Shipping policy is important as any other. It builds customer satisfaction and loyalty. People do not like to for shipping and they like hassle free returns. Whether or not you can do this depends on your business.
The shipping cost on a item is viewed as an additional cost by customers. Which is why major retailers make the shipping free especially if the shopping amount exceeds a certain sum.
Likewise many online stores boast free shipping as a promotional and marketing strategy.
You can take several approaches to your shipping charges.
In the US it’s easy to come up with a standard shipping charge when using the USPS.
And you can absorb the cost completely in case the customer orders over a certain amount like $100.
You can make the shipping completely free for all your crafts and absorb that cost in the sales price. This works well because even though it makes the craft slightly more expensive to purchase, customers love free shipping.
Another practise is the complete opposite of the above and you will often see it on auction sites. The product itself is listed for a minimal amount, whereas the shipping cost is high. We do not really propagate this practise as we don’t believe it works well. People mostly used it to rank well with auction listings on eBay.
What we do believe works the best with shipping rates is either free shipping, or minimal charges with the option of free if the total billing exceeds a certain amount.
Customers do not like to wait for long for their products to arrive. They do not mind paying a little more to get it to arrive faster. In most cases, you will not have a problem sending reasonably quickly.
But do give the buyer the option to opt for an express service by paying a little extra. Always use a shipping method that allows tracking and send the tracking details to the buyer. Do not take more than 2 business days to pack and dispatch the item.
No matter how long is the expected delivery time, alway make the buyer aware of it. Long delivery times are a strong deterrent for people to buy again. And we know that repeat customers are the foremost sources of future revenue.
Shipping insurance adds minimal cost to the shipping. You should always use it. Although items getting misplaced is rare, it is an assurance both for you and the buyer. Till sometime back many businesses left this up to the buyer to opt for shipping insurance during the checkout process. But now its a seamless process. The insurance costs are cheaper so you can easily roll it into the overall shipping cost.
Speak to your shipping service to get more details. Depending on what you are shipping the insurance costs may vary.