One of the biggest questions I get from new Etsy shop owners is "how do you ship your packages"? I can see how it can be overwhelming and even daunting, and there are a lot of gray areas about international shipping, lost packages, etc. But I'm here to ease your mind a little bit and help you feel confident about shipping your Etsy orders in the most proficient way!
How to Make Shipping On Etsy Easy!
Choose the right carrier- I ship my packages via USPS since they only weigh a few ounces. For heavier packages, you may want to explore shipping FedEx or UPS. Fortunately, you can print USPS and FedEx packages on Etsy making it easy and discounted! Whatever you choose, select one that will make shipping easy, where the post man can pick it up at your home, and who is reliable. To find the perfect carrier for your business, you may just have to try one out and if it doesn't work well for you, you can switch!
Set shipping prices- You may be wondering how in the world you are going to price your shipping costs. Good thing Etsy has simplified this process for you through shipping profiles. Every item in your shop can have a different profile that is customized to it's package size, weight and arrival time frame. You can also allow shipping upgrades for faster arrival, which is a great option for Holidays!
Label your packages- When I first started my Etsy business, I hand wrote every.single.package address. At first I thought "oh man this is so fun!" and then holiday orders hit and it was slowing down my process tremendously. Take it from me: print your labels! I print mine on these labels directly from Etsy. But I also recommend the DYMO label printer.
Package your products well- I like to keep my packaging simple but special. I have a dust bag for the covers stamped with my branding and slip in a handwritten note in each order. I also place a sticker on the outside of the package with a fun travel quote! Think through your packaging and how it can complement your product and make your product even more special.
Set yourself up for international shipping- International shipping intimidates many people, but it shouldn't! When printing your orders online you will fill out a customs slip that includes the description of your product, the item's weight, retail value, and a signature. The more accurately your slip is filled out, the more safe your package is! In your Etsy settings you can fill out a customs form that will apply to every package so when you buy your labels on Etsy the form is already ready to go!
Through USPS, once a package leaves the United States, tracking can not be guaranteed since it is transferring carriers in other countries. For international orders, I tell my customers to expect a one month delivery time frame, this makes sure if it gets stuck in customs there is not an issue.
Keep policies clear- I get questions a lot along the lines of "can I receive this item in 2 days?!" My answer is simply no, since I have to customize each order and paying for overnight shipping would cost more than my product itself. For this reason, I try to outline my policies clearly that orders can take up to a week to receive domestically but usually arrive within 3 days after shipping. Write out your shipping policies, revise them when needed and always point people (with a direct link) to your policies when there is any question.
All of these tips are my personal advice and I understand won't work for everyone since every package varies. I hope this helps you get a head start on shipping and takes a little weight off your shoulders and encourages you to just begin!