1. Start reading Sell Their Stuff by Hillary DePiano for free right now
  2. What is a Selling Or Trading Assistant? The Ultimate Overview of Consignment Selling
  3. What does consignment mean? What is consignment selling?
  4. What exactly does a Selling Assistant do? What’s a typical day like?
  5. How does a Selling Assistant make money? Who can become one?
  6. Can eBay Trading Assistants still sell on consignment for others now that the program is gone?
  7. Where can a Selling Assistant sell their client’s consignment items?
  8. What kind of items can a Selling Assistant sell on consignment for their clients?
  9. Sellers, here’s why you should add Selling Assistant services to your existing e-commerce business
  10. From SAHMs to retirees, students to teachers: here’s who should start a Selling Assistance service
  11. Designing your Selling Assistance service from terms and conditions to services and features
  12. Money Matters: How does a Selling Assistant profit from selling items for others?
  13. Resale and the Selling Assistant: Sometimes it’s simpler to just buy the items outright
  14. Selling Assistant fees: What are they and how do they work?
  15. The Pros and Cons of charging a fee for your Selling Assistant services
  16. Does charging a commission on your Selling Assistant services maximize your profits?
  17. Charge a combination of fees and commission to maximize your Selling Assistant profits
  18. Here’s how I profit from my Selling Assistant business
  19. Should a Selling Assistant give their client a deposit or advance on future earnings?
  20. Should the Selling Assistant require a deposit of new clients?
  21. Who pays for what when selling for others on consignment?
  22. Should the consignment seller cover all selling fees or pass them onto the client?
  23. How discounted & free shipping offers affect consignment selling
  24. Shipping costs & selling fees are the least of your worries…
  25. Paying your clients their share of your Selling Assistant sales
  26. Calculating client payments on a Selling Assistant contract
  27. Method of Payment: How should I pay my Selling Assistant client?
  28. Reporting and reconciliation of a Selling Assistant client contract
  29. Build yourself a timeline for paying Selling Assistant clients without getting burned
  30. Money Matters Managed
  31. Your Selling Situation: Where and how should I sell my Selling Assistant items?
  32. Multi-Channel Consignment Selling: List your items on multiple marketplaces for greater exposure
  33. Practice your Selling Assistance service before you start taking on clients
  34. Do you need a storefront or standalone webstore to be a Selling Assistant?
  35. Is eBay still the best place for a Trading Assistant turned consignment seller?
  36. Does the Selling Assistant consignment sell from their own account or the clients?
  37. Should I have a designated selling account for my Selling Assistance consignment service?
  38. The 8 questions you must ask yourself before you start selling on consignment
  39. Good customer service is a selling point that can distinguish your services
  40. The benefits of having a PO Box or other Locked Mailbox for your business
  41. Designate a business phone line for more professional client contact
  42. Consider VOIP & internet-based phones like Google Voice or Skype over traditional options
  43. Offering pick-up services is an easy way to attract local Selling Assistant clients
  44. Should you allow Selling Assistant clients to drop their items off?
  45. Expand the reach of your Selling Assistant service by letting clients ship their items to you

Any seller, consignment or not, will tell you that shipping is one of the biggest expenses of e-commerce. Which begs the question…

Should your client pay the shipping costs on their consignment items?

There are several scenarios when it comes to shipping, but no matter how you’re shipping your items, someone’s got to pay for the shipping. Will it be you or your client? Or is there a third option?

Most of us are already charging our buyers directly for the shipping costs when they purchase something from us. As long as what the buyer pays covers everything, and that’s usually the case when you’re talking about calculated shipping using the actual item weights, couldn’t we just leave shipping out of the SA equation entirely since the buyer has already paid it? Or course, if you did still bill the client for those shipping costs, you could turn that into a source of profit instead of a breakeven point.

If your shipping costs don’t cover the cost of shipping or if they only cover it some of the time, it might make sense to have your client shoulder some of that burden. If you offer free shipping on all your items—free shipping can be very attractive for buyers, thus increasing your sales—shouldering these costs yourself can eat up your profits very quickly, so you may want to bill the client for them. But shipping costs, especially international costs or overnight, can be very high and your clients may not like the sticker shock.

If you’re charging a flat-rate shipping cost and you lose money on some shipments, you may also want your clients to cover all or some of this burden. But would you charge the clients for the actual shipping or the flat rate the buyer paid? The whole shipping costs or just the difference between actual and charged shipping? Would you pass the loss from each shipment on to them directly? Would you do the same if there was a profit?

If you do decide to pass shipping charges, either whole or in part, on to your clients, there are a few more things to consider.

  • If you charge a handling fee in addition to the shipping costs, would you pass that on to the client?
  • Where do shipping upgrades such as insurance, signature or delivery confirmation fit in? Will you require the client to pay for protection like insurance on certain items such as fragile or delicate items?
  • What happens when an item is returned? Will your client have to shoulder return shipping costs?

How do you handle shipping costs with your clients?