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

Now that sites like eBay limit buyers from paying via checks and money orders, it’s tempting to forget snail mail, but regular postal mail still plays a part in any business. Not only will your business need to establish an official address for correspondence, forms and other paperwork, you’ll also still be accepting returns and exchanges through the physical mail. While the rest of the world increasingly goes digital, the government on both the national and state level is still maddeningly attached to paper and has been slow to adapt.

You may be fine with giving out your address, especially if you have a retail location with drop-off hours, but many sellers are uncomfortable letting their customers know their personal address when running a home-based business. Think about it: posting a message on your storefront that your store is on vacation right next to your home address is like asking for people to come and rob you!

Another concern is privacy. Your business will be getting a variety of very important documents, especially at tax time. Is your home address secure enough to ensure that none of these items are misplaced or stolen?

When you register your business, you’ll also be giving out your address on a variety of forms. Many of these forms will be public record. Wouldn’t you rather have a more private mail option with features for added convenience and professionalism rather than splash your home address everywhere?

The simplest solution is to get a locked mailbox. A Post Office Box, commonly abbreviated as PO Box, is a locked mailbox available at your local post office in a variety of sizes for a yearly fee. Your rental will include a key that ensures that you are the only person who can access your box. You can also opt to get an email or text message whenever you get new mail so you don’t need to waste a trip to an empty box.

But before you run down to the post office, also consider retail options such as Pakmail, Mail Boxes etc. and PostNet. These are just three of the many storefronts that rent mailboxes. They often offer additional features that the USPS does not and are sometimes cheaper. Most are also drop-off locations for not only USPS but also FedEx and UPS. If you frequently ship using these methods, a mailbox in a retail location such as these could save you a trip.

An added feature of nearly all locked mailboxes is that they offer street address shipping. In other words, they allow you to use the physical mailing address of the location where your box is housed instead of the PO Box 123 format. Not only is this handy when you want to look more professional and give a physical mailing address instead of a box number, it allows you to have items delivered by UPS, FedEx and others that otherwise cannot ship to a locked mailbox. Many will even let you keep a signature on file so they can sign for packages on your behalf.

That said, for all the advantages, locked mailboxes can be expensive. While there are advantages to going with a retail location over the USPS, will that retail location still be there in a year, after you’ve gone to the trouble of putting your new box address on all your business cards? For that matter, with the way the Postal Service is doing, is your post office any more or less likely to stay open?

You can run a SA business quite successfully without getting a private mailbox, but it’s a small expense I would recommend investing in. It’s certainly not a perfect option, but as it’s only one of the ways to protect your mail and home address, it’s worth looking into. I’ve had a PO Box through my local post office for years, and I’ve found be well worth the cost.

Photo by robertstinnett