Shipping, Packaging and Delivery for Craft Sellers

Shipping, Postage and Delivery for Craft Sellers

Welcome to Episode 30 of the Craft Seller Success podcast.  In this episode I am talking about lots of ways to make posting or shipping your craft sales to your customers a little easier.  Things to watch out for, ways to save money and time and, hopefully, lots of useful ideas to help your craft business.

Listen to the Shipping, Postage and Delivery for Craft Sellers podcast here, download it for later or read the transcript below.

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To see the other episodes available – Craft Seller Success Podcast Main Page


This is the Craft Seller Success podcast from Tin Teddy. Episode number thirty – Shipping, Postage and Delivery for Craft Sellers.

Welcome to the Craft Seller Success Podcast – helping craft sellers sell their crafts

Hi, I’m Deborah Richardson from Tin Teddy.

Introduction

One thing that worries many new craft sellers is how to handle the posting, delivery or shipping of their craft products. In this episode of the Craft Seller Success Podcast, I am going to be looking at some of the things you need to know to ensure your lovingly crafted products reach their new homes safely.

I will also be talking about lots of ideas to help you save money, time and stress. So even if you are an experienced craft seller with many sales under your belt, hopefully, you will still hear some handy hints and ideas in this article.

Just a quick word about… well, words. In this podcast, I will be using the terms postage, shipping and delivery somewhat interchangeably. One or other may be the more usual term where you live.

The Logistics of Shipping

There are some things that you need to consider before you can begin to post items out.

Be aware of your options

Many of the postal issues that happen to online craft sellers are often caused by a lack of research beforehand.

Firstly you will probably have more than one postal or delivery service that you can commission to deliver your parcels. Take time to check what they offer in terms of what they will deliver, where they deliver to, how fast they are, how reliable they are and, of course, how expensive they are.

And you may find that using service A is cheapest for some of your products, but service B is much cheaper for some other products that you sell. Finding this out can really save you money in the long run.

If you have somewhat unusual items you may need to search a bit harder to find a convenient shipping option. For example, very large items may not be postable in the usual way. There are numerous delivery companies who will handle many types of parcels though. Search online or ask on local online selling forums and social media groups for recommendations.

Do decide exactly how you intend to ship a product before listing it for sale. You will need to do this to quote an accurate shipping price to your customer.

I have seen quite a few sad stories from new sellers who have failed to do their research up front and ended up very out of pocket when the shipping was more complicated, and a lot more expensive than they imagined.

Post man delivering handmade crafts - very carefully

Delivery Times

Be aware of your postal company’s estimated delivery times so that you can communicate them to your potential customers within your online shop.

Remember that they are estimates, and never promise a customer that your products will reach then within a particular time period unless you are prepared to refund if the parcel does not actually get there on time.

Also, find out the thresholds at which the postal service will consider a parcel to be lost. This may be something you will need to communicate to a customer at some point.

Customers like it fast

Nowadays many of your customers will be used to dealing with big companies like Amazon who offer super fast shipping.

Whilst most shoppers will appreciate that you are definitely not Amazon and not able to offer quite such impressive delivery times, anything you can do to speed up delivery will probably be appreciated – and may give you an edge over your competition.

Be careful to never make hard promises about delivery times in your marketing.

Prohibited Items

You are probably aware that there are certain products that your country’s postal service will not handle, for various reasons. It is important that you check what these restricted items are now and then before trying to sell any of them online.

The prohibited items can include weapons such as guns and knives, chemicals, some liquids, flammable items and body parts. If you are in any doubt that what you are selling might have an issue, double check.

What if you are unable to Post on Time

If there are likely to be any delays in your shipping the product, inform your customer right away.

Problems do sometimes happen to the best of us. The important thing is communication.

Most customers are understanding, as long as you are honest and keep them informed of the situation.

Remind customers that they are responsible for providing your with a correct address

Your responsibility, as a retailer, is to ensure that the purchased products are delivered to the address supplied to you by the customer. You may want to remind your potential customers, in your shop policies or terms, that they must be careful to give you their correct, up-to-date address.

If the parcel is delivered to an old or incorrect address, which was supplied by your customer, you are not responsible for any loss. You did you part of the deal by shipping to the address they provided.

I will be talking more about addresses later in this episode.

Lots of post

Seller Protection

If you sell via a marketplace site such as Etsy or use a payment provider such as Paypal, you will probably be covered by some sort of seller protection. You will need to find out what the terms of this protection are.

For example, on Etsy, a seller is not obliged to refund a customer who claims that their parcel did not arrive if the seller has a valid tracking number that shows it did. An Etsy seller shipping internationally needs to provide proof of posting to be covered.

This seller protection can never override your customer’s consumer right though. Plus in many cases, a seller may choose to waive some of it in the interest of providing excellent customer service.

Just be sure you know what is on offer so you make the best decisions for your business and your customers.

Offer customers a variety of options

You may want to offer your potential customers a variety of different shipping option, at differing price points. Some people may be happy to pay extra for a faster service, others may prefer to save a little and wait longer for their parcel.

But do not offer postal insurance to your customers – it is illogical as I will be explaining in a few minutes.

Batch to save money

Plan your posting times both to convenience your customers but also to save yourself time and money.
Posting every day may win your sales because your competitors aren’t making this promise. But if you have to drive to the post office with your parcels, posting every other day will cut your fuel bill in half.

Don’t underestimate your time either. Posting a little less often may save you time that you could be using better elsewhere in the business.

Think carefully about it, and find a balance between speed, economy and efficiency.

Set postage times that are reasonable and that you can achieve.

Also bear in mind that it takes you time to package, and possibly to actually create an order for a customer. Be sure you are giving yourself adequate time to do this. Saying “I always ship your order the next day” is great, but if it means you will be up all night or will not be able to manage if you get a pile of unexpected orders, it could end up being a very messy situation.

Be prepared to adjust your shipping times during busy periods, many craft sellers do this.
I personally feel that it is better to quote slightly longer posting times than you actually expect you will need. This way you have leeway in case of emergencies or large orders coming in, plus your customer is likely to be delighted when they get their parcel earlier than they expected.

Packaging

Back in episode 22, Packaging Your Craft Products, I spoke about many of the things that a craft seller needs to consider when packaging up a parcel to send through the post. I am not going to repeat all that here but will add a few extra hints and tips.

Nowadays most postal systems have some sort of mechanization in place. In other words, your parcels will be handled by robots and machines. It is therefore important to take this into account when packaging up your precious creations.

Some postal services recommend that sellers don’t use black plastic to wrap their parcels. Whilst this is quite common practice, the black plastic can confuse the machines, apparently. If you intend to do this you may want to check the website of the postal service you use to see what they advise.

Be careful not to have any areas of the parcel that could get caught in the machinery. This includes poorly fixed down flaps and labels, decoration such as ribbons and traditional parcel strings. If you can avoid these things you give your parcel a better chance of surviving the mechanization and getting to your customer as quickly as possible.

Similarly, do not strap or stick separate parcels together to make one larger one. If you are combining pre-wrapped items, put them in a single box, or wrap them together with brown paper. The parcel you post should be one solid item. This not only helps prevent machine damage but also ensures that the items stay together for the duration of the journey.

Packagin a product to post - logos or no logos?

Environmental impact

In episode 22 I spoke about recycling packaging and other ways to try to ensure that our packaging makes as little impact on the environment as possible. This is not only important for our current world and the future but also something that many customers are concerned about when buying online.

If using recycled packaging, be aware of any smells from its previous life.

I once bought a collector’s doll in an auction. I arrived, all the way from Korea, safely, but in a box that previously held fish products. It stank! Luckily the doll didn’t pick up the smell, but my kitchen sure did!

Branding – don’t spell out that your item may be valuable

If you intend to have any branding for your craft business on the outside of your package, be careful not to advertise that the parcel may contain valuable items. A sticker saying “David’s Designs” is not going to get any potential thieves particularly excited (unless they have heard of David’s amazing designs, of course!) But one that says “David’s Jewels” might sound rather tempting.

If your craft shop has a name that could encourage mail theft, perhaps it is best left off the package.

Individually wrap delicate items

British postal service, Parcel Force, recommends that all delicate items should be individually wrapped and I know that many craft sellers swear by this advice. This can give a lot of extra protection.

Addressing Your Parcel

There are at least three things that must be on every parcel you send out. One of these is the postage charge, which I will talk more about in a little while.

The other two things are the address of the recipient, who you are sending the parcel to, and the return address, in other words, your own address.

The Recipient’s Address

Nowadays many, or indeed most, parcels go through automated handling systems. This includes having a computer reading the address, not a person.

Therefore it is very important that you write or print the recipient`s address very clearly on the front of the parcel.

Whilst beautifully hand-written addresses, in ornate calligraphy, may be very in keeping with your craft business’s branding, do bear in mind that parcels and envelopes that are embellished in this way may not be readable by the computer. This means the parcel is delayed whilst it is checked by a human. If shipping speed is a priority for you, keep your addresses clear and readable.

Consider writing the address in water-soluble ink so it won’t smudge or disappear if the parcel gets damp. You can also get waterproof printer ink and many label printers use this as standard. Many craft sellers cover the address with wide, clear sticky plastic packing tape to protect it.

If you are regularly sending out a lot of parcels, consider investing in a label printer as this can be a lot faster than writing all your parcel addresses manually. The upfront investment and ongoing costs of sticky labels and ink may well be well worth the significant time you save. You will also have nice, professional looking, easily read labels and if you are copy/pasting them from the customer’s orders, you may also lessen the chances of making an error when writing them yourself.

If you are concerned that a customer’s address doesn’t look quite right, you can check it by typing it into Google Maps.

Return address

You must put a return address on all your parcels and envelopes. If the parcel is undeliverable for any reason, without a return address the postal service will not be able to get it back to you. There are many reasons it may not be delivered. These include an incorrect address, damage to the address or the parcel, natural disasters and the customer not collecting a parcel from a sorting office. Whilst you may have to refund your customer if the parcel is not delivered, at least if it is returned to you, then you may not be quite so out of pocket.

I definitely recommend investing in some pre-printed return address labels. You can order them from many different sources and they are usually pretty economical. You can also buy sticky label paper and print your own which is even more economical, and you can design them to match your branding etc (mine are printed in the purple colour I use throughout Tin Teddy).

Popping a sticky label on is much faster than having to write out your address on every parcel, plus looks smart and readable.

Handy Hint – don’t forget to add your country to the return address if you sell internationally. Otherwise, the postal services may well assume you are in the same country as the recipient and confusion and delays could ensue. A friend had to wait months for a parcel to be returned to her in Birmingham, England because it was boinging around the postal service out in Birmingham, Alabama, USA

Receipts

In some countries, it is actually a legal requirement to include a receipt with your products. I personally always include one, for many reasons. The three biggest are:

    1. if the addresses on the outside of the parcel are damaged or incorrect, the postal service can use an address on the receipt to get the parcel to safety
    2. many people will expect one and some feel that a business is somewhat less professional if they don’t provide one – this expectation does vary depending on the business type, by the way
    3. the receipt is a great opportunity to reinforce your branding, provide your customer with important information and even to have a little subtle marketing included – that’s a lot of benefits for just one wee piece of paper

Anyway, I am not going to go into all the reasons why I think a receipt may be a good addition to a craft seller’s parcels. I will talk about this more in a later episode. For now, if you are interested, you could check out my blog post A Receipt with your parcel – yes or no?

Should you include a receipt with your online sales?

Cost of Postage

In most countries, there are multiple companies that offer postal services for craft sellers. They may have very different options available, so you will need to do a little research to find which is best for you and your products.

Remember that cheapest may not always be the best. Sometimes a service that is just a little more expensive will include valuable extras such as postal insurance or tracking (more on these in a minute).

Learn your options

Nowadays there are many ways to purchase postage. For envelopes and small parcels, you may use good old-fashioned sticky stamps. These are generally available in a wide range of shops and, if your parcel fits in a public post box, can be a very simple way to handle your shipping. This system, however, does not include any sort of proof of postage and that is something you may require. And, if your parcels are larger or vary in size and weight, you may not be able to do this at all.

Many postal companies have a way to buy postage online and print a label out on your own printer. You may also be able to purchase postal insurance at the same time (more on insurance in a moment).
Paypal has its own postal label service, as does online craft marketplace Etsy, however, services like this may not be available for all countries.

Pick up from home

Some postal services can pick up your parcels from your home, studio or other business location. This may only be an option if you have quite a lot of parcels, but you may be pleasantly surprised.

Franking machines

If you send out a large number of parcels you could consider having your own franking machine. This usually allows you to enjoy reduced postage rates, but there may be significant upfront costs. Some countries allow franking machines that produce personalized, branded postal franks.

Free shipping

I am not going to get into the great debate about free shipping right now. There are arguments for and against whether to include the cost of postage in your main item price or show it separately.
For more on the pro and cons of so-called free shipping, check out episode 25 Promotions, Sales and Multibuys for Craft Sellers where I spoke quite a bit about it.

Buy scales and a ruler or tape measure

Most postal services base their postage prices on the weight and dimensions of the parcel. I’d strongly advise that you consider investing in some scales so you are aware of exactly how much your parcels weigh. You can buy shipping scales, but for most craft sellers you can save money by using cheaper alternatives. Smaller items are usually fine if weighed on normal kitchen scales. Very large items may be weighable on bathroom scales.

Also, get yourself a ruler and or tape measure so you can be sure of the dimensions of the parcel – remember that the wrapped parcel may be quite a bit larger than the basic item itself.

Here in the UK, some types of small packages can go at a lower postal rate if they will fit through certain sized slots. You can buy templates of these slots and the picture below is the one I personally use.

Clicking this picture will take you to the item on Amazon.co.uk.  This is an affiliate link. If you buy from it I may receive a small commission – at no extra cost to yourself. Thank you.

Or you could make your own from strong card using the dimensions on the Royal Mail website.

Sometimes rearranging the way you package multiple items can save money. For example, with the slots I just mentioned, arranging small items in a long row within an envelope may be much cheaper to post than if the same items were grouped in a cube shape in a small box.

A bit of time experimenting with your products, packaging and postal services’ criteria can help you save on postal fees, and prevent expensive product pricing errors. Investments of tools such as scales and rulers can easily pay for themselves very quickly.

Avoid Free Items that Affect Postage

Whilst it can be tempting to include a little free gift or extra product in with each sale, especially for a new shop who is keen to get positive feedback and publicity, do be careful that doing so will not affect the postage you will need to pay.

Watch the overall weight of the parcel, remember that postal fees often go up in bands so even a tiny bit of extra weight might push it over into a higher fee band.

Also, be careful that your free items are not going to affect your parcel in any other ways.

I’d recommend avoiding including anything edible unless you are actually selling and sending edible products anyway.

Avoid including anything which might pass a smell to your products – I once bought some lovely hand knitted socks that were wrapped around a bar of soap. The soap was unexpected. And very, very strongly smelling. I had to wash the socks twice before I could wear them, I didn’t like the smell at all.

Here are a few other items that it may be best to avoid as free gifts:

  • sweets – I have seen parents complain that it was tempting to their children, who are not allowed sweets
  • anything you can’t normally sell – more than once I have bought an item from a legitimate-looking shop, only to have it arrive with an extra handmade item that features a trademarked character. If an item is illegal to sell in your shop, it is also not something you should be adding as a freebie either
  • anything that may be prohibited – I recently read of a lady who sold lovely candles. She had a lot of problems though when she started including decorated boxes of matches with the candles, as a free gift. She meant well, but it was illegal to send matches through the post in her country. Always check!

Packaging Costs and Transport Costs

Remember that your postal costs are more than just the postage fee itself. You also need to take into account your packaging materials and any costs of going to the post office etc.

American Mail Van

Seller Protection

Unless you are personally delivering your products to your customers yourself, you have to trust to a postal service to do it for you.

Obviously, there are times where, for a myriad of reasons, parcels do not reach their destinations safely.
Please, please, never put a disclaimer in your shop saying something like “Once I post your order, I can not be held responsible for it” or “I am not responsible for items lost or damaged in the post”.
As a seller, you are always responsible for ensuring that your customer gets what they have paid for – or a replacement or full refund if that is not possible.

Your customer has an agreement with you – this is that they pay for the item and you provide them with it.

You have a totally separate agreement with the postal service you choose – that you pay them and they deliver the item to your customer for you.

If you are concerned that the parcel may be lost or damaged, it is up to you to take whatever precautions you can to lessen any potential loss to yourself.

Your customer is already protected by their payment provider. If you fail to get their parcel to them safely, they can open a case against you with Paypal, Etsy payments or their credit card. If the case is found in their favour you will have to refund them in full, may have to pay extra, and may get a black mark against you which could affect your continuing to be able to use that payment provider. Ouch!

So What Should a Craft Seller Do to Protect Themselves against Postal Issues?

Firstly, be sure your parcels are well packaged and well labelled. And use a reputable postal service. If you do this, you should get very few issues.

But if you sell enough items for long enough you are eventually going to have a lost or damaged parcel, through no fault of your own at all. Such is life.

Insurance and self-insurance

Most postal services offer an option for postal insurance, which they will pay out if the parcel is lost or damaged. This insurance may already be automatically included in the standard postage fees, or require a separate fee to be paid. Be sure to find out how it works for the postal service you are choosing to use.

Some postal services will not insure glass products, very large items and so on. But there are third-party companies that offer postal insurance services and may be happy to insure your products. Third party insurance may also be cheaper in some cases, so worth looking into if you have higher priced items.

Never have an option in your shop for your customer to choose whether they want to pay more for postal insurance or not.

There is no logical reason at all why any wise customer will ever choose that option. As I have already discussed, they don’t need the insurance, YOU do. If they don’t choose it, you are still responsible for replacing or refunding, exactly the same.

If you feel the sale is too expensive to risk having to refund if something goes wrong, insure that parcel. You can, of course, include the insurance fee in the shipping cost you charge your customer. Just never ask them to decide this for you.

Self Insurance

Of course, for many craft sellers in many countries, paying extra for postal insurance is just not necessary. If you sell, for example, very low priced items, having to refund a couple a year may be a very small sum. Upping your postal costs with insurance, then passing this to your customer by upping your product prices, may make it hard to compete with other sellers. In this case, a craft seller will usually just self-insure.

Self-insuring just means not paying for any extra postal insurance but budgeting to absorb any losses oneself.

If your items are high priced then it is usual to have postal insurance. For these items, the risk of losing even one parcel may be too high.

Remember that in most countries the postal services are reliable and the vast majority of properly labelled, properly wrapped parcels will arrive safely.

Tracking and Signed For

Your postal service may offer other options to protect your parcel on its journey. A popular option is having tracked post. Many big companies such as Amazon seem to do this as standard, and it is free for sellers in some countries such as the USA. Here in the UK, it is quite a bit more than the standard postal fees though.

If you can get tracked for free, I would recommend doing so. If you can show that the tracking says the parcel arrived, payment providers will probably close any cases made against you for lost parcels. Your customer may also appreciate being able to check where the parcel is on its route – I know I rather enjoy this option myself.

In the UK, it is common to pay a little extra for a parcel to be signed for by the recipient. Again this is to prove that it has been safely delivered. So many UK sellers will only send out high-value orders with this option.

With new technologies, there are new services arriving. Check your postal service’s website regularly to see if they offer anything that could help your craft business.

Mark as Fragile

Postal services usually recommend that you mark fragile parcels as such. This does not mean that you can get away with not packaging them up safely. Always assume that a parcel may have to undergo some very rough handling, and package accordingly.

Marking as fragile means that the postal service may manually process the parcel rather than sending it through machines, or will ensure it is not at the bottom of a big pile of heavy boxes.

Mark parcels as fragile if necessary

International Post

One of the great things about selling crafts online is it is possible to offer them to people all over the globe. Once upon a time that would have been almost impossible to do for a small seller.

But selling internationally can have its problems. Many new craft sellers start off selling only to their own country, then add other places when they have a bit more confidence and have done more research. Here are a few guidelines on selling internationally, but, of course, bear in mind that different countries have different rules and potential issues.

Restrictions

There may be additional restrictions on what you can post to another country, compared to what you can post within your own borders. Many countries, for example, have strict laws on importing potentially hazardous items such as edible products, precious metals, plant-based products and chemical-based products (such as some bath and beauty items).

If you are not sure, ask at your local post office, check online or ask on online selling forums.

Longer shipping times

Shipping overseas may well take quite a bit longer than domestic delivery times. You should be able to get guidelines from your postal service’s website. Make sure that when you quote probably shipping times to your potential customers that you are cautious. It is better to advise a little longer than average rather than underestimate and have to deal with lots of emails asking where their stuff is.

Don’t forget that some shipping methods are a LOT slower than others. A lot of overseas mail goes by plane nowadays, but there are still options for ship-based delivery too. If you are going to offer your customers one of these slower, but often much cheaper shipping options, that they are aware of just how slow it is likely to actually be.

Import Fees

Many countries charge taxes on products being imported from overseas. The rates vary hugely, as do the thresholds for how expensive the item has to be for a fee to be levied. Some types of products may be exempt and others may have extra fees due.

Whilst I appreciate that it may be impossible for a seller to know the full details of import fees for all the countries they ship to, it is worth a few minutes research into those of the countries you deal with the most.

Do not assume that your customer will know what their import fees and threshold is.

Always have a statement in your shop policies or terms and conditions reminding your customers that they are responsible for any import fees and taxes that are levied, not you.

If you sell high priced items, so these fees are much more likely to apply for your customers, be extra careful to warn people as best you can. Whilst you may get one or two people who change their minds and want to cancel once they find out, this may well be much cheaper and easier to deal with than having a bunch of angry customers who do not want to pay the import fees, return items and bad-mouth you on social media.

Postal Delivery

VAT

Most of the countries in the European Union, charge their residents VAT, Value Added Tax, on items they import from outside the EU borders. A number of other countries also have VAT or similar taxes on foreign imports.

The VAT rate varies from country to country. For the UK it is currently 20%.

The threshold for this VAT can be very low. Here in the UK, it is just £15.

Basically, if I, in the UK, buy an item costing £100, from outside the EU, I will probably get a VAT charge of 20%, which is £20, plus an additional £8 fee that the post office levies for handling this. That means that my £100 item will cost me a whopping extra £28.

Many, many people are totally unaware of these charges. In the EU, VAT is already added to the displayed prices of items for sale. Therefore one does not notice it in day to day purchases.

If you sell the EU from elsewhere, please be mindful that your customer really may not know about this. And it may be a big shock to them when they realise they will have to pay so much to get their items.

Many non-EU sellers will send EU customers a friendly warning when they buy, so they can change their mind and cancel if necessary. This is, in my opinion, excellent customer service.

Required documents – customs forms

Be sure you are aware of any extra paperwork or labels that your parcel will require before posting to foreign countries. Many international parcels will require a customs label. On this you declare what the parcel contains, how much it weighs and, usually, how much it is worth. There may be more or less information required.

Always be honest on these labels, they are legal documents and there can be significant fines for falsifying information.

In particular, be aware of the area of the customs form that asks you to tick what nature the contents are. If you are posting products you have sold then you should tick merchandise, or something similar.

The Infamous Gift Tick

Do not tick the option that says “Gift” unless the item is a personal gift from yourself to someone. If your recipient has paid you, it is NOT a gift.

There are sellers in many countries who will routinely tick the Gift box for all products they sell overseas – you may have received some of these yourself. They do this because the thresholds for import taxes may be much higher, or even non-existent, for gifts than they are for merchandise.

You may well get customers who ask you to tick the Gift box on the customs form for this very reason – it could save them money. But please be aware that it is illegal to do so. It is a form of tax evasion.
If anyone asks you, just be polite, but firm.

Check addresses

You may not be familiar with the format of address for countries other than your own. If you think it looks strange, you can check by typing them into Google Maps and seeing if it can find the place. If it can’t you can contact your customer to ask them if the address is correct. It is better to ask than have the parcel lost in the ether.

After sending parcels to a particular country a few times you will soon get familiar with their style of address layout.

A Few More Handy Hints

In a future episode I will be talking about what to do if things go wrong with posting, such as a missing parcel or a damaged product.

Remember that it takes time to package up a parcel as well as to take it to the post office or however else you despatch it. It can be easy to overlook this when accepting orders at busy times of the year.
Ensure you keep some money available for paying for postage if you do so in person at a post office etc. There may be a delay between receiving the product payment from your customer and the money actually getting into your own bank account.

Ah, here’s one that I see in online selling forums regularly. Do not assume you know what your customers can or cannot afford. Whilst YOU may baulk at paying £20 shipping for an item costing only £5, your customers may not. I have sent out many parcels that had far higher shipping fees than the item price.

If your items are unique to you, special, high quality or just really, really desirable.. you may be surprised at how many people are very happy to pay what it takes to get them. Don’t sell yourself short and assume otherwise. You could be missing lots of sales!

Similarly, you may be tempted to assume that no one outside of your own country would ever want to buy from you because of high postage fees. When I started my Antique Dog Prints shop I assumed the bulk of my sales would be domestic. I hesitated to offer international postage as it didn’t seem worth working it out etc. Well, most of my sales have gone overseas! If I had not taken the chance and added the international shipping options I would have lost a lot of money.

So don’t be afraid to offer options like this – let your customers decide whether they can afford it, or want to pay it.

Remember that you will be paying a postage charge based on the weight of the packaged up parcel. Be sure to take all your packaging into account when working out the postal cost, so you correctly charge your customers.

Do regularly check out your postal services websites, they often have lots of great advice to help you get the most from their services.

Finally, remember that packaging a parcel up can take quite a bit of space. If you are planning on adding larger products to your shop, consider in advance where you will actually wrap them. I have a friend who has a little shipping station under her dining room table! Here she has a wide expanse of clean floor space to work with. And is not in anyone’s way.


I would love to hear your own hints, tips and stories about posting crafted items. Please comment below.

Oh, and don’t forget the competition from the last episode doesn’t close until the 31st May 2019. All you need to do is go to the show notes for Episode 29, here on the Tin Teddy Blog. Then add a comment with your ideas for monetizing a craft blog, or comment on the ideas I gave in the episode. It is free and easy and there are five copies of my book, Make It, Blog It, Profit! – Blog Post Ideas for Craft Sellers, up for grabs. Someone has to win, it could easily be you!


The next episode of the Craft Seller Success podcast, episode 31, is called Etsy SEO – Tags and More – Getting Found on Etsy and it will be out on the 11th June 2019.   Every day I see sellers posting in the forums, upset that they have set up shops on Etsy but are not getting any sales. In the vast majority of such cases, a quick look at their shop shows that they are not using Etsy SEO, in other words they are not doing the things that Etsy says we must do if want our items to be found in their search. In this episode of the podcast I will explain, in plain English, what you need to do, why you need to do it, and lots of little hints and tips to get your stuff found – and selling!

Thanks for listening. Please subscribe to the Craft Seller Success podcast.

Until next time, bye

The Craft Seller Success Podcast from Tin Teddy.

Featuring Deborah Richardson
Original music by Matthew French


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Craft Seller Success from Tin Teddy

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The Craft Seller Success Podcast is hosted by Podbean. I have been using them for over a year now and am very happy with the service. Reliable, easy to use and very good value for money. If you would like to try them, they offer a free month’s service. The link, and banner are affiliate links, meaning that if you use them, I would get a small commission from Podbean if you sign up with them. This is at no extra cost to yourself, of course.  Thank you.

Shipping, Postage and Delivery for Craft Sellers – Craft Seller Success Podcast Episode 30
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