Etsy Success How do you calculate your shipping costs?

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Original Post

Shipping larger items has made my mind spin.

I can't tell you how many times I've lost out on postage because I entered in the wrong amount on Etsy.

Do any of you have a formula to calculate shipping costs for larger or heavier items?

I need help!

Posted at 11:48am Apr 17, 2012 EDT


i sell jewelry, it's minimal my packages are usually about 1 ounce and almost always under 3 ounces, for this reason i offer free shipping :D

i have hoards of vintage stuff and dream of opening my own vintage shop but the shipping eludes me to the point of being too scared stiff to open one! haha so i would definitely like to hear some other's ideas on large vintage items as well

*starts the popcorn popper*

Posted at 11:50am Apr 17, 2012 EDT

I work it out using the post office website my items are only light so don't weigh a lot :)

Posted at 11:51am Apr 17, 2012 EDT

Only problem is is you need to enter in WHERE the item is going, and if it isnt sold yet ---- I cant enter that in.

Im in CT and an item that ships to New York would be cheaper than an item that ships to California...

Posted at 11:54am Apr 17, 2012 EDT

go to and use their shipping calculator. You need a scale at home..they are not that expensive..Walmart even has them. Enter the weight and package size and your zip code and one that is the furthest from you. I am in TN so I use West Coast ..Beverly Hills 90210. Hit calulate and it will give you prices. Parcel is "other options' on the bottom..they are snaeaky and hide that a bit. Sometimes for me East Coast destinations are cheaper to ship Priority than Parcel! Make sure you know what the dimensions of an oversize package are ( they are on there if you look) because if you hit oversize, your costs go up a LOT.

Posted at 11:54am Apr 17, 2012 EDT

True - but its so discouraging to a buyer who lives closer to me and sees a high shipping price...

but I suppose I could always write that in my items description (prices are based upon Cali shipping prices - if you live "here" then I can refund extra shipping)

But what do you all do about International shipping....?

Posted at 11:56am Apr 17, 2012 EDT

Also with some things, the flat rate boxes are best..if they are heavy and smallish. Get a few of those from the PO to have on hand so you know what will fit in them. There is large, medium amd small and a couple shapes of each. If I was a customer I would not expect to pay for a flat rate for something that could have shipped cheaper regular Priority or Parcel so that is something to keep in mind too. Although if it is close, go'll save the cost of the box.

Posted at 11:57am Apr 17, 2012 EDT

I always say in my listings "West Coast shipping is quoted. If you are closer to me in TN it will be less and i refund excess of $1 or more". It is sort of a leap of faith for the customer to believe you will refund that, but unless Etsy gets calculated shipping, that is the best you can do..unless they convo you for a reseved lsiting to which you can add actual shipping or you send them a revise invoice in Paypal. Refund is easiest for me...2 seconds in Paypal.

Posted at 12:00pm Apr 17, 2012 EDT

Good points - thank you Hopeandjoyhome.

Man I feel like I have to start from scratch - thank god I dont have THAT many listings to update and recalculate

Posted at 12:02pm Apr 17, 2012 EDT

International shipping is tricky on varied, heavy items.If it is under 4 pounds it can go international first class. Over 4 pounds gets expensive quickly. If you knew the weight would be consistant, you could figure it out for various areas. For heavy things I usually say "Convo me for international shipping" Not the best course as some customers won't do it but again..the best option for me.

Posted at 12:02pm Apr 17, 2012 EDT

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