How to ship large eBay items in the UK
eBay is a great place to sell your unwanted stuff. Most of the time shipping will not prove to be a problem, as most items will not weigh an excessive amount and will also fit nicely within a padded envelope or box. What though when you’re selling something large, like an appliance or a piece of furniture? Your first inclination will be to list it on eBay as collection only. This is what I have tended to do in the past and it has usually worked out well. Recently however, I was selling a piece of furniture which was quite retro in style and because of this I wanted to open it up to a wider market. I started looking into ways that a ‘normal’ eBay seller like me could deliver or ship a large piece of furniture to prospective buyers and it did take quite a bit of research, so I thought I’d share what I’d learned with my faithful readers.
Here are a few courier services I have come across whilst trying to deliver my item. I ended up using a courier from a website called Uship, but I’ll mention the other two options I tried first, just in case they prove to be more economical for you.
Freight or Standard Couriers
My first Google search led me to a website I’d used in the past to ship smaller items, Parcel Monkey. They have recently launched a comparison service for the delivery of furniture and larger items using well known couriers like ParcelForce and DX. The initial quote from DX came in at around £20, which I thought was very reasonable considering the size of the item. After booking the delivery however, I ran into a slight problem. The problem was with the packaging requirements of the courier DX. They wanted me to wrap the whole thing in bubble wrap and place it in a cardboard box. This wouldn’t be impossible but it would be a bit of extra hassle and it would also add to the shipping costs. This also created one other big problem in that once packaged, the item would exceed the allowable dimension limits, so I had to start looking elsewhere.
The next website I came across was called Shiply. Shiply allow you to list an item that you need to deliver and then hundreds of individual couriers and courier companies can then look at the item and decide on how much they would be willing to deliver it for. They will then offer you a quote for delivery and you can choose the best available quote based on the price and also the previous reviews of the couriers which have been left by other Shiply users. Unfortunately none of the quotes fit the budget I had available as I had already quoted postage based on the original price from DX. So again, it was back to the drawing board.
Finally I came across UShip. UShip work in the same way as Shiply in that you can list your item for couriers to bid on but they also offered an extra option where you can list the item at a set price that fits your budget and then a courier can choose whether they can afford to deliver it for that price. So I listed my piece of furniture and thankfully a small but national courier company accepted my price.
So there we have it, 3 websites you can try when looking to ship or deliver a large eBay item – or any other large item for that matter – within the UK. I’m fairly sure that the services above might also offer international delivery options but I’m not 100% sure on that, so please don’t quote me on it.
Do you have any other tips for shipping large items in the UK?