B/S/T Part 2: Invoicing and Shipping
Click here to go to Part 1 of this series: B/S/T - The Basics.
You sold an item on Facebook! Hooray! Now what? Invoicing and shipping are the most intimidating parts of the B/S/T game, but once you get the hang of it it’s actually quite simple.
First, log in to your PayPal and select "Tools" then "Invoicing." The mobile app is a little more difficult to use, so I suggest going to the full site for invoicing.
Make sure you're in the "Managing Invoices" section, and click "Create New Invoice."
Your buyer should have left his/her email address in the comments of your Facebook post when they claimed the item. Put that email address in the "Bill To" box. You might want to change the payment due date based upon the Facebook group's rules (some give buyers 24 hours to pay), but I usually leave it as due upon receipt.
Be very detailed when entering the description for your item, so there's no confusion or miscommunication. Add the price where indicated. If you have multiple items, add another line and it will add up the total for you. Preview and send! Once your buyer pays you should receive a notification to your email. Then it's time to ship!
If selling online is something you plan to do frequently, it’s worth it to invest in some shipping supplies: poly mailers, packing tape, a working printer, and a postal scale. I got my postal scale for $17 on Amazon, where you can also find inexpensive poly mailers and packing tape.
If you’re like me and have an online shopping problem, you probably already have a few poly mailers lying around. They’re those thick plastic bags that clothes are shipped in. I always hang onto those so I can recycle them when I need to ship something I’ve sold online. If you have a large shipment, you can also request some flat rate boxes from the post office. They’ll deliver them to your doorstep for free!
When you're ready to ship (which I recommend doing as quickly as possible after receiving payment) you’ll want to go into your PayPal and click on the line that shows your buyer has paid. Always double check the invoice (especially if you’ve sold several things recently) to make sure you’re shipping the correct item.
Once you click that line you'll see a screen like this:
Double check the invoice to make sure you're packing and shipping the correct items. It is courteous to place the item in a ziplock bag or other protective bag before placing it inside the polymailer. This protects from dirt and moisture during shipping. After you've packed your item, place everything on your postal scale to check the weight. Assuming your package weighs less than a pound, you'll need to make some changes to your shipping information.
For cheapest shipping, you want to select First-Class Mail. You can only choose this option if your package weighs 16 oz or less.
If you're using a polymailer rather than a box, change the Package Type to "Package/Thick Envelope." Enter the exact weight and click "Calculate Shipping Cost." It will deduct this amount from your PayPal account. Click "Confirm and Pay" then you're ready to print your shipping label. Attach it to your package and stick it in your mailbox!
If you have a larger/heavier shipment, you may need to send it Priority, which is a bit more expensive but just as simple to do at home. If your package is too big to fit in the mailbox, you can drop it off at USPS or have them pick it up at your doorstep by scheduling a pickup at USPS.com.
Even though buying shipping supplies is a larger cost up front, I love the convenience of being able to ship from my house. If you've ever waited in line at the post office you know what a time suck it can be. Add little ones into the mix and it's even less appealing.
Please let me know if any of this was confusing or if you have any questions. Stay tuned for Part 3 in the series: Flash Sales!