Your Craft Business: Simple Tips for Shipping Your Product

Should you charge for shipping your product?

Some craft business owners have taken the route of not charging for shipping at all!  Shipping your product for free may seem crazy, but those who do it say that it brings in more customers.  Free shipping is something that a lot of the big corporations are offering to entice their customers.  Unfortunately, since everything is coming out of your small craft business, most can’t compete with the big boys this way.  If you feel like your craft business can handle it, go for it!  If not, think about offering a free shipping deal once a month to your blog readers or offer free shipping if someone becomes a fan of yours on Facebook.  You can still offer free shipping without taking a big hit to your profits.  If you do charge, here is a calculator for determining approximate U.S. shipping costs.

Materials
When charging for shipping your product, you want to think about whether you should be factoring in the cost of your packaging materials.  Padded envelopes and boxes can get expensive so you want to make sure that your craft business isn't losing money when it comes to the materials for shipping your product.  One way to avoid this is to use as many recycled packaging materials as possible. You can make nice mailer envelopes from cereal boxes or grocery bags.  The Internet is full of tutorials showing you how to be eco-concious and thrifty with your packaging!

International
This is probably the biggest question of them all:  Do you want to ship internationally?  It’s hard to pass up an opportunity to sell your things all over the world, but you should do your research first before shipping your product to other countries.  You need to determine how much it’s going to cost to ship your items worldwide and each place is different.  This international shipping calculator is a great tool to determine how much things are going to cost and how much you should charge.  You also need to determine if there are any customs rules that you should follow; different countries have different rules when it comes to what you’re allowed to ship.  Here is a great comprehensive list of countries and their shipping restrictions.  If you have more questions about international shipping follow this link to the International Mail Manual.

Only you can determine if, and how much, you want to charge for shipping your product.  Offering deals on shipping is a great way to get customers.  Using recycled materials for packaging will greatly cut down on the cost to your craft business, and you can pass the savings onto your customers.  Finally, international shipping isn’t hard once you know the rules.

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