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Dispelling Common Myths About Discogs Shipping Policies

Shipping Policies bring a great deal more transparency to shopping on Discogs. Many buyers report that they don’t even look at listings without a shipping cost included.

These days, it’s uncommon to place an order online without knowing the full cost of the order (including shipping and packaging material costs). While having shipping rates entered in Seller Terms informed buyers about shipping costs, often-times it required the buyer to go hunting in those Seller Terms, performing mental gymnastics to apply those costs to their order, or resulted in a nasty surprise when they found out that those rates were no longer correct.

Since implementing Shipping Policies, we’ve heard from sellers who were initially skeptical report that they’re pleasantly surprised with the outcomes, seeing an increase of orders, more multi-item orders, and less time and effort put into negotiating shipping costs.

This focus on Shipping Policies also concerns the longevity of Discogs. In order to keep bringing new buyers to your Discogs stores; support the biggest Database of music releases, artist, and labels on the planet; and stay competitive with other e-commerce options, we’ve got to keep up with the times and deliver an experience closer to what online buyers in 2020 have come to expect.

We know that setting up Shipping Policies will require some sellers changing how they sell on Discogs, however this has prompted some myths that we’d like to address and assure you are not true.

Myth #1: Discogs wants to push out smaller sellers, hobby sellers, and collectors.

One of the greatest things about Discogs is the diversity of sellers — the interactions between music fans, collectors, store owners, and hobbyists. That can only continue by supporting sellers of all sizes and stripes. While we understand the amount of work that goes into setting up Shipping policies may seem disproportionate to sellers with a lower volume of items for sale, as stated above, it helps bring a needed degree of transparency and trustworthiness to the Discogs Marketplace and all those who sell on the platform.

Myth #2: No more communication between the buyer and seller.

Buyers and sellers can still interact more or less like you do today, you just don’t have to hash out shipping costs. We encourage you, whether you’re a buyer or seller, to continue to reach out and swap messages, niceties, and comments over the course of a transaction.

Myth #3: There’s no way to give discounts or edit the shipping rate before the buyer pays.

With Shipping Policies, the buyer can place their order and pay immediately if they choose to, but they can also choose not to. As long as the buyer has placed their order but not finalized it with a payment, you can edit the shipping costs. For example, if you strike up a rapport with a buyer who’s messaged you before ordering and you’d like to give them a discount on shipping, you can simply edit the shipping cost when the order is placed but not yet paid.

Myth #4: I’ll get negative feedback if something goes wrong with my Shipping Policies, or a buyer pays before I talk to them first.

We understand that working with Shipping Policies will be new for a lot of sellers and that there will be an adjustment period. We’ll be notifying buyers of these changes to the Marketplace and asking them to be a bit more compassionate given the circumstances. We’re also offering some amnesty on negative feedback related to shipping or Shipping Policies. If this happens to you, please contact our community support team explaining the situation and outcomes, and we’ll review it.

Myth #5: Discogs dictates the shipping rates in your shop.

Shipping costs are always determined by the seller. Shipping rates are unique to each seller as they depend on which postal service you’re using, whether you want to include insurance on all orders, how much you charge for packaging materials, or any other costs associated with shipping. For this reason, we leave setting your shipping rates in your hands rather than prefill this field. Long story short, Discogs does not dictate shipping costs. That said, if you’re looking for more guidance on how to set your shipping rates, we have postage rates templates for several countries here (scroll down to find your country).

Myth #6: There’s no way to do shipping with insurance.

This can be more complicated depending on the postal service you’re using and how they set up their rates, but it’s definitely doable. There are a few different ways to do it: you could include an additional charge in your shipping rates or set up a separate method for shipping with insurance (as we demonstrate in a video tutorial here).

Myth #7: How is the Shipping Policy going to handle orders of 200 items? Why do I have to worry about orders of that volume?

A “complete” Shipping Policy means orders of all formats (and combination of formats), all values, and all volumes are covered by a shipping rate.

While we do require a complete Shipping Policy to cover all items in the Marketplace and to calculate shipping on order placement so the buyer can checkout immediately, the likelihood of receiving an order this large is pretty low.

Keep in mind how many items are in your store, and that most orders placed are for two items. In our sample study, we didn’t see any orders of over 5kg for sellers with smaller inventories. That’s not to say it will never happen, but it’s unlikely.

Myth #8: I previously gave buyers a choice of shipping options, but now they will only get one.

It’s up to you, the seller, how many shipping options you decide to enter in your Shipping Policies with different shipping methods. Only one shipping method will be applied to your listing in the Marketplace (this will be the top method in your Shipping Policies view), but when the buyer goes to complete their order, they’ll be presented with a menu of all the shipping methods you offer and they can choose. For example, a buyer may choose to pay a bit extra for a shipping method with insurance or a faster delivery time.

Myth #9: A “complete” Shipping Policy removes the option to set shipping prices per format.

While you do need to have a complete shipping Policy for each region you ship to, which includes a method that covers all items in your inventory, you can add additional shipping methods for specific formats (large vinyl, small vinyl, CDs, cassettes, DVD/Blu-ray). The complete method acts as a catch-all for multi-format orders or where no other shipping method applies to the order (just make sure when you’re setting up your Shipping Policies that the “complete” method is dragged to the bottom of the policy, demonstrated in this video).

Looking for more info about Shipping Policies? Find everything you need — set-up guides with video walk-throughs, shipping rate templates, webinar recordings, FAQs, and more– right here.

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