As I’ve designed, sold, and shipped a variety of products over the years, my packaging process has evolved and turned into a pretty streamlined event. It’s still not perfect, but it works for me. Here are my go-to tools for shipping success:
Big Cartel. As much as I love Etsy and all their amazing features, I found that their fees were really beginning to cut into my profit margins. And as a (very) small business owner, I couldn’t afford to give up anymore of my profits than necessary. So about a year and a half ago, I made the switch to Big Cartel and I really love it. Even though it doesn’t have the same community feel as Etsy (at least in my opinion), it’s cleaner, easier to navigate, and I only have to pay a flat rate each month, no matter how many sales I receive.
PayPal. My business would nothing if it weren’t for the ease and effectiveness of PayPal. Not only is it most people’s preferred way to exchange money, but it’s also a great tool for sending invoices, splitting the cost of a meal with a friend, and paying a variety of online services. Since I use PayPal on a daily basis, I have their business debit card so that I can spend money from my account everywhere I go.
Stamps.com. I absolutely adore my international customers and am thrilled to think that my designs live all over the world…! But before I subscribed to stamps.com, making runs to the post office to ship out international packages was quite the process. Between filling out customs forms, answering questions, and waiting patiently while the poor postal employees had to manually enter every last bit of information into the computer, each package took a minimum of five minutes to complete. (You can imagine how much the people in line behind me LOVED seeing me unload my oversized bag of international packages onto the counter! Ha!) But then, I discovered stamps.com. GAME. CHANGER. Not only can I skip the post office and print my labels from home, but the shipping costs are slightly lower too! I pay $15.99 a month to maintain my subscription and it’s easily the best $15.99 I invest in my business.
Mailers. A little over a year and a half ago, I purchased two GIANT boxes filled with grey padded mailers from Amazon and I am still working my way through that stash. While I don’t necessarily love the grey color, I do love that they are padded (perfect for the sharp edges on rubber stamps) and weigh virtually nothing.
Shipping labels. I used to buy my shipping labels from one of the big office supply chains, but then I saw Elise post about a $10 box of labels on Amazon and I haven’t looked back since!
Custom stamps. Each rubber stamp that I sell gets stamped with my Ann-Marie Loves logo and each kraft paper bag gets stamped with a thank you note.
Kraft paper bags. I used to purchase my bags from Paper Source, but then I thought to check Amazon and ended up saving a ton of money by buying in bulk. (Yet strangely, this hasn’t decreased my need to visit Paper Source on a regular basis…)
Colored tape. No packaging of mine would ever be complete without a little tape action! My current favorite is mint masking tape from Scotch.
Paper trimmer. While this may seem like an unnecessary packaging component, I assure you that when there are multiple shipping labels that need to be trimmed, you want a solid paper cutter in your arsenal. This particular trimmer by Fiskars has been a lifesaver, not only for my business, but for my wedding and crafting projects as well!