There’s a surprising amount of information that you need to know before you ship shoes in the mail.
Not only are there particular rules to shipping but there is an etiquette that shippers are expected to follow as well as some pro tips for navigating the system. Now let us show you how to ship some shoes!
First, let’s go over some basics of shipping etiquette:
Clean the shoes
This might go without saying, but still, it’s worth being said. Go over the pair of shoes that you’re shipping one more time. Take out the insoles and remove any loose dirt, debris or pet hair.
Double-check the outside of the shoe for any scuff marks or dirty spots you might have missed. Your buyer will thank you!
If you’ve got the original shoe box, that’s awesome. But make sure you’re putting the shoe box inside another box to ship. It looks tacky if you’re just taping a shoe box shut and slapping an address label on it.
If you’re shipping a box that the shoe box doesn’t fit snugly in, make sure you pack the extra space with packing peanuts or bubble wrap. If there’s too much room inside the box, you risk the shoes being damaged.
Use an appropriate amount of tape. You want the package to look like it was done by someone who knows what they’re doing, not a little kid. The tape should be tight over the seals but still easy to open.
Get the address right
Double check, triple check then check the address again. There’s nothing worse than sending out a package and letting your customer know it’s on the way only for it to never show up.
If you’ve got messy handwriting, have someone else write out the labels for you or type them up online.
Stay in touch
Your buyer will want to be involved with the shipping process. Let them know when the shoes have gone out and send them their tracking number right away. This will establish trust and make it easier to correct any mistakes down the line.
Now that you know some rules of thumb for shipping shoes, let’s get down to the logistics.
You should be able to get a box to ship your shoes in for under a dollar. USPS has standard size shoe boxes (to fit sneakers only, not the boxes they came in) that you can order for free online or pick up at your local post office.
USPS shoe boxes are flat rate so no matter the weight of the shoe, you know what shipping price to charge.
USPS makes printing shipping labels really easy with their Click-n-Ship system. You just have to input the shipping and return addresses, weight and delivery instructions and you can pay and print right from your own computer.
Click-n-Ship also gives you a “batch” option which lets you input multiple addresses for multiple orders of the same item.
You can also print international shipping labels from home on the USPS website. All you have to do is follow the steps for a regular label, hit continue and enter the customs information.
Of course, if you don’t have a printer, you can bring the package right to the post office. Write the address clearly on the box or type it up and print it out. The post office will weigh the package for you and input all the information necessary to get you the right label to send your shoes to their new owner!
Pro tip: If you print labels at home, make sure you head to the post office the same day that you print them! If the shipping date is different than the date that is on the label, you might run into trouble down the road.
Mailing the package
Shipping with USPS has never been easier than using their scheduling a pickup service. You don’t have to stand in lines or worry about getting to the post office before it closes. You just have to fill out a form on the website and schedule a time for a mail carrier to come to your house and pick up the shoes that you’re sending out!
If you’ve printed the shipping labels at home and you don’t want to schedule a pick up, you just have to let them know that you’re sending out a package that’s already paid for. The teller will scan the package(s) and give you a receipt with the tracking number(s) right on it.
If you need the labels printed at the post office, it’s really just as easy! The teller will input all of the information for you, verify that it’s correct and you just have to pay the shipping fees and you’ll be on your way.
Make sure to hold onto the receipt so you can send your buyers their tracking information.
The shipping process and shipping etiquette is simple enough. One you’ve sent out your first box of sneakers, you’ll be way more comfortable with the process. Stick to these rules and tips and you’ll have tons of happy customers