For many small business owners, shipping can be a daunting task. However, with the help of Etsy, shipping can be a breeze. Etsy offers a variety of shipping options for sellers to choose from, including calculated shipping and shipping profiles.
Calculated shipping allows sellers to automatically calculate shipping costs based on the weight and dimensions of their items and the buyer’s location. Shipping profiles, on the other hand, allow sellers to create pre-set shipping options that can be applied to multiple listings.
Additionally, Etsy offers the ability to purchase and print shipping labels directly from their platform, as well as the option to add shipping insurance for extra protection. With these tools and resources, shipping with Etsy can be a simple and stress-free process for any small business owner.
Understanding Etsy’s Shipping Policies
Etsy’s shipping settings allow sellers to set up their shipping preferences and prices. When a seller lists an item, they can choose to use these settings or create a new shipping profile for that item. Sellers can set up shipping preferences for domestic and international orders, including shipping carriers, shipping speeds, and tracking options.
It’s important for sellers to accurately set up their shipping settings, as Etsy requires sellers to ship orders within their stated processing time. If a seller repeatedly fails to ship orders on time, they may face consequences such as account suspension or termination.
Shipping profiles are a time-saving feature that allow sellers to apply the same shipping settings to multiple listings. To create a shipping profile, a seller can navigate to their Shop Manager, select Settings, and then choose Shipping settings. From there, they can select the Shipping profiles tab and choose Add a shipping profile.
When creating a shipping profile, sellers can set up shipping preferences for domestic and international orders, including shipping carriers, shipping speeds, and tracking options. They can also set up shipping prices based on item weight, price, or quantity.
It’s important for sellers to accurately set up their shipping profiles, as incorrect shipping prices or preferences can lead to unhappy customers or lost sales.
Preparing Your Orders for Shipment
Once you have received an order on Etsy, it’s time to prepare it for shipment. This section will provide you with an overview of the two main steps involved in preparing your orders for shipment: packaging materials and shipping labels.
When it comes to packaging materials, it’s important to use high-quality materials that will protect your items during shipping. This includes sturdy boxes, bubble wrap, packing peanuts, and tape. It’s also a good idea to include a thank-you note or a business card with your package to create a positive customer experience.
When selecting packaging materials, keep in mind that the size and weight of your item will determine the type of box or envelope you will need to use. You can purchase shipping supplies from various retailers, including Etsy’s own shipping supplies shop.
Once your items are packaged, it’s time to create your shipping labels. You can purchase shipping labels directly through Etsy or print them out on your own printer. It’s important to make sure that your shipping label includes the correct address, shipping method, and tracking information.
If you choose to print your own labels, make sure to use high-quality label paper and a printer that produces clear and legible text. You can also use a label printer to make the process even easier and more efficient.
Choosing the Right Shipping Carrier
When it comes to shipping on Etsy, choosing the right shipping carrier is important to ensure that your items arrive at their destination on time and in good condition. There are several shipping carriers available, but the most commonly used carriers are USPS, FedEx, and UPS.
USPS is a popular choice for Etsy sellers due to its affordability and convenience. With USPS, sellers can easily print shipping labels and schedule package pickups from their home or office. USPS also offers a range of shipping options, including Priority Mail, First-Class Mail, and Priority Mail Express, to suit different shipping needs and budgets.
However, USPS may not be the best choice for shipping larger or heavier items, as their weight and size restrictions may limit the shipping options available. Additionally, USPS may not offer the fastest shipping speeds for certain destinations.
FedEx is another popular shipping carrier for Etsy sellers, particularly for larger or heavier items. FedEx offers a range of shipping options, including ground, express, and international shipping, to suit different shipping needs and budgets. FedEx also offers advanced tracking and delivery options, such as signature confirmation and hold at location.
However, FedEx may be more expensive than USPS for certain shipping options, and their shipping rates may vary depending on the destination and package size. Additionally, FedEx may not offer as many convenient pickup and drop-off locations as USPS.
UPS is a reliable and trusted shipping carrier for Etsy sellers. UPS offers a range of shipping options, including ground, air, and international shipping, to suit different shipping needs and budgets. UPS also offers advanced tracking and delivery options, such as signature confirmation and UPS My Choice.
However, UPS may be more expensive than USPS or FedEx for certain shipping options, and their shipping rates may vary depending on the destination and package size. Additionally, UPS may not offer as many convenient pickup and drop-off locations as USPS.
Calculating Shipping Costs
When it comes to selling on Etsy, calculating shipping costs accurately is crucial. Customers expect to pay a fair price for shipping, and sellers need to ensure that they are not losing money on shipping costs. Here are two methods for calculating shipping costs:
Etsy’s Shipping Calculator
Etsy provides a shipping calculator that sellers can use to estimate shipping costs. To use the calculator, sellers need to enter the item’s weight, dimensions, and shipping destination. The calculator will then provide a list of shipping options and their associated costs. This tool is useful for sellers who are shipping items within the United States or Canada, as Etsy has partnered with FedEx and USPS in the US and Canada Post in Canada.
It is important to note that Etsy’s shipping calculator is not always accurate. The calculator uses average shipping rates, which may not reflect the actual cost of shipping an item. Additionally, the calculator does not take into account any additional fees that may be associated with shipping, such as insurance or signature confirmation.
Third-Party Shipping Calculators
Another option for calculating shipping costs is to use a third-party shipping calculator. There are many shipping calculators available online, such as USPS’s shipping calculator or FedEx’s shipping calculator. These calculators allow sellers to enter the item’s weight, dimensions, and shipping destination to get an accurate estimate of shipping costs.
One advantage of using a third-party shipping calculator is that it allows sellers to compare shipping rates from different carriers. This can help sellers find the most cost-effective shipping option for their item. Additionally, third-party shipping calculators often take into account any additional fees that may be associated with shipping, such as insurance or signature confirmation.
Etsy offers international shipping options for sellers who want to expand their customer base. However, shipping internationally comes with its own set of challenges. It’s important to understand customs forms and international shipping restrictions to avoid any issues with your shipments.
When shipping internationally with Etsy, the shipping label you download serves as both your shipping label and customs form. You must accurately describe all the items in your order and enter the total package weight. It’s important to note that customs fees may apply to international shipments, and the buyer is responsible for paying these fees.
According to Etsy’s help center, “The customs description should accurately represent all the items in your order. If you’re shipping multiple items, you can list them all in one description or use separate descriptions for each item.”
International Shipping Restrictions
There are restrictions on what can be shipped internationally, and it’s important to be aware of these restrictions to avoid any issues with your shipments. Some countries have restrictions on certain items, such as food, plants, and animals. Before shipping internationally, it’s important to research the restrictions for the country you are shipping to.
Additionally, some carriers may have restrictions on what they will ship internationally. For example, USPS may have restrictions on shipping certain types of batteries and liquids. It’s important to check with your carrier to ensure that your shipment complies with their restrictions.
Overall, international shipping can be a great way to expand your customer base and increase sales. However, it’s important to understand customs forms and international shipping restrictions to avoid any issues with your shipments. By accurately describing your items and researching restrictions, you can ensure that your international shipments arrive at their destination without any problems.
Tracking Your Packages
Etsy makes it easy to track your packages. If the seller used a shipping carrier that is directly supported by Etsy and has added a tracking number, you’ll see a Track Package button next to the order on your Purchases page. Simply select Track Package to see detailed information about your package’s status.
If you need to add tracking information to an order, you can do so easily in Shop Manager. On Etsy.com, go to Shop Manager and then Orders & Shipping. In the Open orders tab, you’ll see a list of your sales that you haven’t completed yet. Select the timer icon on the right side of the order you’re interested in. Then, complete the order and choose a ship date.
If you’re still having trouble tracking your package, you can use a universal shipment tracker like Parcels to find your package. Simply sign in to your Etsy account and find the tracking number for your order. Then, use the tracker to see tracking updates from the shipping carrier.
Handling Shipping Issues
Lost or Damaged Packages
Despite the best efforts of sellers to package their items securely, sometimes packages can get lost or damaged during shipping. If a buyer contacts a seller to report a lost or damaged package, the seller should first apologize for the inconvenience and then offer to either replace the item or issue a refund. If the seller has purchased shipping insurance, they should file a claim with the carrier to recoup the cost of the lost or damaged item.
Sellers should also consider including a note in their shop policies about lost or damaged packages to set expectations with buyers. For example, a seller might state that they will replace any items lost or damaged during shipping, but that the buyer must provide photographic proof of the damage or file a claim with the carrier.
Returns and Refunds
Another potential shipping issue is when a buyer wants to return an item or request a refund. In this case, the seller should first review their shop policies to determine whether they accept returns or issue refunds. If they do, the seller should provide clear instructions to the buyer on how to initiate the return or refund process.
When a seller receives a returned item, they should inspect it carefully to ensure that it is in the same condition as when it was shipped. If the item is damaged or missing pieces, the seller may be able to deduct a restocking fee from the refund amount. However, if the item is in good condition, the seller should issue a full refund to the buyer.
It’s important for sellers to handle returns and refunds professionally and promptly, as this can help build trust with buyers and encourage repeat business.
Shipping with Etsy can be a straightforward and efficient process once you have set up your shipping profiles and understand the shipping options available. By creating shipping profiles, you can save time when you are adding products to your shop and ensure that your shipping rates are consistent across your listings.
It is important to keep in mind that some shoppers only view items on Etsy that ship to their country. To make sure you appear in international searches, be sure to set rates for every country you feel comfortable shipping to. Additionally, consider offering free shipping on your products, as this can boost your search ranking and attract more buyers.
Calculating your shipping costs accurately is crucial to avoid overcharging or undercharging your customers. Make sure to weigh and measure your items before listing them, and use Etsy’s calculated shipping feature to provide accurate shipping rates to your customers.