Tuesday September 8, 2015
It’s probably happened to you at least once if you’re an eBay shopper - you’ve found an amazing bargain that you really want, only to find that it’s marked as “collection only” and you live too far away to collect it.
Not to worry, there’s an option you can try to help you get that must-have item. Once you’ve beat the competition and placed that winning bid, or bought using “buy-it-now”, just arrange the parcel pick-up and delivery yourself.
Courier Parcel Pick-Up Services for eBay Collection Only Items
Booking a courier service could be your answer. Simply find a courier service to collect the item from the seller and deliver it direct to your door. With prices starting from as little as £3.46 (£2.88 ex VAT), for a Hermes Economy Service, booking a collection service doesn’t have to be expensive either. But just before you place your bid or buy-it-now, here’s 5 things to check.
Ask the seller first
Before you rush in and snap up that item, we recommend you contact the seller first. They probably have their reasons for listing the item as “collection only”; maybe they don’t have time to package it, or maybe they think the postage will cost too much? Either way, speak to them first to find out if they’re open to the idea of a courier collecting the item on your behalf.
Is the item prohibited or restricted from being posted?
Certain items are prohibited from being posted via a courier service, and other items have restrictions upon them, meaning that if you choose to send them, they’ll be sent on a no compensation basis. If the item is lost or damaged in transit, you won’t be able to make a claim for any compensation.
Is the item too big to be sent by courier?
Each courier company has their own restrictions on the size and weight of parcels they can accept. Check out some of the maximum weights and lengths on our large parcel delivery page. You can also take a look at our recent blog post which covers some of the reasons for the size and weight limits – large parcel delivery restrictions explained.
To book a collection for your eBay item from the seller, you’ll need to provide accurate weight and size dimensions. For this you’ll have to rely on the seller to measure up and weigh, and you should be aware that if the parcel turns out to be larger than you stated when booking, you could end up having to pay extra charges, and we certainly wouldn’t want that.
The item will need to be boxed up and labelled
One of the advantages for eBay sellers of listing their items as “collection only” is that they usually don’t have to package up their items for posting. If you decide to use a courier collection service for your eBay purchase, the seller will need to package it securely, usually in a box. Check out our packaging guidelines for more information on the best way to package up parcels to keep your items safe and secure.
Your seller may also need a printer to print the label for some services, so check if they have one before booking the eBay collection service. If they don’t have a printer, be sure to choose a label-less service for your eBay parcel delivery.
Will the seller be available to wait for the courier driver?
One final thing to check with the seller is whether they’re available to wait at home for the courier pick up the parcel. Collection times vary for different couriers but as a rough guide the courier could collect your eBay purchase from the seller any time between 8am and 8pm.
Some couriers charge a fee for missed collections, so when booking the parcel collection, we also advise that you provide a mobile telephone number for somebody at the collection address, just in case the courier has problems finding the address.
If the seller can’t guarantee that they’ll be able to wait in for the collection, you could consider booking a drop-off parcel delivery service. After packaging up the item securely, and printing a label to attach to the parcel, the seller could simply drop it off at one of the thousands of local courier drop-off points. UPS and Hermes are two of our most popular couriers who offer drop-off delivery services.
Overall, there are lots of things to consider if you’re going to book a courier pick up for your eBay purchase. If it’s an item that you absolutely must have, and have no other way of collecting, it’s definitely worth seeing if the seller is open to this option. You’ll also get the added bonus of being able to track the collection and delivery of your parcel online, meaning both the buyer and the seller can check the item is safely on its way.
These tips also apply to any purchases made on other buying and selling websites like Gumtree and Preloved.
To get an idea on prices for eBay collection services, visit our eBay courier page, where you can quickly and easily get parcel delivery quotes from different couriers.