How to ship on Etsy: The ultimate guide

How to Ship on Etsy: The Ultimate Guide

If you’re planning to start your Etsy shop, you’ve certainly thought about the shipping part. We’re happy to say that the platform handles shipping very professionally. From the moment you create your shop and your first listing, you can opt for different couriers.

Additionally, you can ship your packages without ever leaving your household. Even though this depends on your location, most sellers in the US will be able to do it.

Keep reading to learn how it all works. You’ll love how easy setting everything up is. Etsy has gone a long way to simplify everything.

Shipping Essentials

As a seller, it’s your responsibility to deliver items to your buyers. The way you choose to do it is up to you. However, it’s necessary to create a strategy that best works for you and your buyers to remain effective and efficient.

The first thing to consider is whether you want to dispatch products yourself or work with a third party. While you might be able to ship orders initially, you’ll likely start working with a third party to get everything sent in time.

Check your local options, as different delivery companies are available in other regions.

Here’s a list of things about shipping you should consider:

  • Establish shipping policies
  • Create several shipping profiles
  • Create a schedule that allows you to fulfill orders
  • Make a step-by-step plan for shipping your orders.
  • Stock up on packages, boxes, and envelopes.

These are a couple of fundamentals that’ll help you get started on the right track. While it sounds complicated in theory, getting everything done is not that hard, especially after seeing how it works in practice.

How to Ship on Etsy

The way you handle shipping is going to be accessible in the beginning. Likely, the number of orders will not be high, but as time goes by, you’ll have to make a plan that enables you to deliver packages to all your customers within a given time frame.

That’s why Etsy offers some mechanism to make the whole process easier.

Shipping Profiles

The first thing you should do is create shipping profiles. They’ll make your shipping life much easier. What are shipping profiles?

Instead of filling out shipping details for every listing, you can create multiple shipping profiles for other listings. For example, you can create one profile for shipping to the US, another for Canada, and the third for international shipping.

Here’s how to do it:

1. Log in to Etsy and head over to Shop Manager.

2. Find Shipping settings in Settings and click on it.

4. Now click Shipping profiles and then click Add a shipping profile

5. You can now add all the shipping details to your profile. Once you finish, click Save.

Once you set up your profiles, you can use them when you’re making new listings in the future. You can also connect your existing listings to your new Shipping profile. All you have to do is:

1. Get to the Shop Manager and click Listings.

2. Click the checkbox on the listing you want to edit, and then click Editing options.

3.  You’ll see a dropdown with Change shipping profiles. Click on it.

4. Select the profile you want to use and click Apply once to finish up.

Creating these profiles will make the process of managing your listings’ shipping much faster. You’ll save a lot of time with them.

Etsy Calculated Shipping

When you’re creating shipping profiles, you’ll notice that the Etsy Calculated Shipping option is available. If you want to save more time, you can use this for buyers in the US and Canada.

However, to use it, you’ll have to add weight and dimensions to all of your listings. That way, Etsy automatically fills out the shipping label with the relevant package details. Find out how to do it on Etsy’s site.

One thing’s for sure, you’ll need to get Etsy Shipping Labels to do that.

Etsy Shipping Labels

Etsy has teamed up with USPS to send packages domestically and internationally to make the whole process easier for sellers.

The best part is, you can print out your own USPS shipping labels. You can buy them on Etsy, fill them out once the customer makes an order, and print it for your package.

All you have to do afterward is request a pickup from your home address. Here’s how the process works.

1. Get to the Shop Manager and click Orders & Shipping.

2. Select the Completed tab.

3. You’ll now see a Request a pickup button at the top.

4. Pick the pickup location. You’ll also need to verify your phone number and address.

5. If you have any specifics to add, use the Additional Notes section.

6. After filling out all the necessary details, click Request pickup.

If necessary, you can always cancel a pickup in the Completed tab.

Buying Etsy shipping labels will lower your shipping costs by around 30%. It’s a great option, especially if you need insurance, which we’ll also touch upon later in the upcoming section.

The best part is, you can request a pickup for multiple items. Keep in mind, though, USPS requires that at least one package is shipping via a USPS premium service. 

International Shipping

If you want your products to be visible to buyers from all over the world, you’ll have to edit your Shipping profile.

When you’re setting up your Shipping profile, check out whether you’ve selected the option to ship the item globally.

On the other hand, if you don’t want to ship globally, list the countries you’d like to support.

Free Shipping

Offering free shipping means that you’re covering the shipping costs. It’s a sort of a marketing stunt, as the shipping price is included in the product’s price anyhow.

That’s why it’s essential to create the correct pricing, so the sale brings you profit. While this can be easy to anticipate for the US, costs can quickly add up if you’re shipping internationally.

Etsy has prepared two scenarios for those who want to offer free shipping. Take a look at how you can do it.


Offering returns is entirely up to you. The only exceptions are customers from the European Union, to which you have to comply with all the rules of the EU Directive on Consumer Rights.

If you decide to offer returns, it’s best to get to a return agreement through Etsy’s case system or Etsy Messages. That way, you can clearly show that you’ve refunded a customer or have shipped a replacement product to their address.

Whatever decision you make, you’ll have to state where you do returns and refunds in the shop policy section.

Shipping Insurance

When buying a shipping label from Etsy, you can also add additional insurance or coverage for your package. 

Different shipping companies offer other insurance packages, which result in different maximum insurance values.

Here’s a complete guide to how you can make insurance claims in case your package disappears or becomes damaged.

Competitive Pricing

Staying competitive is essential for your Etsy shop’s growth. The numbers are precise. Buyers will more likely click on free shipping products. That’s why offering free shipping is an option that you should seriously consider.

The key, however, is to do the math right. With a minor miscalculation, you can end up losing money on your sale with free shipping. Therefore, use Alura’s Etsy Fee calculator to get exact profit numbers. You can then remove shipping costs and see whether you’re still in the green.

Make Your Shipping Policies Transparent

Building trust with your customers is essential from the moment they land on your listing. Always be transparent about your services—state all the relevant details in your shop’s policies. 

When someone looks at your shop policy, they need to see all the relevant details about your shipping procedure. These are some of the questions that your shop’s policy should answer. 

  • What’s your delivery date? 
  • What’s the processing time?
  • Do you accept returns?
  • Do you accept refunds?
  • What’s the timeframe during which you accept returns?
  • Who’s going to cover the return shipping costs?

Answering all these questions will get the customer to trust you, as they’ll see how professional you are.

Estimate Your Delivery Dates Correctly

Don’t make the mistake of making a false promise to your customers. From the moment you begin running your Etsy store, figure out a realistic delivery date that you’ll be able to fulfill.

Otherwise, you’ll face unnecessary negative reviews. Therefore, when talking about delivery dates, make a rough estimate ranging from 7 to 14 days. You can’t predict whether the courier will get everything delivered in time.

On top of that, delivery times can significantly vary from the location of the buyer.

Anticipate all these challenges before they occur, and if they do, have an action plan that’ll amaze your customers.

Establish Clear Communication With Your Customers

Be aware that a mistake is bound to happen sooner or later. No matter how perfect a strategy you create, unforeseen circumstances arise. It’s how you deal with them that’ll keep you on the growth path.

As a seller, your number one priority should be to remain patient and always polite with your buyers. Even if the misunderstanding is in no way your fault, you need to communicate that you apologize for the whole mess.

Communication is everything. You need to keep your customers informed of the packages’ whereabouts at all times.

Monitor Mistakes and Learn From Them

While mistakes will happen now and then, you must learn new things from them. For example, if you notice that a particular delivery company is making some mistakes repeatedly, it’s best to try and change the provider.

Your shop’s reputation is at stake. Try to find a different solution that’ll work better both for you and your buyers.

Mistakes don’t have to happen for you to learn something new. Monitor your shipping processes and see how you could speed it up even more.

Share Your Experience with Others

You’re not the only person running an Etsy store. If you come across a shipping issue, you should go to the seller’s community and see whether you can find a solution to your problem. The chances are that someone has already been through a similar situation.

An excellent place to go is Etsy’s official community website. It’s rich with experienced sellers who are always willing to help their community members.

If you’re looking for an alternative, you can always head over to the Etsy Subreddit and share your experiences there.

Even if you don’t get help, you have shared a possible challenge with the community that might happen to someone else.

Of course, if we’re talking about a severe issue, it’s best to reach out to Etsy’s customer service.

Finishing Thoughts

Take a look at Alura’s Etsy tool to improve your Etsy shop growth. If you’re eager to learn more about it, drop us an email, we’ll gladly help you get familiar with it.

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