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What should I charge for shipping on Etsy?

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Knowing what to charge for shipping on Etsy can be tough, especially when you first start your shop. In fact, everything about shipping can be a little bit overwhelming in the beginning. In this post, I am going to breakdown how to determine what to charge for shipping and how to create shipping profiles on Etsy.


Offering Free Shipping on Etsy

Before I dive into calculating prices for shipping on Etsy, y’all should know that I am a big proponent of offering free shipping on Etsy. I dive into all the reasons why in this post, but long story short: it’s really good for SEO. And what buyer doesn’t love free shipping?!

If free shipping isn’t for you…

I understand that free shipping on Etsy isn’t for everybody. If that’s you, no worries! We are going to talk all about how to get an accurate shipping price for your shop.

The first thing you will want to do is get an average shipping price for each of your listings. This can be difficult if you are in the beginning, because you can’t calculate an average without a decent sample size. Thankfully, Etsy has a rate calculator that will tell you exactly how much a USPS label will cost when you enter the dimensions and weight.

If you don’t know the weights of your items, you might want to purchase a postal scale. This is the one we use at our shop and we love it. So then all you have to do is measure your envelopes, weigh your products, and enter them into the rate calculator to get a baseline for shipping price.

Note: You can ship items with USPS First Class mail if they are under 16oz. If it’s over 16oz, you will have to ship with USPS Priority mail.  Prices change based on the ship location, so calculate shipping prices for Los Angeles, New York City, and Chicago then average the three.

Say you sell custom frames and every item you send is a different size. Calculating an average shipping price would be a heck of a lot harder! This is where calculated listings come into play.

Calculated Listings vs. Fixed Price Shipping

There are 2 types of shipping profiles on Etsy: calculated + fixed.

Calculated shipping profiles automatically calculate the shipping rate based on the dimensions, weight, and zip code then charges your buyer accordingly. Fixed price shipping profiles allow the seller to manually enter the shipping price for each listing.

So which should you choose? As with most things, it depends on what you are selling.

Up until last fall, we used fixed price shipping profiles. (Now we use calculated because we offer free shipping.) I chose this for 2 reasons. First, it made the price of my items an even dollar amount, which was easier for me and my buyers. Second, if someone ordered more than one item, calculated listings charged double the shipping amount. If I chose fixed I could set the price for each additional item, which made for more accurate shipping prices on larger orders.

Fixed profiles worked really well for us and I would recommend them to any seller with items that are consistent in size and weight. It just makes things easier!

If you sell items that vary in size and weight, you would probably be better off using the calculated listings. Also, if you sell heavy items and will consistently be sending things via USPS Priority mail, you will benefit from using calculated listings.

How to Create a Shipping Profile

Now that you (hopefully) have a good idea of what kind of profile you want to use, it’s time to go in and actually create it!

To edit shipping profiles go to your shop manager. From there click on settings > shipping
settings > and then choose the shipping profiles tag.

To create a new shipping profile, click the “add a shipping profile” button. From there you can choose all the settings for your new profile!

When we used fixed prices, I created a shipping profile for each dollar amount I had to charge. For example: I had 12 listings that cost $3 to ship. So I created a $3 shipping profile and applied it to those 12 listings.

Here is a screenshot showing what my $3 profile looked like.

Now that we use calculated listings, I have 2 profiles: one for items shipping normally and one for pre-order items.

Here is a screenshot of my current free shipping calculated profile.

Note: If you want to offer free shipping, choose calculated, then check the box for free shipping. (We only offer free domestic shipping.)

Notice that on both the fixed profile and the calculated one that all the sections are filled out – make sure to do that! Not only does it help with Etsy SEO, it also helps your buyer when they choose shipping options.

One of the most important things to remember when you start your Etsy shop is that there is going to be some trial and error! Do your best to calculate an average for shipping, try it for a couple months, see if it’s working, and if it isn’t, change it up. Don’t feel like you have to have everything figured out from the beginning to start selling on Etsy. Try things, make mistakes, and learn as you go!

If you are a fellow Etsy seller, let me know in the comments! I would love to know more about you and your business! Thanks for reading, friends!

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    1. The ship time! So my pre-order didn’t have a specified ship date and my regular ones shipped in 1-2 weeks!