There are many lessons I have learned over the past year. Some the easy way, some the hard way and some just by pure luck. When I shipped my first order on Etsy, I hand wrote the address, went to the post office and was so proud of myself. I now have a mini-shipping station in my home.
How do I ship my items?
If you are an Etsy seller, you will receive payments through PayPal. This is also where you will print out your shipping labels. You can either print out one shipping label at a time or do a multi-order shipping.
I know what one beach bag order weights, so I can create a preset in PayPal to “remember” the details for one beach bag. If you are shipping a variety of things, it will probably be easier to do order by order.
When I first started, I printed out the labels through my normal ink jet printer. You can cut out the label and tape it to your box or bag. Make sure you do not tape over the bar code.
Once I started shipping more, I invested in a label printer. I LOVE this and it saves me so much time…plus it looks nicer. I found mine on Amazon.
Did you know you can request a carrier pick-up through usps.com or through PayPal? Woot, woot!
Stuff you will need:
1. Shipping scale – I use this scale from the post office. It retails for $39 and can be purchased at most post offices. I like this scale for several reasons. (1) Weighs up to 10lbs (2) Easy to read display. Even large boxes will not hide the display. (3) Very accurate (4) Plugs into the wall…no batteries!
2. Boxes or Packaging – Did you know priority boxes are FREE from the post office?!?! And they deliver them right to your door! Visit their on-line store to see what sizes are available. If you are looking for poly bags for items like clothing, check out a store like esupplystore.com.
3. Label Maker (optional) – I use the Brother QL-570
Other Random Shipping Knowledge:
First Class versus Priority Mail:
When to ship first class versus priority mail? When an item is under 13 oz, you can ship first class. Anything over 13 oz must be shipped priority mail (for domestic shipments).
*First Class typically takes (3-5) business days.
*Priority Mail typically takes (2-3) business days.
I like to tell my customers what items will ship first class and what items will ship priority mail. This helps to explain the difference in shipping prices.
Can I drop off a package over 13oz off at a USPS drop box?
Yes! There is a sign that states you can not put anything in over 13oz, but since you printed out your label at home through PayPal you can drop yours in there.
What if an international package gets lost?
When you ship internationally, no tracking information is provided. I always keep my receipts from the post office and write the customer’s name on it. There will be a customs number that the post office can look up to tell you where the package is in the process. Not an exact method, but at least gives you an idea.
Please share any tips or tricks that you use when shipping.
Or if you have a question.