Hey y'all! I hope you are having a wonderful week :)! I was asked a couple questions about using calculated shipping on Etsy, and so I'm here to answer those today :).
First off, you'll need some boxes and packing materials to pack your item to weight it correctly, and then you will need a postal scale to weight the packaged item. I have one like this, and it's worked great :). Whatever one you get should come with instructions on how to use it... but a couple reminders, whatever version you get...
-You have to place your scale on a firm, flat surface for it to work right (so, not on the carpet, your bed, or just balanced on your hand ;) ).
-And you have to have the box placed centered on your scale and NOT resting on anything at the edges, for the scale to be able to accurately measure the whole weight.
-Weight EVERYthing you will mail with your product (packaging materials, the box, the extra goodies you usually stick in, etc). That way the shipping is accurate to what you will pay once the item is ordered!
Alright. Get out the things you'll need...
- Your product.
- Package and packing material.
- Your scale.
- A measuring tape.
- And your computer logged into your Etsy account!
-The very last section you will be filling out will be your shipping information. There is a drop down menu here that gives you the option to enter a standard price, or, for calculated shipping, to ask Etsy to "Calculate them for me"...
-Type the zip code you mail from into this box. If you mail from home, that would be your zip code, but if you prefer to mail from a post office box so that buyers won't know your address, you'll use your post office zip code. Buyers will be asked to type in THEIR zip code when they order, which will be how the distance is calculated :).
-Select your processing time. This is how long it will take you to get the ordered product into the hands of the postal service, and you want it to be as short as it can be, so that buyers aren't turned away by how long it will take, and yet just a little cushioned for emergencies, because Etsy makes sure you have confirmed the item is shipped by the promised date.
-Here's one of the perks of calculated shipping - you can reach buyers from all over the world, without being afraid of losing money due to shipping fees, because the price of shipping is given to them for their exact location, without you having to use the guess and hope method that is so often under priced!
-Also, and this is a big perk to customers, they can request that the item is sent using a faster method than first class, without you having to up the charge yourself. They just choose how fast they would like it shipped, and automatically the upgrade is calculated in! This will help you reach those last minute shoppers who would DEFINITELY buy from you... if only it would arrive in two days...
-Here you have some optional things to choose from... do you want to offer free shipping to a group of people? Do you need to include the price of your packaging into the shipping costs? It's up to you.
-Now, package up your item just like it is going to be mailed right now.
-Follow the instructions to your chosen postal scale to measure your packaged item in pounds and ounces.
-Enter the weight into the top two boxes. You can't put a partial ounce into the oz. box, so if your package weighs 6.3 ounces, you need to round it to 7.
-Grab your measuring tape, or, if you are using a commercial box, find the size given on the flap, and add the length (longest side, no matter which way the box goes), width, and height into the 3 spaces shown here. Inches have to be rounded to the next complete inch, too; so no 4 and 3/4 inches, just 5 :).
-If you are curious about how much it might cost somebody to have the item shipped to them, there are several preview options for large cities and countries, to get a feel for what they will be charged. It does nothing to your listing though, haha ;).
And that's it! You'll receive the exact postage from your customer that it would take to mail it through USPS. You can purchase the shipping labels through Etsy, though, which, as you can see, will be lower than from the USPS. See how they tucked the handling fee into the price, too? Buyers won't see that it's an added charge, so don't worry they'll be annoyed at that. But, here's a little secret... I don't usually add in a handling fee. The reason for this is that I'm already getting a discount purchasing all my labels from Etsy, and it usually averages out to about what I pay for packaging materials. Some sellers add the handling fee in and then refund any money they have left from shipping, so that it is super exact. But "time is money", and I don't want to have to run a partial refund, and then explain why I'm refunding, all the time, so I just leave out the handling fee, use the extra postage I save buying labels from Etsy to cover packaging, and take the cut of a possible $0.75 here and there. It's worth it to me, but it might not be to you... use your discretion in that area. I can see how explaining to someone that you are refunding a dollar for postage overages might get you some notice as a great customer service seller, for even caring about something "so small"... so there is that to be said about the other method. So just find what works best for you :)!
Was this helpful? Do you have a postal scale (or really want to get one now)? If so, what model did you get, and would you recommend it? Any other questions I could possibly help with :)?