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New to Etsy-Alaska specific business questions

my name is Allison Baskett, I've just opened my first Etsy shop!
I live in Alaska, and have a couple questions for anyone from Alaska willing to answer them.
I do not live in a city, and I know we don't have a sales tax.
I have an Alaska business license for my upholstery business (allisonscustomupholsterycreations.wordpress.com/) and am buying materials through my business. I'm using my personal PayPal and personal bank account for collecting payments then will transfer the amount to my business (at least until I get a business PayPal set up or add a bank account to my PayPal).

Before I post my listings, my questions are: how do Alaskan Etsy users calculate shipping? Do you use PayPal to calculate it for you? If so, what do you put in the item listing for the shipping?
I found this chart at USPS.com, (pe.usps.com/text/dmm300/Notice123.htm) Are these the prices I put in the shipping part of the listing?
Should I leave it blank until I get a postal scale, to be accurate on weight)? Do you prefer Flat Rate Boxes or reused boxes for shipping costs?

Thank you very much for your time and consideration. I appreciate any help that is available.
Allison Baskett
Gutchi Cove Crafters

3 Responses

Sorry for the late response - I just found this thread! I only ship items that can go in a USPS Priority Mail Flat Rate box, that way I know the shipping prices when I post the listing (plus Delivery Confirmation). No need to calculate anything!

For smaller items that go First Class, they usually don't cost more than $2.50 to ship within the US, so I just add the price of the padded envelope and Delivery Confirmation to that. I charge $4.50 for most of my small items.

Hope that helps!! :)
Welcome Allison! You should join our AlaskanTeam!

First I do want to let you know that you must upgrade your personal PayPal account to a business account in order to collect payments from buyers here on Etsy...it is easy and free.

Second...I only ship USPS First Class all over the world to keep costs down but then I sell jewelry so my bubble mailers with jewelry boxes inside are very light weight, my shipping is set at $2.50 for all USA, $3.50 to Canada and just $4 for all other countries. You can mail anything this way as long as it is under 13 ounces.

I bought a digital postal scale at Wal Mart for $32 and it is so worth it. So to answer your question about shipping, I go by the amount on PayPal as that is where I print out my shipping labels. For other countries I have to do my own labels and fill out the custom form then take those to the post office. PayPal and the USPS site did away with first class international for some reason.

Good luck with your shop and don't hesitate to ask any question your might need help with!
Thank you for your wonderful advice! Sorry for not replying sooner, I totally forgot that I had this thread, I found a wonderful seller on DeviantART.com (the Spiny Serpent here on Etsy), and she's helped me through the initial trial and error.

Thank you again, I've joined a few teams now and am working on making group treasuries.

Will definitely come back and read this over again!

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