Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Getting a Handle on Shipping Supplies

My methods for packing, shipping and tracking inventory has evolved in the 12 years I've been selling online. I put care into packing and shipping my orders, I want buyers to feel like they're receiving a gift when the mail arrives, but it's a time consuming task requiring organization and precision. Below are five of my favorite supplies and services I use to streamline tedious task of getting my orders packed up and shipped out.

Dymo Label Printer

This was a fairly big purchase since it's a bit of a luxury item, but I'm so glad I made the investment. It saves me ink toner, paper and time. The only ongoing cost is for blank labels, which you can buy from Amazon ($13.99 for 220 labels). Why do I love this label maker so much? I can print my Etsy order labels directly from my Etsy dashboard and immediately stick it on the padded envelope. No more cutting out the paper and taping it down. I also use the printer for Ebay and Yerdle labels.


I love EcoEnclose! Made in the USA, they provide recyclable, biodegradable and compostable packing materials - and all of there products are designed to encourage re-use before being recycled. One of my favorite products include the 100% Recycled Poly Mailer, which are made from 100% recycled content and have a dual adhesive strip, which allows reuse prior to being recycled. I also use the 100% Recycled Flap & Seal Bags  - now I have way less guilt when I place my products in a plastic bag and then place it inside a poly padded envelope. There customer service is also really great.


Sometimes I don't have time to go the eco-friendly route and I just need boxes, and I need them tomorrow because I didn't plan ahead. Uline will arrive next day, prices are great, and they have everything under the sun when it comes to shipping supplies. The cons? You have to buy in bulk (requires storage) and they have very few options for those of us looking to reduce our carbon footprint.


I'm constantly trying to perfect the ultimate storage solutions for everything in my small house. Shipping supplies tend to take up a lot of storage space and they're not necessarily things you want on display (although you can find lots of pretty solutions on Pinterest). But mostly you just don't want to be wasting time hunting down your packing tape and scissors. 

I've found that the simplest way to organize is to have "shipping & handling only" supplies and to keep those all in one basket or shelf. I have tape, scissors, cards that can only be used for shipping - no stealing those scissors to open a bag of frozen corn. I keep one shelf above my desk stocked with envelopes and one drawer filled with my poly bags and hang tags. If I buy in bulk I keep most of it in my attic and just fill my shelves/drawers when I run low.

Do you have any tips for making an office run more efficiently? Please share, we'd love to hear them!

Ryan from WickedMint

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