Increase your sales with free shipping


How can I increase sales online?

Many sellers note that offering free shipping results in at least some increase in their sales online.


Did you know that eBay’s search algorithm prioritizes listings with Free Shipping?

So listings that fulfil this criteria are more likely to show up higher and more prominently on the search results page. 

Your listings can see a better performance when you are offering free shipping – the reason being that buyers use this as one of their filters when they perform searches. 


How to offer free shipping in your listing:

You can choose to offer free shipping not just domestically but also internationally. 

Here are the steps on how to perform this action:

In the “Sell Your Item” form scroll under the section for “Shipping Details”

To offer free shipping to the USA choose “Economy Shipping from outside the US” and tick “Free shipping”.

To offer free shipping worldwide, choose “Economy International Shipping” and set Cost to $0.00

And it’s done! Your listing is ready to receive orders without any shipping cost for your buyers and thereby helping you to increase sales online. 

Benefits of Offering Free Shipping

One of the filters that is used by buyers when doing an online product search is free shipping. Buyers want to know which items are available without any shipping charges. This can have a tremendous impact on the item count shown in the search result which can in turn help increase sales online too. 

There are many more benefits such as:


Reduction in cart abandonment:

Often when buyers choose an item and add it to their cart, they miss out on checking the shipping charges. During the checkout, when this cost is clarified, Buyers often delete the items  from their cart and move to other sellers offering free shipping. By offering free shipping you are minimizing the risk of a buyer not completing the checkout or moving to other competitors.  This turns out to be yet another way to increase sales online.

Boost to your sales

Since buyers are always looking for ways that can help save on some money, offering free shipping can definitely add a “plus” to the buyer’s purchase decision

Competitive Advantage

Most sellers offer free shipping. By offering free shipping, you have a competitive edge over the other sellers who are charging for shipping.  

Helps cross selling

Buyers are always on the lookout for purchasing a related product, importantly, if its easily available in the same listing. So, if you are listing related items, offering free shipping can help incentivize your buyers to make more purchases. This way, they may add more items from you in their cart and complete the checkout at one go.  

Did you know: When you offer free shipping you automatically qualify for a 5-star detailed seller rating (DSR)

Set an Automatic Response in Time Away Settings on eBay

Factors to Consider Before Offering Free Shipping

Now it is also important to note that although offering free shipping can certainly bring customers to you, this may not be feasible in all the cases. Some questions that you need to answer when deciding to offer free shipping are:

What kind of item/product are you listing?

Under which category will it be listed and what are the related eBay fees?

What is the product price, size, weight, etc.?

How are you going to ship the item and through which shipping carrier?

How are you going to include the shipping costs within the listing?

Where is the item located and where will it be shipped to?

In case of returns, who will bear return costs?

What is going to be your return policy?

You will need to have a clear strategy on which items you want to offer free shipping and how are you going to manage the costs.

How to Calculate Shipping Costs and Set Prices

First of all, when you are in two minds on whether you should offer free shipping here’s what we suggest: 

Always set up the first option as “Free Shipping” – now this will be “Domestic Shipping”. What this means is that if your item is listed on and the item shipment happens within USA, then that transaction would be considered under “Free Shipping”. 

Now let’s see how you are going to decide on the shipping cost and set the prices for each shipping service you offer.


Determine your product weight, size and dimensions

Make sure you are correctly measuring your products. It is very important when calculating the shipping costs as the charges of most logistic service providers is based on this.


Explore logistic partners and their rates

You need to do thorough research on logistic service providers (LSPs) through whom you are going to ship your items to your buyers internationally. eBay Global Shipping (EGS) is a single-window shipment solution supported by reputed LSPs specially created only for sellers selling on eBay from India. EGS offers you the option of a shipment calculator to check the shipment rates for various LSPs. 


Decide on your shipment locations

When you list on eBay, you can include/exclude locations that you want to ship to or do not want to ship to. In the same way, you need to check with the LSPs on the various shipping options they provide along with the locations they ship to. If you fail to decide on this, it’s possible you may be paying extra for shipments. And this cost would not be borne by your buyer.


Calculate the shipping costs

Once the product weight, size, packaging, shipping fee involved, etc. is in place, you will need to plan out the shipping costs for each order. Only when you have done this should you add it in your listing. Remember, you cannot add shipping costs in your listing once the listing is live on site or an item has been purchased by the buyer.

Once you’ve got the shipping in place, it is easier to decide on the price for your products. Some factors that you need to consider are:

  • Cost of manufacturing or procuring the items – do not forget to add up any additional costs that would be involved
  • Decide on what is going to be your profit margin – it can be a certain % or it can be upto a certain dollar amount
  • Do not forget about your competition and the market you choose to sell on. eBay offers you various market research tools like Terapeak to keep a check on competition. This is a tool that provides you exclusive insights of the market analysis using recent eBay supply, demand, and pricing data to help you determine what to sell, when to sell it and at what price.
  • Lastly, you also need to consider your marketing strategy which involves offering various promotions to attract buyers. Decide on what are the types of discounts you will be offering and the cost involved. 

Optimizing eBay Listings for Free Shipping

An effective listing helps you get your items in front of the right buyers which in turn helps to increase sales online. To understand how it should be, put yourself in the buyer’s shoes. Which listing will attract you and help you choose an item? 

Just opting for free shipping is not going to increase sales online. You can also do these things:

  • Use the “Subtitle” option to showcase “Free Shipping” in the list view of search results
  • Use the promotional tools to create shipping discounts to create interest among potential buyers 
  • Consider offering Economy or Expedited Shipping for free when buyers meet certain thresholds
  • Make use of relevant keywords within your product description to showcase “Free Shipping”

*Optional listing upgrades come at an additional cost 

Tracking and Managing Free Shipping Orders

Tracking and managing orders is not limited to only free shipping orders. It should be implemented for all the orders that you receive on eBay. Importantly, it involves work and dedication which promises loyal buyers a good buying experience.

Here’s what you need to keep in mind:

  • Always look for the order confirmation notification in your “My Messages” before shipping the item
  • Ship the items only when the buyer’s payment is confirmed 
  • Ensure that you adhere to your handling time commitment 
  • Use the appropriate and correct shipping service as selected by the buyer
  • Check the items for any kind of defects or damage before shipping
  • Make sure that you use the right packaging materials to secure the items during transit
  • Upload the valid shipment tracking details within the expected timelines
  • Stay connected with your buyers and keep them updated on the delivery status
  • Address the buyer’s issues or complaints on time to avoid unnecessary escalations
  • Analyze your selling performance and take necessary steps to correct any faults

Frequently Asked Questions

Easily offer free shipping by following these steps:

  • In the “Sell Your Item” form scroll under the section for “Shipping Details”
  • To offer free shipping to the USA choose “Economy Shipping from outside the US” and select “Free shipping”.
  • To offer free shipping worldwide, choose “Economy International Shipping” and set Cost to $0.00

Offering free shipping gives you multiple benefits:

  • Giving a boost to your sales   
  • Getting a competitive advantage  
  • Reduction in cart abandonment  
  • Helping in cross selling related items

No, there is no eligibility requirement for offering free shipping on eBay. 

To ensure that your items are delivered on time, it is important that you choose a reputed LSP for shipping your items.

You can do it by creating a shipping policy in the Listings tab of Seller Hub. Learn more about business policies in this article. 

Free shipping can definitely influence buyers to make a confirmed decision of their purchase which in turn increases your sales. However, do remember that there are multiple other factors that can influence the buyer’s purchase decision.