Packing your items so they arrive to your customer in good condition is very important so that you have happy customers, which results in good reviews, and you don’t lose money on shipping.
Bubble wrap – My standard on how much bubble wrap to use around an item is that if I dropped this on a carpeted floor, would it break? That is just my standard because boxes get moved around quite a bit in transit so they must be well packed to endure the journey. I have at least 2-3 layers of bubble wrap around each item. For example, if I m packing plates, I put at least 2 sheets of bubble wrap in between the plates and at least 3 layers around all the plates.
Peanuts – When packing an item, be sure that peanuts fill at least 1″ and preferably 2″ on each side of the item (inside the box). If it is a delicate item, you should have 2″ of peanuts on the bottom and 1″ to 2″ at the top. Keep in mind that peanuts shift in transit so it is important that the peanuts fill up the entire box (don’t leave extra room at the top).
Boxes – Purchase quality boxes that are sturdy. Different manufacturers have different standards so make sure you check on this before you buy.
Insurance – We insure all items over $100 because that is a large amount of money to lose if something breaks. You can decide what you want to insure and how much you can afford to lost if an item arrives damaged to your customer. Keep in mind that USPS (United States Postal Service) insures Priority Mail items up to $100 at no extra cost. Whenever possible, we send packages Priority Mail. If the item is worth more than $100, be sure that you add additional insurance if you want to insure the entire amount.
We only ship via USPS so all of the following information is for shipments through USPS.
Don’t be afraid to ship internationally. We have shipped to over 40 different countries, with very few problems. If we didn’t ship internationally, we would have lost hundreds, if not thousands, of sales over the years.
Here’s what you need to know about shipping Internationally:
- Disclose in your listing and/or your shop’s policies that the customer is responsible for all duty and custom fees.
- Disclose that you will not mark the item as a “gift” so that the customer doesn’t have to pay the duty and custom fees. Marking it as a gift is highly illegal and not work the risk.
- Insurance is not available to some regions, countries or provinces. For example, at this time insurance is not available to items shipped to Brazil. We send an email to customers in Brazil letting them know that we cannot be responsible for items shipped to their country.
- Etsy’s calculated shipping is your friend for International Shipments. There are restrictions on sizes and weights of items that can be shipped to different countries. If you use calculated shipping in Etsy, you will know right away if that item can be shipped internationally based on the size and weight of the item. For example, First Class International is only for items up to 4 pounds with some restrictions on Girth (the longest length side plus the length of the side perpendicular to the longest length). Click here to read how to calculate girth. Priority Mail International is for items over 4 pounds or items that need to arrive more quickly.
- Order the Customs Form Envelopes for items over 4 pounds.
- For items under 4 pounds, you can use adhesive shipping labels. For items over 4 pounds, you will print out 3 copies of the shipping label so you canNOT use an adhesive shipping label. You will put the 3 sheets into a Customs Form envelope that you order from the post office.
Congratulations on your first sale and good luck with shipping your items. I’d love to hear from you if you have comments or suggestions to make this information better.
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