When you first start selling on Etsy one of the most daunting things to familiarize yourself with is Etsy shipping.
In our private Etsy How To Facebook Group, we see a lot of shipping related questions from new Etsy sellers.
And it makes sense. Shipping is one of the most daunting things about starting an Etsy shop. After all, how are you supposed to know how to keep costs low, while still getting your orders to your customers in time?
Just by following a few key steps you can avoid the most common shipping problems from happening.
Below are 7 common new seller shipping concerns, uncovered.
Let’s jump in.
Etsy Shipping Tip #1: Avoid Your Local Post Office
If you think having a successful Etsy shop means you will need to stand in line at the post office every day, you are mistaken.
Once you’re selling multiple items daily, standing in line to pay for postage would be a waste of your valuable time.
If you just got your first sale, and want to go to the Post Office to make things easy, fine.
However, you can save time and money by printing your Etsy labels at home. If you own any type of printer, you can print postage labels directly from the Etsy website.
Etsy, has a partnership with USPS, FedEx and Canada Post that offers Etsy sellers discounted postage. Shipping through the Etsy platform can save you up to 30% on your postage.
This saves your shop money, and, most importantly, saves your customers money on shipping fees.
Lower shipping prices can help you increase your shop’s conversion. Customers are much more likely to purchase from your shop when your shipping prices are reasonable.
Etsy Shipping Tip #2: Take Advantage of USPS’s FREE Packaging
This is definitely something I wish someone had told me about when I first started selling on Etsy.
USPS gives you free packaging to ship your products with.
All you have to do is place an order on their website. They will ship this free packaging directly to you, without charging you a dime.
For the past year, I have started almost exclusively using free USPS to ship my Etsy orders. I have since saved a ton of money on shipping supply costs.
Before you buy poly-mailers or custom boxes, review what USPS has available for free.
They may have an envelope or a box sized perfectly for your shipping needs.
Etsy Shipping Tip #3: Add a Thank You Card To Your Orders
Etsy is an amazing marketplace full of sellers…
Many of which you are in direct competition with.
Your product needs to be great and memorable on it’s own. But, it’s best to try to go above and beyond to ensure your customer will remember you next time they are browsing through Etsy.
The best way to do this is to send a thank you card with the order. The card can have a handwritten note, the direct link to your Etsy shop, your social media handles and even a coupon code to be used for future purchases.
A cute note will go a long way in helping with customer retention and can help grow your social media channels!
You can make them fairly quickly using Vistaprint or just your at-home printer.
Etsy Shipping Tip #4: Etsy’s Calculated Shipping Tool Is Amazing
If you just started selling on Etsy, you likely have very little experience with shipping.
Besides, of course, the times you went to the post office to ship something to your friend or your grandma.
When you start an Etsy shop, you have so many new skills to master:
Adding postage expert on top of it all might be a bit much when you’re just starting out. Etsy has an amazing tool called Calculated Shipping, that can help.
Calculated Shipping helps you get familiar with shipping rates and mail classes while ensuring that you will not lose any money in your first few sales.
My partner, Ryan, has a shipping related dinner party story about his first Etsy sale. He sold a vintage men’s button up to the U.K. and only charged $10 for shipping. We were living in Chicago at the time, and that shipping charge was extremely underpriced.
Once it was all said and done his total profit on that first sale was about $5 (before the cost of of the shirt was calculated in, so likely zero profit). Shipping to the U.K. from Chicago actually cost around $21 and he had only charged $17 for the shirt to begin with.
This was before Etsy had launched this amazing tool.
To use it just select “Calculated Shipping” while listing your product. You will then need to add the actual weight and measurements for the box you will use to ship this item.
Complete this step as meticulously as possible. Do this and you will never lose money on shipping!
Section to add item weight and dimensions that appears at the bottom of listings:
Etsy Shipping Tip #5: First Class All Day Long
Sorry, not talking about flying first class here, but rather mail class.
If your product weighs less than 16 ounces, you should always ship it through Etsy via USPS First Class Mail.
Why? Because it is the CHEAPEST shipping option available (unless you are selling books, in that case, the cheapest option is Media Mail).
My Etsy shop sells a lot of lightweight vintage blouses and t-shirts that weigh around 10-11 ounces. I can ship these items from where I live in Austin, TX to almost anywhere in the United States for less than $3.75.
Having this great shipping price really helps with conversion. Customers like to feel like they are getting a fair deal and not being overcharged for shipping.
Etsy Shipping Tip #6: Offer Your Buyer ALL The Shipping Options
You never know what rush your customer may be in. Maybe they need a gift in a pinch, or they want a new outfit for an event.
Some customers need their purchases to arrive quickly. Make sure your shop offers expedited shipping options.
In my Etsy shop, I offer Overnight, 2-3 Day Priority and the standard First Class Mail shipping for most of my items.
I have gotten plenty of Overnight Shipping orders. I shudder to think of missing those sales because I didn’t have that shipping option available!
To offer all expedited options, make sure to check all the boxes for the shipping services available. You do this when setting up your shipping profile.
Shipping Services Available on Etsy:
Etsy Shipping Tip #7: Learn International Shipping Best Practices
International shipping can be a bit intimidating, but not offering it as an option to your customers could cause you to lose big.
Can you afford to give up 20% of your sales?
The easiest way to ship internationally is to print the postage labels through the Etsy shipping system.
Etsy has an embedded customs form with completed information needed to get your package through customs.
This helps because you don’t have to worry about figuring out what forms you need to fill out at the post office, which can be very confusing.
I have recently discovered an online tool called Package Trackr , this tool tracks International First Class Mail packages to most countries. You can use this tool to check up on the status of packages sent overseas.
Since most international packages can take 2-4 weeks to arrive, you can use this tool to check up on the status of your package and pass that information on to customers.
Etsy’s embedded customs form:
Don’t Give Up. You Can Make Your Shop Your Full-Time Gig!
I’m glad my partner and I kept going with our Etsy shops, even after our first shipping fiascos that cost us money.
If I had thrown in the towel before I had even given my shop a chance, and then I wouldn’t be in the position I’m in now: earning a full-time living from opening my Etsy shop and teaching you how to do the same.
You’re smart for looking up resources to ensure your Etsy shop will become a success. These common new seller shipping concerns are easy to master if you just follow the seven tips noted above.
Don’t give up. Take the advice in this article, execute it, and watch the sales begin to trickle in.
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