that their items are on the way.
Use the Shyp app to track your item all the way to delivery, and stay tuned for positive feedback from your buyer — many sellers have reported rave reviews from buyers who appreciated Shyp packaging.
What’s next? Check the house for more stuff to sell and do it all again. When shipping your eBay sales is this easy, there’s no reason to stop decluttering and putting cash in your pocket.
Shipping is confusing. It’s also expensive. Together, these two variables make building trust among consumers difficult.
How carriers price shipments ranges greatly depending on the item and its destination. In user research, we at Shyp frequently hear from small businesses, eBay sellers, and large shippers alike that certain carriers are “cheaper” than others, “better” at certain services, or that flat rate products are “best”. Given the number of variables in determining shipping cost, blanket statements like these are rarely accurate.
One exception, however, is the Postal Service, whose First Class Mail product is the low cost leader for shipments that weigh less than a pound. The Postal Service will ship your t-shirt or DVD anywhere in the country, completing delivery within four days, for $3. No carrier can compete with this incredible service, which they offer, in part, because they are governmentally mandated to deliver mail to virtually every business and residence six days a week.
First Class Mail aside, there are four key factors that determine the cost of shipping:
Distance (called a “Zone” in industry speak)
Desired transit speed
Only four factors make it sound simple, but the number of variabilities and complexities that are created when weighing each of them against one another is when things get quite complex. For example, if you’re shipping a small stack of DVDs, the Post Office’s Priority Mail product may be more expensive than FedEx Ground. But, let’s say you’re shipping a set of three heavy hardcover novels, the Post Office’s flat rate boxes may be the best option. But if you were shipping your newly sold Star Wars video games on eBay, a flat rate box would be more expensive than simply using Priority Mail. Confusing? We know.
Let’s dive in a little deeper. The Post Office’s pricing is far easier to understand than that of other carriers. The Post Office has few fees on top of base postage – in fact, most shipments don’t have any and price is purely based on physical weight. The Post Office’s First Class Mail service charges flat rate by the ounce, regardless if it’s traveling within Chicago (“Zone 1”) or from New York to San Francisco (“Zone 8”). Easy to recite for consumers; hard for the logistics guy in me to comprehend.
However, for UPS or FedEx, you’ll notice that base pricing is only one of several line items you may find yourself paying. Common additional surcharges include fuel (even with oil at decade low levels), residential fees, return to sender, and others.
Additionally, UPS and FedEx calculate both the dimensional and physical weight, and charge for the higher of the two. This concept of dimensional weight pricing is really important to understand. The effect of multiplying three dimensions causes shipments to often weigh – and therefore cost – a great deal more than many anticipate.
Take, for example: a 10 x 10 x 10 box full of feathers that weighs a pound or two. Under physical weight billing, that shipment costs the 2 pound rate, but under dimensional weight it would be billed at the 6 pound level – a 3x increase. FedEx and UPS essentially tax inefficient shipments – those that will cause trucks to “cube out” before “weighing out”. For this box of feathers, the Post Office will still only charge the 2 pound rate.
This dynamic is why people tend to gravitate towards the Post Office, where a pound is a pound is a pound, or leverage flat rate boxes, which the Post Office has cleverly marketed in their “If it fits it ships” campaign.
In a pricing context, the Post Office is somewhat like Southwest Airlines, with no hidden or added fees. The private carriers, on the other hand, tend to take on characteristics of a Spirit Airlines flight where the base transportation is quickly overshadowed by the many fees you inevitably incur (i.e. being charged for a glass of water). There is tremendous variability in determining shipping cost, and our customers – many eBay sellers – have a great deal of variety in what they ship. You need to be smart about your carrier selection to optimize on cost/speed.
This complex pricing structure is why every shipment sent through Shyp runs through our custom algorithm to pull every available rate from each of the carriers we work with. Then we choose the cheapest.At Shyp we try to make this process simple by providing a very similar service to what Kayak does for airfare. We compare every carrier option across UPS, FedEx, and the Post Office and choose the cheapest retail rate on our customer’s behalf. This saves our customers up to 50% on shipping.
We also help minimize the dimensional weight of your shipments through our custom packaging approach. We don’t use peanuts, air pillows, or bubble wrap as filler. Instead, we custom print the right sized box, and aim to minimize volumetric size to reduce spend. A non optimized package can result in spending 40 percent more on postage due to wasted space and unnecessary filler (more on this in a future post).
Regardless of what you’re shipping, I’d love for you to try Shyp for yourself and tell me what you think. I’ll even give you $30 off your first shipment.
Your Guide to the Upcoming Price Changes from USPS
On Sunday, January 17th, 2016, the USPS will introduce new pricing for most of its mail services, the first increase of this kind in three years. While UPS, FedEx, and other private carriers have been increasing pricing annually through General Rate Increases, the Post Office has kept pricing flat year-over-year. That’s about to change.
The good news? With the USPS rate increase, the cost for Grandma to mail your birthday card is still only $0.49. And, the cost to ship a light weight parcel at your local Post Office will also remain unchanged. But the cost for a number of other services are changing significantly.
But who still goes to the Post Office? If you’re an eBay seller or running a small business on Amazon, Shopify, or countless of other marketplaces, you likely use Shyp or generate postage online through a 3rd party platform such as Endicia, ShippingEasy, Shippo. You may even generate through eBay directly, where you obtain a level of discount postage.
These discounted rates – often referred to as Commercial Base or Commercial Plus – are seeing a significant increase in cost, ranging from a 9.4 percent increase, to 21.6 percent, depending on your shipping preference. Retail rates for Priority Mail are increasing by about 4% within zones 1 through 8, 20% for zone 9, and 4-14% for flat rate packages. Commercial Base Pricing (a discount level often available to users of label platforms) is seeing a 2.4% average increase in zones 1-8, 25% for zone 9, and 3-16% for flat rate shipments. These figures can all be found in USPS issued pricing notices.
The resulting implication: discounts that were once extremely favorable through these online platforms are becoming less impactful relative to Retail rates. But, there’s more to fulfillment than just postage cost.
At Shyp, we solve these pain points by leveraging a multi carrier platform where we consider rates from the Postal Service, FedEx, UPS, and other carriers. While the Post Office continues to be the low cost leader for shipments under a pound, leveraging our network enables you to take advantage of different carriers and services only available to higher volume shippers. With these Postal rate increases heavier shipments may be more cost competitive in the FedEx Home Delivery network than with USPS Priority Mail. We can help ensure you continue shipping your orders profitably.
The concern for consumers and small businesses is shifting to other areas of the shipping process where costs are elusive, but often exceed the cost of postage. Factors such as packaging and materials, parcel insurance, your time (or that of a colleague), as well as carrier optimization (USPS is often not the best shipping option!), and speed to ship, are integral considerations for your small business and ultimately, your customers.
As a marketplace seller for a platform like eBay, you no longer need to fret about what to do after selling those 40 pound speakers, or an old flat screen television. Our couriers and packing experts at our warehouse are specifically trained to handle items of all sizes and fragility, and with our on-demand experience, 7 days a week, 8am-8pm local time, we are at your service for hours extended beyond your local Post Office or UPS store.
By the way, I’m Matt, Director of Operations at Shyp. Over nearly a decade of experience in logistics has turned me into a bit of a shipping expert (or nerd, if you will). Over the coming weeks and months, I’ll be providing insight and expertise on the shipping and logistics industries, covering “today’s” topics and issues such as Amazon and the future of B2C shipping; Oil’s impact on Parcel carriers; and the exciting companies and products to watch.
As your go-to source for parcel shipping for high frequency shippers, it’s Shyp’s goal to make sure you’re educated on what matters to you and your business.
Holiday shipping season is officially underway. Make sure your gifts arrive on time by being mindful of the following shipping deadlines — and don’t forget to indicate your gifts in the app to keep them a secret from recipients.
Dec. 14 – International Express
The last day to send international shipments that will arrive by Dec. 25.
Dec. 15 – Domestic Economy
The last day to send domestic shipments via the most affordable shipping speed to arrive by Dec. 25.
Dec. 21 – 3-day Express
The last day to send domestic shipments via 3-day express shipping speed to arrive by Dec. 25. Please request your pickup by 2pm.
Dec. 22 – 2-day Express
The last day to send domestic shipments via 2-day express shipping speed to arrive by Dec. 25. Please request your pickup by 2pm.
Dec. 23 – 1-day Express
The last day to send domestic shipments via 1-day express shipping speed to arrive by Dec. 25. Please request your pickup by 2pm.
Ten years ago, Shyp founder and CEO Kevin Gibbon was forced to shut down his eBay business when he found himself spending more time shipping than selling. Today, we’re debuting a new experience that invites you to ship what you sell on eBay with just a few taps in the Shyp app — no packing, no post office.
Our new eBay integration provides sellers with an easy, optimized shipping experience:
Connect your eBay account in the Shyp app to see an itemized feed of your recently sold items.
Select the items you’d like to ship.
Request a pickup and that’s it. We’ll be there in 20 to take care of the rest.
As always, we professionally package your items with custom materials and ship them via the best-priced carrier — but for eBay shipments, our usual $5 fee is waived. That means sending your eBay sales with Shyp costs the same or less than doing it yourself, and takes a fraction of the time.
When your items are packed and ready to ship, we automatically update your eBay listing with tracking and carrier information, and notify your buyers that their items are on the way. Use the Shyp app to track your shipments all the way to delivery and maintain a record of the eBay items you’ve sold and shipped.
While our eBay integration is here to stay, the promotional period — including free pickup and packaging for eBay shipments — ends January 31, 2016. Upgrade your Shyp app and tap ‘New shipment’ to connect your eBay account.
It’s easy to accumulate used clothes. Maybe we hang on to them for sentimental value, maybe we think we’ll actually wear them again, or maybe we just can’t find time to sell or donate them ourselves.
Chicago, we’ve got great news for you: Starting today through Nov. 25, use the Shyp app to request a courier pickup and we’ll deliver your used clothes to Goodwill for just $5.
This marks our third Goodwill donation drive. Our original promo in San Francisco generated 21.5 tons of donations and inspired us to expand the service to New York, Miami, and Los Angeles. For our newest city and first in the Midwest, we’re focused on used clothing only. Hang on to your old skis and frying pans — we’ll be back for more donations soon.
To recap the details:
Courier pickups are available seven days a week from 8am-8pm
Please limit donations to two 13-gallon bags of used clothing
Request a maximum of one pickup per day, though feel free to request as many pickups as you’d like until Nov. 25
Cost is $5, and you’ll be provided a donation receipt for tax purposes
We’ve turned consumer shipping on its head, taking an archaic, complex industry and completely reimagining it with our own technology. In doing so, we’re fundamentally changing shipping—and not just the industry, but the behaviors, expectations and standards associated with it.
We want our brand to reflect the powerful logistics engine we’ve built from scratch. So today, we’re proud to unveil our refined aesthetic: a fresh take on our wordmark, a classic color palette with a splash of style, and sleek, brand new experiences for mobile and web. Like our product suite, this aesthetic will continue to evolve as we reimagine new parts of the shipping ecosystem. We hope you like it.*
Send to People, Not Addresses
Here at Shyp, we’re constantly seeking ways to improve the experience and deliver our customers what they need. Our customers wanted an easier way to return online purchases. So we built that. Our customers wanted an easier way to share package tracking. So we built that. We wanted to take ownership of the complete, end-to-end customer experience, so we’re transitioning our couriers from 1099 contractors to W2 employees.
A couple of months ago we asked ourselves, what other pain point can we remove to make shipping even easier? It didn’t take long for something to stick out like a sore thumb; something we’ve accepted as shipping status quo that no one’s challenged: the address.
Starting today, you’ll never need someone’s address to send them something again. Shyp customers can now create usernames, to which their address and delivery preferences will be synced. When one of your contacts wants to send you something, they’ll type in your username, rather than a numerical street address.
If you move, change jobs, or spend time traveling, just update the address on your Shyp account. Your username remains the same, which means you stay connected to friends and family wherever you go.
Sending something yourself? Our app will now sync with your phone’s address book, and the contacts who already have Shyp accounts will auto-populate for one-tap fulfillment. And if they don’t have a Shyp account, you can send them an SMS to set one up in a single tap.
Already thinking of a clever username? Claim it.
Shyp for Recipients
Starting today, tracking your packages is easier than ever. You—and with whomever you’d like to share—can see every step of your package’s journey, right in the Shyp app. Even people who have never used Shyp before will still get access to in-app tracking once you share it with them.
As a Shyp recipient, you’ll receive a notification when a shipment is on its way, and can decide at that time where you’d like it delivered. As our Head of Marketing put it, it’s essentially the Shyp sending experience in reverse: the easiest way to receive anything, anywhere.
This brings us to an exciting point—people anywhere, even outside of our active markets, can now interact with and experience the magic of Shyp. A username is all you need to track and route incoming shipments with the Shyp app.
That means anyone in the US can download the app, create a username, and start connecting with contacts. Not only does this empower us to introduce the future of shipping to millions of new people at once, but it also equips us with powerful data to help inform our next market.
Still Just the Beginning
With address-free shipping, we’re one step closer to bringing you a completely new standard in shipping. But, as we’ve said before, this is only the beginning. Over the coming months, we’ll continue to expand our product suite, partner with organizations to make our customers’ lives easier and—of course—bring Shyp to more cities across North America.
This is a huge step forward for Shyp and we can’t wait for you to see what we do next.