TEST Etsy Newbie Bootcamp: Class 21 Setting Shipping Rates

Welcome to our Etsy Newbie Bootcamp! If you want to take part in Bootcamp and get one-on-one mentoring, or answers to any of your questions, please drop us a line at TorontoEtsyST@gmail.com.  

If you want to open an Etsy shop, just follow this link!

We have new sellers joining our Bootcamp all the time, so even though this is Class 21, you can join now or anytime! You can complete the classes at your own pace. The first 8 classes will take you through opening your shop to shipping your sold items:
Class 1, Class 2, Class 3, Class 4, Class 5, Class 6, Class 7, Class 8.  

Check out the subsequent classes at your own pace to upgrade your shop when you find the time: Class 9, Class 10, Class 11, Class 12, Class 13, Class 14Class 15, Class 16, Class 17, Class 18, Class 19, and Class 20.   The trick is to continually improve and you'll find your business can grow, become more efficient and professional as it evolves.  

No time like the present to make a New Year's Resolution to make your Etsy shop as awesome as it can be, and to work through Bootcamp at a steady pace which works for you!
Send someone a graphic hand-cut representation of your
hometown like this framed 11x17" framed map of Toronto by CUTdesignsrt

New Year is not only a time for resolutions, it's (sadly) the time of year when postal rates change. Check out this handy article from Etsy about changes to Canada Post and USPS rates. Postal rates increase yearly, and that means you'll have to increase your rates accordingly, or it could cut into your bottom line. But, it's not all bad news! For instance, for all our Canadian Newbies: Canada Post "Light Packet" Parcels weighing 0.25 – 0.3 kg, for example, will have prices lowered by 34%! Light packet service will also be broken into three weight categories. Other services, and liability coverage will increase. There was a 3% Automation Discount, which will be removed for Xpresspost USA, Expedited Parcel USA and Xpresspost International - which makes yet another increase.  Also, the formula for calculating a parcel’s volumetric weight has changed for all air shipping services. How can you keep track of all these changes and adapt your pricing and shipping strategies? Etsy has broken it down into some handy charts, which we will go through below. (American sellers can find charts of USPS rate changes here).
some lovely, small, unique, custom items like this
Fine Silver Double Fingerprint pendant from DesignByBullsEye

Strategy for updating your shipping rates
  • We recommend signing up to print your own Canada Post shipping labels with Etsy! This allows you to do your shipping, inventory and communications with customers in one step - and offers discounts on most rates. Etsy will automatically mark all of your orders as shipped and send shipping notifications to buyers once you print your labels. Etsy shipping labels are available to Canadian and US sellers. Sign up and and learn more here and read our Shipping Snippets tutorial here. When you print out your own labels, you can use the built-in interactive tool to compare and contrast all your shipping rate options.
  •  If you're already using Shipping Profiles, updating your rates should be reasonably painless! If your wares come in standard sizes, or even a fairly controlled range of sizes, a good way to make it easier to create new listings is to set up some Shipping Profiles. Once you've made and packaged one fairly standard sized item (say, one dress, one Giclée print of a certain size, one necklace, or what have you) you can measure its dimensions and weight. Then, use the Canada Post online tool or the Etsy Shipping Label tool to figure out the shipping prices to likely destinations. Read more in our shipping and packaging tutorial. While the addition of new weight categories may mean it's worth your while to update your profiles, generally, you can simply edit each profile to reflect the new prices and then edit all linked listings at once automatically! If you aren't using Shipping Profiles set them up TODAY and you'll be able to seamlessly update rates in the future.
    Vintage Lace/Tulle A-line from Takemevintage
    could be yours (and cleverly packaged in a minimum of space)
  • Check out the charts below to see if the new weight categories can benefit your shop! Are your items now in a new Light Packet category? Are they quite close? Do a little experimenting with your scale, ruler and packaging and see if you can tweak your packaging to keep your items in a lower weight category. A very large number of Etsy sellers make small items like jewellery, stationary and more which can be sent Light Packet and may find their shipping costs actually decrease if they package their items and select their service carefully! Though, on average of course, rates are all going up (for instance, Light Packet USA rates will increase by 17.4% and Light Packet international rates will increase by 11.7%). Note that for the heaviest of the Light Packet categories, Small Packet may be more affordable. Decreases in examples rates for Light Packet are highlighted in blue in the charts below.

The Canada Post Specifics

Light Packet now has three weight categories:

If your items are only slightly heavier than 200 g or 300 g, it is worth investigating whether your packaging can be decreased.

Volumetric weight is the factor Canada Post uses to categorize the parcel rate. So, when determining how much to charge you, Canada Post uses the actual mass in kilograms, and a scaled volume (length x width x height divided by a number).

The change to the formula is as follows:
  • 2014: Length (cm) x Width (cm) x Height (cm) / 6000 = Volumetric Weight
  • 2015: Length (cm) x Width (cm) x Height (cm) / 5000 = Volumetric Weight

All air shipping rates are changing accordingly. What does this mean for you? That decrease in the scaling factor means that there is a greater penalty for large packages and in 2015, and even more than in 2014, it pays to try and pack items compactly.  Read more about Volumetric Weight here. The Rated Weight is price is calculated using the greater of the volumetric weight or the actual weight. The actual weight cannot exceed 30 kg.

Examples of base shipping prices (without taxes, surcharges or extra fees) based on services available today in $CAD, reprinted from the Etsy Seller Handbook article on the new 2015 Canada Post rates:

* Base Rate for Etsy’s Canada Post Shipping Labels includes a 3% automation discount where applicable; does not include fuel surcharges, fees for Optional Services, or additional fees and taxes.
** Average rate change across all services’ zones and weights.
*** Options are not available for all services.
^ Light Packet USA and Light Packet International weight ranges are shown for example purposes, only.

Tip: For those who sell flat items (photographers, fine artists and printmakers like me), there is no longer a fee for using cylindrical mailing tubes, or better yet, there is no longer an "Oversized Fee"! Options for selling poster sized/shaped items just got better.
Got any questions, suggestions or advice? How is shipping going for you? Let us know your feedback by commenting below or dropping us a line at TorontoEtsyST@gmail.com.

1 comment:

  1. I just discovered your great site! As a Canadian it always seems harder for us then our American friends across the border to sell online. I have recently opened my Etsy store, "Suzyseyecandy". I sell vintage clothing and jewelery and am enjoying myself to no end!!! Your boot camps are full of valuable info. Thank you so much for providing it. I will be devouring your information and blog on a regular basis. Thanks again!


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