Shipping Tips for Etsy Sellers
Feb 23, 2020
Before we get started, one bonus PRO TIP: When you begin shipping items online, make sure you doublecheck your platform for shipping options. PayPal, Etsy, and Amazon all offer bulk rates if you use their platform.
Here are 5 shipping tips for Etsy sellers to help you understand how to sell on Etsy and how to start an Etsy shop that is ready to start shipping!
1. How big is the item I’m shipping?
This is important to know because when you purchase a shipping box, you’ll usually want at least an inch on each side to keep your items safe. UPS recommends up to 2 inches around your item. I step 2, you’ll determine what packing items you need to keep the item safe, and packaging materials can add up quickly - due to both materials and higher costs associated with “dimensional weight”! Don’t pay extra to ship AIR or unneeded shipping materials!
If your item is large, over 15 inches in length, width, or depth, consider using Fed Ex Home Delivery to ship. More on that in Step 5!
2. What kind of packing materials do I need to keep the item safe?
Ugh, it is so horrible when you get this email after shipping: “Hey, the item is beautiful but it is broken!” Time is money! Your first line of defense against shipping damages is a quality box (see Step 3). Second, you can “cushion” your item on all sides with bubble wrap, air pillows, packing paper, or packing peanuts. Keep in mind that your presentation here will impact the perceived value your client has for your items.
Packing materials that provide protection at least 1 inch around your item should provide the cushion it needs to stay safe. I ship wooden numbers and letters - but I do not ship glass. Make sure to research ways to ship glass and fragile items safely.
3. What box options are available to ship my item?
If your item is 15x13x3 or less, take advantage of the USPS’s FREE shipping boxes! They are ABSOLUTELY FREE but do require USPS Priority Mail labeling. Most post offices have the boxes out on display so you can see which one works best for you. PRO TIP: Avoid getting anything marked “FLAT RATE” unless you are shipping it coast to coast. See step 4 PRO TIP 1a: Avoid paying for shipping at the counter. You will find better rates online, so stay prepared!
Other places to get great shipping boxes are the:
- · UPS Store (can be pricey depending on the size).
- Schools, Hobby Lobby, Wal-Mart, etc. (box quality can vary here, so make sure your packaging conveys the message you want it to send!)
4. How far is my item traveling?
It’s important to know that most shipping services charge you more to ship your item farther. That is where a “Flat Rate” Box from USPS can save you money - it might be cheaper to send a box from North Carolina to California using a medium flat rate priority box when comparing to the cost of a regular priority box.
5. What shipping services can I use to take advantage of better (bulk) shipping rates?
This tip was life-changing for me. If you have read any of my other blogs, you might know that early on I charged so little for my items that the price did not even cover shipping, let alone my work!
Check out these shipping tools to help you compare services (USPS, FedEx, UPS and for international, DHL has been fantastic for my shop!)
- · Go Shippo
- XPS Shipper
- Shipping Options available within E-Commerce Stores (Etsy, Amazon, etc.)
Let me know how these tips help you and if you have any additional to add!
Crystal, The Social Solopreneur
Founder of Collage and Wood, Inc.