How to Have a Great Shipping/Receiving Experience

Hi everyone,

Today’s Listia Tip is about how to ship an item to a winner in the best possible way.  It seems simple enough, to pack it well and take it to a shipping carrier, but here are some time-tested tips to help you sail through the process:

  • This goes without saying, but pack your items carefully and with plenty of packing material so that nothing gets damaged.  As the seller, it’s in your best interest to make sure that the item arrives safely and doesn’t get damaged when the delivery man drop-kicks your box.
  • If you’re charging for shipping, then it’s a good idea to wait for the payment before shipping.  =)
  • It’s a little cost, but it’s often times worth getting a delivery confirmation or a tracking number for your package.  Lost packages happen and it’s one of the top reasons we get a post-auction dispute, so base your decision on how many credits you’ll get for the item.  Think of it as a sort of “insurance” on the amount of credits you’ll get.
  • If your item is very valuable, then I recommend taking some clear photos of the item just before it goes into the shipment box, showing everything that’s being included.  It’s not likely, but just in case something happens to the box during shipment, and they can come in real handy should there be any type of dispute with the transaction later.  Taking pictures nowadays is free, so why not?
  • If you’re listing an item where the buyer pays the shipping cost, clearly state how much and the payment methods accepted.
  • Ship to a verified address only.  Shipping to an address someone emails you instead, leaves you unprotected by the Listia Assurance and exposes you to some unnecessary risk.
  • Using Paypal is the recommended shipping payment method, because it’s convenient as well as both parties are protected by Paypal in most cases.
  • If you’re the winner, only click the “Got It” button AFTER you’ve actually received the item.  Even if the seller tells you that they need you to do that before you actually get the item.  When you click that button, the seller immediately gets the credits that are held in “escrow” for you.  Be smart.

Follow the above tips and you’re likely to have a perfect shipping/receiving experience.  Do you have any shipping/receiving tips of your own?  If so, add your comment here.

We hope you continue enjoying Listia, getting rid of your old stuff and getting something new.  Happy shipping/receiving everyone!



  1. Don’t cheat and send things media mail that don’t qualify. Media mail is for books.

  2. BE willing to ship items that you offer as free shipping regardless of how many credits you get for them, if you’re not willing to let go of it for an unsure amount of credits, don’t list it! And if you do list it, you have the option of starting the bidding at a higher amount to cover your shipping costs. Don’t start the bidding of a heavy glass item at 100 or 0 and then decide when it only goes for 527 credits you’re not going to send it. And placing a breakable ( plastic item with water and oil inside ) use more than a cardboard envelope and a couple of air pillows….use a box!!!

  3. Thanks so much for these tips and common-sense reminders. I would like to add a suggestion: When you have been told that your item has been sent and given the tracking number by the seller along with the item’s ETA – and something DOES go wrong (you aren’t home to sign for the package, you left a digit out of your apt. #, etc.) – Do NOT WAIT A MONTH to contact the seller saying “Where’s my stuff?”. I shipped my first ( and only) auction duting the Xmas season from my brother’s house – and spent extra money on a tracking # and priority service. When I received the credits, I thought all was well. Three wks later, I get an email saying the item had not been received! So… My brother had to go get it from the post office, re-pack it (to make sure it wasn’t damaged, etc.) and then had to re-ship it to the auction winner at my expense – and apparently didn’t think to NOT smoke cigarettes with the dry-cleaned item unpacked. I live 2000 miles from my brother. I gave the auction winner neutral feedback, because the winner was upset and did not feel as though I had upheld my end of the bargain, and was going to leave me negative feedback – even though it cost me over $26 to ship it (twice!) and I had noted I would be charging $7 to offset the shipping cost, but when she won, she wrote to me “I’m sorry I can’t pay for shipping, can you ship it for free?” And I acquiesced, it being Xmas and my first auction… I bent over backwards and got a lousy review, and got into a huge fight with my brother because he made the item stink of cigarettes when I had paid to get it dry-cleaned, but had he not helped me out, that would have been disastrous as well . . . I know there was no harm intended on the winner’s part, but if someone does you the courtesy of shipping an item to you free of charge, and expediting the shipping as well as providing you with a tracking #, insuring the package, and telling you all of this… Don’t wait 25 days to tell the seller you haven’t gotten it. Double check your shipping address. And DON’T BID on items that ask for shipping compensation and then ask for a handout afterwards – and pay attention to the info the seller sends you about when and how the package will arrive! I’m scared to list or bid anymore because of my “NEUTRAL” review.

  4. Member since the beginning.

    Always pack items well even if it takes a little extra tape and time. Always use bubble mailers, (not regular envelopes), packing peanuts, sturdy boxes and bubble wrap. When I send items out in bubble mailers I also wrap the item in bubble wrap and put packing peanuts around the edges inside and tape the outer edges of the mailer. Same goes for boxes. I also tape all of the edges of the boxes, use bubble wrap and packing peanuts and double tape the bottom and tops of the boxes. All of my shipping labels are taped all the way around and also over the shipping address and shipping number under the shipping label bar code. Never tape over the shipping label bar code as sometimes the scanner won’t be able to read it. All of my items are shipped out with a confirmation number even if its a dime or a pin. Never ship any item in regular envelopes just to save a few pennies, as sometimes they will get jammed in the post office sorter and will be shredded. (I was a rookie and I know… Communication is one of the most important aspects of being a great shipper/seller. I always send the shipping number in the “item has shipped box” and I always send a separate thank you message to all of my winners along with all of the shipping details as well. Keep your customers updated at every point of the transaction. (When your auction ends, when you will ship, and when you have shipped.) Respect is a key quality to a perfect transaction. Treat people as you would want to be treated as if it were you are the winner! Log in everyday and answer all questions on auctions you have listed and have ended. Take the best pictures possible of all angles and describe your listings with great detail to the item. If you are unable to offer free shipping don’t over charge. It will only cause your bids to be less, you winners to be less happier and is also against the rules. I always ship with PayPal. Delivery confirmation is included in the shipping cost and is most times cheaper than the post office. If you when an auction that requires you to pay a shipping cost, never send money as a gift. (This is not cover by PayPal protection if you send it as a gift). Always click on goods or services when you send a shipping payment .(Iv’e been there as Don’t let a seller try and talk you into giving them there credits until you receive your item. It’s been tried with me several times and it’s not a deal until it’s sealed. lol Be sure the person you are shipping to has there address registered with the site. If they don’t have a registered address and send one through message contact the site. Don’t ship without the approval of the site. Be the best you can be to your customers, be nice, be polite and be there throughout the entire transaction. Sometimes you may feel that your auction didn’t receive the credits it truly deserved. Just remember a good deed always comes back to you and ship the item. Take the bad with the good. Good always prevails. If you list an item you ship the item and thank the person for bidding and for being your winner!

    Freestuffforyou. (Dedicated Listia Seller!)

    • Nice compilation from a veteran Listian! =)

      • I suggest people not be allowed to bid before having a Listia Verified Address. I am have quite a few problems with people bidding and not having a Listia Verified Address. Then they e-mail the address and get upset when I won’t mail it to them. All my auctions say that I will ship on to to Listia Verified addresses. What can I do? Thank you for your time. Judy

      • I agree but the Listia Address is not as important as the Paypal Address matching because this causes the seller money if something goes wrong vs credits. I suggest that not only that they should have the Listia Verified Address but it should match the Paypal Address for complete protection all the way around.. If of course this is the way the item is sent by.

  5. While using PayPal as the “recommended shipping payment method” was mentioned, the article lacked information about using PayPal’s Multi-Order Shipping tool. And sellers really should know that they can not only purchase USPS shipping labels using the tool, the cost is lower than at a brick-and-mortar post office branch – – and lower than buying the exact same shipping label at (or *.com). PayPal is acting as an ageng of Pitney-Bowes, a company that buys the postage in such enormous quantities it is less expensive than anything offered at post office branches or on the USPS’s own web site!

    Plus – and this is wonderful – delivery confirmation is FREE on all classes of mail, from First-Class and up. If you are sending via Media Mail or Parcel Post, there is a charge.

    Not 85¢ . . . . . . only 18¢. Now why in the world, Tae, did you leave something like THAT out of your article, eh?

    And it matters not how the buyer sent the money for shipping thru PayPal – – except in one aspect. When buyers use the Listia-recommended “Purchase” method, PayPal automatically creates a record for creating a shipping label to send the auction item to that particular buyer in the Multi-Order Shipping tool. There will already be a record created there by the time you open it. Name, Street Address, City, State, and Zipcode will already be filled in for you. All you need to do is edit the record to select the service you want (1st-class, priority, etc.), enter the shipping weight, enter the dimensions of your box in the cases of using priority or express mail, and then you save the info. Next you highlight the record you want to purchase and print a shipping label for . . . put the label sheet in your printer’s paper tray, and so on . . . Tre, why was this left out of the article’s info?

    Btw, did anyone notice that I mentioned using the Media Mail and Parcel Post services of the USPS? You can’t buy shipping labels for those service classes on (*.gov) . . . What about insurance? Yep – you can get insurance added using the PayPal Multi-Order Shipping tool, too.

    To be complete in mentioning what a seller can do on the PayPal site, I have to tell y’all that you cannot buy shipping labels there for any address that is not a domestic U.S. address. The USPS site will be there for your package with a small agave plant bound for Bolivia or Belgium. You will not be able to do that on PayPal, not even for a package going from Detroit across the bridge to Winsor, Ontario. But on the other hand, you can use the Multi-Order Shipping tool for packages bound for Puerto Rico.

    Well, alrighty then. That’s MTCW.

    All the best to you, Tae & everyone else,
    ~ £az£o409

  6. All my auctions clearly state that I will ship to listia verified shipping addresses only, and if you’re new to listia to do this before even bidding on my items.

    New person wins, then tells me Listia won’t verify their address for one reason or another.

    I tell them to contact listia support to fix it, or else they forfeit their item and their credits.

    They then supply some random address for their boyfriend, their sister, their friend, whatever.
    How can this be ok with Listia? I think they really need to revamp their whole system on verifying who these people are. They shouldn’t be allowed to put someone else’s name and address in as their info. Listia needs to ask for a drivers license number or something, at least that would help keep minors and people with multiple accounts away.

    • Here’s an idea that should be an easy programming fix : if the Listian has NO saved and verified shipping address, the system should not allow them to place bids – – commenting, Fine. Bidding, no go – just the same as if they had been banned from bidding because the auction owner has blocked them.

      The system should block “non-verified” users from placing bids – – period. And the matter can be more simplified if the registration process included the user having the option to save and verifiy a shipping address during that phase. If they do not opt-in to giving their address, then have a message appear to the new registree that they can save and verifiy a shipping address later – – and explain that this is done in the Account Settings area of their profile page (their “home page” may be more understandable to the user at this point).

      Then, if Iam86New97Here wins my auction, I KNOW this person has a verified shipping address saved that will come to me when the SEND SHIPPING ADDRESS link is popped on in the post-closing process to complete the transaction. Because, as all sellers know, if the dreaded Steps Of Closing are not followed in proper order, our record-keeping gets all fubar.

      Again, JUTCW – YMMV.
      ~ £az

      • ListiaTae says:

        Yeah, that’s not a bad idea and we’ve considered that before, but this is by-design because many new users who try out a site such as ours, are not engaged enough yet to enter in their private mailing address, until they’ve won something and have gotten more engaged on the site. It’s a fine balancing act, when designing websites, so that new users can experience what the site is like (by bidding/winning) and ensuring that everyone’s verified with a valid shipping address. We shouldn’t inconvenience the vast majority of the users/visitors for the sake of a small group of people.

        Thanks for the suggestion though.

    • Yes, don’t ship to an address that’s emailed (PMed) to you because it’s a bad sign that that person is trying to get around the system that protects the sellers. Don’t do it!

      • My point is – the Listia rules state that buyers and sellers should have saved and verified their shipping addresses. Make the appropriate edit to the rules running the database so that a member CANNOT BID AT ALL until there has been at least one shipping address saved and verified for each member? Have the system keep the cockroaches out – – without us having to make the decision : To send or not to send.

    • I have tried to get Listia to be on the same page as Paypal and use there Paypal Protection Policy because if someone sends you money threw Paypal address is old or not the same as listia’s i try to check but if i forget and i send out anyways as long as i send to what Paypal verified address says then I am covered and they will not get any money back. I am sorry but money is much more important than credits but it would be great if we could get both companies on the same page.

  7. Thank you for this – thanks to EVERYONE who shared their knowledge here. I wish I had known this stuff before I held my first auction and got kinda screwed. I’m truly grateful because I have been wanting to start using Listia again but that one experience was such a nightmare – I had no idea there were so many safeguards built in to the system! Hopefully that one experience won’t make it impossible to become a successful seller

    • ListiaTae says:

      Hi Taryn9,

      I’m very to hear about your initial experience, but you’re right, we do have a lot of safeguards in place to ensure positive experiences for both parties. Please give it another shot! And come back here to tell us about your great experience!


      PS: I’m biased, but you have a cool name…my daughter’s name is Taralynn and she’ll be 9 next year. =)

  8. SHIPPING 101!
    If you are mailing something that is NOT a piece of paper in an envelope, take the initiative to pay the extra 10 or 20 cents to have it hand sorted! ALL post offices have a cardboard sizer to see if an envelope can fit thru the machines. Also, tape around the edges with clear packing tape! You can also get 2 padded mailers for a dollar at the dollar store. Thats the best way to ship items that are not a piece of paper. If you are mailing things like a single bead or similar small items, at least take the initiative to but the item in a small baggy so it lessens the chance of getting lost. I’m getting really aggravated with “trusted sellers” not knowing how to ship! For higher end items ALWAYS send with a confirmation number!

  9. Why is it some of us are out the money and on a fixed income but we get the stuff to the winner and if it does not get to them be nice and send them something in it’s place but bigger.The envelope is for a letter not a ring,bracelet or necklace.. We need to get the word out there for it to stop it’s not fare to the one that know how to play the game. It’s a hobby if you can’t pay the price don’t do it. That how I feel right now.
    Let try and fix this..

  10. DAVID PETERS says:

    What happens when you get tracking and the post office never scans the package as delivered? Well Listia will take your credits from you!

    I retunred some fake autographs from a seller on Listia and had tracking on the package, for some reason the package was never scanned and the original seller complained he didn’t get his fake autographs back so Listia refunded him 58,000 some credits and put my Listia account in the hole minus 18,000 some credits.

    Tracking Number: 9400110200883622864396

    I am unable to bid or sell anything now because my account is minus. Meanwhile the seller has sold other fake autographs and at the time of this post has a fake autograph listed.

    I couldn’t insure these items because they were fake. Truthfully they should have never been listed. But it doesn’t matter even if you get tracking as sometimes those tracking numbers are not scanned and if that happens Listia can and will take your credits.

    I am hoping to get this worked out and get my credits back but it has been 15 days already and hardly any response from Listia.

    • ListiaTae says:

      Sorry, but it sounds like the issue is between you and the post office since they have no record of the item being ever shipped by you. It’s the shipper’s responsibility to make sure that their package is scanned properly, not Listia’s. As stated on the site’s rules, until the item is returned to the seller, a refund can’t be given (almost all businesses require the item to be returned before a refund is issued). I believe you were told that in your support ticket too and we wish we could do more to help. Good luck with the USPS.

      • J. Masolini says:

        That’s crap the person still says she has not received her card an got her points back and I am screwed. now the hits just keep on coming

  11. I am agree with Angela & Mike .Firstly you have to pack your item carefully.I have shipped packing items from they are awesome.

  12. Listia is more USA friendly then Canada when it comes to shipping.
    shipping something from Canada to the U.S. costs more money then the U.S. to ship to Canada.
    Any envelope under 30 grams of weight with tracking is a min of $9.00
    When I list an item( Hockey card) for $9.00 on Listia the people bidding get upset and feel they are being ripped off some how. so the only way to do it is to just mail it no tracking to keep the shipping cost down and hope for the best.

    • freestuffforyou says:

      We our lost credits one time “AND” our item from shipping to Canada without tracking. The winner said they never got the item. That’s why we do not ship out if the USA any longer. It cost’s way to much for the tracking. If you are shipping to Canada you may lose your item and your credits. You can do a customs form but that doesn’t track it. Items up to 3,oz can be shipped in a bubble mailer for $1.69 shipped through PayPal in the USA and that includes confirmation tracking. BUT USA only.

  13. to any listia oderator;
    I have a problem that occurred with the shipping process and it came back on me when it should not have. please message me asap so I can explain the issue and get credits back that were wrongfully taken from me.

  14. yes i was wondering how i get a refund on my credits?i won an auction but i have not heard from the person that i won the auction from but they got my credits but i still have not heard from them about when or even if they have shipped the shoes out so how do i do that?

  15. J. Masolini says:

    if you Ship anything make sure you have a Tracking number, Recently I have had one person say she did not get an old Baseball card I shipped. She filed a dispute and I went ahead and gave her points back. she gave me a negative feed back and still claims she never received the card. SCAM. Now I have roaches coming out of the wood work claiming the same BS, I will be out Two very old Baseball Cards and about 11,000 Point. My options are to QUIT LISTIA or charge for shipping which has to be priority mail which is over $ 5.00 so I can have a tracking number. On another site you can print your label and postage and it does not cost as much but at least you get a tracking number. I have a lot of old cards left and now I do not know what to do. I am 65 and Guarantee my cards are as described or you can return them no questions asked. I am sorry for the honest people on this site who may miss out on some very nice cards and thank you to the Honest people I have dealt with and were satisfied with what they received. There is always some people who ruins it for the rest of us. Again Thank to the HONEST BUYER who received my cards,

    • Patricia Collette says:

      Just so you are aware, as long as you print label online then First Class has tracking number included. You do not have to use Priority mail for shipping a small item that must weigh under 13 oz.

      • J. Masolini says:

        please tell me on what site. I’ve tied to get it on line like my E-Bay account

      • Paypal, or even, I go to get my quote then go to paypal where people pay me and just print label but even allow you to print a label online.

  16. J. Masolini says:

    yes they do but I can’t seem to get to the part to ship at first class for a $ 1.19 and I’ve tried everything I can think o. Thank You

    • on paypal if you do not have the link (print label) you can go to paypal/ put in name and address information then choose carrier and service type(under this is where you select first class, package size and weight & mailing date. confirm. If you still have problems contact customer support and they can help you

      • J. Masolini says:

        It been a While since my first question and I notice I said First Class but how about Flat Rate which is cheaper. That’s what I use on E-Bay but even with Pay Pal it doesn’t let you ship flat rate to get a tracking number. Can you Please help me with that. Thank you

      • I think you need to contact paypal because I ship mostly by priority, priority flat rate,media mail,first class and the only shipping on Paypal that does not include tracking free is media mail.which is available for a fee. otherwise all other shipping includes the tracking number for free.

  17. I’m sure it’s just me, but is anyone else comletely burned out on sellers who charge shipping? I don’t mean charging shipping on just a bulky or delicate item, I mean these people are charging the max shipping they can on every book and dvd. I don’t say anything insulting to them, but I find it ridiculous to charge 4 bucks to ship a DVD and I think it brings down theListia community as a whole. I guess I’m just bummed when I see something I want, get excited and click on it, and their entire item description is just a big threat about how you better pay them with paypal or they’ll take your credits. Nearly 100 items I’ve shipped free, so I can’t bring myself to pay these people for theirs.

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