Building a business around your passion is a huge accomplishment, which makes shipping your product out correctly extremely important. As a crafty human, we get that you’ll want to protect and present your products well, and add that special touch to keep customers coming back. Here are some great ways to ship your handmade items and crafts in a cost-effective and crafty way!
Choose Your External Packaging Based on Your Product
It’s pretty simple – if you’re shipping something sturdy and small, opt for a poly mailer or envelope. With larger or fragile items, consider shipping with a box rather than an envelope to stay on the safe side. Boxes are sturdier, and the cardboard provides more protection than a simple poly mailer, which is super thin and bendable.
Note that you can get free packaging from USPS if you’re using a Priority Mail service (the best service for anything over a pound). You can also find simple and affordable poly mailers and bubble mailers on Amazon, or at your local office supply store. Check out our eCommerce Resources Directory for a huge list of custom packaging companies if you’d like to take things to the next level!
Package Your Crafts Thoughtfully and Carefully
With these handmade items as your prized possessions, you’ll definitely want to make sure that you ship your crafts to arrive to your customers in the best condition possible. This means you have to package your things carefully!
Now that we’ve covered external packaging, start thinking about how you’d like to wrap your product! Does it need extra protection or does it need to stay flat? Instead of the typical mountain of bubble wrap and packing peanuts, consider the following:
- Tissue paper will work great for a little extra protection for your item
- Linen can provide a ton of padding and be an eco-friendly way to protect your items
- Kraft paper can fill up any extra space in your boxes to ensure that your items don’t shift too much during transit.
Also consider using fabric scraps for padding/wrapping your items, or putting them in little cotton bags or jewelry gift boxes! These materials will add a special little touch, and help provide the first layer of protection for your item.
Pro Tip: Branding is key here! Take a little extra time to add a handmade thank you note, business card, or even a little tag with your business logo! This way, you can keep things simple and cost effective, and add that extra artist’s touch. Attention to detail will set your business up for success and encourage positive reviews and help you brand your business!
Protect Your Items at All Costs
Next, the heavy duty stuff – add in bubble wrap and packing peanuts if your item needs extra protection. The rule of thumb here is making sure that you have 2 inches of padding around your entire item. This will keep your item super safe as it’s transported to your customers. Extra fragile stuff might benefit from a Fragile sticker, which comes with an extra fee through USPS. Here’s a ton of extra information in this guide for shipping fragile items.
In any case, be thoughtful about your products to make sure that you’re shipping your crafts and handmade items out in the most effective way possible!
Pro Tip: Take a gander at packaging inserts for extra branding and protection for your items!
Choose the Right Shipping Service for Your Crafts
USPS will definitely be the absolute best way to ship out your crafts and handmade items, since they specialize in shipping smaller, lighter shipments! Here are the services to consider as your plan out your craft shipments:
- First Class Package Service – This will be the way to go for shipments weighing 15.99 ounces or less! You’ll need to use your own packaging for this service. Pop some scarves, small wooden trinkets, and more into poly mailers with some padding, and ship those out for as low as $2.74.
- Priority Mail Flat Rate Service – This is a great service for smaller items that need extra padding. The Small Flat Rate Box is where you’ll save the most money! You can get boxes for this service for free from USPS. Other than that, it’s a flat rate no matter where you’re shipping to, which makes pricing shipping for your customers a breeze!
- Priority Mail Cubic – This is your savior for shipments that are on the heavier, larger side! Basically, Cubic rates are based on package size, so make sure your boxes are as small as possible, though be sure that you still leave room for padding and protection for your products. You can use free packaging from USPS or use your own packaging, and you’ll be all set to ship!
With valuable or fragile shipments, take a peek at adding insurance! This will allow you to cover any losses or damage to your one-of-a-kind products. Priority Mail shipments include insurance through USPS, but for First Class Packages you’ll need to insure those shipments to protect your business.
Use Online Shipping Software to Save Money on Shipping Crafts
Like any other smaller items, you’ll save the most cash shipping crafts by using online shipping software to buy postage! This will give you the deepest commercial discounts available through USPS, which is a huge plus! With those discounts, you’d be saving up to 59% on First Class Package Service, 65 cents on Flat Rate shipments (this stacks up in the long run), and 90% with Priority Mail Cubic (sheesh!).
In addition to those crafty little savings, you’ll be able to print labels from your home (or studio/office) and schedule free pickups to avoid long lines at the Post Office! That means more time creating and less time shipping, which is the dream. Check out the online shipping software we recommend as you start your business. Now get shipping, my friend!