Should you add a Handling Fee to your Etsy Shipping?

Etsy (or any e-commerce platform) will give you the option to add a handling fee to shipping, which the buyer pays for. This fee is on top of the shipping cost the platform calculates and the purpose is to coverage additional shipping fees. Although shipping seems pretty straight forward when it comes to adding a handling fee there are some things to consider as a seller:

As consumers we think of shipping in one way:
  • The cost of postage
A small business owner thinks of shipping in this way:
  • The cost of holding shipping supplies so you have them on hand for orders (tape, envelopes, boxes etc.)
  • Stuffing or bubble wrap for boxes
  • Time spent buying postage and creating labels
  • Updating your e-commerce orders with shipping notifications
  • A thermal/ink printer with labels/paper
  • Time spent packaging orders safely
  • Time and cost of driving to the post office, or ordering a pick up
  • Any promotional materials
  • The actual cost of postage (+ tax!!)
  • Answering inquires on shipping or tracking down lost items

All of these things are part of shipping and should be considered when thinking about handling fees. This is a personal decision based on what you sell and your shipping fees if you, or do not, want to add them to your shop!

In some cases when shipping is calculated it can be off by a few dollars which means the buyer may pay $10 for shipping but the postage actually costs you, the seller $12. This can add up over time but if you find this happening frequently then you likely need to review your listing weight and box size for a more accurate shipping fee calculations. If they are accurate and it still happens then this could also be a valid reason to review if a handling fee would suit your shop.

As always I hope this helps!


1 comment

  • May you please help me understand this better I am trying to create an Esty account

    Jasmyn Whitley

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