PayPal has a free service called the Invoice Manager that can speed up the process of sending invoices for items you recently sold on eBay. The Invoice Manager prepopulates the item fields, based on the auction information. You have no limit to the number of invoices you can send at a single time with the Invoice Manager.
You access the Invoice Manager through the Post-Sale Manager:
1. Click the Auction Tools tab.
2. Under the Receiving and Managing Payments heading, click the Post-Sale Manager link.
3. Select your eBay username from the list, or select the All eBay Accounts option.
You can add your eBay username and password if you haven't yet linked your eBay account to your PayPal account.
4. Select the Uninvoiced option from the Show list and click the Submit button.
5. Place a check next to each of the items you want to create an invoice for and click the Invoice button.
This brings up the Item Invoice Details page (also known as the Invoice Manager).
Each item is in a separate section of the page, displayed as a mini-invoice. If you sold more than one item to the same buyer, the items are grouped into a single invoice. The invoices include a Pay Now with PayPal button or link to make it easy for the buyer to send payment immediately.
Most of the fields on the invoice are already filled out for you. These include
- The item name (clicking this shows the eBay listing in a new window)
- The item number
- The date the auction ended
- The quantity of items sold
- The price of the final bid
- The total price
Shipping, insurance, and taxes
If the buyer's address is known, the price of shipping the item is determined by the eBay shipping calculator. If the shipping price is filled in, you can enter the amount you plan on charging the buyer.
eBay can also calculate the cost of providing the buyer with shipping insurance. If you don't know the buyer's address, you have a place on the page where you can enter the cost of shipping insurance yourself; adding insurance is optional, so don't feel like you have to offer it if you don't want to.
The last field on the Item Invoice Details page is where you add sales tax to the price of the item. Enter the tax rate, as a percentage, in the box and select your state from the list shown to the right. Sales tax is charged when you are selling to a buyer who is located in the same state you are.
The Sales Tax Clearinghouse has a nifty little online tool to help you calculate what percentage to use for sales tax. The tool is available at Online Sales Tax Calculator. All you do is enter your state, the address of the buyer, and click the Lookup button.
Formatting your invoices
After filling in any fields that haven't been filled in already, you can choose to customize your invoice by clicking the Edit Formatting Options link at the bottom of the page. You can select an alternate e-mail address, if you have more than one linked to your PayPal account. You can also edit the message to be sent to the buyer.
You can also add a logo to the invoice. After entering the Web address for the image, make sure to try the Click here to test your logo link to make sure the image is the right size and looks professional.
You can opt to have a copy of the invoice sent to yourself and can save the formatting settings as a default to use with all the invoices you send. Click the Save button to save the settings.
Sending out the invoices
After formatting the invoice, click the Send button on the Item Invoice Details page. You return to the Post-Sale Manager page. At the top of the page, PayPal shows confirmation that the invoice has been sent and displays an order number. The items shown in the Invoice column show a status of "Sent." If multiple items are combined into a single invoice, the status shows as "Consolidated."
A gentle reminder
After sending an invoice, when you look at your Account Overview, you may notice a Remind button. You don't get the chance to customize this message before it is sent, so make sure you're really ready to send it before clicking.