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

New Category Select UI

Today we’re releasing a snazzy new way to select a category and subcategory when you list your item!  You can just try it out or read on for more details.

Screen Shot 2012-12-13 at 1.26.09 PM

You’ll notice that the form field looks slightly different.  When you click on it you should see something like this:

Screen Shot 2012-12-13 at 1.26.26 PM

Once you select your main category you will be prompted to select a subcategory:

Screen Shot 2012-12-13 at 1.26.47 PM

One difference is that it is now required to select a subcategory.  When your selection is incomplete you will see a “Select…” prompt in red.  If you find that a subcategory doesn’t fit for your item you can select the “Other” subcategory.  Once you’ve completed your selection it should look something like:

Screen Shot 2012-12-13 at 1.27.18 PM

Tada!

We’re gearing up for some category updates soon that will take full advantage of this new UI so stay tuned!  Enjoy!

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

A Couple Announcements

Hi everyone,

We are currently in the process of improving our categories on Listia to be more comprehensive and thorough. In order to do this we have had to disable the ability to create a custom subcategory when you list your item(s).  Don’t worry though! Once we’re finished with revamping our categories it should be easier to both list and browse! We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you for the time being.

Also, on November 19th we will be switching everyone over to the newly designed auction page. A few of you have tried it out and then opted to go back to the old design, but on November 19th the old auction design will no longer be available. Thank you for all your feedback so far!

Stay tuned for more updates!

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