Shipping. The most important aspect of a Virtual Craft Fair, this process can also seem the most daunting. I am here to help you through this process, let you know that it is not that horrible, and teach you to use this as a force for good!
First, did you know that you can use shipping as a marketing strategy? Think about this: are you more apt to purchase online goods that ship for free? Or, do you complete most of your online shopping through Amazon Prime to take advantage of their free shipping? Most consumers do, too! This means that a customer is much more likely to click “add to cart” on any product that they know has free shipping.
So, if you decide to go this route, make sure the customer knows that you are offering free shipping on your product! Add “FREE SHIPPING!” to your product title and product descriptions so that the customer does not have to wait until purchase to discover the awesomeness that you are offering them.
Even if you choose not to offer free shipping, this blog post will have many goodies for you! Read on for directions on how to set up shipping rates on Craft Fair USA and on how to best calculate the shipping rates to charge your customers.
How to set up your shipping costs:
Shipping rates are entered on each individual product. The shipping rule is automatically set up to ship for free, anywhere in the USA. If you want to change the price, but have the same shipping cost for anywhere in the USA, you can just edit the “Item Cost” or “Line Cost” in the Shipping Rules, leaving the “State Code” empty.
- Click on the shipping tab in the “Product Data” section.
- Click “insert row” to create a shipping rule. If you leave Country Code, State Code, and Zip Code blank, the $ entered for Item Cost will be the shipping cost for one of the items to any state in the USA. If you enter a cost in the “Line Cost” section, this will be the shipping cost no matter how many of this item a customer purchases in one order.
- Free shipping can be set up by leaving the Item Cost at zero.
- If you enter a second row with a state code, ex. WA for Washington, you can enter a different shipping amount for that particular state.
- You can enter as many different states for different shipping rates as you would like.
What if each of my product variables will cost a different ammount to ship?
Good news! You can over-ride the shipping that you set up on the product with a shipping rule set up on a variant. This means that if you created a product listing for coffee mugs and have 3 sizes of mugs that cost the same price for you to ship, but the 4th size (XL) costs $2 more to ship, you can follow the steps above to create a shipping rule for the product listing, based on the prices of the 3 mugs. Then, you can navigate to the 4th size variant and enter a new shipping rule that will only apply to that variant, and that will override the shipping rules that you set up on the main product listing. You could also set this up so that every variant has a different shipping cost.
- Navigate to the product listing that you want to edit, then scroll down to the Product Data section.
- Click on the Variations section, then click on the variation that you want to add the shipping info to.
3. Once the information about that variant opens up, scroll down until you see the “Shipping Rules” section for the variant.
4. Click “insert row” and then follow the same instructions that you would for the main product listing Shipping Rules (See steps at the top of this blog post).
How to calculate shipping costs.
In order to calculate shipping, you will fist need a shipping account somewhere. You can use a site like Stamps.com or UPS.com, but the best that I have found so far is PirateShip.com. PirateShip.com is a GREAT source for inexpensive USPS shipping; it enables members to print off discounted shipping labels through this site—AND it is FREE to set up an account! (Set up your account at PirateShip.com)
A Pirate Ship account can also be used to estimate costs for the shipment of items. To get started, you will need to know what size box or envelope that you will be shipping in and the weight of the item. Then, log in to your Pirate Ship account and click on the “Rates” option in the left-hand menu to be taken to a Quick Rate Quote Screen. I usually Google Map the address of a McDonald’s in the area that I am wanting to get a rate quote for and then use that address in this Quick Rate Quote Screen.
This should give you a good estimate on postage cost for your items–remember that states further away from you may cost more to ship to. This is why we are so very excited about the ability of vendors to set up different shipping rates for each product based on State!
Once you have figured out your postage cost, don’t forget to include the cost of your boxes/envelopes in the shipping cost that you charge your customer. If you are not able to purchase your shipping containers in bulk, I have found that the best price on shipping supplies is at Walmart.