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Jun 13, 2010

How to calculate shipping fees?

Some sellers don't consider shipping price as one of the most important factors in business. But rule is simple - if your shipping price is to small, you pay by your own for shipping. And if this price is too big, it can discourage someone from buying in your shop!

How to calculate good shipping price?

First of all, calculate all shipping expenses:
~ cardboard box/envelope
~ bubble pack
~ post stamps
~ public transport tickets/fuel you use to get to the post
~ the time you spend on packing/in the post

Yes, many factors to consider. But you can cut down some costs. Here's what you can do:
~ buy boxes and envelopes in a wholesale. If you don't need all of them, you can buy bigger amount with other Etsy seller from your city. Just ask in your local groups and I think you'll find someone interested in joining your order!
~ look for bubble pack in a supermarket with building equipment, it's much cheaper than in regular stationer's;
~ if you live far away from any post office, ship items 2-3 times in a week. But don't forget to write about it in your shop policies (e.g. "I ship items on Mondays and Thursdays") and inform your buyer, when you plan to ship his purchase. Some of them are ready to pay more for quick delivery, so stay in touch with your costumers!

Also, don't forget to write in your shop policies, what kind of shipping you offer for regular price: priority mail, registered, etc.? Be ready to offer other ways of shipping for extra charge (some of sellers set up separate listings for tracked shipping or others, e.g. ingermaaike). This way your buyer have a wide selection of shipping ways and prices.

Last but not least - don't forget about shipping price "with another item". Calculate weight and size of your item, but remember - you ship this item with another, so this additional fee has to be smaller than main one! This encurages your buyer to buy more items per once.

Some items from my jewelry boutique I ship for free. Also I offer free shipping for orders $50 and more in my supply shop.

Have you any other ideas how to calculate shipping prices or how to cut down some costs?


Thanks for the useful tips, I will certainly use them!

these are great tips, thanks Ana!

Great tips, Rosemary! I would also add one - recycle! For example, I am using bubble wrap I saved from the items I bought online. Actually, I am using old mail boxes, too for the larger orders, if I need to!

Great info!
Thank you, Anna!

Fantastic tip, Tanya, thank you! I also use recicled boxes for larger orders :)

Great tips Ana! I always thought that my shipping price looks big for costumers. Now It looks ok. I am shipping my paintings via usps priority registered mail. Two of them were damaged, so now I am sending them with insurance! It is more safe way even if it costs more. While sending silk scarves part of the shipping price includes items price - so it looks normal for costumers.

Sometimes I make a box of used magazines.It is very easy. And cheaper !

Very good idea, Dotana! Thank you for sharing :)

good tips on shipping; thanks for sharing! a good general tip for shipping is to make sure you have the recipient's name and address INSIDE the package, too, just in case the package gets damaged. (hopefully it won't, but just in case, you'll be covered!)

Thank you, this is very useful tip!

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