Saturday, March 21, 2009

Shipping Phobia by SewHappyFabricShop

I’ve been selling on etsy for over a year now, and I have to admit, I was clueless about shipping in the beginning. I always guessed about my calculation, sometimes went to to calculate shipping, and then dragged myself and my children into the post office only to discover that I had guessed wrong and was now out $1…or more. I knew that Paypal offered a shipping program, but I was timid about using it.

Most of my fellow Homefront Team members are well versed in shipping, but after receiving a package recently from a top seller on etsy who didn’t use Paypal shipping, I decided to write a post about the subject.

So you accept Paypal… why should you use the shipping feature?
First of all, if you use Paypal, you are paying for it. And by shipping through the postal service on Paypal, you get discounted fees. For example, if I waltz into the post office and ask for confirmation on my first class package, it’s going to cost me 75 cents. Online through Paypal will only cost 18 cents.

Secondly, it is easy. Really. You will need a small scale that will fit your product, but that is the only equipment required.

Third, it looks professional.

Now, how to do it?
Ebay has a great link at which is applicable to your Paypal account for etsy users too.

Personally, I print off my order details from the Sold Items page in Etsy. This allows me to keep my orders straight and checked off as I ship. It also provides me with their shipping address and any notes that may affect shipping that I can look at once I have logged into my Paypal account.

When I’m ready to ship, I log into Paypal. Basically, when you look at your account in Paypal, you will see the payment you received and a button to the right that says “print shipping label”. Don’t be scared.

Click on the button, and it will show the information to be printed. Double check the address of your buyer on the right hand side with your etsy statement. In the center of the page, you will be able to select your shipping method (first class, priority, etc). For less than 13 ounces, you can use first class. Over that weight, use priority mail (unless you are using media mail, and then compare first class weights as it is sometimes less expensive and quicker).

Weight your item and enter the amount. Select confirmation if you want it (18 cents for first class, free with priority mail). Continue on, and print your label.

What should you print on?
I personally use these shipping labels. **
It makes life easier for me. However, you can absolutely print on a regular piece of paper, cut off the confirmation side, and save that for your records. Then tape the “label” onto your package. Just make sure the bar code section is not taped over. (Personally, I make two printed copies of my Etsy sold statement, then stick the confirmation label on the back side so that I can put my hands on both pieces of information if needed.)

You’re done. If you selected confirmation, your customer just got an email with that information. You can log back into Paypal and track any of your shipments.

I have never tried the postal pick up, but I know that many sellers swear by the feature which allows you to request your mailman drop by and pick up your package. I have ordered priority mail supplies and received them within a week or two.

I hope that if you haven’t used the Paypal feature, you will give it a try. Please feel free to convo me for any additional information.

-Thanks to Becky for her article contribution


cutesieclips said...

I had NO idea you can buy those labels. I've searched everywhere for them and just gave up! Where do you buy them??

Awesome blog, thanks so much!

Cams said...

Great article! I am actually thinking of trying the "scary" print lable option now!
Thanks a bunch.

Shannon said...

I finally began using the print label option in paypal and as a mother of 2, it has been a life saver! Most of my items are small enough that once I print and package it all up, I stick it in my mailbox just like I would anything else I mail. Now, off to find the self stick labels :) said...

OOH..I've never used the "paypal" shipping doesn't look too scary!
CreationsAnew Photography & Deisng

sewhappyfabricshop said...

Everyone, I bought a pack of 200labels mentioned in the article at Office Depot for $27.99--I should have given you all the link, duh!

Cindy said...

Good info- now I might just have to try this! Thanks for taking the scary out of shipping.

lyneya said...

THANKS! This is great info!!! Wonder if a kitchen scale would be accurate enough??

Mandy said...

I think you can actually rent a postal scale from packaging supply stores.

We have used vistaprint's mailing list option to get discounts on shipping fliers, invites, etc., but I didn't know that using paypal gave you a bulk shipping rate!

Hmmm... I'll have to try it next time!

Keesbabylove said...

This is a great post! ive been wanting to use paypal but didnt want to mess it up. Great post!

TurtleMommy said...

I do the same exact thing, stick the confirmation part of the printed label page and stick it to the receipt I print from etsy! So easy and organized for when a customer has a question about a package. I'm so behind on it. lol Must get back on track soon! great info about the sticky labels!!