Whenever you buy something from an online shop, you can bet you’re anxious for it to arrive in the mail!
Tracking a package helps customers have peace of mind when they know their purchase is en-route, and sometimes it is fun to know where it is in the world while you wait.
Etsy has the capability for tracking packages, too!
Does Etsy Require Tracking?
Not all shipping methods include tracking information – whether that is through USPS, FedEx, or other shipping companies. Therefore, sellers are not required to track a package.
However, most sellers and shop owners will provide this information to their customers. While it is nice to know the current status of your package, your seller is not required to get that information on your order.
Be sure to ask your seller about tracking your package!
Do Etsy Sellers Have to Offer Package Tracking?
Etsy sellers do not have to, nor are they required to, offer tracking on your package.
This can be an added cost in regards to shipping your package through a specific company, and therefore Etsy shop owners do not have to add tracking information to their orders or shipments.
However, it is good to remember that Etsy shop owners do like to add tracking to their packages, as it is good for the customer and good for their shop in the long run.
Not only do customers prefer to buy from shops that offer package tracking, but customers like to know where their package is and its estimated delivery time.
Communication is critical, and so are happy customers!
Does Etsy Encourage Tracking for Packages?
Many eCommerce sites encourage tracking packages for their online sellers.
While Etsy.com doesn’t explicitly tell sellers to add tracking, it is a good idea to keep that possibility in mind.
This is for two excellent reasons:
- Proof of Delivery
- Customers and Communication
A successful small business comes down to the product and the customers, so make sure to have a lot of care and pride in your work!
Communication and Happy Customers
Like we said before, it is always awesome to know when your package is going to arrive at your home.
Customers all across the nation like to go online and know where their package is through using a tracking number. This allows the customer to feel like their money wasn’t sent off into the unknown with no results.
Furthermore, customers are more likely to buy from a shop that offers package tracking – as this is a great feature to have when you’re buying expensive, hand-crafted products from a small business owner.
Tracking a package is also great for customers when a package is delayed.
Snowstorms or other severe weather can delay mail or shipments – so knowing that your package is sitting somewhere in Wisconsin to wait out the storm can sometimes give you peace of mind.
Otherwise, customers worry that the package hasn’t been shipped yet, or worse, was lost.
Proof of Delivery
One of the worst things a customer can do is lie about the status of your package.
There are people out there who will claim they never received the products you sent them and demand a refund, even if that’s not the truth. This is usually a tactic that they use to try and either get their money, get a perk from the shop owner, or get a second item for free.
When something like this occurs, Etsy investigates the situation on the customer’s behalf and will ask the shop whether or not they sent the package and that it was the proper item. If the shop doesn’t have a status tracker to prove that the item was shipped, they may end up losing money or have to send out another item for free – even if they did everything right.
With package tracking, you can know for sure that the shipping company you operate through was able to get the package there on time and in good condition.
This way, you can disprove a customer’s falsehoods and make sure you don’t have to lose your hard-earned money.
While there is an added cost to adding a tracking feature, in the end, many sellers find that it is much more worth it for shipping than to have this issue later.
Does Adding Tracking Cause More Work for Sellers?
Adding a tracking feature to your outgoing packages doesn’t require much effort.
Tracking a package is actually easy to do, as it comes on the standardized shipping label from companies like FedEx or the United States Postal Service. Once you agree to pay for tracking, the number is provided to you, and then you can provide that information to the customer.
You can follow this simple process for adding tracking information to your orders:
- Mark the order as “Complete.”
- Choose the order you want to track
- Click to edit that order and “add tracking.”
- Choose a shipping date and send your buyer their tracking info through an email notification about their package
Once you’ve marked a shipment for tracking purposes, the customer can check on it from there by going online!
It’s out of the seller’s hands at that point, but you should always make sure your packages were properly delivered and in great condition.
After all, that’s how you get that five-star rating!
Does it Cost More to add Tracking to Your Package?
Adding tracking information to your packages may cost extra depending on who you go through for shipping.
For the USPS, tracking your package can cost about $0.90 cents extra.
Sellers will often roll that cost into their normal shipping expenses. Then, the tracking number is included in your shipping label, which you can use to follow the progress of that package or pass the information along to the customer.
Other companies like FedEx will roll the cost into your overall shipping amount without explicitly stating how much it is. This cost can vary depending on the size or weight of packages that you send out.
Making a Profit
This shipping cost can be factored into the price of the product sold on each Etsy shop, which may slightly increase each product.
If your necklace usually costs about ten dollars, but you want to make sure to include shipping costs and package tracking add-ons, you may increase the amount of the item to eleven or even fifteen dollars. This will help you maintain your profits and prevent a financial loss on your shipping and tracking costs.
The good thing about Etsy is that customers know each product is carefully hand-made and lovingly shipped all over the world – and they are usually willing to pay whatever they can for that item.
Just be sure, to be honest with customers without blind-siding them with huge shipping costs.
How are Customers Protected When There’s no Tracking?
When there is no tracking listed on a package, customers may not know where their item is or even if you have shipped it yet.
Therefore, they feel as though there is no guarantee that they will ever receive that package. Or if they do, when will it get there? This makes the customer feel unprotected, as though they have spent money on an item that will never arrive.
To combat this, Etsy.com offers the ability for customers to request refunds if their package never arrives, or to speak to their Etsy.com shop owner to find out what is going on.
This protects their interests, and even though it can be inconvenient or feel like a loss when their package doesn’t arrive, customers can rest easy knowing they can tell the seller to try and fix the issue or to request their money back.
Many shop owners get the tracking feature to prevent a bad review or a request for funds back, but you don’t always have to use tracking – just let your customers know that you won’t be using it on your items.
Should You Not Use Tracking?
Etsy shop owners will almost always use the tracking feature on their shipped items.
However, if you feel that you don’t want to include tracking on your items, you may want to consider the possibility that customers will not like that.
In fact, many people these days automatically expect a tracking number. If you don’t give one, your customers may not thank you for it.
In contrast to that, some customers don’t really care one way or the other and will be patient enough for the package to arrive on their doorstep.
Whichever route you choose, make sure that you are transparent with your customers – stating that you do or do not provide tracking on your storefront. This will help you increase your good reviews and prevent someone from claiming that you mislead them during their transaction.
Finally, if you are going to skip the tracking feature, remember that you may not always know if the package was delivered quickly and safely – unless the customer leaves a review with a photo of the item.
Be safe and be honest out there!