Tips for Packaging Your Etsy Products - dummies

By Kate Gatski, Kate Shoup

Yes, everyone knows that it’s what’s on the inside of your Etsy shipment that counts. But that truism doesn’t mean that what’s on the outside isn’t also important. Translation: When shipping your piece to your buyer, be sure to package it with care.

How you package your items says something about you and your Etsy shop. Make sure it doesn’t say, “I’m lazy and careless!”

Wrap your Etsy items safely

It goes without saying that you must take steps to ensure that your piece will arrive in one, er, piece. When it enters your buyer’s home, it needs to be in excellent shape (think Jillian Michaels). To that end, consider the following guidelines:

  • Be sure to pack fragile items carefully. Use cushioning materials such as bubble wrap or shredded paper to prevent breakage, and employ plenty of sturdy packing tape to ensure that your package isn’t tattered en route.

  • Pack bendable booty — such as art prints and the like — with a firm, flat backing.

  • If, like the Wicked Witch of the West, your item is moisture averse, slip it into a sealed plastic bag before sending it on its way.

Although packaging your items carefully to prevent damage is critical, don’t take things too far. Excessive packaging — especially if it doesn’t involve recycled materials — is wasteful.

Use attractive, brand-friendly packaging

Strive to delight your buyer not only with your piece, but also with your packaging. Don’t just toss your lovingly crafted item in an envelope and plop it in the post; instead, develop packaging that, in addition to protecting your item, looks good.

You don’t have to wrap your packages in expensive gift paper with hand-curled ribbon (although some Etsy sellers do); most buyers are perfectly satisfied with a package that has been carefully and securely wrapped with clean, plain, environmentally friendly paper.

In addition, make sure your packaging reflects your brand. For example, if your brand is frou-frou, your packaging needs to be, too. On the flip side, if your brand is all modern minimalism, you want to ensure that your packaging is similarly under-the-top. Also, invest in stickers or a stamp with your shop’s logo for use in your packaging.

One way to reflect your brand in your packaging is to use colored tissue paper. For example, if your logo is green and red, you may wrap your items in green and red tissue. If you go this route, be sure to moisture-proof your package by wrapping it in plastic; otherwise, the dye from the paper may bleed onto your piece if the package gets wet in transit.

Include extras in your parcel

It goes without saying that your package needs to include the item your buyer purchased. Beyond that, you may include any or all of the following:

  • A handwritten note: If you want to make your buyer’s day, include a handwritten note in your packaging. It doesn’t have to be a 40-page opus; just a few lines thanking the buyer for his purchase and wishing him well will do. (Address him by name — it’s so much more personal.) You might also use this opportunity to ask your buyer to leave feedback about you on Etsy.

    Consider investing in special note cards or postcards that reflect your brand — or, better yet, make your own! For example, you may design a note card that includes your shop logo. Alternatively, if you sell art prints, you may design a postcard with one of your best-selling images.

  • Business cards: To make sure that your buyer remembers you and your store, slip two business cards into your package — one for your buyer and one for her millionaire best friend.

  • An invoice: Unless the package is a gift and it’s being sent directly to the recipient, include a printout of the invoice in your package. This is especially important if your buyer lives abroad; it’ll keep the package from being held up clearing Customs. Make sure you’ve marked the item as paid if the person paid by check or money order.

  • Care instructions: If the item you’re sending requires special care — for example, maybe it needs to be washed by hand — include appropriate instructions in your package.


  • A coupon: Including a coupon — or, more specifically, a coupon code — in your packaging is a great way to generate sales.

  • A freebie: Some Etsy sellers include freebies in their packaging — small, lightweight items tossed in at no additional cost. The best freebies reflect your brand or your inventory in some way — for example, buttons, bookmarks, stickers, or magnets with your shop logo, or samples of new or favorite products in your line.

    Another approach is to include freebies that complement the item purchased. For instance, if you specialize in hand-sewn dog collars, you might toss in some Scooby Snacks. Or if you spin yarn, you may include a printout of a simple pattern you designed.

Although some Etsy sellers like to include candy or other treats in their packages, it’s not always a great idea. For one thing, some buyers may be diabetic or may suffer from nut allergies, and receiving sweets via post may constitute torture (or death!) for them. For another thing, many buyers live in hot climates, meaning that any candy you send may melt, thereby ruining your piece.