With the start of the new year, I took a hard look at how I could improve my Etsy Shop, DesignsByCnC. I began this process by taking inventory of both my supplies and inventory in my shop.
I soon discovered that my overhead was way too high. With over 300 items for sale in my shop, I began to look for ways to reduce my inventory. The most obvious solution was to have a large sale. I decided against this and instead opted to look at my listings to determine why some of them weren’t selling. Was it the item itself, perhaps change the design in some way? Maybe it was the photographs, possibly update the older photos to give a fresh new look. What about titles and tags, certainly could use some work in this area? Possibly my pricing, are my items under priced or over priced?
Then the thought came to me, How about the cost of shipping? When I am shopping for an item online, I always check the price of the item and the shipping cost. If the shipping cost is too high, then I usually don’t make the purchase. So I wondered how many of my potential customers were just like me?
I went back through my shop records and discovered that several times, I had to refund part of the shipping cost because I had overcharged my customer. Also there were times that I undercharged as well. In addition, trying to figure out the correct cost for international shipping was rather confusing.
So what could I do about this? I began to research Etsy’s calculated shipping and came across this great tutorial put together by Melissa Kaiserman of ATime4Everything: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=46kBf-UwNh8&feature=youtu.be
This two part tutorial explained step-by-step how to set up the calculated shipping, which turned out to be rather easy, but time consuming. Every item has to be packed up, (just the same way that you would send it to your customer) weighed and measured so that you could enter this information into the calculated shipping system. In my case, with so many items in my shop, this took nearly an entire day. My greeting cards were fairly easy to do since they all weigh about the same amount. However, my rubber stamps vary greatly in both weight and size.
After I finished getting calculated shipping set up, I noticed a huge difference in my shipping charges. I was really overcharging on the shipping costs for my rubber stamps, both domestically and internationally. The shipping costs for my greeting cards were correct domestically but not internationally.
Calculated shipping has been in place for a month now and I am very glad that I made the effort to set it up. I have found it to be a great time saver because it tells me exactly what type of packaging to use so that I can get my orders processed quickly. More importantly, my shipping charges are accurate and I can pass this savings on to my customers. And yes, I have noticed a slight increase in my number of orders during the past month.