Etsy Life: Shipping Tips

(my sister posted this on my fb I laugh out loud, this is so my life, oh how I can relate. my hubby does post office runs all the time! hand made ryan gosling)

Looking at a lot of the comments I’ve received people seem a little anxious about figuring out what to charge for shipping. I have good news, it’s not that hard.

  •  Get your item, pack it up how you would if someone bought it and weigh it. If you make a lot of different items you may want to buy a postal scale (you can get a postal scale for around 10$) but if your items will be similar enough in weight it may be fine just to go weigh it at the post office. Make sure to always round up.
  • Paypal’s multi-order shipping tool is free and super helpful. You can print labels from your home and either hand them to your mail person, drop them off in a blue receptacle, or at the post office. And you don’t have to wait in line. You can only use this for US orders. I use it even if I’m only printing one package since it’s easier/quicker to use than the other set up. Since it automatically loads the addresses this will save tons of time writing out addresses and purchasing postage. Also it includes delivery confirmation so you can track the packages. It sends your customer an email to let them know it shipped with the tracking info and it gives you proof of shipping if for some reason there is ever a dispute. (It’s always good to double check that the paypal address and the etsy address match up before shipping.)
  • International shipping is scary to a lot of people but don’t let it stress you out it’s not that hard. You can enter into the postal calculator the weight of your item and determine the shipping to any country and it will tell you how much it will be. For me I ship a lot to Canada, the UK, and Australia. Much much fewer and further between would be the Philippines, Spain, Brazil, Germany, and a few others. For me most of my international orders have not been much expensive than shipping to Australia I think Israel was the most. On etsy you can set your shipping to “everywhere else” I have three options: domestic, to Canada and everywhere else.
  • What to charge. Technically shipping costs involves the cost of shipping, the cost of printing the label (paper, ink), your time packing and taking things to the post office, your gas to take things to the post office, your envelopes and tape, and usually more. With the exception of extremely heavy items my philosophy is to charge a just little more than what my envelope plus postage costs are.  For me adding 50 cents to a dollar to what the postage is has worked for well. So if the post office charges me 2.50 I’ll list my price for 3.50 because I buy my envelopes in bulk and I know that will probably cover the rest of my supplies but it is still reasonably low. If you’re using more expensive envelops or including other stuff that might not work for you. Some people have success with rolling the shipping price into the cost of the item. This seems to work particularly well when items are expensive to ship or when most of your customers are in a different country (cuts that barrier of  ‘oh do I want to pay for international shipping?’ potential costumers might have).
  • You could make it easier on yourself by just using flat rate priority packaging. They make envelopes and boxes. It’s one price and the packaging is free/included in the shipping cost. You can pick up a stack and bring them  home to pack and then either print  up the labels at  home or pay for the shipping later at the post office. I use these a lot when people order multiple items. This cuts out having to buy envelopes and tape and you don’t have to figure out how much to charge since it’s a flat rate.

Hope that’s helpful to a few of you. Let me know if you have any questions about this or have other topics you’d like to hear my two cents about.


  1. So true!!! And Ryan Gosling is so Yum!!! Thanks for sharing!


  2. I was just thinking about how to factor shipping the other day. Thanks!

  3. Thanks for a great post! I have been struggling with how to figure out shipping just this past week. I’m soon opening my Etsy shop and all the details can get overwhelming. This really helps.

  4. stopping by from Serendipity and Spice… :)

    I didn’t know you could get scales for $10.00! That is good to know… Definitely something I should invest in. I charge a flat rate $5.00 on all U.S. orders, then I do $10.00 for international. I’ve always lost some money because international always costs more than that!

    Thanks for sharing this!

  5. yikes 10 is not enough for flat rate for international. They just raised it and it’s 17$ but if you charge 10 that should cover international first class. The scales are totally worth it. And for me international priority is so expensive I only use it if requested (and paid extra for) by the customer or if some reason I screw up and I’m trying to make up for that.

    I check in with all the time

  6. I’m loving this series! Thanks for continuing to share your tips.

    I didn’t know you could buy a postal scale for so cheap. That’s great to know.

    Thanks for sharing this on the Take it on Tuesday blog hop! I’m pinning this.

  7. I bought a scale and I do pretty much what you do. But I limit my shipping to US, UK, Canada and Australia. Any other countries are options. So many customs restrictions so I always have to check the post office website first. Do they allow, gold or silver jewelry, etc. This is a wonderful post and you are providing a great resource. xo

  8. This is really helpful, Thanks!

  9. Great tips!

  10. Great tips!!!

  11. I love the first pic. Sounds like we are similar. I charge $3.50 for, most of my items. It cost 1.95 to ship, if I need a confirmation its a little more, and then some of my ring boxes cost 40-50 cents each. After I add gas, bubble wrap, and envelopes I worry I am losing way to much money in shipping. In the beginning I was refunding folks anything over what the post office charged, no taking into consideration all of my other shipping costs. Live and learn.

  12. This was encouraging; I have a crochet shop on my blog and am considering Etsy. It all seems a little overwhelming!


  13. Thanks so much for sharing this!!

  14. This is really helpful, thank you! I don’t know why shipping is so intimidating to me. Thanks for the tips!
    Found you through Lisa’s SweetTalkin’ Sundays!

    ♥ Bethany

  15. Stopping by from Nifty Thrifty! This is so helpful, I’ve struggled with shipping and it is intimidating. Your post helped me to feel more comfortable with shipping. Does the guy in the picture come with the article? So wish! I’ve got my fingers crossed that you’ll share on Sunday’s Best Party this evening! Great information is worth sharing!

  16. Thanks for the tips!!! Thanks for sharing at my party!!! Happy Valentine’s Day!!! XO, Aimee

  17. Hi Marissa, I’m new to Etsy and about to start a shop too. The whole postage thing is a mental block for me. Do you post everything just at the post office? Is the flat rate priority packaging through the post office too? That sounds like a good idea. Thanks again. Prux

  18. Thanks for your shipping tips! I want to start a business online and I’ve been struggling about the whole shipping process. Having enough knowledge about shipping — on how to make it easy and reasonable — will benefit my business and attract more customers. Of course, no one would want to spend a lot of time figuring out how to ship their products, right?

    Luise Pagett

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