Believe it or not, shipping can make or break your business. Fortunately, we have some great tips and tricks to make sure your shipping strategy will help you create a successful business.

1. Know your numbers. If you watch Shark Tank you know how important it is to know your numbers. If you don’t know what your costs will be, you’re not going to know how to efficiently spend your hard-earned money. Before you even open your Etsy shop, you should know how much it will cost you to ship every single one of your products. The first step is to calculate the total weight of your product and packaging materials. If you try to estimate this, you’re either going to spend too little on postage which will further delay your package or you’re going to overpay for postage. This is particularly important if you offer free shipping because you bear the full burden of the shipping cost. One way to do this is to weigh the package at the Post Office but you’ll forgo the shipping discount Etsy offers. Another solution is to buy a weighing scale which comes in various sizes.

2. Personalize your packages. Before ordering packages personalized with your logo and Etsy shop name, personalize the insides of your package. Design a thank you note, insert a business card, or offer a discount code with your branding. If you can, include handwritten notes. This shows the buyer that you spent your own personal time instead of including a pre-printed generic message. This gives buyers a more personal experience and they’re more likely to remember your Etsy shop which can lead to repeat customers. And don’t forget to ask for reviews! They are the lifeblood of any e-commerce business.

3. Safety first. You can have the fanciest products and packaging but if you don’t properly cushion it, the buyer is not going to like receiving damaged goods. Err on the side of caution and stuff your box with bubble wrap or newspapers. Treat your product like the most fragile thing imaginable and pad until there’s no empty space left. It might be a messy unwrapping experience for the customer but at least it won’t be an unpleasant shopping experience.

As you grow your business, you’re going to need to create a consistent brand image for your customers. They should know as soon as they receive and open your package that it’s from your shop. If you have a tight budget, you’ll need to get creative with packaging and shrewd with your pricing. When you have sufficient funds, make sure you budget for any contingencies.