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The Best Way to Ship Your Tickets on eBay

by Brandon

Shipping Tickets On eBay via USPS Priority Mail

When you first start to sell tickets on eBay, you might not know of all the different ways you can ship your tickets to your buyers. Unlike StubHub, eBay lets you ship your tickets any which way you want, as long as you inform the buyer beforehand.

The most popular ways to send your tickets are via Fed-Ex, UPS, and USPS.

The Most Expensive Way

If you check out the most popular ticket sellers on eBay, you’ll see that many of them (maybe even a majority of them) send their tickets via Fed-Ex. Fed-Ex is known worldwide to be a safe and reliable way to ship goods, and big-time ticket brokers with millions of dollars in tickets being sent out every year trust Fed-Ex with their money.

On the other end of the spectrum, we have…

The Cheapest Way

As a beginner ticket broker, though, you might think to yourself, “Hey, I don’t have the money for Fed-Ex or UPS; I’m sticking with USPS.” This was my mentality when I first started out. I remember going out to Staples and buying packs of 100 standard white envelopes and books of regular stamps to go along with them. I guarantee you that this is by far the cheapest way to ship tickets on eBay–less than 50 cents per order.

If you absolutely need to cut costs at every single corner, this is a shipping method that can’t be beat. However, there was a huge hole in this strategy that was leaving me and my business wide open for abuse.

By not providing any tracking information, I had no way to prove that I ever sent the tickets.

Things get lost in the mail all the time. It’s never happened to me, but if I kept on with my super low-cost shipping strategy, I’m sure it was going to happen eventually. And not only that, but I was leaving myself vulnerable to buyers taking advantage of me. Any buyer could have filed a claim on eBay against me saying that they never received the tickets, even if they did! And you know what would happen? They would get a refund, every time. eBay has a Buyer Protection Program which basically says that the burden of proof is always on the seller in cases like this.

So what to do? Should you just do what the big boys are doing and ship Fed-Ex? I’m here to teach you that there is a way to ship your tickets via USPS cheaply, reliably, and even get free USPS Delivery Confirmation while you’re at it. No, it won’t cost you 50 cents, but it will cost you about one third of the price of Fed-Ex and you’ll never have to worry about buyers filing any kind of claims against you.

Let me show you how it’s done.

The Best Way

When you receive payment for your tickets via Paypal, you’ll see this in your Paypal statement:

Paypal Shipping Label

Click on Print Shipping Label. On the next screen you’ll confirm the shipping address and method.

Here’s the crucial step:

Paypal Priority Flat Rate Shipping

Make sure to stock up on USPS Flat Rate Envelopes because from now on, you’re going to send all your tickets via USPS Priority Mail. And this is why:

Free Delivery Confirmation

This little perk (thanks to Paypal) is going to give us the peace of mind that no buyer can ever file a claim against us for not receiving our tickets because we’ll have a unique delivery confirmation code ready to show for each and every ticket we send. Awesome.

The rest is easy: click Pay and Continue and Print your shipping label. Tape it to the front of your USPS Priority Mail Flat Rate Envelope, slip the tickets in the envelope, and drop into any mailbox. Couldn’t be easier. As of November 2010, this service will cost you $4.75. Compared to our $0.50 deal from earlier, this might seem like a lot to pay. But consider the possibility of just having to refund a single order because a buyer claimed he never received his tickets. Since you’ll never get those tickets back, you’re going to lose 100% of the price you paid to purchase them, which can be hundreds of dollars. Now that’s a bad deal. And hey, if you really hate to spend $4.75 to ship your tickets, you can always set your shipping costs at $4.75 on your eBay listing.

What I do

Personally, I choose to give buyers free Priority Shipping and give them the option to upgrade to any other shipping option they choose (Express Mail, Fed-Ex, etc), as long as they pay the extra charge. Buyers will spend more on your tickets if they see that you offer free shipping and it gives your business a better reputation for providing excellent service to your customers.

I can’t stress the importance of that last point. Music and sports fans tend to be clingy with their ticket brokers. Once they find a broker they trust, they often like to stick with them. This makes sense given how many shady brokers there are out there. The way to survive in this industry is by proving yourself to be a broker who provides value and reliability. Shipping your tickets with Delivery Confirmation is just one more way to prove your worth as a ticket broker.

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Matt November 29, 2010 at 6:25 pm

Hey Brandon,
What’s your opinion on e-tickets? I see that Stub Hub encourages them, even saying that buyers prefer them because they cut out shipping. Is this true because I’ve also read some horror stories about re-sales? Some exchange sites don’t even seem to allow them. Is it usually just better to have the physical tickets even if they take longer to receive and can be more costly (depending on how they’re shipped to you)? The big downside, of course, is that they can’t stay up as close to the day of the event due to shipping. And I guess you have to wait to receive them before selling them too.
Thanks,
Matt

Reply

Brandon November 29, 2010 at 7:52 pm

Hi Matt,

TicketFast tickets, as you mentioned, are a double-edged sword. On the one hand, they’re digital, so there’s no chance of them getting “lost in the mail” and they give the buyer the opportunity to have the tickets just minutes after they pay for them. You can keep them up on StubHub or eBay until the day of the show. They have a longer shelf-life, so to speak.

But the downside is hard to ignore: buyers typically don’t like them. There is just something about real tickets that were printed by Ticketmaster that gives them a kind of legitimacy.

In short, my advice with TicketFast tickets is to avoid them unless either a) you have such a huge inventory of tickets that you can’t keep up with them anymore, or b) you’re too lazy to handle tickets coming in the mail every day and you’re OK with losing some profit to save yourself the trouble.

Stick with traditional tickets. Your buyers will appreciate it. ;)

I get into more detail on TicketFast tickets in Ticket Broker Blueprint, if you’re interested.

Brandon

Reply

Matt November 29, 2010 at 11:31 pm

Yeah, that makes sense. I’d rather have the physical tix too, if not just for the memorabilia aspect of the stubs alone. Just found it curious that StubHub states that buyers preferred electronic. Thanks again. Still definitely planning on getting the e-book soon.

Reply

Jake February 9, 2011 at 11:07 pm

I totally understand what you have said and would like to first off thank you for making this site as it is very helpful! I am a little confused though still to the whole shipping thing. I see that ebay offers free usps shipping supplies? This confuses me when you say to stock up on the flat rate priority mail envelopes? I guess I just don’t understand the process. I wasn’t sure if you bought the envelopes, if that then made it so you could just print the label for free, and if that was the case, why not just get some of the free supplies and ship for free? Sorry if I’m confusing you… I think I’m just over thinking this and confusing myself. I’m just getting into selling tickets on ebay and just wasn’t sure what the best route for shipping them was.

Reply

Jake February 9, 2011 at 11:29 pm

After doing more and more research, I see where I got confused. They flat rate envelopes which cost money were prepaid ones. That leads me to the next question, why isn’t there priority mail flat rate envelopes for free but there is everything else? And should I just go ahead and get the prepaid ones or not?

Reply

Liliam July 9, 2011 at 2:39 pm

There is a cricital shortage of informative articles like this.

Reply

Jake February 9, 2011 at 11:35 pm

Alright, last comment I promise haha! I did more research and have no completely answered all of my own questions. Sorry for all of the confusion and questions, and once again thank you for a great site! I now understand that you can get free supplies, you just pay for the postage. I just wasn’t able to find what I was looking for at the time. You can delete my comments if you want! Great site though, and thanks again.

Reply

Brandon February 10, 2011 at 10:17 am

Hey Jake, glad you got it all sorted out. Didn’t even need my help. ;)

-Brandon

Reply

Chris October 31, 2012 at 12:14 pm

Okay,

So I sell my valuable tickets on eBay and am paid immediately by the buyer via paypal. I send the tickets via FedEx overnight.

What if the buyer(assuming the buyer is fraudulant(, states the package did not have the tickets in it, and the seller supposedly packed it with blank paper.

Is there a safeguard to prove you actually sent legitimate tickets?

I would really appreciate the feedback as I have $12k F1 tickets I am trying to sell.

Thanks!

Reply

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