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7 Pro Tips for Setting Up Your Shipping Policies

Shipping Policies are a requirement for all Sellers starting November 1, 2020. 

With November 1 fast approaching, many Sellers have their Shipping Policies set up and are enjoying the benefits that automated shipping brings. Whether you’re still setting yours up or double-checking your work, see our best tips on how to give your Buyers the best deal while making sure your bases are covered.

If you’re looking to troubleshoot your Shipping Policies, be sure to check out our post on common mistakes and how to fix them.

Offer multiple methods to your Buyers.

Once you’ve got your “complete” shipping policy set up that covers all items in your inventory, you can treat this as a catch-all, adding additional and more specific shipping methods to your policy for your Buyers to choose from. These could be methods for specific formats; for example, a cheaper Large Letter method for up to three or four small-format items or a method with additional insurance costs factored in. 

Move methods in the order you want them to apply.

If you choose to offer multiple Shipping Methods in your Shipping Policy, make sure they’re arranged in the order that you’d like them to apply to your listings. You can do this by dragging-and-dropping the methods in the correct order. By default, the first shipping method in your Shipping Policies (the one at the top) will be the one that is applied to your Marketplace listings and shown to Buyers. 

For example, we recommend dragging your “complete” method (one that covers “All my items” with no order subtotal and covers “and up”) at the bottom of your Shipping Policies, with more specific methods (methods for sending specific formats, additional insurance, and/or Track and Trace) above, so these are given priority when applied to your listings. See a short video clip example of arranging the methods in the order you want to appear in here.

Research e-commerce shipping options and discounts.

Generally speaking, your national postal service is always a safe and easy bet for figuring out your basic shipping rates. However, you could be missing out on good deals by not exploring more options — especially if you’re sending a couple of packages or more per week. A quick Google search of e-commerce shipping options in your country or region could yield fast and significant savings.

For example, if you’re in the United States, try Discogs Shipping for discounts on USPS (United States Postal Service) commercial prices. We also hear a lot of Sellers have success with Pirate Ship. Many Canadian Sellers enjoy lower rates through ChitChats. If you’re in the United Kingdom, My Parcel Delivery offers a price comparison service and deep discounts on many carriers.

Give your Shipping Methods succinct, clear names.

Your Shipping Methods will be displayed with whatever name you enter in the “Service name” field to your Buyer when they click “Ships From” on your Seller Profile, as well as on a list of options when they check out. If you have multiple shipping methods, it helps to be as clear as possible to help Buyers distinguish between options and identify which is the best for them.

Factor in packaging and any other shipping costs into your prices.

As a Seller, you’ll likely have your packaging method down to a fine art. Make sure you’re not spending out of pocket by including the cost of your packaging materials in your shipping costs. There are a few ways to do this; either add a percentage or fixed markup when adding your shipping rates into the Shipping Policy editor or account for the additional weight for packaging when setting up your Shipping Policies by weight (e.g. 1,000 grams = 800 grams of items + 200 grams of packaging materials).

Offer Free Shipping on high-value orders.

Show me someone who doesn’t love free shipping and I’ll show you a liar. If you’re like me, you may sometimes find yourself adding extra items to your cart to take advantage of that sweet, sweet free shipping offer. When setting up your Shipping Policies, click the “Free Shipping” checkbox and enter a minimum order value. A banner at the top of your Seller Profile page will let your Buyers know you offer free shipping and how much they need to spend for their order to qualify. You might win a loyal customer before they even receive their order.

Click “Save Changes” more than you think you need to.

This is a good tip for pros, novices, and everyone in between. Make the “Save Changes” button your best friend. Click it often, after changes both big and small. If you’re not sure if you need to save again, do it anyway. While it won’t necessarily optimize your Shipping Policies, it will safeguard against losing your work.

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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