Packaging Your Winning Auctions

copyright by Cheryl L. Coccaro

Packaging your jewelry with a professional touch can make all the difference in the winning bidder's perception of your business. I do not purchase many items on eBay, as I'm selling most of the time. However, recently I did make a purchase and when I received my item, I was really surprised!

It was packaged in a used and reused envelope with the previous user's name still affixed to the bubble envelope. Inside, my purchase was wrapped in a very thin layer of paper that was not even taped, and my item was left to float around within this thin, unprotected piece of paper. Of course, this item was not handcrafted and the way it was packaged and mailed definitely confirmed that. I should be grateful that this item reached me!

Although I am pleased with my purchase I thought of how much nicer it would have been if the sender had taken a little more care in preparing my purchase for packaging and shipping.

Everyone loves to get their winning item. It can be the highlight of your day as you eagerly tear into the package. But a poorly prepared package gives the impression that the seller really didn't care about your item or whether you even received it. After all, they received their money...Poof, just mail it out quickly and be done with it!

But when a seller takes some considerate care in packaging their winning items, it implies that care was also given in the construction of the jewelry piece.

Let me explain to you how I ship my winning items. I put my jewelry, earring or pendant in a purchased white gift box with a clear top. I then secure it with either a gold or silver pre-made elastic bow. The bow looks nice and pretty, and also secures the lid. One quick look at the box tells me what's inside and that I'm shipping the correct item.

I hang my earrings on a computer printed card with my business name nicely centered on top. I use rubber earring stoppers on the back of the card to hold the earrings snugly in place during shipping. This card is slightly smaller than the inside measurements of the box, for a good fit. On the very bottom of the card, I have printed by hand the information about the stone and the type of metal used. I also include a removable price tag with the retail price and my code.

For mailing the item, I place the card in the box with the clear lid and elastic bow, and then tuck my business card under the elastic on the back side. I print out a receipt, which I also insert behind my card.

Then I put everything in a white bubble envelope size 0 or 00 for mailing. One quick shake of this package tells me that everything is securely held together. If I hear a rattle, I check it out. If it is an "OK rattle" I use a black magic sharpie pen to write "Rattle OK" on both the front and back of the outer packaging.

My next step is to print out the mailing label. I use for this task and I also can purchase the postage with delivery confirmation. Once the label is attached, I leave the package in my mailbox for my letter carrier to pick it up and take to the post office for me. This is a time saver for me as I no longer need to go to daily to the post office and wait in long lines there.

One more step to go and I've completed all the necessary steps with this transaction. I email the customer with the delivery confirmation number of their package. This accomplishes two things:

1) They know that their item has been shipped and can check on it should there be a delay.

2) It's another form of communication, which helps build a trusting relationship and your positive feedback number on eBay. Good communications by email will save frustration about those questions ... Has my item been shipped? When will I receive it?

I don't insure the package, unless the buyer requests and pays for insurance. With , you can also buy insurance at the time of printing the label. Their label is bar coded and electronically tracked and scanned along the way from your mailbox to the buyer's home. I always ask the buyer to email me when they receive their purchase.

Should you decide to use this style of white boxes and elastic bows, I order mine from the Rio Grande packaging catalog. Please note that I made up my computer printed cards on heavy white cardstock AFTER I had received the boxes, to be sure of a proper fit. It is quite a lot easier to fit the card to the box, rather than the reverse!

When you receive your customer's email that your item has reached its destination, I know you both will be smiling!

Cheryl Coccaro is the author of "Easy Internet Selling" and the creator of My Perfect Ear, a unique and eye-catching earring display.

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