The California Crafters Club of Etsy (CCCOE) is a group of independent artists, crafters, & artisans from California who sell their wares on Etsy.com.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Season Gear Up: Shipping

Now that fall is officially upon us (even though weather-wise it hardly feels like it), it's time to ramp up our shops for Season. And one thing we can look at is our shipping practices. 

Etsy CEO Josh Silverman recently published a video about the upcoming third quarter, and in it he said that one reason people decide not to buy (via a survey, it was the second highest factor) is due to the cost of shipping.

How much do you charge for shipping? Do you offer "free" shipping? And how do you package your items for shipping? These are some questions I asked team members, and here are some of their responses.

Shanna Michele Designs says...
I charge USPS Flat Rate and since I only use the free supplies for the PO I only add maybe 10 cents for handling (tape, gas etc). 
I have had people complain about it - especially out of the country- but I am firm on my ship method. I like the tracking and international packages get lost way less with Priority and generally get there fast. 
I do not include any extras, no packing slip (unless international). For Salty Seas I do have tags I put on them. For ShannaMichele I ship in a kraft box tied with twine. All packages from all shops get biz card or thank you tag (generic preprinted, not personalized). I ship as bare bones but as securely as possbile. Paper goods are in cello sleeves.
NansGlam says...
I ship all my orders gift wrapped: I want my customers to feel excited about receiving a “gift” from themselves when they purchase a piece of my jewelry.   
Gift wrap includes: small Kraft box with a black & white gingham ribbon and an organza jewelry bag to store the piece after opening. I also create my own jewelry cards and offer personalized “notes” for gift tags at no extra charge. Customers can select their gift wrap from 7 options: Friends, love, tie the knot, birthday, have enough jewelry, sisters or none. Included with the gift wrap are my business card and a thank you card. If the piece is sterling silver I also provide care instructions. If the purchase is a bracelet I send a picture and coated paper clip showing how to use the clip to assist them with putting on their bracelet easily.   
Nansglam Gift Wrap

I bubble wrap the box and organza bag and place in a padded envelope with some peanuts for added protection.  
My shipping is $3.75 which covers USPS First Class shipping in the U.S. along with supplies that include the padded envelope, mailing label, peanuts, % of ink for printing labels and gift wrap supplies.  
anniekdesigns says...
I charge the actual cost to ship. The hot/cold packs (except minis) are sent via priority mail so the cost is over $6-13. I really appreciate my customers who purchase these items due to the high shipping costs. For this reason, I rarely offer free shipping.   
From my own personal experience, my packaging is minimal. I throw away all the tissue paper, generally the free gifts and business cards included with my purchases. So I only include a receipt with a handwritten thank you. Once in a while I will add one sheet of tissue paper.  
I recycle as needed. The hot/cold packs are shipped inside a ziplock bag as they are stored that way to preserve the scent. I use padded priority mail envelopes and priority mail boxes from USPS so my costs are limited. Otherwise everything is sent in a padded kraft envelope via first class mail. The cost of this envelope is figured into the cost of my item. 
Ocean Avenue Silks says...
I charge $3.30 for first class shipping, adding in a little extra for packaging. Right before Mother's Day and Christmas, I will upgrade shipping from first class to Priority at no extra charge. I make my own packaging using legal size heavy card stock, tissue paper and ribbon. I include a scarf tying sheet and will also attach a gift tag with a personal message if the buyer is sending as a gift. I get a lot of compliments on my packaging, so I have kept it the same the entire time I've been selling on Etsy.
Ocean Avenue Silks Packaging

Zizi Rho Designs says...
I keep my shipping simple. I wrap the item in tissue paper and include a "packing slip" with a short personal note (just a "thank you") and a small magnet attached. 
Zizi Rho Packing Materials

Feel free to add your shipping practices in the comments. We're always looking for good ideas.

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