Etsy has always been one of the top ways to make money online. In fact, selling on Etsy comes with a wide range of advantages. Unfortunately, the shipping costs are often a thorn in the flesh for sellers on Etsy. I mean, these exorbitant shipping charges have been the very reason why multiple businesses have fallen to the ground.
Etsy buyers always track, compare and analyze shipping costs from different vendors to the last cent. Therefore, once customers see the cost involved in shipping your product, they abandon the cart altogether.
Consequently, you may be forced to stop selling the product as the high shipping charges eat into your profit margin. That's why you must take control of your shipping costs on Etsy and learn how to save as much as possible. This is integral to the survival of your business.
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Who Should Pay for Shipping Cost on Etsy?
To start with, let’s answer the very controversial question; who should pay for the shipping fees? Well, shipping fees on Etsy vary depending on the total shipping cost of an item. That depends on the carrier, mail class, package type, weight, and dimensions. With that said, let's explore a couple of options.
1. Buyers pay for shipping
Many sellers on Etsy always feel that the buyers should pay the cost of shipping items either in part or wholly. That seems reasonable, especially since buyers purchase one-of-a-kind items like vintage and handmade goods on Etsy.
A lot of time and money goes into creating such items, and the sellers shouldn't have to bear the burden of shipping costs in full. The profit margin for handmade goods is very thin, that when sellers are further required to pay for the shipping costs, it only worsens the situation.
2. Sellers pay for shipping
On the other hand, we have buyers who will never purchase any item online if it doesn't come with free shipping. And since this segment of the population is pretty extensive, you are likely to miss out on so many sales if you don’t provide free shipping.
But free shipping doesn't always have to be free. You can include the shipping cost in the item's total price to balance things out. That way, you can protect your profits while letting buyers know that shipping is free. While this sounds like a perfect solution, there's a catch.
You have to compare the price of your items against similar products offered by other sellers to ensure your item is not way more expensive than similar products on Etsy. Ultimately, free shipping will significantly improve your sales volume as Etsy now has a free shipping search filter.
However, you must be careful if you are paying for the shipping costs and a buyer wants a refund for reasons unrelated to the item's quality. There are delivery costs involved when refunding an item. The buyer should pay the refunding fee; otherwise, Etsy will also bill that on you.
3. Buyers and sellers split the fee
Another option is splitting the shipping charges between the buyers and sellers. You can pay part of the shipping fee if you feel the charges are making your item excessively pricey to the extent it's reducing your sales volume. That could help streamline the cost of your product, especially if you need to ship items across states and continents.
Choose the Suitable Etsy Shipping Classes
There are several major shipping classes on Etsy. To better understand which shipping class is ideal for you, check out the different shipping classes available.
· Priority Mail
Most first-time sellers on Etsy go for the Priority Mail option. That’s because Priority Mail class gives free insurance against damage or loss. Also, it allows you to purchase extra insurance when designing the labels.
But priority mail is not the only class that offers tracking details. Nowadays, as long as you have Etsy labels, all items can be tracked, regardless of the class you choose.
· First Class
In this class, you can ship light and small packages. Most of the pricing in this section is based on weight. More importantly, you can purchase insurance for your items. However, don’t ship your items in this section by sending your items with stamps and sticking them in the mailbox.
· Media Mail
This class is restricted to only a few items, for instance, books, videos, scripts, CDs, and recordings. Additionally, the mailing is billed with respect to the item’s weight. Therefore, to be safe, only use the media mail when dealing with the items above. Otherwise, your customers might not get the delivery, leaving you with a bad review and an upset customer.
· Parcel Select Ground
When shipping your items via parcel select ground, the pricing is based on several factors depending on the item. The dimensions mostly dictate the shipping cost and weight of the item. All in all, keep in mind that the postal zone could affect the shipping cost.
· Flat Rate Shipping
This shipping class allows you to ship for the same price despite the distance. Flat Rate Shipping can reduce the cost for your customer and yourself. However, this section comes at a specific cost.
If your shipment is over a pound, the shipping cost could defer depending on the distance. More importantly, each post office will raise the charges depending on the distance the item has traveled.
Save Shipping Cost on Etsy
1. Print Your Shipping Labels on Etsy
Hands down, this is one of the best ways to reduce shipping costs on Etsy. Printing your shipping labels is a straightforward approach to saving money on your Etsy shipments. When you order shipping labels on Etsy, the platform takes on the responsibility of ensuring your items are delivered.
On the other hand, you can get a thermal printer and print your own shipping labels. Your only task is printing the shipping label and preparing your items for delivery. Printing these labels gives you a 30% discount on all shipping costs across the continent. You no longer have to go to the post office or stand in long, frustrating lines to get shipping labels. You simply print the labels, secure them on your package and drop the item in your mail bin.
One of the best thermal printers in the market and suitable for this task is the MUNBYN shipping label printer. The printer is ideal for your daily printing needs. Also, it guarantees higher definition printing, all thanks to its 300DPI. On top of that, you will appreciate that this printer works with ChromeOS, Mac, and Windows.
2. Choose Packages that are the Right Size
Unless you have flat rate shipping, you will pay more in shipping costs due to dimensional weight. In that case, you can create custom packaging tailored to specific items. That will help to reduce dimensional weight significantly.
When packaging items, ensure you have a snug fit instead of having things rattling around in a box. Sometimes the extra shipping cost might just be you paying for the air in the box. The bottom line is to avoid shipping more air than what's necessary.
3. Avoid High Postal Zones
When most sellers start shipping internationally, they ship to any country. But after a while, you will realize that some countries aren't a good fit for you. For instance, many European countries tend to charge VAT on incoming shipments.
That means buyers must pay an additional tax of up to 25% of the item's cost when a package arrives overseas. The good thing is that you can learn more about shipping zones and suitable shipping methods here on Etsy.
Join Munbyn Community for more information.