For today, I put together a short video on the ways that eBay entrepreneurs and businesses can go green and reduce their output or waste. As an online business, people may think that there may not be many ways for them to “go green” or reduce their waste or businesses by product. However, there are a few different ways that you, as an ebay entrepreneur, can help to make a difference – these I highlight in the video.
eBay Entrepreneurs Go Green – Here’s how!
- Reuse your boxes – As ebay sellers, we get a lot of mail and a lot of packages (usually our inventory that we are selling on ebay or other things that we buy). So when you ship out your next package, look at your boxes and see if you can reuse any of them. Don’t just throw them away, save them up over time and you will have a good supply to choose from. And it is important to remember that you can make a box that works for you out of another box that may be too big, just get your box cutter or scisors out and you are ready to go! Another way to reuse boxes is to visit your local retailers and see if they will give you any of their old boxes. Places like Wal-Mart, Target, Lowes, and Food Lion will be more than happy to provide you with boxes (for whatever purpose) if you ask them and are there at the right time (usually early morning or late at night).
- Combine your trips to the post office – One of the issues with being an eBay seller is that you are constantly at the post office it seems. During the spring while at school and selling on eBay, I think I was at the post office everyday for weeks in a row. However, now that I am home and working full time, my parents are able to take some of my packages on top of things they may have or I can put smaller items in the mailbox. If you have auctions ending at different times throughout the day then save all your packages up until the afternoon and head to the post office then. Or, the better option may be to go in the early morning (because everyone else waits until the afternoon). Better yet, go every other day or only a couple times a week. Put this in your eBay policies and let your customers know that you are attempting to make your business green and I am sure they would be happy to hear that.
- Use the USPS Carrier pick up – If you are printing your shipping labels off the computer and pay for them online, you can usually schedule a carrier pick up, which could be the same time that your regular mail man comes to your house or office anyway. This will save you from having to go the post office at all and also save you on using more gas in your vehicle!
- Use less paper and recycle what you do use – When I ship out an item, I usually include two things: an eBay invoice and a “thank you for shopping with us” business card. The biz card basically lets the person know that we are thankful for their business and also to leave feedback for the item. By including these, I use a good amount of paper and ink. If I just stopped including the invoices, I would save a lot of paper. But the point is if you have some pages that didnt print right, print on the other side of use them for scrap paper or even packaging material. If possible, write out labels for your packages instead of printing them and using labels and more ink.
- Use packaging material from around the house – Do you get the newspaper everyday? So do the rest of us. Now instead of throwing it out or recycling it every week, use it as your packaging material for when you ship out items. This will save you from buying either packaging peanuts or tissue paper or other items. Also, if you have a cross cut shredder, you can use the shreds from your basket for packaging – it basically looks like confetti! A cool way to mix it up is to shred a couple pieces of colored paper with all your other stuff (letters, old bills, credit card offers, etc) to make it a little more colorful.