The Golden Rules On Finding Suitable Free Packing Supplies

Free Packing Supplies

There are many aspects to being a great seller, whether you trade via sites like eBay or run your own home business; not only do you have to offer customers the right product, you have to make sure it arrives to them in a way that means they will happily do business with you again. Unfortunately, this can mean lots of boxes and packing materials, which, if you are not careful, can cost a lot of money. The following tips on free packing supplies are designed to help you find that ideal mid-way point between great packaging and low cost.

Finding the right box

Let’s start with the most important aspect of all: something to put the item in. Free boxes can be easily found from a range of sources, from workplaces and different shops to helpful friends and neighbors. Shoe boxes are in great supply and a great medium size, but if you need something smaller then glasses boxes from opticians are ideal. The strength of the box may be a concern if it has already been flattened and used but just remember that wine shops and book stores tend to have stronger boxes with bases that are more secure. Recycling bins can be great too – one man’s rubbish bin is another’s treasure chest – but they may be seen a last resort depending on their condition. If it is exposed to the elements then it is best to move on but if it is safe and dry, say part of the recycling scheme in your apartment building, there is no harm in reusing them.

Be creative with the free packing supplies

Again, family and friends can be a big help if you ask them to save their own packaging, even if that simply means they bag up the foam peanuts from their latest purchase. Failing that, furniture stores and offices can be great source of unwanted packing materials on a larger scale; you could buy a bulk roll of bubblewrap at a reasonable discount but there is just as good a chance that these establishments will have just as much going free. Alternatively, you could think outside the box – excuse the pun – for materials that will provide just as much security without breaking the bank. We all desperately save newspapers when we are moving so why not here, especially when a buyer is unlikely to care if their item is wrapped in plastic or last week’s sport’s section as long as it is intact.

An extra touch to seal the deal

One final tip to add in here, before highlighting the golden rules, is to save paper so you can write little thank you notes to the customer, such as from the backs of envelopes. Not only will this add a friendly, personal touch that the buyer will appreciate, it may help you if you are feeling a little guilty for cutting corners.

Those final, golden rules on free packing supplies

#1 – Check all your possible sources. There is no harm in asking your kid’s school for items that will be thrown out if you have a good relationship with them and you may be surprised by some store policies.

#2 – Be creative with materials that are around. The most important qualities are that it is free and it is secure, not how conventional it is.

#3 – Be aware of balancing low cost with decent quality. A moldy, torn box full of smelly foam or soiled papers is unlikely to bring buyers back!!

#4 – Christmas and birthday parties are your friends. Save all  gift wraps and re-use them!

Remember, there is nothing wrong with free packing supplies: you are not only saving money (and can pass the savings to your buyers) you also help mother nature!

What’s your favorite Free Packing Supplies tip?

Bad Experience With Conclusion

my bad experience with

This is an update on my initial post about being scammed on It’s only fair that I do a follow up about my bad experience with to further clarify the situation and detail what has happened since.

After publishing my last post I submitted it to various social networks, mainly Facebook, Twitter and G+. A friend of mine also posted a link to my blog on which is actually a part of (they acquired it back in 2010).

Within a day of this post going live I was contacted by Freelancer’s customer service, not once but twice! One contacted me directly via my blog and the other via Twitter (the staff seems to monitor mentions over there). The customer service rep that found my blog was alerted by the post on their forum.

From my blog post: scam customer support comment


 From Twitter:


Now they wanted to make it right and asked for copies of my conversation with the real, legit writer. I emailed them all the information I gathered from my own detective work as well as the complete email conversation I had with the original and legit writer. Most of the story was told to them when I first sent a support ticket, but never mind! I sent them the original email that started it all, as well as copies from the email exchange that writer had with the “ring leader”, proving she wrote the article.

Here’s the original writer first email to me (the one that started it all):

I apologise for contacting you this way, but I am currently experiencing a difficult situation with my employer and believe it is my duty to bring this to your knowledge. I am the ghostwriter who was in charge of creating content for the xxxxxx article. Although I’m sure I was awarded less than half of the amount you were initially willing to offer (projects get outsourced too many times these days), I trust you were satisfied with the quality of my work, as no complaints were brought to my attention. I was also willing to invest in a potentially successful working relationship with my employer, and therefore agreed to work for a lower rate for the first batch of articles. However, the employer turned out to be very unprofessional and decided not to pay for my work when I wanted to let him go – moreover, he offered to pay everything he owed me ONLY if I continued to work for him, which is pure blackmail in my opinion. Communication is poor, he has no consideration for my work and pressures me with tight deadlines (although I’m sure you appreciated the fast turnaround). Moreover, he failed to honour his promise to increase payment after the first batch, and although I delivered the quality and professionalism that were expected from me, I was constantly being paid $0.4 per 100 words. I failed to settle this misunderstanding with him – he can’t even speak or understand proper English, which may explain the poor communication. I know this is not your fault, but I make a living out of freelancing and (prompt) payment is very important to me. While I appreciate working with you (even from behind the scenes), I am not willing to transfer copyright until payment for my work is made in full. I am not requesting any payment from you, but am very sorry to tell you I have already published the articles on a personal blog that I have created solely for this type of situation. (removed website address) I trust you’ll understand that I’ve officially been burned too many times to quickly get over these situations and let the time and writing capabilities invested in my work go to waste. I apologise for the inconvenience and hope this will make you think twice about working with this person in the future. You seem very nice and honest. Thank you for your time. Employer nickname: John Anderson (“name removed” probably flipped the project)” –signed by the legit author (name and email removed)”


In our conversation said that it took them so long to reply due to a bug with the ticket system and that I should have got a response from their customer service in a timely manner.

 “Hi there Nathalie,

I hope this email finds you well.

Our initial assessment indicates that a glitch in the ticket routing has caused the delay in answering your original email.
We are currently looking into this and a workaround is currently being looked at in order to prevent things like this from happening again.

In reference with your prior freelancer, appropriate actions have been initially warranted, and additional investigation is in place.
This scenario has given us the opportunity to revisit our existing process, and we thank you for letting us know about this.

I’d be in touch, and provide updates as soon as they become handy.
Don’t hesitate to let me know if I may be of assistance in any way.
Have a great weekend and thank you for being part of


name removed.

I am skeptical. Although it took a long time, they did actually answer my ticket but offered no help and didn’t give me a refund. I had to blog and expose publicly to get a refund for my troubles.

This is the only answer I got to my original ticket, 9 days after sending it and it arrives after threatening a credit card charge back. As you can see it’s one of those common “can” response:

Hello there Nathalie,

Thank you for contacting Support.

We appreciate your initiative and effort for notifying our department regarding a violation on a site. Violations and abuses of our services are taken very seriously. With the enormous number of freelancers using our site, we are unable to catch violations before they happen, and at times, even after they have taken place. We also do not freeze or delete accounts without investigating the complaint or notification since we do receive a large volume of false or incorrect accusations of such abuses.

We have an obligation to conduct our business in accordance with all applicable rules, regulations and laws as we are committed to helping all users act in a way that preserves trust and respect within the site. All complaints are investigated properly and the action that may be needed should they be in violation of our Code of Conduct and Terms and Conditions. Violations of our Code of Conduct or any policies or procedures on the site will result in disciplinary action, up to and including account termination. The corresponding penalty will be based on the violation made on our website depending on its gravity. With this being said, we’ve already applied appropriate action to the reported user/project.

Furthermore, we recommend that you still communicate with your freelancer regarding the sent payments.

Should you have any other issues or concerns, contact us again.

name removed
Support Team” 

Freelancer refunded my money, so I had some money pending on the site that needed to be spent. I decided to browse their database and managed to find a couple of writers that had good feedback, a real picture, a decent bio and solid experience. I hired one lady directly and got a quality article.

Now my balance is at zero and I doubt I’ll be back.

Although Freelancer took care of my problem and refunded my money, I have lost faith in them as a company. As of today, both account suspended are back on This mean it can happen all over again, not because of another shady ring of writers, but because of the same ones Freelancer seems to protect.

I had to go on social media and create a fuss for them to do anything about my problem. It is bad indictment of their customer service I had to go public with my experience before they did anything to rectify it.

The scam ring going on at Freelancer is well known on other sites. I had a similar problem on iWriter over a year ago and it was taken care of within a few hours and their support confirmed to me that from time to time they catch these scammers. So a site as large as should know about this kind of behaviour from some of their members.

In the end I’ll stick with my usual writers, working directly with them or through iWriter because, after this episode, I have lost all faith in using to conduct business.

eBay Sellers: How To Evaluate Secondhand Goods

pricing ebay items

In the appraisal business there are several types of valuation, but the most common is “Fair Market Value.” A typical definition of this type of valuation describes it as “The amount at which an item of property would change hands between a willing buyer and willing seller, when neither is under any compulsion to buy or sell and both parties having reasonable knowledge of relevant facts.” The question most people have is “How do you establish that value?”


There are two primary criteria that you can use to evaluate secondhand goods. Firstly, recent sales of similar goods and secondly, overall supply and demand for the goods.


How accurate this appraisal needs to be depends on its final use. If it is being provided by a professional appraiser to a paying client, all possible reasonable measures must be taken to ensure an accurate evaluation. If, however, this is a valuation for personal use or for a private purchase or sale, significantly more leeway is allowable. This article will explain how to approach the latter situation.


There are many ways to establish recent sales prices of similar goods with one important caveat which will be explained in a moment. A secondhand dealer, someone with specialized knowledge, or many people who dabble in flea markets, and buying and selling secondhand goods, will have their own experience to draw upon. Others will need to learn some of the best places to find recent sales prices.


The number one error of the non-professional appraiser is to use the prices of goods offered for sale rather than the prices of goods that have actually sold. A typical scenario would be to check out similar items for sale in secondhand stores or classified ads. The flaw in this method is, of course, that you don’t know if the items will actually sell for these prices. Fortunately, modern technology has offered us superior, alternative methods.


One source of recent sales prices is eBay itself. Here you can search millions of items including items whose auctions have concluded successfully. Keep in mind that you will need to set up an account in order to see completed sales.


Auctions of the traditional sort are also excellent sources of recent sales prices. Many auction houses post their sales results online. Attending as many auctions as possible in person is another great way to help you to build up a knowledge of values.


Understanding supply and demand for a product can be a little trickier. One clue comes in your research for recent sales prices. Difficulty in locating these may be an indication of low supply. Calling potential sellers and asking them directly about availability and demand can also provide information to assist you in your evaluation.


Like every skill, practice will help you to hone your skills, develop your own unique techniques, and give you the ability to make faster and more accurate evaluations.  

Check Who Left You A Bad DSR On eBay

Check Who Left You A Bad DSR On eBay

How To Easily Check Who Left You A Bad DSR On eBay

Even if you are viewed by many as the perfect seller, and you rarely/never receive just 1 or 2 stars from customers, you’ll probably get this message from eBay sooner or later: 

Thanks for being a great seller. eBay has protected your seller performance status.
You received multiple low detailed seller ratings or claims from a small number of buyers, which is inconsistent with your excellent performance on eBay. We have excluded these ratings from consideration in your performance evaluation.” 

This happens to me every once in a while and it is frustrating because the story is always the same: it was a low cost item that was shipped within one day, at the exact postage cost and with an email to confirm shipping, but there was no communication from buyer regarding a problem.  These are the grumpy (to be nice) buyers. Fortunately, most buyers are nice and decent people. 

eBay may have you believing that everything is anonymous these days, and that it is therefore impossible to keep track of who left you bad DSR to protect yourself, but this is not the case at all. While it is true that the site is limiting user options and they do appear to be making it harder to check out other buyers’ behavior – such as the recent decision to remove the ability to view previous purchases – you can still check the DSR that has been left for a specific transaction and use it to your advantage. For example, research into my own DSRs and feedback left by those users for other sellers was very telling, because of their use of soft positive comments and negative critiques disguised as positives, and this led me to take action to protect myself against future transactions from these buyers.

Monitoring ratings is possibly the last resort, for protecting yourself against problem buyers.

Despite eBay’s attempt to create anonymity and limit options, there is still one last chance to protect yourself from those negative buyers that will otherwise ruin your top rated seller status and power seller discount. By following these tips, you too can track those impossible to please buyers. The 1 stars and 2 stars givers, that no matter what will never be happy. Make sure you spot them before they are back into your store! You don’t need them as customers!

Steps to check who left you a bad DSR On eBay

#1 – use transactions to create a perfect base. 

The first step here is to pick 10 transactions where you are sure of 5 stars across the board and copy down the transaction IDs. These IDs can either be one example from ten positive buyers or ten separate purchases from one reliable buyer. From there, go into your seller dashboard, find the “see your report” link and click on it to create a new report (fig. 1).

Check Who Left You A Bad DSR On eBay

Fig. 1 You’ll find the link on the right side of your seller dashboard.


 Then select “item numbers” from the drop down menu and add your 10 pre-selected transaction ids, separated by commas. Finally, give it a title and click run! This usually only takes a few minutes so you can refresh the page until you see your report is ready to view (Fig. 2 and 3). 


Check Who Left You A Bad DSR On eBay

Fig. 2 Pick “item numbers”


Check Who Left You A Bad DSR On eBay

Fig.3 Fill in your items numbers and run report.

Now, one of two things will happen here: either you were lucky in picking your transactions and you got your “perfect 10” straight away (you got 5 stars everywhere) or one of the ratings was a little off and this meant the final rating fell short. Keep trying with different transactions until you have this “perfect 10″ list and then save it for future reference. 

Check Who Left You A Bad DSR On eBay

Fig.4 Your Perfect 10: 5 stars across board

#2 – once you have your perfect, 5/5 base, use it to your advantage!

Once you are sure that you have a base with a perfect score you can use this as a template for comparisons. By changing or adding one transaction to the list you will be able to see if you were given  bad DSR because if you no longer have 5 stars on the four elements, you will know that this particular buyer hit you with a low rating. To do this, use the drop down menu next to your report and select “run similar”. Then add the transaction id you want to check to your “perfect 10″. Run report. Wait a bit and check result (Fig. 5).

Check Who Left You A Bad DSR On eBay

Fig.5 Grumpy buyer alert

From there you can expand the rating distribution link to see what star ratings you were given. Remember that 1 and 2 stars are damaging! So pay attention to the link distribution (Fig 6). 

Check Who Left You A Bad DSR On eBay

Fig.6 Time for BBL

If you have 1′s and 2′s, and the buyer left positive feedback, report them to eBay. Remember, the more sellers that report them, the better the chance that the buyer will take note and that they’ll get warnings or even suspensions. The few DSR “dingers” I’ve come across have a long track of doing this (soft positive is a good telltale). And eBay does act, not always, but they do. If no one reports, they’ll keep doing it. Ebay do have safeguards in place as well to protect you against the “dinger happy”: read the “fair performance evaluation” part here Seller performance standards

By the way, never try to communicate with a buyer that left you the low DSR: just block, report and move on! To block them, go to your block bidder list here: eBay BBL

You do not have to feel defeated by DSRs, but make sure you never deal with a buyer who pull this crap ever again! 

I hope this guide on how to easily check who left you a bad DSR on eBay has offered some useful tips on protecting yourself and provided some hope for those sellers that feel frustrated by these seemingly anonymous buyers. Again, this just my opinion on the subject; what’s your experience with detailed seller ratings? Do you check who left you a bad DSR on eBay?

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