Creating consistent shipping processes that are tried and tested for the products you sell will create peace in your business life.
It takes time to eventually work out all the kinks and Etsy provides us sellers a few tools to make our lives easier. Let’s look a closely at shipping profiles, shipping upgrades & making sure we are charging enough for our shipping.
Etsy Shipping Question #1: How do I set up shipping profiles?
Even though you are given the option with every listing to enter your processing time and shipping fees, there is an easier way to handle shipping for similar items. You can create preset shipping profiles, and then apply them to multiple listings.
(Note from Jason: Most Etsy sellers use about 5 or less shipping profiles based on weight or the size of the package. When possible keep it simple. I know many Etsy sellers also create products with one package size in mind for less variability in their operations.)
First, you need to go to the Shipping Profile page. You can find a link to this page in the left sidebar menu inside your shop (underneath the Dashboard link, in the Listings section).
You can also find the shipping profile page in the dropdown menu up by the Your Shop button at the top.
Once you’re on the Shipping Profile page, click the blue Create Shipping Profile button.
On the next page, give your shipping profile a name (maybe something like Standard Shipping, or if you have different shipping rates and types per category, then give it a name specific to that category).
Next you’ll need to choose between setting your own pricing or letting Etsy calculate the price for you. The calculated shipping is still a pretty new option on Etsy, so for this article, we’ll stick with the Set My Own option.
For the Shipping Origin section, set your location and your processing time. Be realistic with your processing time. It’s better to set it a little too long than to set it too short and have to panic and scramble to meet your ship by dates.
Note – the processing time here is optional, but it is a good way to give your customers a realistic expectation of when your product will ship.
Another important thing to note is that Etsy does not use weekend dates as “ship by” dates. If your processing time is set at one week (or five business days), orders placed on Saturdays and Sundays will be dated to ship the following Friday.
Entering Shipping Costs
After you have your basic shipping amount entered in the Shipping Costs section, you can enter the amount to ship with another item. All costs are added together instead of replacing other shipping costs, so if your base fee is $3 to ship one item and $2 for another item, it will result in the customer being charged $5 for the two items.
You can enter the international options (if you ship outside your country) in this section as well.
If you’re a new Etsy seller, or are adding a new product where you’re not entirely sure of the shipping costs, there is a link in this section to look up shipping costs. You can enter your zip code, the destination zip code, and package dimensions and weight for a price estimate.
There is also the option to view USPS Flat Rate options.
When you’re done calculating the price, return to the Shipping Profile page and click the blue Save Profile Button at the bottom of the page.
You can apply the new shipping profile to your listings from the Listings Manager page. Select the listings you want to add, and then click the More Actions button. Shipping Profiles is an option in the dropdown menu. You can add them to a shipping profile from that screen.
Etsy Shipping Question #2: How do I set up shipping upgrades?
If you want your customers to have the option to select shipping upgrade options with your shipping profiles, you will need to go back to the Shipping Profile page. Find the profile you want to add an upgrade to, and click the Edit button.
In the Shipping Cost section, you will fill out the necessary fields in the tables. There is one for the United States (since our sample profile ships from the US) and one for international.
Give your upgrade a name, and remember that the customer will be able to see what you’ve typed. For this example, we’ll use Priority Mail shipping. Whatever amount you type in the upgrade box will be added to your base shipping rate.
Postage for a Priority Mail small flat rate box right now (7.1.15) is $5.25 if purchased through Etsy ($5.95 if purchased at a Post Office). If your First Class shipping price is $3, you will need to enter at least $2.25 in the upgrade box to cover the cost of your shipping.
Embed Purchase Shipping Through Etsy Facebook Post Here
Any amount you type into the Shipping Upgrade section will be added to your base shipping cost amount.
Once you have everything set the way you want it, save the profile and exit the page.
To make sure you have everything set up the way you want it, it is a good idea to log out and view it as your customers will see it. You could also view your listing in a different browser if you don’t stay logged into your Etsy shop in the other browser. It’s not necessary step, but it’s a great way to double check that you have everything the way you want it.
Etsy Shipping Question #3: How much is a good charging price for shipping? How do I know I’m charging enough?
The postage itself is only part of what you should be charging for shipping. If you do not already have a postal scale, there are several on Amazon that are $25 or under that all have excellent reviews. A postal scale is definitely worth the investment if you ship smaller packages on a regular basis.
Let’s say you’re going to ship a lightweight necklace inside the US, and that the package weighs 3 ounces.
According to the Etsy Price Your Postage link (inside the Shipping Profile, like we looked at earlier), a 3 ounce package should cost $2.04 to ship from South Carolina to Michigan.
You could just set shipping at $2.04, but that is not really accurate. If you are selling jewelry, chances are, you are not just putting a necklace loose inside the mailer. You might be putting the necklace on a card and then inside a jewelry bag. You might not prefer bags and want to box the necklace. Then you have your business card, the paper you printed the invoice on (if you printed the receipt; many sellers do not), the mailer you ship it in, and the label to put on the outside.
You need to make sure you factor in the price of shipping materials somewhere, whether that is built into the price of your product or into your shipping price. Since the items are shipping related, we will include that breakdown here.
Our sample package includes:
- Jewelry card (bought in a pack of 100 for $18, so $.18 each)
- Jewelry bag/box (bag, bought in a pack of 50 for $11, $.22 each)
- Business Card (box of 250 cards for $18, $.072 each)
- Mailer (case of 100 for $26.99, $.2699 each)
- Label (roll of 220 for $9.81, $.045 each)
Based on the list above, the packaging supplies cost $.79. Instead of charging the $2.04 in postage, you would need to charge at least $2.83 in shipping to not lose money when you ship the item.
The list above is only an example. Your packaging will probably be different, but it gives you an idea of where to start. If you sell large paintings instead of small jewelry pieces, your shipping costs will be entirely different.
Regardless of what you sell, it is important that you factor in all your supplies, and not just the amount you pay to print your label. You’ve spent time determining the perfect price for the items you sell; don’t lose money on shipping by just guessing how much it might cost.
Final Thoughts from Jason
I appreciate Melody sharing some of her shipping expertise and experience with all of us. If you are figuring this out initially, don’t be afraid to look at the shipping processes that other Etsy sellers offer that have more sales and positive feedback.
Bad shipping processes often times reveal themselves through bad feedback from slow delivery or damaged products. I am thankful for Melody and the experience she brings to the Thrive community. If you have any additional questions you’d like to ask Melody, please post them in the comments below for her to address in future articles.
Melody York – owner of Hope of My Heart Designs. Personalized keepsake jewelry since 2005.