(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.