An article published by Retail Gazette has brought together expertise from Royal Mail, Post Office and eBay to offer 10 top tips to help small retailers and online marketplace sellers navigate the surge in consumers turning to online shopping.
The article acknowledges that smaller retailers who rushed to create an online presence when the Government enforced UK-wide lockdown measures may have missed the “tricks-of-the-trade” that help make for a successful transition from high street to online.
According to the Retail Gazette article, the firms’ list of 10 tips respond to frequently asked questions from consumers.
The top 10 tips are:
- Register on an online marketplace to sell goods – eBay recently waived fees to list and sell for all new businesses registering on its platform until May 31. Getting set up on eBay is simple and can be done via the website or mobile app. Register as a business account and the new seller offer is automatically applied.
- Check whether there are any restrictions which may mean that items you want to sell can’t be sent by post. E.g. they contain prohibited goods or are too large.
- Choose how you are going to ship the items to your customers. You can buy postage at your local Post Office, online via the Royal Mail App or website and on the eBay website.
- Calculate the postage price based on the weight and size of your items – you can do this on the Post Office website, and via the Royal Mail App – and decide whether you include this in the price you charge to customers.
- Decide whether you’re going to allow your buyer to return items and be sure to check out eBay’s returns policy before you start selling.
- Package your items safely and securely, before you take them to the Post Office to help you minimise your time in-branch and protect the safety of yourself and branch staff.
- Ensure you post items within the timeframe stated in your listings.
- Drop off your shipments at a branch that is convenient for you. Check on the Post Office website or Royal Mail app for opening hours.
- Consolidate visits into a Post Office to make as few trips as possible, consider incorporating your trip into your exercise time, as per social distancing guidelines.
- If frequently posting lots of items, customers should consider using Post Office’s free Drop and Go service. Customers can drop off their items, the Post Office will do the weighing and printing of postage, and the customer minimises their time in the branch.