Getting your products to customers quickly and safely is the mark of a great Etsy shop owner.
This means that you need a great system in place for when those orders come flooding in. You will need to know how much you should be charging customers, what goes on the shipping label and what the estimated shipping time will take.
This can all be accomplished through your Etsy account and through Etsy.com.
Etsy’s Calculated Shipping system is great for shop owners who purchase USPS or through Canada Post. Etsy will create shipping profiles that include you and your customer’s information, size, weight, and calculated shipping cost to your listings in order to help you price your stuff.
Furthermore, they will help you purchase and print postage from USPS, FedEx, and Canada Post to use for shipping your orders directly from your home!
How to Ship on Etsy (For Beginners!)
Shipping on Etsy – directly through Etsy – is very simple and comes with a lot of features!
You can ship nationally, internationally, and even worldwide with the services that they offer, and they allow you to print shipping labels and create shipping profiles directly through your account!
Furthermore, knowing your product and how it will be shipped is crucial before you start your store.
If you sell bookmarks, for example, you could most likely fit those in padded envelopes with some cardboard to keep them from bending. If, however, you’re shipping something fragile, you’ll need to take that into account when you start to calculate your shipping costs.
So, where to get started?
Estimated Shipping Costs
To begin your Etsy shop journey, you need to know what your product is going to require when it comes to shipping it to customers.
Whether you’re shipping locally or all around the world, there is a cost that comes with each package you ship. You’ll need to make up for that cost in your product’s purchase price and shipping fees that you charge customers.
Also, if you don’t have a scale, get one! Each package will have different sizes and weights that factor into how much it costs to ship your item, and that means knowing the exact numbers (and rounding up just to be safe) to make sure your package isn’t sent back to you for improper postage.
Etsy does offer “Calculated Shipping” for United States sellers, which basically calculates how much each of your listings is going to cost and then factoring it into your shipping prices to present to customers. Then they help create the shipping and postage label for you!
It is not required to use that feature, but it is highly recommended if you have access to it!
Also, on your Etsy account is your “Shipping Profile.”
You should create a shipping profile for each of your products, such as a “pack of bookmarks” or “small wallet.”
Once you create a profile for that item, you can categorize new listings under those profiles so that Etsy can calculate how much each new “small wallet” should be charged to customers to account for shipping.
They also have a feature called the “Shipping Profile Bulk Editor” that helps you set up profiles for all your items – or those of the same type – in your shop! This is a fast and easy way to manage your shipping costs for each listing.
Package Tracking & Customer Service
Tracking packages is a common occurrence now online, and many customers expect to be able to track when their package is going to get there.
This is an option in Etsy, which allows you to add tracking to your shipping labels – for added fees, of course, through your postal company. While it isn’t required in order to ship packages, it is highly recommended.
This way, your customers won’t worry that it got lost in the mail or hasn’t been shipped yet.
Furthermore, you’ll want to make sure you are in constant communication with buyers if they have questions – don’t leave them hanging, or you’ll get a bad rating!
Communication and tracking packages are key for good customer experiences, and it will help you and your business get better reviews than ever!
Packing and Shipping Your Order
Once you’ve prepared shipping profiles and account information, added tracking and have priced products accordingly, you’ll be ready to ship!
Safe and secure shipping is an absolute must to stay professional and get good ratings on Etsy. You also want to make sure there are no complications and that your package gets to the customer fast.
This means that you need to weigh properly, size, label, and ship all your sales – or else the post office is going to send it back. When that happens, you have to explain to customers that your products will be late – and many customers don’t like that.
The best way to pack your orders is to use thick, strong materials like bubble wraps, packing paper, and cardboard slabs for items that can’t bend (such as photos, prints, art, paintings, or bookmarks).
If your package is fragile, make sure to get specialized boxes that say “fragile” or “do not bend” but remember that even that won’t save you if you package your item incorrectly.
Finally, once you’ve properly packed it all in, leave a personalized note or charm in your package to give your customers a little surprise when they open it!
Many sellers use this tactic to stand out from the crowd and lend credibility to their small business.
What Help Does Etsy Offer When it Comes to Shipping?
Etsy offers to do a lot of the paperwork for you!
Even though you’re on your own when it comes to the physical act of packing and shipping your products, getting shipping profiles listed on your account and then printing them directly from Etsy.com will save you a lot of time in the long run.
Is it Cheaper to Ship Through Etsy?
Getting your shipping labels and packaging information directly through Etsy means that it is all in one place.
While many sellers use things like Stamps.com for USPS packaging, they may also need other specialized sites and shipping information from other companies such as FedEx. This means that they have to manage and properly print for different needs or reasons.
For example, if you ship locally and internationally, or even worldwide, you may need access to several different lines of shipping.
Shipping Costs and Etsy.com
That’s where Etsy.com comes in.
Having it all in one place can save you money if each company prices differently, and also saves you time.
Because shipping companies base their pricing off of size and weight, it is hard to pin down exactly what each product is going to be each time you do it.
Instead, creating shipping profiles through Etsy will help narrow down that uncertainty.
Plus, Etsy offers discounted shipping for multiple items! If you sell gift boxes – such as art boxes or surprises – then this may be the system for you!
Deals and Offers to Your Customers
Furthermore, having sales or deals with Etsy is easier when you use Calculated Shipping.
Many sales on Etsy shops will offer free shipping. You can edit your product price to cover the shipping cost while still offering it as “Free shipping” for a promotional purchase.
Or, you could swallow those extra shipping costs through Etsy in hopes of having a huge sale to offset them.
Without calculated shipping, you’ll need to do all this yourself.
As they say, time is money, so using Etsy to help you ship and manage your items could save you both in the long run.
Where Does the Shipping Money Go on Etsy?
What happens when customers pay me for shipping?
When a customer pays for shipping on your Etsy shop, the amount that goes into it is charged to your account by Etsy, alongside transaction fees and banking fees that come with each purchase and transfer of money from your Etsy account to your bank account.
You only earn the profit off of your product, but everything else (listing fees, transaction fees, shipping fees, etc.) are going to go to Etsy.
This automatic system is great because you won’t have to worry about keeping track of your expenses and paying Etsy later at the end of the month.
Do You Have to Ship Through Etsy?
You do not have to ship through Etsy, and instead can use other sites for your shipping needs.
For those in the United States, Stamps.com is great for getting your packages where they need to go and directly print shipping labels.
For other sellers who sell locally and internationally, using sites like FedEx is great for keeping their shipping information together and consistent.
Whichever way you choose, don’t feel pressured to use the Etsy shipping system, but make sure you’re staying on top of your products, size, weight, and pricing to make sure you are still earning a profit!
Should I Offer to Ship Outside the U.S.?
Offering to ship outside of the United States is a great tactic.
Because Etsy is an online marketplace, you’ll have the potential to grow your customer pool from all over the world! This means more sales and opportunities to get your name in many places.
However, this also means that your shipping costs are going to climb.
For most USPS Priority Mail that is shipped internationally, you’ll have to invest in tracking and up to $100 in insurance for that package.
These prices can start at about $27 per package, which is a huge expense for something that might only cost around $10 in your shop.
If you want to go this way through an international route, you’ll have to find a way to price your items in a way that will still earn you a profit, even with your high shipping costs.
FedEx is no different than USPS when it comes to increased pricing for overseas and international shipping.
For example, shipping a 2 lb package from Los Angeles, California to Toronto, Canada through FedEx International Ground will cost you upwards of $26 in shipping, and go as high as $104 in fees if you want it there as soon as possible!
Shipping overseas to Europe through FedEx International Economy (the cheaper option) will cost you upwards of $125 in shipping rates.
Depending on your package weight, length, and size, your rates could be even more or less.
How Much Should I Charge for Shipping?
Etsy Calculated Shipping does a great job of calculating this amount for you, as we mentioned above.
Using the size, weight, and dimensions that you list for each of your Shipping Profile products, Etsy will automatically include that in a calculated price for you when you add a new listing.
This is an excellent way to cut out some of those complicated billing and shipping responsibilities that you’ll have to tackle.
However, if you don’t want to use Etsy, you can easily look at your preferred shipping site to figure out how much each listing will cost, and then plan accordingly on Etsy.
Once you know how much extra to charge, you can include that on any like-items your list after that!
Is Free Shipping a Good Idea on Etsy?
Free shipping and online sales and deals are a great idea for getting new or renewed interest in your business.
As we mentioned above, pricing your items to cover the shipping cost during a huge sale event is a great way to make a profit still even if you don’t “charge the customer” for shipping.
The customer is still paying the shipping price, in reality, but most sellers use this tactic to keep their profits.
If you don’t like this strategy, you can offer free shipping and eat the cost yourself in order to try and get rid of an older part of your stock you don’t want to sell anymore.
This happens a lot with “everything must go” sales.
Offering Free Shipping Always
Just like during sales or deals, you need to know how much your product costs to ship in order to offer free shipping.
This should only be done locally, as it is difficult to offer free shipping on international products.
For example, if you knit scarves and each scarf costs $20 plus $5 in shipping, you will want to plan accordingly. Instead, you would want to list your products at $30 “plus free shipping” to your customers.
This is something that customers appreciate and realize that it requires a little more upfront for the products they love!
Who Pays for Shipping on Etsy?
Technically you pay for shipping on Etsy.
As we mentioned above, the customer is providing you with the amount that you will owe to be able to print a shipping label from Etsy Calculated Shipping.
If you decide not to go through Etsy, you don’t have to, but you will then owe shipping to USPS, FedEx or whoever you go through.
With Etsy Calculated Shipping, Etsy simply takes the money out of your account at the end of your transactions.
Do You Have to Use Etsy Shipping Labels?
You do not have to use Etsy at all for your shipping needs, labels, or packaging.
You absolutely can go through whoever you like – Etsy just works very hard to make it incredibly simple to use them as your shipping supplier.
Whether you want to go this route is completely up to you!