Does Free Shipping Really Drive More Traffic?

Jun 02, 15 Does Free Shipping Really Drive More Traffic?

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For the past couple of months I have been slowly converting all my eBay listings to free shipping. Naturally, many of you will be wondering if I saw a rise in sales.

The answer is sort of; sales rose slightly, and some items that were sitting on eBay for months did sell after I reset the shipping. Yet I did not see a large rise in sales largely because I had to raise prices in order to cover the cost of “free shipping.”

You can buy it right now at the Book and Comic Picker eBay Store!!

You can buy it right now at the Book and Comic Picker eBay Store!!

Note: The main reason I’m switching to free shipping is to simplify and rationalize my listings. I also want to control shipping costs by offering only the cheapest shipping option possible: USPS Standard Post or Media Mail. I did not expect a big rise in sales and have not gotten one.

Yet there is a small rise in sales, and I think I can account for it. Many people do not like to buy online because they are afraid of shipping. They have either been burned by high shipping costs or simply get confused by it. By taking the decision about shipping away from them, you make such people more likely to buy.

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When people see the cost of shipping displayed they are more likely to think twice about making a purchase. Hide the cost in the product’s final cost, and they will be more likely to get out their credit cards.

Look for it at the Book and Comic Picker eBay Store!!

Look for it at the Book and Comic Picker eBay Store!!

Another reason they are more likely to buy is that free shipping makes buying simpler. Making purchases easier makes people more likely to spend money, as retailers have long known.

So yes, folks, it is worth the effort to convert your listings to free shipping when possible. Here are a few tips that will help you harness the power of free shipping:

  • Free shipping is not free to you. You will have to pay the cost of the shipping. Always add the cost to your final product to cover the expense.

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  • eBay free shipping is only in effect within the United States. If you ship outside the country, the customer will have to cover the costs.
It's at the Book and Comic Picker eBay Store right now!!

It’s at the Book and Comic Picker eBay Store right now!!

  • Always use the cheapest service possible. Most customers will be willing to wait a few days if it saves them a few dollars. The vast majority of customers will not care who delivers the package if it comes undamaged in a reasonable period of time.

 

  • Make sure you add the cost of packaging and your time and effort in the shipping cost. I usually calculate this at 25¢ to 50¢.

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  • Make sure you do not offer the customer a choice of shipping services. There’s no reason to send your hard earned profits to UPS, FedEx, etc.
This and hundreds of other great bargains can be found at the Book and Comic Picker eBay Store!!

This and hundreds of other great bargains can be found at the Book and Comic Picker eBay Store!!

  • Offer the same shipping on everything you list if possible. This simplifies your efforts and helps control costs. Something to remember is that when you offer free shipping, you are taking total control of the process in an attempt to improve customer service and costs and hopefully create less work for yourself in the process.

 

  • Do not neglect customer service. When you offer free shipping, you have to offer a higher level of customer service because customers will expect it. They’re used to services like Zappos.com that offer free shipping and a high level of customer service.

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  • Remember, when you offer free shipping, you take on more responsibilities.

 

Finally, I think there are times when you should offer free shipping. If you are only listing a few items, a perk like free shipping is not necessary. If you are listing a lot of stuff, then it is mandatory because you are a professional online retailer. That means you need to realize that for better or worse, free shipping is now the industry standard that most customers expect.

We have a great selection of collectible and vintage magazines, books and comics at the Book and Comic Picker!!

We have a great selection of collectible and vintage magazines, books and comics at the Book and Comic Picker!!

The sooner you learn this lesson and adapt to it, the easier selling will be for you. Ideally, you should be able to reduce your work and increase sales by offering free shipping.

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