How to Offer Free Shipping on eBay as a Seller
Sellers on eBay often get torn between the choice of charging for shipping or offering free shipping. On one hand, charging for shipping will enable you to easily keep track of shipping costs. On the other hand, offering free shipping can have a subconscious effect on your buyers, in turn boosting your sales!
Offering free shipping on eBay is easy and can be set up in a few simple steps when creating a new listing and ticking the “Free Shipping” box. You’re also able to bulk edit existing listings and change from paid shipping to free shipping.
In this article, we’ll be taking a comprehensive look at how to set up free shipping on eBay. We will also highlight and discuss the main advantages and disadvantages of using free shipping when selling on eBay.
How to Offer Free Shipping on eBay
Setting up free shipping is easy on eBay and can be done in 7 simple and easy-to-follow steps. We’ll take you through these steps and also provide some screenshots for betting understanding.
1. Create a New Listing
The first thing you’ll need to do is create a new listing and there are three ways you can do that. Take note that for all methods, you’re required to be logged into your eBay account.
The first and easiest method requires you to go to the Seller Hub. You’ll see a link and a button called “Create Your Listing” on the right side or at the drop down menu when selecting “Listing”. The second way to access your “eBay for Business” page. There, you’ll see a button called “Create Your Listing”.
The third method requires you to click on your name on the top right. It will drop down a menu and you need to then select “Selling”. You’ll see the “Activity” tab by default and a button on the right to create a new listing.
2. Select a Product Category
Before you get to the shipping options, there are a few things you’ll need to fill out first. Simply select the right product category for your item.
You may also enter a category manually if none of the given categories are applicable or are free to use the default eBay categories and subcategories.
3. Set Listing Details
Input specific details and more information about your product. Also take the time to ensure that the product categories are correct and indicate the condition of the items being sold.
4. Set Selling Details
Next, you’ll need to set the selling details. Here, you have the option of choosing if the item is an auction or it’s a “Buy It Now” listing. You also need to set the duration and the start date, as well as item quantity and price.
5. Set Up Shipping Options
Now we get to the shipping options. Here you will be able to set the shipping price and details for domestic and international shipping. It’s recommended to set the domestic shipping option at a flat fee for all buyers and international shipping if you choose to ship to other countries.
6. Tick the Free Shipping Box
Here’s the most important step. In the same “Shipping Details” screen, you’ll see a “Free Shipping” box to the right next to the “Services” box. Select the service type, set the price to $0 and make sure that the free shipping box is ticked.
7. Post Listing
Recheck all the item details and shipping settings. If everything is in good order, proceed to post the item by clicking on the “List Item” button. Your item is now available in your eBay store with free shipping!
Offering Free Shipping on Existing Listings
You can also change the shipping type from paid shipping to free shipping on existing listings. This means that you don’t have to create a new listing for every one of your products.
To do this, simply go to the Seller Hub and select the “Listings” tab. Then select all of the products that you want to bulk edit to free shipping. After selecting them, click on “Edit All Listings”.
Now select either “Shipping Domestic” or “International Shipping” then change the service to “Free Shipping”. That’s it!
Advantages of Free Shipping on eBay
There are several advantages that sellers can benefit from when offering free shipping on eBay. Let’s explore them in detail.
- Entices Buyers – Free shipping is undeniably used as a marketing technique to entice interest to a listing. The concept of something being “free” always draws attention and it also relieves buyers of having to calculate shipping costs.
- Listings Stand Out – a “Free Shipping” label also stands out from regular products. This also improves the clickthrough rate of your listing and garners more views.
- Dedicated Sorting Filter – eBay also has dedicated filters that buyers can use to only show items that offer free shipping. This filter is regularly used, as buyers generally tend to prefer free shipping over paid shipping.
- Increased Listing Views – an eBay research shows that buyers opt to cancel orders at checkout 56% of the time, due to additional shipping fees. Furthermore, free shipping translates to an estimated 6% increase in listing views and a 12% increase in sales conversion.
- Easier Product Comparison – It’s also easier to compare products across eBay that offer free shipping, as the shipping costs don’t need to be compared separately.
Disadvantages of Free Shipping on eBay
Although there are many advantages of offering free shipping to customers, it’s also important to acknowledge the potential risks and downsides.
- Complex Tracking of Shipping Charges – When you offer free shipping on eBay, you need to understand how much the shipping actually costs you, as you need to build that into your product price. This requires you to keep track of your shipping costs separately.
- Complex Tracking of Profitability – As a seller, you will also have to track profitability separately when offering free shipping, as both shipping cost and item price are bundled together when using the free shipping model.
- Potential Loss on Returns/Refunds – When a buyer requests a refund for an order on eBay, they get refunded the total item price. This means that the shipping costs you billed into the listing price also get refunded. This is different when you charge for shipping, as they are then only refunded the item price.
Co-Founder & Writer
About the Author
Gerrit is a certified international supply chain management professional with 15 years of industry experience, having worked for one of the largest global freight forwarders.
As the co-founder of freightcourse, he’s committed to his passion for serving as a source of education and information on various supply chain topics.