From shipping tips to creating a flexible return policy, eBay will help you become a shipping pro and an expert seller.
Shipping directly affects your reputation as a seller, and the services you offer and costs you charge can make your item more or less attractive to buyers. It’s a powerful tool for establishing a good relationship with customers and earning repeat business.
If you’ve never shipped an item with eBay before, it’s easy. Browse our list of factors to consider before you list your item, and after it sells.
Before you list
Attractive shipping and return options can make buyers choose your listings over others. Over 60% of online buyers say that free shipping is their #1 criteria when making a purchase, especially when comparing similar items. Buyers will compare shipping times and costs, and typically expect to get their item within 3 to 4 days. That’s why it’s important to consider your shipping rates and options, and be as competitive as you can.
The shipping and handling information you put on your item page is used to generate an estimated delivery date—this date gives buyer an idea of how long it will take them to receive the item. The estimated delivery date is a calculation based on your handling time and the shipping service you’ve selected, so make sure you add accurate information.
Follow these easy steps to prepare your item for shipping before you list.
- Choose a shipping option. Offering free shipping is a great way to attract buyers—many sellers have seen up to an 11% increase in sales. If you choose to charge for shipping, decide whether you’ll charge a flat rate, or a calculated rate based on package size and the buyer’s location.
- Choose a carrier. Buyers like to see shipping services offered by companies they trust, so it’s important to specify a branded shipping service in your listing for both domestic and international shipping. Decide whether you’ll use a local carrier, or a courier service such as FedEx, Purolator, or UPS.
- Select your packaging. There are many ways to determine the right kind of packaging for your item, including some free options. If it’s in good condition, you can reuse packing you already have, such as boxes, packing peanuts, and bubble wrap. eBay-branded shipping supplies offer a sharp, professional option. Or, source supplies on eBay.
- Prepack and weigh your item. If you keep shipping supplies on hand, it’s easy to prepack an item in order to determine the size and weight of the package for accurate shipping costs. Once you weigh and measure it, you can use information from your mail carrier to figure out the exact amount you’d like to charge.
- Use the Shipping Calculator. The eBay Shipping Calculator offers a great way to research different shipping options. By determining the weight and dimensions of your item’s package, you can estimate shipping costs for a variety of carriers.
- Specify a handling time. Handling time is the length of time it will take you to prepare the item for shipping, from the moment the buyer purchases the item to the moment you put it in the mail. Buyers prefer shorter handling times—a day or less is best. Whatever you choose, make sure you can meet it every time.
Once your item has been purchased, it’s time to put all of your prep work in action. Package up your item and send it on its way in no time by following these steps:
Pack it right.
Packaging can make a big difference in protecting your item on its journey. Packing your product snugly with the right packing materials, such as bubble wrap or biodegradable packing peanuts, will help make sure the item doesn’t get damaged during delivery.
Use Shippo labels.
Shippo labels let you print shipping labels for Canada Post directly from your computer. Simply enter the measurements for your item, pay, print, and affix to your package. You can then drop it off at your closest mail collection point.
Track every package.
Whenever possible, purchase tracking for your package. When uploaded to eBay, tracking information plays an important role in the dispute resolution process should a problem arise.
Fast, efficient shipping plays a big part in customer satisfaction. A number of factors can affect shipping speed—read on to learn how to handle them:
Every time you list an item, you set a handling time, which is the number of days between when you receive payment and when your package is scanned by your shipping carrier upon receipt.
Handling time is measured in business days—weekends and major holidays don’t count —so be sure to check your carrier’s pickup and/or business hours before dropping off your item, so that you can be sure your package will be scanned before the end of that day. eBay gives you until 11:59:59pm for the acceptance scan to be recorded.
Whenever you create a new listing, your handling time is automatically set to 2 days. Of course, buyers like to get their item quickly, so the sooner you ship, the happier they’ll be. If you’re using eBay on a desktop device, you can change your handling time by selecting the Handling Time field when you list an item, and then making a selection from the drop-down menu. To change your handling time from the eBay mobile app, go to your Preferences screen, and select Handling Time.
Your handling time is the commitment you make to getting your package to your buyer on time. It not only helps set expectations—it differentiates your listings from those with longer handling times. Just be sure to set one you know you can meet.
You can specify local pickup as a shipping option on your listings. It’s a good option for items that are large, heavy, or extremely fragile. It’s also an attractive supplementary shipping option, allowing local buyers to forgo shipping fees and pick up the item in person.
A payment for your item is only considered cleared after the payment has been deposited to your account. If the buyer purchases your item but their payment hasn’t cleared yet, you shouldn’t ship the item. It won’t affect your seller reputation, but it will mean that it may take longer for the buyer to receive their item. You can require immediate payment in your listing to ensure that payments are processed as quickly as possible.
When eBay manages payments, funds from your sales are made available within 2 business days after the buyer’s payment is confirmed. You may choose to receive payouts of available funds daily or weekly. Please note that payouts are only sent to your bank on business days (Monday through Friday, excluding bank holidays). All fees and expenses related to your sales are deducted from your funds prior to payout. Examples of eBay selling fees include but are not limited to: insertion fees, promoted listings, listing upgrades, and Store subscription fees.
You will find details of your payouts, including all related fees and expenses, in the Reports section of Seller Hub or Seller Dashboard section of My eBay.
If you choose to receive payouts daily, payouts of available funds are sent to your bank within 2 business days after your buyer’s payment is confirmed. In the event of a bank holiday, the payout will be made on the following business day.
If you choose to receive payouts weekly, payouts of available funds are sent to your bank on Tuesdays. If a Tuesday falls on a bank holiday, the payout will be made on the following business day. Once payouts are sent, your bank will generally take 1-3 additional business days to make the funds from these payouts available to you.
You can create and print shipping labels from home with Shippo labels. It's free, and you only pay for the cost of shipping. You can choose to send your item with Canada Post, or you can add accounts you hold with other carriers.
You can learn more about printing shipping labels on our dedicated page.
Final value fees are calculated based on the final price of your sold item as well as the shipping and handling fees you charge your buyer. If you choose your listing site and shipping service carefully, you can save money on your final value fees. Here's how:
If you list on eBay.ca and a Canadian buyer purchases your item, your final value fee for shipping is calculated using the shipping service that the buyer chooses.
If you list on eBay.ca and a US or international buyer purchases your item, your final value fee for shipping is calculated using whichever service is less expensive, either:
- The first domestic service in your listing that isn't express, or
- Your international or express shipping service
Final value fee for an item listed on eBay.ca with a Canadian buyer:
10% x $100.00
+ 10% x $15 CAD
|= Final value fee $11.50 CAD|
Final value fee for an item listed on eBay.ca with a US buyer:
10% x $100.00
+ 10% x $15 CAD
|= Final value fee $11.50 CAD|
An identically-priced item listed on eBay.com and sold to a US or Canadian buyer would cost $13.00 in final value fees—a savings of $1.50 on a single item.
If you list on eBay.com and a US buyer purchases your item, your final value fee for shipping is calculated using the shipping service that the buyer chooses.
If you list on eBay.com and a Canadian or international (non US) buyer purchases your item, your final value fee for shipping is calculated using whichever service is less expensive, either:
- The first US shipping service in your listing that isn't express, or
- Your Canadian or express shipping service
Final value fee for an item listed on eBay.com with a Canadian buyer:
10% x $74.00
+ 10% x $22.20 USD
|= Final value fee $9.62 USD ($13.00 CAD)|
Final value fee for an item listed on eBay.com with a US buyer:
10% FVF x $74.00
+ 10% x $22.20 USD
|= Final value fee $9.62 USD ($13.00 CAD)|
An identically-priced item listed on eBay.ca and sold to a US or Canadian buyer would cost $11.50 in final value fees—$1.50 less.
You can save even more by offering free shipping within Canada—because domestic shipping is free, you won't pay any final value fees on shipping, whether your buyer is within Canada or the US.
For example, if a buyer chooses international shipping and you specified free shipping as your first domestic option on your eBay.ca listing, you don't pay any final value fees on shipping charges for that item. If international or express shipping is the only service you offer, your final value fee for shipping charges will be calculated on that service. Learn more about how final value fees are calculated.
- When does
the handling time clock start and stop?
The handling time clock begins when you receive cleared payment from your buyer, and ends when your item receives an acceptance scan from your shipping carrier.
- Which days
aren't included in my handling time?
In addition to Saturday and Sunday, major holidays don't count in our handling time calculations. Check your carrier's holiday schedule for the complete list.
- Where can I
specify handling time when listing on
To find and change your handling time through the eBay mobile app, first go to your Preferences screen, then select Handling Time.
- Can I
adjust my handling time after I list an
Once you’ve listed an item, you can only adjust your handling time if no bids or orders were placed on the item. If a bid or order has been placed, you’ll no longer be able to adjust your handling time.
- When I
print labels at home, it uploads tracking for
me. Does this meet my handling time?
While uploading tracking helps eBay calculate your on-time shipping metric, it's still up to you to make sure your package is scanned by your carrier within your stated handling time. Tracking alone does not meet your handling time commitment.
- If I can't
meet my handling time, what should I do?
If you don't think you're going to meet your stated handling time, consider using an expedited shipping service to make sure your buyer still receives the item within the estimated delivery date. Either way, you should contact the buyer to let them know what's going on and when they can expect their item.
- When will
my package be scanned if I drop it off after
There's no guarantee that, just because you’ve dropped off your package at your shipping carrier’s office before 11:59:59 pm PT, it will be scanned before that time. That's why it's important to check your carrier's business hours and drop off your package while they’re open, so it can be scanned before 11:59:59 pm PT that day.
- Why am I
responsible for handling time if I can't control
when packages are scanned?
We hold our sellers accountable for the aspects of the shipping process you can control: using the shipping service specified in your listing, shipping within the stated handling time, and uploading tracking.
Your carrier's acceptance scan is just one of three checkpoints we use to determine whether your item was shipped or delivered on time. You need just one for your item to be considered as delivered on time:
- Acceptance scan within your stated handling time, or
- Delivery confirmation by estimated delivery date, or
- Buyer response that item was delivered by the estimated delivery date
When we don't have any of the above, we check to see if delivery confirmation shows the item was delivered late or if the buyer confirms that item was delivered late.
If we have no response from the buyer and no tracking information, the transaction will not be included in the on-time shipping calculation and won’t be considered on-time or late.