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Materials guide for LEGO selling & shipping including postage box sizes


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Materials guide for LEGO selling & shipping Many members have asked for a centralized place where they can go for shipping box information. I'm going to pin this post and update it as new in

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Im starting to wonder if I've met my match in terms of packing analtivity.

A couple years ago people were debating this very topic and I did a bunch of research into cardboard boxes. :)

Honestly, the best thing is just use a good box instead of the crap TRU uses. Even Amazon UK uses a pretty crappy box for shipping large sets like the Volvo... But more strength = higher cost.

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Well your best deal right now is going to Target first thing in the morn or a 24 hour WM while they are stocking and grabbing broken down boxes. (free)

I think the Staples coupons have expired. I think that was the only coupon reported.

Emazers said that GNC stores (vitamin shops) are great for packing paper. (assuming you've never placed an order from amazon before ;-) )

Edited by pstebbing
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I'll throw this out - if you live in a big enough neighborhood, ask people for their boxes.  I live in a neighborhood of 800 houses.  I just post on our FB page every couple of months. People will also randomly ask me if I want their Amazon boxes, to make it easy for them to get rid of.  I don't think I've ever bought boxes for shipping anything.

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I just have to say, I do reuse boxes some, but I do like having certain sizes of boxes, new, folded, in stacks.  I hate searching for the right size box, since I usually pack stuff up after the kids go to bed.  If I have an inventory of boxes in the right size, I can just grab a set off the shelf and throw it in the perfect size box for it's dimensions, tape, print, label and go, no searching necessary.

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I just have to say, I do reuse boxes some, but I do like having certain sizes of boxes, new, folded, in stacks.  I hate searching for the right size box, since I usually pack stuff up after the kids go to bed.  If I have an inventory of boxes in the right size, I can just grab a set off the shelf and throw it in the perfect size box for it's dimensions, tape, print, label and go, no searching necessary.

To some degree, keeping used boxes flattened and sorted by size makes searching for the right one not too bad, as long as variety is not too high. Having a reference sheet with Amazon (S8, P5, etc) and Lego (CB300, etc) standard box sizes helps locating them easier.

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Anyone in or near West Michigan that wants some free used boxes for shipping single sets let me know.  I keep anything that is in good shape collapsed and ready to reuse with tape and address labels removed, but I don't really do much self fulfillment so have a ton of extras.  I have a total of about 160 varying in size from 17x12.5x5 (KMart small box) to 34.5x19.5x7.5 (Target 286-SM).  70 are from SaH.  I have an inventory so if you are looking for anything specific let me know.

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This is a great thread. Thanks to all who've taken the time to share here for the benefit of all. My questions are these:

1) When evaluating your potential profit from a set that you're about list and sell, do you have a good rule of thumb about how much of the purchase price you'll lose to eBay/PayPal fees, packing, shipping, etc? 

2) What is the general consensus on offering free shipping on eBay vs. adding a shipping charging to cover postage & packing materials? At the end of the day, which way nets you more money, in your experience?

(sorry if these have already been answered, I haven't seen them)

 

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This is a great thread. Thanks to all who've taken the time to share here for the benefit of all. My questions are these:

1) When evaluating your potential profit from a set that you're about list and sell, do you have a good rule of thumb about how much of the purchase price you'll lose to eBay/PayPal fees, packing, shipping, etc? 

2) What is the general consensus on offering free shipping on eBay vs. adding a shipping charging to cover postage & packing materials? At the end of the day, which way nets you more money, in your experience?

(sorry if these have already been answered, I haven't seen them)

 

1. Yes. It's called Excel (for ebay 13% + listing fees if any)

2. This is totally personal preference. Some BPers strictly offer free shipping on all of their items. If you do this I'd suggest looking into the cost of your furthest destination to determine max shipping cost. It can also vary based on the item your selling, your competition etc etc.

Edited by pstebbing
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This is a great thread. Thanks to all who've taken the time to share here for the benefit of all. My questions are these:

1) When evaluating your potential profit from a set that you're about list and sell, do you have a good rule of thumb about how much of the purchase price you'll lose to eBay/PayPal fees, packing, shipping, etc? 

2) What is the general consensus on offering free shipping on eBay vs. adding a shipping charging to cover postage & packing materials? At the end of the day, which way nets you more money, in your experience?

(sorry if these have already been answered, I haven't seen them)

 

1)  Fees are pretty set and you can use tools like these to calculate them.  If I'm packaging and shipping myself, I usually tack on a $1.00-$1.50 to each shipment for materials, on average, depending on the size.  This is my rule of thumb for taxes.  I create similar formulas in Excel and just keep a running tab of sales.

https://salecalc.com/

https://salecalc.com/amazon

http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=1161240

2)  Generally, if I want to compete with current market prices, I'll look at the recently sold or most recent listings and see what the top 5 lowest prices are by sorting for Price + Shipping.  I'll calculate a base average on what the going prices are and just make that my listing price w/ free shipping.  If I want to ride it out for desired price, I'll just set a price or look at current prices and add 10% - 20% and let the listings sit until they sell.  I will make adjustments from time-to-time, but this is pretty much what I do and what I've been doing for 10 years or so.

If I know something is going to be a premium to ship from coast-to-coast, I'll add a shipping fee to cover the additional cost.

 

Edited by exciter1
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Thank you both. What do you estimate shipping will cost for a large set (Ewok Village, Orthanc, Pet Shop, etc)?  $20? $25? less?  Assuming you're using a 20x24 box, what tends to be the cheapest shipping method? USPS Priority? FedEx smartpost? 

Believe it or not, it could range from $10-$28 or so.  Be willing to either eat the additional cost or do a little dance if the buyer is from the same shipping region as you.  If the buyer is in the same region, USPS is generally cheapest.  I try to avoid FedEx Smartpost, unless it's a $5+ cost savings on a smaller item.  I probably wouldn't use Smartpost for a modular size shipment.  If you use the EBay or Amazon shipping options, they will usually give you a discount.  FedEx and UPS are usually comparable, but you can calculate all options to see what is the best for you.  The shipping tools provided make it pretty easy.

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Thank you both. What do you estimate shipping will cost for a large set (Ewok Village, Orthanc, Pet Shop, etc)?  $20? $25? less?  Assuming you're using a 20x24 box, what tends to be the cheapest shipping method? USPS Priority? FedEx smartpost? 

http://www.ebay.com/shp/Calculator

Oh and the reason that Exciter is suggesting to not use FedEx smart post for more expensive sets is that Signature confirmation isn't available for that service.

Edited by pstebbing
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Believe it or not, it could range from $10-$28 or so.  Be willing to either eat the additional cost or do a little dance if the buyer is from the same shipping region as you.  If the buyer is in the same region, USPS is generally cheapest.  I try to avoid FedEx Smartpost, unless it's a $5+ cost savings on a smaller item.  I probably wouldn't use Smartpost for a modular size shipment.  If you use the EBay or Amazon shipping options, they will usually give you a discount.  FedEx and UPS are usually comparable, but you can calculate all options to see what is the best for you.  The shipping tools provided make it pretty easy.

Thank you very much.  I realize these seem like very novice questions, and they are.  So far I've only been in buy, buy, buy mode and I am only now starting to consider some of these factors. So you find that using the eBay shipping tools & discount really is the way too go?  You get the best rates that way?  And obviously the printed shipping labels are a nice convenience.

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Thank you very much.  I realize these seem like very novice questions, and they are.  So far I've only been in buy, buy, buy mode and I am only now starting to consider some of these factors. So you find that using the eBay shipping tools & discount really is the way too go?  You get the best rates that way?  And obviously the printed shipping labels are a nice convenience.

Yes, the rates offered through EBay's label printing are about as good as you'll do.  You can get comparable rates by logging into the carrier websites, but it's not nearly as convenient.  You can also ship directly from PayPal, which is also good and it gives you a First Class option for packages under 13oz.

Edited by exciter1
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http://www.ebay.com/shp/Calculator

Oh and the reason that Exciter is suggesting to not use FedEx smart post for more expensive sets is that Signature confirmation isn't available for that service.

Yes, I've been playing with that quite a bit. Thank you. I still ask these questions on the forum because if this website has taught me one thing, it is this: learn the proper way to do things from those who know what they're doing before you go off half-cocked with what you *think* is the best way to go.  I look at the first 10 or 15 Lego sets I bought for investment and I'm appalled at how much I paid and wish I could go back and re-acquire those knowing then what I know now.... 

Thanks again.

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If you are selling through eBay then there is really no reason to not use their shipping label tool. (as an individual)

As far as eBay's discounted shipping rates. Try creating a shipping label through eBay and while doing so check the same shipment on the carrier's website. For USPS it's usually the same so it's a smoke and mirrors trick by ebay.

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So I am thinking of taking the FBA plunge.  Been selling on Ebay for...yikes..about 18 years.  I use the Dymo 450 label printer for postage.  What should I use for Amazon?  Also, I will probably sell some FBM on Amazon...will shipping work the same?  Are there discounts?  Thanks again for all of the help you guys provide!

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ULINE sell quality boxes and supplies and their customer service is top notch.  You pay higher rates (compared to Staples, etc) for the quality though

True, but I just wish their "Shipping fees" for shipping boxes weren't so much.

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