Craft Business Advice: Helpful Packaging and Shipping Tips for Your Online Orders

Many handmade crafters can feel unsure about how to package and send their goods to customers when starting their businesses. There are so many variables that come into play when mailing online orders- from the best way to purchase supplies to address labels to what should be included in the box. Here are my top pointers for shipping without worry!

1. Use Shipping Labels

Printing out shipping labels for your orders will save you time and money, as well as looking very professional. Hand-written addresses do add a personal touch, but keep in mind that you’re taking the chance of someone not being able to read your handwriting (especially for international mail). When you print shipping labels it verifies the address and suggests any changes, increasing the chance your package will get there without disruption. You will also get a tracking number that is sent to your email (and the customer if you have it set up), instead of having to manually enter it from a post office receipt.

2. Buy Supplies in Bulk

After you’ve sent out a few orders you’ll have good idea of what supplies you need for the majority of your packaging. Then you can streamline your shipping and save money by purchasing packaging supplies in large quantities. This will make it much easier to get those online orders out quickly- you won’t have to scramble to go find materials and make sure they work for your products.

Extra tip: Comparison shop online to find the best prices for shipping materials. You can also request a rep from most large wholesale supply companies, and they can often get you price quotes if you’re buying in bulk.

3. Consider the Durability

For me, the main purpose of my packaging is to get the item (or items) to the customer in perfect condition. I use pretty jewelry boxes to send my products (inside bubble mailers), but most-importantly they are very sturdy and will withstand processing machines and handling in the postal system. Your items are traveling great distances, so consider all the possible circumstances. Fragile items should be packed with extra care- and lots of bubble wrap or padding! Also keep in mind how the customer will open the package. If you’re sending something soft like a t-shirt, perhaps you should write a message on the package to open it carefully so the fabric doesn’t get cut.

4. Include a Receipt

Buyers like to get a copy of their order details in the package. This way they can have important information like the order number, return address, and any care instructions easily available without having to login to a site or check their email. It also makes it simple to double check you are sending the right item out to the correct address if you have the receipt printed and ready to go when packing up your orders.

Extra tip: If you want to be more eco-friendly and save printer ink, reduce the size of the page you’re printing and switch to recycled paper.

What other ideas do you have for successfully sending your handmade goods?

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