We’re taking a closer look at how to make sure you’re set up in time. If you’re reading this, you probably already know about the benefits of having your Shipping Policies correctly set up. One of the best things about Shipping Policies is the convenience and time you’ll save on adding shipping prices to every order. One seller we spoke to was delighted to wake up to find orders having come in overnight, already completed and paid for without him having to lift a finger.
As with all admin, setting up Shipping Policies probably isn’t the most exciting thing you’ll do today, but it also doesn’t have to be a struggle. Once you understand your postage rates for domestic and international shipping, all you have to do is put those rates into your Shipping Policies
Gather information on shipping providers available in your country and the costs
As a seller on Discogs, you’re probably already pretty aware of shipping costs and may have your rates listed in your Seller Terms already. If not, we recommend starting by looking up your local postal service’s website for their rates, tariffs, and zones.
It’s also worth looking into which courier services are available to you and their pricing. Sometimes their rates can be even cheaper, or they might offer more robust insurance options.
Have your shipping rates read and follow along step-by-step as we set up a “complete” domestic Shipping Policy for the Netherlands using rates from the national postal service, PostNL using a weight-based method.
Hit ‘Save Changes’ at the top-right of the Shipping Policy editor at any time during your set up process to ensure you don’t lose any work.
1. Head over to your Shipping Policy editor.
2. Select the region you want to create a new Shipping Policy for
Your Shipping Policies will be preset into three categories: Your country (a domestic Shipping Policy), your continent, then Rest of World.
In this example I’m creating a new Shipping Policy for my domestic region, The Netherlands.
Please note, these presets do not contain any shipping methods or shipping rates. You will still need to input your preferred shipping rates in each region.
3. If you’d like to offer Local Pickup or Free Delivery, check these boxes and enter the amount for Free Shipping to apply
4. Select the Service Type and give your method a Service Name
For Service Type you can choose from Economy, Standard, or Express. Choose the one most applicable to the service type you’re using. In Service Name, you can call your method whatever you like with the free text field. In this example, I’m simply using the name of the postal service I’m using; PostNL.
5. For a “Complete” Shipping Method, ensure ‘Order subtotal is 0.00. Adjust business days to deliver as necessary.
6. Select format/item types under ‘Method applies to’
In this example, I’m using the recommended ‘All my items’ to ensure this meets the requirements for a ‘complete’ policy. If you’ve already got a ‘complete’ method in your Shipping Policy for this region and you’d like to set up an additional method for a specific format, first select ‘Specific items only’, then the item type you’d like your method to apply to.
7. Set Shipping Policies combining Format with Weight or Quantity
You have two choices when you set up your Shipping Policies for how you want shipping to be measured and applied – by weight (in grams) or by the quantity (number) of items. This all comes down to personal preference. Personally, I like weight as this is how most postal services set their tariffs.
(Switching between the weight and quantity here to demonstrate, but continue to set up with the default and recommended option, weight).
8. Now it’s time to enter your shipping weight ranges and costs
Here I’ve used weight ranges and pricing according to PostNL’s tariffs. Note that the final range covers all orders 2000 grams and up with a ‘Flat rate’ of €15.00. An ‘and up’ price for the final line is essential for the method to be considered “complete”. You can also use the ‘Per Each Additional’ option instead of a ‘flat rate’ to charge an incremental amount per additional weight range or quantity of items added to an order.
9. SAVE YOUR SHIPPING METHOD
Save your policy. Save your policy. Save your policy! It bears repeating; this is super important. Save your policy.
The save button is at the top-right – no matter how far down your scroll down or up it will stay there. After you hit save you’ll get a confirmation on the left ‘Your policy has been saved’. You can save any time during the setup process.
As you can see after I saved, my Shipping Policy for the Netherlands says ‘This policy is complete’ meaning it is set up to apply to all potential orders coming through my shop, covering all values, items in my shop, up to an indefinite amount.
10. Add additional shipping methods to give buyers more choice.
Now that your ‘Complete’ Shipping Policy is set up, if you choose to, you can set up additional shipping methods in your policy to give buyers in this region more choice. You could set up methods for different formats, shipping with different carriers, or shipping items without cases (e.g. CDs without jewel cases).
In this example, we’re offering insured rates through PostNL for domestic shipping. We’re setting a minimum order subtotal of €50.00 so this method will only be available to buyers whose orders meet or exceed this amount. Buyers whose orders this applies to will be able to choose from a menu of shipping at checkout.
11. View your Shipping Policies as Buyers see them
To see what your Shipping Policies look like to buyers and browsers on the marketplace, click ‘My Store’ at the top-right of the Shipping Policy editor page. This will take you to your storefront, where you can see your shipping rates applied to your listings. You can see the full list of your Shipping Policies by clicking ‘Ships From’ at the top of the page. This will show you shipping rates to your country. To see shipping rates to any other country, click the dropdown menu at the top of this pop-over and select the country you wish to view. As long as you have a valid Shipping Policy set up for that country, you’ll see all the rates here.
Things to consider when settings up your shipping policies:
Where you ship to
Your listings will only be shown to shoppers in countries you select in your Shipping Policies, so set them up wisely. Obviously the more countries you ship to, the bigger the pool of buyers.
Each Policy needs to have at least one complete method
Within the Policy for each country or region you ship to, you must have at least one method to cover all potential orders. That means ‘All my items’ is selected under ‘Method applies to’, Order subtotal is $0.00, and the final line of the method uses ‘and up’ with either a ‘Flat rate’ or amount ‘Per Each Addtional’ item(s) or weight range. The example in this post is for a ‘complete’ method. This is really crucial to keep in mind as your Shipping Policy will be invalid without this one all-encompassing method, meaning your listings may show to some or all buyers as unavailable in the marketplace.
Factor in the cost of packaging materials
If you want to pass the costs of packaging materials onto your buyer, include these in your shipping costs. To do this, you could average how much you spend on packaging for a typical order and add it to your shipping costs (for example, if you’re setting up your methods by weight, add a few extra dollars to each weight range).
If you’re new to Shipping Policies and trying out the editor for the first time, try setting up a domestic shipping policy first. Chances are there will be a smaller variance in prices for local(-ish) shipping and it’s lower risk in case anything goes wrong with your set up.
This post was updated on October 15 to reflect updates to the Shipping Policy editor.