As Etsy artists, we are often individual sellers working out of our home, garage, or (ugh) bedrooms. For me, one of the biggest headaches was shipping prints. When selling various sized prints, I had to deal with buying multiple sized envelopes, cardboard stiffeners to insert in the envelopes, and the fact that they get very pricey per unit unless you buy hundreds (with nowhere to store them!)
Eventually, I decided to ditch all that (mostly) and start making use of Priority Mail and their *free* supplies. Priority Mail starts at $4.95, so unless you’re selling a single 5×7 print it’s very cost effective as you can often stuff in as many prints as you’d like for a single price, and it comes with free delivery confirmation.
Note: This is only applicable for sending prints within the United States. Priority Mail International is obscenely expensive!)
Ordering your Stuff
Head on over to the USPS Priority Mail Supply Center. You’ll want to “buy” these items– they’re free so stock up on what you need:
Shipping 8×10 Prints
Mailing 8×10 or smaller prints is simple! You can mail as many prints as you need in a single 9×12 Flat Rate Envelope. Anything you stuff in there will be $4.95 (or less online), so if you get a big order of small prints this is the way to go.
Priority Flat Rate Envelopes are pretty flimsy. When mailing prints, cut some 8.5×11 cardboard squares out of your O-1097 boxes to stiffen your envelope. Sandwich your print/s between two of these and you’ll be good to go!
Shipping Larger Prints
When shipping larger prints, I convert the Priority Mail boxes into sturdy, thick envelopes. The supplies are free (except for tape) and they don’t need a separate stiffener. It’s easier to show pictures:
Shipping it Out
Priority Mail is great for more than just free supplies. You can purchase, label, and mail your piece without ever stepping foot in a Post Office.
To send your piece, log in to Paypal and visit this link to create a shipping label and pay for shipping right through Paypal. The rates are better than the post office, and you get free Delivery Confirmation. Yay!
If you’re friends with your mailperson, you can generally leave your packages in the box and they’ll be picked up. To make sure, request a free pickup here!
…and there you have it.