If you missed the first two posts, where I told you all of my knowledge ( that amounts to a hill of beans ) concerning the hard knocks of opening your own Etsy shop and issues concerning your logo, then take a few minutes to catch up and rejoin me in this current post.
Today, I want to feature the many facets of packaging your items. Maybe I should just begin with this over-arching statement: there is a lot to it--mostly time and more time. But there's also the creative side to packaging that needs to be addressed. I personally have made eighteen purchases from Etsy shop owners since becoming one myself. I love to receive a well packaged order and generally find that the shop owner who takes the time to package their item thoughtfully and attractively also takes the time to produce a well-made product.
Please don't just toss your product into an envelope or box and ship it off into the wild blue yonder. Take the time to attach a personal note and always, always, always include your business card, and attach your note/business card in a presentable manner. If you have ugly hand-writing, come up with a creative way to address your package so that it isn't an eye-sore upon arrival, wink wink! For example, you could have a custom stamp made for your return address label and stick to architectural lettering for the address, etc.
The time that you put into your packaging needs to be counted towards the cost of the item. Reread that line again. And again. Time is money! If you have a little one at home, you know that better than anyone else. I generally find that I spend anywhere from 10-25 minutes packaging my Cranny items and, if I am packaging several orders at once, those minutes add up quickly! Please don't forget to include packaging time into your cost estimates--you will thank yourself later.
^This is my packaging drawer and I would be lost without it. Everything that I need to package a Cranny item lives in this drawer ( aside from the large boxes which are stored in my closet ). I also keep all of my receipts in the large manilla envelope on the right--very handy around tax time! I would nearly lose my mind without this little drawer.
One last thought on packaging: research postage amounts prior to opening your Etsy shop. I am so thankful that I did my post office research pre-Cranny! If you have a special order request and you are not sure about the postage, always, always, always quote way over the top and tell them that you will reimburse, via paypal, after shipping. I have done this a few times, especially when shipping to Australia, and have always been glad that I have. Those ounces add up quickly and you do not want to be the one stuck with extra postage fees. Remember, you can simply go to usps.com and find your shipping estimates there, but if for some reason you feel that the estimate is a bit off, don't hesitate calling your local post office to ask someone over the phone. I am on a first name basis with my local post-master and she is very kind to help me out each time--especially on those over-seas quotes.
Well, there you have it. All that I know about packaging! Happy packaging and happy shop-owning!