Friday, 19 August 2016

My top 10 shipping tips for Etsy sellers

There's been a few times where my shipping 'routine' has been pretty close to the wire. A few times when I've thought about cancelling orders, and a few times that been overwhelmed and under prepared.

A product based business relies on being able to get purchases out to customers in time as advertised and in a fit state too.
Now, I've been pretty lucky (not sure if that's the right word) in my Etsy shop in being able to meet all expectations my customers hold when purchasing my products.

My own expectations however are always shot to shit.


Well, why is that?
At the end of Father's Day this year I had a sit down and a gave myself and my small business a good grilling and figured out why I always feel like I'm running around like a headless chicken. It's because I won't let myself believe my products are capable as selling as much as I'd hope at the key gifting periods. This means I just sort of roll with it, when it gets super busy I always find myself thinking 'oh it'll go dead tomorrow' or 'oh, I probably won't need to restock'.
So I made some rules & plans for myself and also have allowed myself to recognise that yeah, I'm going to be busy so plan for it and bloodywell own it!

As it's Christmas coming up I though I'd share some of my top tips with you so you don't make the same mistakes I've made in the past. First off, here's what I've found to be the key times to get in your stock and supplies for each gifting period.

  • Christmas ~ September/October
  • Valentines Day ~ mid December
  • Mother's Day ~ February
  • Father's Day ~ May

bubble wrap, fragile tape and packing supplies



























1) Check your stats from previous years and see if you can find any patterns as to when roughly you will start to pick up.

2) Order double your packing supplies a month ahead of time. If you can't afford to layout a big chunk then start hoarding as early possible. It's better to have a pile of packing bags shoved under your bed for a few months than to run out when you really need them.

3) Double check with your suppliers as to their shipping and cutoff times (especially around Christmas) just in case. This is also a great way to develop a better relationship, give plenty of time though, I wouldn't recommend emailing them in December.

4) Know your local Post Offices and post boxes and their pickup times. What if your PO is getting a refit and is closed for a week? Do you know where the next one is and their times? Same goes for Post Boxes, what if a car crashes into your normal one and it's out of service, make sure you know where the next one is.

5) If you're working a dayjob too, try and use a couple of days holiday in the run up to your busiest time. Not always convenient but it saves a lot of stress and means you're able to focus on both.

6) Don't forget your printer(s). You'll be printing a much higher volume with invoices and shipping labels so don't forget to keep some extra ink and your paper stocked up.
If possible, have a backup printer or at least know where to get one at short notice. We have a 24 hour Tesco nearby and they have printers starting at £20.

7) Have an area solely for packing. I have a fold out table which pretty much stays folded out throughout my busier times.
Have everything to hand and create a system that works best for you. Even if it means taking over your dining table, that's the way it is.

Here's some of my 'dream office' pins from Pinterest. It's good to have something to aim for, right?

top 10 tips for Etsy sellers

8) Have a water tight system for knowing where you're up to with each order. Whether that means marking as shipped as soon as you print the invoice or sending the shipping notification once everything is packed up. Find one option that works best for you and stick to it.
Most online platforms have a 'notes' option for you when the order comes through, I find this is a great place to add any correspondence you've had with the customer, change of address for example.

9) Keep up! When you're super busy, it's best to look at it as a 24 hour operation. I tend to pack the bulk of my orders before I go to bed at night. That way I'm not going to bed worrying about the mammoth task that awaits in the morning. All I have to do when I get up is pack up any overnight additions and then do the first post run.

10) Remember you're not a robot! You may feel like it after you've been packing up Valentine's cards since before Christmas, but make sure you enjoy this time in your business. Do something small for yourself each day as a treat, even if that's blasting out your fave tunes while you're getting those orders out and don't forget to feel good about the fact you're creating products that people love!

Well there we go. I hope you've found my shipping tips for Etsy sellers useful. I'd love to know if you have any additional advice to help us all out too. If so, leave a message in the comments.

If you're looking for a treat for all your hard work then I have the perfect thing for you. This super cute 'world's best shipper' coffee mug.
So whenever you feel you're heading into nervous breakdown territory, simply make yourself a brew in this cutey and you'll start to feel all your worries fall away.
Who am I kidding, you won't feel that, but it'll sure make you feel just a touch more in control.

£8.50 + shipping
 
cute mugs for Etsy sellers, shipping lessons


Above all else, enjoy it! You're busy.

You go Glen Coco





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