How to Ship eBay Items Cheaply

By Techwalla Contributor

Shipping items on eBay is easy and cheap with the Internet facilitating price research and the availability of free boxes at stores where you normally shop anyway. Businesses regularly discard boxes so you can take advantage and use their trash to ship cheaply.

Things You'll Need

  • Boxes
  • Shipping tape
  • Packing material

Step 1

Start collecting boxes. Stores like Sam's Club, Costco, Target, Walmart and many more all discard boxes. Whenever you see an employee stocking a shelf or pushing a cart full of boxes, ask if you can have a couple. Sam's Club also has boxes available at checkout. It is never necessary to buy a box anywhere.

Step 2

Look for packing tape on sale. Stock up in bulk; never buy just one roll. Costco usually offers a coupon several times a year for an eight-roll package.

Step 3

Get bubble wrap and packing material from a big-box store like Sam's Club or Costco. Sometimes bubble wrap is necessary to ship certain items. Always buy the largest box. Newspaper is a great packing material, which you can always get free.

Step 4

Use USPS Media Mail when shipping media items like DVDs, books and video games. For large items, use UPS or FedEx. Create an account online with both of these shippers and always compare prices. Priority Mail through USPS is also an option but usually fairly pricey. Stay away from shipping through a UPS store or FedEx Kinko's because their counter prices are more expensive than online.

Tips & Warnings

  • Save every box and packing material you get.
  • Break down boxes for easy storage.
  • If you do not get a newspaper, ask a neighbor.
  • Take your item and box to work and ask the shipping department for the weight.
  • Use the most accurate weight possible.
  • UPS and FedEx offer $100 insurance for free.
  • Never have a shipping store do your packing.

References & Resources