6 Top Tips for Pain-free Postage
#1 Postal Costs
If you’re planning to sell any item at auction then there are a number of things that you should consider first. Firstly, your desired price and how the postage costs will affect it.
Many sellers offer free delivery and factor that into the cost of the item but this does vary from auction to auction, especially if the items are particularly large and would require a pallet.
Regardless of what you're selling, you should always plan and calculate your postage costs into the price you're looking to achieve at auction.
#2 Delivery Address
This first tip might seem obvious, but it's definitely the most important.
Always make sure that you have the buyer confirm the address in writing beforehand to avoid any mix-ups and then ensure that you write the complete, correct address legibly on the package or shipping document.
If you can get a shipping label printed instead then this can provide further guarantees that your items will get to the right place.
So now that you know your items are going to be sent to the right address, the next most important thing to consider is packaging.
There's no point in your parcel arriving if it's been damaged in transit.
Use a properly sized box for the item and always use plenty of packing material so that it doesn't rattle around inside the box, bubble wrap is inexpensive and could prove priceless if it saves your item.
It is always better to err on the side of caution, the last thing you and your buyer want is a broken item arriving because it hasn't been safety packed.
Even despite your valiant efforts to package your items safely and securely, things can still go wrong.
Insurance can be invaluable, especially for high ticket items such as luxury watches, antiques and artworks.
We recommend that you assess the insurance options that you have before shipping, many delivery services offer insurance as standard with signed for and tracked deliveries but make sure that you are aware of the value that you are covered for.
You may have to pay extra to cover the total value of your items but it will be worth it if anything happens to your parcel or if it is lost in transit.
If you are sending your items using a tracked delivery serves then make sure that you send the buyer the details and reference number.
This way the buyer can track their parcel at any time and will avoid them having to come through you for delivery details.
It also offers a greater peace of mind for the buyer as they know the item is on its way and when they should expect to receive it.
#6 Be aware of customs regulations
With online auctions making it easier than ever to bid in auctions around the world, it is very important that you also consider overseas buyers.
Have a plan in place for winning bidders from abroad and state in the auction what the delivery arrangements would be for them and how this would be charged.
As well as the increased costs of overseas postage, there may also be regulations differences and it is very important that you are aware of the regulations of the country you’re shipping to and include the correct documents so that the buyer can receive their items without any problems
Make sure that you register your shipment with customs in advance, decide who will pay any potential customs fees and make sure that you state this at the earlier opportunity so that potential buyers are aware.
If you're serious about selling at auction, why not check out some of our other great guides such as "How to take better photos and sell more stuff".