Beginner's Guide to Shipping

Shipping is one of the most important factors customers look at when deciding whether to make a purchase. For Etsy sellers, creating an effective and competitive shipping strategy is a key part of running your online business. 

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Shipping basics

The first step in creating your shipping strategy is to go over all your shipping logistics. There are many options to consider including carriers, pricing, and pickup, drop-off, or delivery preferences.

Whether you dispatch your orders yourself, or use a third party to help with fulfillment, as an Etsy seller, you're responsible for ensuring orders are sent to buyers.

When creating a shipping strategy:

  • Consider what shipping delivery options and timelines will work well for you, your products, and your customers.
  • Create a workflow with expectations that you can easily meet, even during high volume times. This includes setting realistic processing times for your items.
  • Gather shipping materials, like packaging and boxes or envelopes.
  • Create your shipping policies.
  • Set up your shipping profiles.
  • Set aside time regularly to fulfill orders, manage shipments, and update customers. 

How to ship on Etsy

Fulfilling orders and shipping packages can be a time consuming task, so it’s important to create a strategy that works well for you on an ongoing basis. On Etsy.com, there are several tools to help streamline your shipping workflow, manage shipping options, and communicate easily with customers about shipping updates and arrivals. 

How to create shipping profiles

Once your shop is open and you’ve added listings, you can add shipping profiles. With shipping profiles, you can use the same shipping settings for multiple listings, saving time when you are adding products to your shop. 

To create a shipping profile:

  1. On Etsy.com, click the Your Account icon, then click Shop Manager.
  2. Click Settings.
  3. Click Shipping settings.
  4. Click the Shipping profiles tab.
  5. Click Add a shipping profile.

When setting up shipping profiles, if you’re a seller in the US or Canada, you can also choose to use calculated shipping when shipping with particular carriers. Calculated shipping uses your location, the buyer’s location, and the item’s size and weight to automatically generate shipping costs for orders. Learn more about calculated shipping.

Learn more about shipping profiles.

Setting competitive shipping prices

When setting shipping rates, it’s important to consider how to be competitive and entice buyers. High shipping prices can make customers less likely to buy. In fact, shoppers on Etsy are 20% more likely to complete their purchase when the item ships for free.

On Etsy, you can also sign up to offer a free shipping guarantee which will give your products priority placement in US shoppers’ Etsy search results. A free shipping guarantee lets shoppers in the US know that they won’t pay added shipping costs on orders totaling $35 or over that ship within or to the US. 

You can use the optional smart pricing tool to you adjust item prices to recover shipping costs if you decide to offer free shipping. How you set prices for your shop is up to you. 

Using Etsy shipping labels

Sellers in the US, UK, Canada, and Australia can buy shipping labels directly through Etsy. Shipping labels save valuable time allowing you to print your labels at home and automatically generating information to share with the customer like tracking numbers and estimated delivery details. Learn more about shipping labels on Etsy.

For sellers in other countries, you can purchase shipping labels through your preferred shipping carrier. Many shipping carriers offer shipping labels that you can purchase online and print at home.

How to set up shipping policies

After you set up your shipping strategy, it’s important to communicate policies in your shop policies page. 

Tips for communicating shipping policies:

  • List the carriers you use for shipping 
  • Be clear about the delivery options available to shoppers
  • Be transparent about return shipping policies if you have them. For example, include if you or the buyer will pay for return shipping.

To update your policies:

  1. On Etsy.com, click the Your Account icon, then click Shop Manager.
  2. Click the pencil icon next to your shop under Sales channels.
  3. Scroll to the Shop policies section.

Learn more about shop policies.

Learn more about shipping in the Ultimate Guide to Shipping.

Explore our Beginner's Guides to help you get started on Etsy.

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