Here is a neat little trick that has been around for a while but most people I’ve talked to have never heard of it so I figured I would offer a quick How-To. Auctiva is an an eBay third party service that is entirely free. They are best known for their Store Window listing preview stroller that you often see on the bottom of listings, but they also have a lot of other free services like image hosting, free listing scheduling, inventory listings, listing relisiting profiles, storefronts and more.

The advantages to their services are many but the disadvantage is that they tend to over advertise their services in your listings when you use their lister. While my personal feeling is that this is a small price to pay since their services are free, some sellers consider it tacky so you may want to give it a try and see which side you fall on.

However, even if you don’t use any of their other services, they have one service that can be invaluable to just about any seller: discounted and automatic insurance with Auctiva Insurance. This service allows you to set up your account so that Auctiva automatically insures every item you successfully sell on eBay, whether it is going inside or outside the US. If you predominantly sell fragile or delicate items or if you just want to protect yourself with international shipping with the rash of recent customs issues with France and Italy, you can set your account up to automatically cover you on everything and then you are protected if something went wrong.

Now, insurance on every single package may be overkill for your own personal business model and you may only need it for some items. You can buy per sale insurance as well. Why would you do this through Auctiva Insurance instead of the USPS? Because, across the board, Auctiva is cheaper. The higher priced the item, the bigger the savings on insurance. For a complete list of Auctiva Insurance Rates, click here. You can either pass these savings onto your customers or charge the regular USPS rate and keep the extra for yourself, whichever works for you.

It used to be that you had to offer Auctiva Checkout to be able to offer Auctiva Insurance but that is no longer the case so anyone can take advantage of the saves.

To set your account up to automatically insure every single item:

  • Log into your Auctiva account (if you don’t have an account already, you’ll need to set one up first but its free so that is a simple matter of signing up and then linking it with your eBay account)
  • Under the My Account tab, select Settings
  • Under the heading of Preferences, select Auctiva Shipping Insurance Settings
  • Once there check off Use Auctiva Shipping Insurance, Use One Insurance Policy for Combined Payments (check off twice, once for Domestic, once for International), and then select Auto-Purchase Settings, Auto-Purchase insurance. 
  • Now Auctiva will automatically purchase insurance on every single successful listing where the buyer selects USPS during their payment (you can change this to also insure other methods if you wish).

As Auctiva says:

Enable this setting to automatically purchase Auctiva Shipping Insurance policies for all eligible non-Auctiva Checkout transactions where the buyer chooses to use insurance or where insurance is required.

By default, Auctiva Shipping Insurance will only be automatically purchased when the buyer specifically selects to ship via USPS.

Now, if you just want to take advantage of their discounted rates a la carte and only purchase for some items, let’s cover how to do that as well. This would enable you to, say, go back and only insurance packages to Italy and France or only do fragile items. 

To purchase per item insurance:

  • Go to the Sales tab (in order for this to work, you’ll need to have already linked your eBay and Auctiva accounts and imported your listings)
  • Under the Manage heading, under Transactions, select Paid Transactions.
  • This yields a list of all your recently completed transactions. Using the checkboxes, check off the listings that you want to purchase insurance for and then select Purchase Insurance from the action buttons above. 
  • This then shows you a item by item breakdown of the insurance charges per selected listing that you can then pay for at that time. You can also opt to email the buyer to let them know their item is insured if you wish. 

One final thing to remember is that, if you have your eBay listings set up where insurance is required on any given item and you are using PayPal shipping, you will need to remember to change the insurance option from yes to no during the PayPal label checkout process if you intend to purchase insurance over at Auctiva. Otherwise, you will end up paying for insurance twice!

I happen to be very familiar with Auctiva and its many features. If there is another feature you would like a How-To on, please let me know below and I will make a note to write it up in the future.