The proper shipping settings for having a life

by on April 24, 2015

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Your shipping policies and options clearly let customers know what to expect after they purchase one of your amazing items.  Setting your shipping policies on Etsy is done in Dashboard / Shop Settings / Info & Appearance / Shop Policies.

As an American watercolor artist selling flat paper paintings and prints, I mainly ship with the US Post Office. I like the Post Office.  Friendly folks, good service, reasonable prices.  If you ship Priority, you can get free envelopes and boxes in all sorts of sizes.  My paintings and prints get mailed flat, in a sturdy box (sometimes double boxed for extra protection) with a foamboard backing so they don’t get bent.

Insurance is a big part of shipping calculations.  If anything is damaged or lost, you will of course send a complete refund to the customer.  USPS now has a default insurance on many Priority shipments, but for your more valuable products, you may need to purchase additional insurance coverage.  The cost of all this needs to be factored into your shipping calculations.

You’ll need shipping policies for international customers too. Etsy is a worldwide marketplace. Different nations have different policies. For example, you can’t mail jewelry made with polished, whitened, artificial, or imitation pearls to Abu Dhabi.  Or anything made with the feathers of wild birds to Canada. Or honey to South Africa. Insurance differs from country to country.  You need the proper customs form for each package.

Wood sign from AppalachianPrimitive

On Etsy, you can either set different shipping profiles, or set up the Calculared Shipping module based on the weight and size of each item.  Explore both options in Etsy’s Shipping Profiles section.

I decided that I am NOT going to offer expedited shipping – next day delivery and all that. Sure, people like it.  They’re shopping at midnight for a birthday happening tomorrow, hoping they can purchase the perfect, thoughtful gift and get it there in the morning.  They’re happy to pay for FedEx… But the other part of this agreement is that I have to be available first thing in the morning to pack their order and ship it out.  What if I have other plans?  What if I’m off on a river trip, sitting in the shade of a willow, painting a beautiful waterfall?  It’s not like I have a shipping staff dedicated to making this all happen.

So, no expedited shipping.  I may lose an order here and there, but I will have a life.


Illustration courtesy and © Candace at Appalachian Primitive on Etsy


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