How to Save on Shipping Costs

The following shipping tips are brought to you by our team of moderators, who have a lot of experience shipping things at a reduced cost, and the tips were collected and summarized by moderator Denise.

Hi Everyone,

Today’s Listia Tip is about how to ship cheaply and securely.

You have several options when it comes to selecting a shipping carrier, and while some may offer overnight and very speedy options in almost every situation the cheapest option will be granddaddy of them all the U.S. Postal Service.  Despite what some people say the USPS is quite dependable and is a bargain compared to UPS, FedEx, DHL, etc.   What we want to talk about today is how to get the most for your money when shipping your items through the USPS.  We will discuss third party companies that you can buy postage through that are not only cheaper than going to your local Post Office, but also more convenient since your mail carrier can pick up your items from your home or office.

The Listia moderators all use and love Paypal’s shipping feature.  Most Listians use Paypal to send or receive shipping payments, but did you know that you can buy postage through them as well?  You can even use this service for items that were not paid for through Paypal, so you can list items with Free Shipping and still get discounted shipping through Paypal.  To get started visit: https://paypal.com/shipnow

  • Pros: Cheap and easy, checks address to make sure it is valid, can request pick up from mail carrier, no need to leave your house.
  • Cons: You need to buy a scale that connects to your computer but these can be bought for cheap, or found on Listia for free, you also need a printer to print out the postage.

Another shipping option that is similar to Paypal’s shipping would be Stamps.com.  The two services offer very competitive pricing on shipping, but there are of course pros and cons to each service.

  • Pros: Prints everything directly onto envelopes, can schedule pick ups, discounts on shipping, can ship internationally, can create address book so shipping to repeat customers is super easy, a scale is required but included for free (you just pay shipping which is around $10)
  • Cons: Has a monthly cost of at least $9.99/month, scale needed, and requires a printer that can print on envelopes to get full benefit.

Here is a quick price comparison from different companies, to ship a package that weighs around 4 ounces, like an iPhone case with tracking number.

  • Paypal: $1.86
  • Stamps.com: $1.64
  • USPS.com: $2.42
  • UPS: over $10
  • FedEx: over $10

Again there are several options when it comes to shipping an item, and while some people may prefer to use to ship items the old fashioned way by taking them into the post office.  Listia suggests that when you ship items to always get a tracking number, and that just got easier since USPS is currently offering free tracking on every Priority package.  One great way to save on shipping is how you buy the shipping materials you use.  You can buy shipping labels and bubble mailers from Amazon or eBay for extremely low prices.  You can get 200 shipping labels for less than $10!  And you can get 200 bubble mailers for $20.  That’s way cheaper than if you were to go to Wal-Mart or a Dollar Store, and don’t forget that plenty of great Listians list these items on Listia as well.  While the USPS offers flat rate boxes and envelopes most of the time these options will cost more than if you package the item yourself.

Those packaging peanuts and bubble wrap really add up, so why not use items you have around your house to pad your shipments?  If you have old newspapers lying around, those are great for stuffing into packages.  Or maybe you have some brown paper sacks from your last grocery trip?  You can use those as brown wrapping paper!  And if possible, always try to reuse old mailers—recycling is good!

I hope these tips help make shipping a little more affordable for you.  Thank you for being such great members and for helping Listia continue to grow.

Moderator Denise and the Mod Team

A New Browse and Search Filter is Coming

Hi everyone,

We’ve had a blog topic before on Finding the Best Stuff on Listia Faster, and many of you have told us how helpful those tips were.  We’re building a new, exciting feature that’ll let you filter your search and browse results even further.  Currently, you can filter the auctions you see for ones that have Get It Now or Free Shipping.  A new one will be added so that you can exclude auctions that are for items that’ll be delivered digitally, such as ebooks, gift card codes, recipes, DIYs, etc.  We’ve heard your requests, so we’re building it.  It may become a new check box near the current filters.  Yay, it’s coming, it’s coming, and as usual, thanks for all of your suggestions!

Note: Auctions for these types of digital items are not likely to get free credits like Free Shipping provides currently, because there’s no real “shipping” involved by the seller.  We think that’s fair…do you agree?

Leave us a comment with your thoughts and have fun listing, bidding, and winning!  Thanks!

ListiaTae

Quan Joins the Listia Staff Team

quans-picture

Please join us in welcoming our newest addition to the Listia Staff Team: Quan!  He’s here as a developer, to help program our site as we continue to grow.  He’ll help implement some site changes to make Listia even better than before.

As a tradition of introducing our new employees, we would like to share interesting facts with you about Quan:

  1. He grew up in Silver Spring, Maryland, lives in San Francisco now, and has been to over 30 different countries!
  2. For hobbies, he loves traveling (needless to say), photography, and running on the beach with his dog Sticky.
  3. He’s multilingual: English, Vietnamese, Ruby, and Javascript.
  4. His favorite foods are: pizza, sushi, anything with crab in it, and any type of noodle soup.
  5. He survived 5 months in Paris without speaking a single sentence in French.  Oui!
  6. The strangest food he’s ever eaten is snake.
  7. His favorite sports teams are: the Brazilian soccer team and the Maryland Terrapins basketball team

If you’re interested in job opportunities with us, see our postings here: www.listia.com/jobs   Now that we have both a Tae and a Quan on the team, all we need now is a Do to get our “Tae Quan Do” badge.  =)

Leave a comment here for Quan and please welcome him to the Listia community!

Top 10 Easy Tips to Earn More Credits Faster

There are many ways to earn credits on Listia, but here are some of the best, fastest, and easiest ways that we’ve seen:

10) Get your account Verified.  Listia offers several different types of verification, and the more you have the more comfortable buyers will be bidding on your auctions.

9) Refer your friend to Listia, your friend’s Mom, her brothers and sisters, their milkman, and the pet sitter.  Don’t forget the garbage man…they like it when we “recycle.”  And all those people will thank you later.

8) When you just got to have that item that’s ending soon or you’re just a little short in credits, you can always buy some credits.  Sometimes spending money can end up saving you money because the overall amount paid will be less than what that item would cost elsewhere.

7) Complete special offers or save money with daily deals while earning credits.

6) Keep logging in to the site daily for some nice, random credit surprises.

5) Connect your account with Facebook and Twitter.  It helps others see what cool things you’re giving away.

4) Share Listia auctions on Facebook for a small credit bonus, this can be done a couple of times each and every day.

3) Fill out trusted surveys to earn credits.

2) Help spread the word about Listia in your blog, web site, and forums.

1) The fastest, best way to earn a chunk of credits at once is of course to list more sought-after items and be very active on the site!

You’ve earned all these credits and have nothing to spend it on?  Check out the Rewards Store for some great deals on some popular items.  Inside tip: there are going to be some extra awesome things put into the Rewards Store over the upcoming Thanksgiving Holiday weekend.  So when you aren’t eating turkey check back hourly during the Holiday weekend for some fantastic deals!

What’s your favorite way to earn more credits?

Find the Best Stuff on Listia, FASTER!

Hi everyone,

Today’s Listia Tip is about how to find the best stuff on Listia, faster!

You probably already know how to do a search on the site, but did you know that you can also use the Categories to “filter” the search results so that you find what you’re looking for, faster?  Let’s say you’re looking for clothes for your baby, so you did a search using the words “baby clothes” and the site found 235 auctions containing those two words.  But you’re specifically looking for clothes only and not things like luggage that can hold baby clothes or dolls/toys with clothes on them.  You can click on the Baby category (see screen shot below, left side) and the search results number goes down because it’s now showing you only the auctions that are listed in that specific category.  If you want, you can refine it further by clicking on the subcategory called Clothes, and now you’ll only see the auctions that were listed in that specific subcategory.  This is called “filtering” down your search results, and it’ll help you find, bid, and win the stuff that you’re most interested in, faster.

And do you want the item right now, without waiting for the auction to end?  You can just see the auctions with a GIN (Get It Now) option, by putting a check mark in that box (also on the left side of the screen).  Same thing with Free Shipping…only see the auctions where the seller will ship it for free!

There are lots of other things you can do with the Search feature to make it easy to find the best stuff for free, including having your search results emailed to you regularly.  That way, you don’t have to keep searching manually.  Sorting the auctions so that you can see which ends first is also possible.  And setting the “Results per page” setting to something higher than the default is also a nice way to see things just the way you want.  See the red boxes in the screen shot below for details.

How do you use the Search feature?  Have any other search tips to share?

ListiaTae

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!

ListiaTae

How to help keep Listia fun and healthy

Hi everyone,

Today’s Listia Tip is about how you can help keep Listia the fun and healthy place that it is today.

Did you know that you play a big part on the health of the entire Listia ecosystem?  That’s right.  Listia relies on input from users about auctions that might be questionable or need to be looked into.  We do this with a high performance team of moderators and administrators who help keep the site clean and friendly, but they can’t be everywhere, every minute, of each day.  So that’s where you come in.  If you see something that needs our attention, please help them continually improve the site by flagging questionable auctions.  This is done by clicking the “Flag as inappropriate” link on the Auction Page (located under the description or the verification badges).  This flags the auction for review by our team of experts, who will diligently look over everything to ensure that the content is right for our site.  Almost all flags are now reviewed within a day of getting flagged, most within hours, 24/7.  That’s how dedicated the team is, to ensure that your experience on the site is a fun, safe one.

We hope you continue enjoying Listia, getting rid of your old stuff and getting something new.  And thanks in advance for contributing to the fun and health of our site.

ListiaTae

A bit of mod team trivia: The Listia teams of moderators and admins have a total of 226 combined years of customer support experience.  That’s almost as many years as the age of the good ole’ USA!  They’re friendly and well trained to help keep the site the fun place for everyone.

Browsing through Listia like a speeding bullet!

With so many great auctions to see on Listia, browsing through them all can be a bit time consuming (especially if your computer is slow or you have a slower internet connection).  You want to find that gem of an auction as fast as possible, right?  So let me share with you a little “trick of the trade” that may help you see more auctions in a fraction of the time.  This is done using a browser feature that many power-users use—browser tabs.  The exact steps may vary from browser to browser, but the general concept still applies across all modern browsers that support tabs (almost all do).  And this tip can be used to surf the Internet faster, and not just Listia (IE: Google search results page).

1) Do a search on Listia for anything that you’re interested in, and you’ll get a list of matching auctions.
2) Instead of clicking on the one you’re interested in, press the CTRL key down while left-clicking the auction (Windows).  If you’re on a Mac, hold down the Command key when clicking.  When you do this, most browsers will open up that auction in a NEW separate tab without you ever leaving the original page you’re on.  (Note: Some browsers may require you to change a setting so that the new tab opens up in the background.)
3) Continue down the list to the next auction that you want to see, and do it again (CTRL click).  Keep doing that for all the auctions that you’re interested in, and they’ll be individually opened up in the background as separate tabs in the order you opened them.
4) After you’ve done that to a number of auctions, you can click on each of the new tabs to read, comment, and place your bids.  Voila!  Once done, close each tab if desired.

Click the thumbnail below for an example.

See how easy that is?

Benefits: You don’t have to wait for the pages to load because you’re just continuing on and CTRL clicking on all the ones you want to see first.  Meanwhile, the auction pages are all loading in the background and ready whenever you are.  And now, you can power through Listia like a speeding bullet, finding more great things to bid on!

Happy listings/winnings everyone!

What other ways do you power through Listia?

How to Get More Bids and Credits from your Auctions

There are many ways to get your auctions to generate more bids and potentially get more credits for your items.  Because some of them may take some trial and error to learn, we wanted to help everyone by sharing some of the tips we use ourselves.  So here are the top 10 tips that work best for us:

10) Always include lots of CLEAR photos.  Blurry ones are a big turn-off.  Studies have shown that lots of pictures in auctions are worth a bazillion words.  Take pictures from various angles, in good light, showing relative size, etc, and again, never include blurry photos.

9) Give LOTS of info about your product.  Also, take advantage of Listia’s ability to add Updates to your Description, should you forget to mention something or end up getting lots of the same question.

8) If you live in a smoke or pet-free household, let it be known.  Some people really care about that.  My favorite from this week is from one of our user’s auction: “Items come from a smoke free home….I have cats….they don’t smoke either!”  Hahahaha!

7) Make sure your Seller’s reputation score is high.  Your online reputation is worth everything and will instill confidence in the bidders who are interested.

6) Be extra clear with your shipping options.  Ambiguity is your enemy when it comes to having successful auctions.

5) Unless absolutely necessary, try not to “hide” any comments.  Bidders will trust you more from your transparency.  Besides, any bidder can simply click and see what a seller hid.

4) Try to time your auction to start and end during a reasonable day/time when there are more Listians bidding–that’ll usually lead to higher credits.  Don’t have your auction end at 10am east coast time on a weekday, since that would only be 7am on the west coast, and many potential buyers are either rushing off to work or still sleeping.  Remember that Listia does allow you to schedule your auctions if that’d be more convenient for you.  Start times (thus end times) can be set while creating the auction, under the “Show Advanced Options.”  (Requires Listia Perks: http://www.listia.com/account/perks)  Click this thumbnail to see exactly where.

Where to set the auction's start date/time

3) Try setting your auction as a Premium Auction so that its title is bold in the search results, gets a special icon next to it, and it will get special placement in both the search results and auction pages.  The cost varies, depending on the then-current market demand, but it’s usually a good investment.  I almost always do mine as Premium with great results.  Details can be found here.

2) Offer Free Shipping because you’ll get more bids and better placement in the search results.  And you’ll make up the cost with the extra credits you’ll earn.

1) Communicate, communicate, and communicate often with those who are watching, fanning, or commenting.  Nothing else gives bidders more “warm n fuzzies” than a seller who’s friendly, helpful, genuine, addressing concerns, and commenting back quickly.  Did I mention that sellers should communicate often?  :-)

I hope these tips help you get more out of your auctions.

Do you have any seller tips of your own that you’ve found to work well for you?  Leave us a reply below.

Have a suggestion for a future topic?  Tell us here too.

Coming in the next Newsletter: Shortcuts to blaze through Listia, faster than a lightning bolt!

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