I LOVE getting that e-mail that says, “Congratulations on your Etsy sale,” and it’s especially fun when that order is being shipped to another country.
I didn’t used to feel that way, though.
When I first opened up my shop on Etsy the whole shipping thing really made me nervous. It was overwhelming at first, I remember well. So, to make my life easier, I decided to only list domestic shipping rates.
Then I started reading seller tips about how important it is to offer international shipping. I didn’t think about it much until I heard it mentioned that if I don’t have international shipping listed on my items, they don’t show up in searches by customers in other countries. I haven’t verified whether that’s actually true or not, but it got me thinking…if my stuff is only being found by folks in the U.S., then I’m missing out on a HUGE group of potential customers.
But figuring out international shipping seemd even more intimidating than figuring out domestic shipping….where do I even start???
I started in the Etsy Seller Handbook. They’ve got all sorts of great articles ranging from general shipping information to specifics on handling international shipping, and pretty much everything in between. While I was rummaging around there, I found this shipping rates chart on USPS.com which was a big help for deciding how much to list for shipping rates.
I did my homework, bought a digital postage scale (Amazon.com has good deals), tweaked my rates and policies, and opened my shop up to the world.
Wanna know the really neat thing?
Once I added international shipping to my items, I started getting international orders pretty regularly! I’ve sort of started a little game…I’m trying to see how many countries I can “collect” orders from. I told my kids I want a huge wall map of the world for Mother’s Day so I can hang it up and put a pin in all the countries that I’ve shipped to. Not sure if they’ll come through with that one…we’ll see! (I’m also “collecting” states in the U.S., but I’ll need a different map for that :-)).
If you’re not already offering international shipping, I really encourage you to go for it! It does mean doing a little homework, taking the time to read the articles in the Etsy seller handbook, looking up the links they suggest, but I promise… it’ll be well worth the effort to open up your potential customer base.
There are a lot of shoppers out there in the world, and it really isn’t such a big place after all!