Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Etsy Start Up Guide Part 5: Packaging & Shipping

UPDATE:  I have now condensed this entire blog series, added a few new sections and now have it available for purchase in my Etsy shop HERE.  It also includes 40 free listings to help you get your shop started.

Congrats!  You made your sell!
Now it's time for packaging and shipping.

Shoppers on Etsy seem to have a higher set of expectations when it comes to packaging of their products. Obviously, they want their purchase to be safely and quickly delivered. But they also want that extra touch; hand written cards and cute packaging.  They love the extra attention and detail added to their packages, and I'm right there with them!  It's part of the handmade/small business charm. I admit I'm not always the best in this department; it's one of my goals to work on for 2015.  I do always include a hand written thank you (sometimes it's just on their invoice, sometimes a card), and I try to slap some cute washi tape on the outside of my packaging.

Pretend with Poppins is an excellent example of amazing packaging.  I mean, just look at all that cute stuff that goes along with her orders!  I kind of want to order from her just so I can get that fun party that comes with it (but really?  Her stuff is super cute and I highly recommend you check her shop out!)

Again...there are lots of Etsy shops that provide super cute options for helping make your packages cuter.

Stationary Boutique is one of my favorites.  I love her stamps and postcards.

If you're needing plain, simple poly or bubble mailers, check Royal Mailers.  They are reasonably priced and deliver quickly. They also carry the clear poly bags. And obviously, if you're shipping Priority Mail, all that packaging is free and can be ordered from USPS.

Once you've got that package wrapped and ready to go, you need to get it addressed and in the mail.

If you choose to hand write your address labels, that's awesome!  I'd recommend setting specific shipping days in your shop so you're not running to the post office everyday for postage.  (IE: "All packages are shipped out on Tuesdays and Saturdays.  If your scheduled shipping time falls between these days, your package will go out on the following shipping date)

However, the easiest thing to do is just print your labels and postage off at home.  You can do this through Etsy and, if your customer paid via PayPal, you can print a shipping label/postage from PayPal as well.  There is also a specific label printer that you can purchase through Etsy that prints your labels on adhesive paper so you don't have to worry about cutting and taping labels (I, however, am still part of the cut and tape crowd).

Also.  Did you know that postage purchased through Etsy is slightly cheaper than what you'll pay at the Post Office?  A flat rate, Priority Mail envelope typically costs $5.75 to mail.  Purchase that postage through Etsy and it's only $5.05.  Another good reason to just do everything at home!

Once you've packaged and labeled your package, it's time to get it to the postman! You can either drop it off at any post office/mail drop/UPS store/etc., OR if you have large items or a large amount of smaller items, you can schedule USPS to pick up from your doorstep for no extra charge.

Now that I've walked you through opening your shop and getting your first sale out the door, I'm going to start diving into more detail!  On Sunday, I'll introduce you to Etsy Teams and the Forum.
Let me know if you have any questions - or anything in particular you want me to discuss!

Are you just joining us?  You can find Part 1 HERE.

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