General Question

dxs's avatar

I just sold a textbook on eBay and the buyer paid me. Now what do I do?

Asked by dxs (14866points) January 24th, 2014

I’m a bit confused. I am covering the shipping costs because shipping seems confusing. It’s a soft-cover textbook that’s only about 550 pages. Can’t I just go to a post office and they can tell me how to package it? eBay is telling me to purchase postage online, but I have no idea what that means.

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25 Answers

tedibear's avatar

Get a padded mailer, put the book in it, seal it, address it, go to the post office or UPS shipping place and pay the amount for the type of shipping that best suits your needs. That’s the easiest way to describe what to do.

Unfortunately, I have not used online postage and cannot help you with that process.

ragingloli's avatar

Just go to a post office, and they should handle the rest. Probably even the packaging.

janbb's avatar

Yes – you can buy a padded envelope at the PO and handle the postage there too.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

use media mail (book rate) at the post office unless you promised a specific delivery time

Seek's avatar

If you package it yourself, you can get Media Mail rates, but you will have to purchase tracking and delivery confirmation separately. Alternately, you can use their Priority Mail Flat Rate system to send it, and tracking and delivery confirmation is included.


Otherwise the person can claim it never arrived, and get away with both your book and a full refund.

dxs's avatar

What I was most concerned about was the tracking and how eBay knows that I shipped it. Basically, if I go to the post office and ship it away now, will I get a tracking number? Is this enough to prove that I did send it? And is that enough for eBay?
I don’t want to have no proof that I send it so that the buyer gets the book and a full refund, as @Seek said.

Darth_Algar's avatar

Yes, you get a tracking number at the Post Office. And yes, it would be enough for eBay.

dxs's avatar

And then I would personally e-mail the person giving them the tracking number and letting them know I sent it? Does eBay have to know I sent it? It seems like I always get a generic e-mail from ebay whenever something is shipped to me.

Darth_Algar's avatar

That I don’t really know. I think the last time I used eBay was sometime in 2000.

Seek's avatar

You should send them a message through eBay letting them know their stuff was shipped and give them the tracking number. Document, document, document.

dxs's avatar

^By that you mean email them from my eBay account? That’s how I’d do it.

Seek's avatar

Here’s some info on how to properly add shipping information to your sale:

SadieMartinPaul's avatar

Ask for a “media mail” rate (formerly called “book rate”), which is very inexpensive.

wildpotato's avatar

Also, don’t use a padded envelope if the book is thin – I’ve had sellers send thin textbooks this way and they arrive with the spine broken. Use a box instead.

dxs's avatar

Thanks everyone! I appreciate the help. I sent it in a media mail rate envelope thing, which costed $4.33. I think the book was strong enough to be okay in an envelope. That’s how it was mailed to me. Now all I have to do is add a tracking number and it will send an e-mail to them indicating that I had shipped it and that’s all, right?

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Did you pay for the tracking # when sending it at the post office?

laurenkem's avatar

Yes, @dxs, but also go into “My eBay” on ebay, click on “all activity” and where you see the item that you sold, you should see an option to click a button that says “shipped”. If you click on that, it should notify your buyer automatically.

dxs's avatar

@ARE_you_kidding_me Yes I did. I entered it into eBay.
@laurenkem I didn’t see that option, but it says that it had been shipped on today’s date.
Thank you!

dxs's avatar

There is someone that sent me an offer in Malaysia. Shipping is $29.90 but that does not include tracking. Can I get proof of tracking through eBay somehow? To get tracking, I have to do USPS Priority mail, which is double the price.

dxs's avatar

I have PayPal. Will this transaction be easier through paypal?

Seek's avatar

Just me: I wouldn’t ship to Malaysia. Unreliable postal system = You lose the book and the money, and you’re out the shipping cost as well.

dxs's avatar

Not even if I have proof of a tracking number?

Seek's avatar

It depends on how much of a jerk the Paypal gods want to be the day you have to defend yourself.

Hubs lost $250 + shipping, and all of his Metallica vinyl when he shipped to China, and he had tracking number AND proof that the guy was using multiple shipping addresses. We stopped all support to Asia after that, with the exception of Japan (because their postal system is top-notch).

dxs's avatar

I’ll take your word for it. I just declined his offer. Thanks for the help.

Anna737's avatar

You do not have to purchase postage online. Just toss it in a mailer, write “Media Mail” on the outside, and take it to the Post Office. Just remember to add tracking online after you have shipped it (tracking will be on your post office receipt).

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