PriceCharting.com

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Easier Tracking and Shipping Notifications on the Marketplace

The PriceCharting Marketplace automates shipping and tracking notification and storage for buyers and sellers.

On your sales history page, you click 'mark as shipped'.


Top game was shipped. Bottom game still has 'mark as shipped' link


You are then taken to a page to mark the item as shipped and upload the tracking number.


Form to upload tracking number and mark as shipped


Tracking numbers are optional, but including one is +1 to your marketplace reputation.

The shipping date is always the date you click 'mark as shipped' so update this information as quickly as possible after you ship. This ensures timely communication between seller and buyer.

The tracking number and shipping date are always displayed on the listing page for any item you buy or sell.


Date shipped and tracking example on listing page


Buyers are emailed a shipping confirmation with the tracking number immediately after you update the status.

Hopefully this feature makes it easier for buyers and sellers to communicate with each other and see the status of their transactions in one central location.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Guide to Shipping Video Games (or anything else) to Canada

With the launch of the PriceCharting free marketplace and support for Canada, I get lots of questions about shipping to between the USA and Canada. What service should I use? How much does it cost? What packaging should I use to save money? etc

Below is a guide to shipping video games to Canada. The information applies to other items too but all of my examples will be for video games.

What Packaging to Use for Canada

The packaging you use is very important when shipping to Canada because it will greatly impact the cost.

Choosing the wrong packaging could cost you $6+. For example, shipping a PS1 game in a bubble mailer qualifies as Large Envelope for $3.20. If you ship it in a box instead it costs $9.50.

Rigid DVD Mailers
rigid dvd mailer
$0.16/each on Amazon


These meet all the qualifications for "First Class Letter" and work very well protecting disc games.

I only use these when shipping cheaper disc only games because there is no tracking. For a game that sells for $5, it is better to save $2 on shipping (difference between Letter and Flat) and lose the ability to track it from door to door.

On more valuable disc only games, I upgrade to a Bubble Mailer (see below) and pay an extra $2 for the tracking.


#1 Bubble Mailers
#1 bubble mailer with measurements
$0.19/each on Amazon


These meet all the qualifications for "First Class Flat" depending on what is shipped inside.

The mailers are too thick to qualify for "Letter" rate though even with nothing inside.

A CD game in a jewel case (PS1 or Dreamcast) qualifies for "Flat".


dreamcast game inside bubble mailer


Most other games can ship inside a bubble mailer, but they will require the "Package" service due to thickness. This option is cheaper than using a box though because a box weights more and costs more to purchase.


dvd case game inside bubble mailer


genesis boxed game inside bubble mailer


SNES cartridge inside bubble mailer


Boxes
dvd case mailer
$0.42/each on Amazon


A box is my last resort for shipping. They are more expensive and heavier (increase shipping costs).

I will use boxes for shipping fragile Complete in Box games because they provide more protection. For example, NES, SNES, N64 and Sega CD boxes are very fragile. They will be damaged in a bubble mailer.

What Mail Service to Use

I always recommend shipping video games using First Class Mail International. It is cost effective, usually trackable, and arrives within 7-14 days in most instances.

There are three different First Class classifications and the costs vary a great deal depending on which you use.

First Class Letter
Dimension Requirements:
Length (Max): 11 1/2 inches
Height (Max): 6 1/8 inches
Thickness (Max): 1/4 inch
Weight (Max): 3.5 ounces

Cost: $1.20-1.70
Not trackable



Video games easily fit under the length and height maximums for letters. The problem is thickness. Only discs can qualify for the thickness requirement.

Generally speaking you will NOT ship video games as First Class Letters. The only exception is really cheap game discs which it sometimes makes sense to ship in a hard cardboard sleeve to save on postage.


First Class Flat/Large Envelope
Dimension Requirements:
Length (Max): 15 inches
Height (Max): 12 inches
Thickness (Max): 3/4 inch
Weight (Max): 4 lbs

Cost: $2.30-$19
Trackable

first class flat canada


Again, thickness will be the limiting dimension for Large Envelope service. 3/4 inch is still pretty thin.

Some video games will qualify as Large Envelopes if packaged correctly. Disc games with jewel cases (PS1, Dreamcast) and portable games without cases (Gameboy, Nintendo DS, PSP, etc).

Because it is trackable and cheaper than package service, use this method for any item that qualifies as a Large Envelope.


First Class Package
Dimension Requirements:
Length (Max): 24 inches
Length + Height + Width (Max): 36 inches Weight (Max): 4 lbs

Cost: $9.50-36.50
Trackable

first class package canada


If the game can't ship as a letter or large envelope, it is a package.

Games that ship as packages include disc games with DVD cases (Gamecube, PS2, Xbox, PS4, 360, etc), thick cartridges (N64, SNES, Genesis), and anything else with a box.

Most video games will have to be shipped as First Class Packages. It is trackable but more expensive.


Customs Forms for Canada

Shipments going to Canada will need a customs form filled out.

Packages under 4 lbs use form CN22.

Packages above 4 lbs require a longer form, 2976-B, which is in quadruplicate.

Below is an example of the CN22 form filled out for a video game.

CN22 Example Filled Out


The USPS let's you fill out the CN22 online or you can fill it out at the post office.


Save Money with Large Volume Shipping Providers

If you ship lots of international packages (5 pound per day minimum) you can use shipping services like UPS Mail Innovations and DHL Globalmail and save a bunch of money on First Class Packages.

These providers will pickup the packages from you, sort them, process them until they reach the border and then hand them off to Canada Post (or other country post office) to handle the rest of the delivery.

The savings can be substantial and the more you ship the bigger the discounts.

Here's an example based upon actual costs per item for a seller shipping 30+ pounds per day:

Weight USPS First Class Mail Innovations
1 oz $9.50 $3.10
5 oz $9.50 $4.26
10 oz $15.00 $5.71


As you can see, the savings are pretty big and the packages are trackable from door-to-door.


Once you get used to shipping to Canada, it is very straight forward. It can be expensive but buyers on our marketplace cover all the shipping costs.

If you have any questions about shipping games to Canada, please let me know in the comments below.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Germ Squashers NES Game Raises Money for Children's Hospital

To help raise money for the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, 8bit Evolution is releasing a new NES game called Germ Squashers.

The game is coming out for Genesis, iOS, and Android too.

They are making 100 limited editions (cartridge, full color manual, and card packins) and 100 special editions (cartridge, cardboard box, color manual, and special packins like a branded hand sanitizer). The limited edition sells for $59.99 and the special edition is $69.99. The cartridge by itself is $49.99. You can't buy it yet, but you can signup for their email list to know when it is ready for sale.

I love that an 8bit game is getting a physical cartridge to go along with the digital versions. Thanks 8bit Evolution for making this collector's item.

Checkout a gameplay video below:

eBay Sniper Now Shows Our Marketplace Deals Too

We track every video game listing on eBay and if a listing is ending soon or newly listed below the market value, we let you know about it with our eBay Game Sniper.

A good deal is a good deal no matter where it's being sold so now deals on our Marketplace are included too.

You can still fully customize the Sniper to only include systems your interested in, minimum amount to save before notification, method of notification, and even the marketplaces to include.

Try out the sniper and buy some great deals today.

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