What Are Shipping Policies And How To Use Them

What are Shipping Policies?

How to set up Shipping Policies

Examples:

How to block a country


What are Shipping Policies?

A Shipping Policy is a way of having your shipping costs calculated automatically for the buyer. When you have a Shipping Policy set up, our systems will look at where they’re located (based on their buyer address), and issue them their invoice with the appropriate shipping costs calculated immediately.

Sellers who use Shipping Policies do so because: 

  • Buyers are more likely to purchase from a seller when they can see the cost of shipping next to the cost of the item.
  • We can tell a buyer the cost of adding additional items to their cart, increasing a seller’s average order size.
  • If a seller has countries they do not want to ship to, they can block the buyer's ability to purchase from them.
  • Buyers have the option to pay at the time of checkout if they're using PayPal. 

You can also find a great overview of helpful blog posts regarding Shipping Policies on our landing page!

How to set up Shipping Policies:

Before adding your Shipping Policies:

  • Create a list of countries (or regions) you would like to ship to. Your listings will only be shown to shoppers in countries you select in your Shipping Policies, so set them up wisely.
  • Gather information on shipping providers available in your country and the costs: As a seller on Discogs, you’re probably already pretty aware of shipping costs and may have your rates listed in your Seller Terms. If not, we recommend starting by looking up your local postal service’s website for their rates, tariffs, and zones. Check out our suggested shipping prices for several countries in North and South America, Europe and APAC.

Getting started:

1) Go to the Shipping Policies page (accessed from your Seller Settings page):

2) The system will have divided the countries into three different sections for you: Your country, the rest of your continent and the rest of the world. 

From here you can select (by ticking and unticking boxes) all the countries you would like to ship to:

The selected countries will be the destinations you will ship to. Buyers from any country, that is not selected here, won’t be able to purchase from you.

Note: You can start over again by clicking the “Reset” button. This will divide the countries into the sections mentioned above.

You can also look for any specific country by typing the name in the “Search Destinations” field.

Pro tip: Try gathering countries with the same shipping costs under one section rather than creating multiple ones. For example, if you ship to Germany, Italy, France, Norway and Denmark, it will make sense (depending on the shipping cost) to group the countries with the same shipping costs together. Most probably this will turn out to be Italy and France in one section and Germany, Denmark and Norway in another one.

3) Let’s start adding a specific “shipping method” now. Pick any country you like, click on the policy and then on “Add a shipping method”:

There are two things that are important here: Pick your preferred shipping method (Standard, Airmail, Tracked, etc.) and the type the shipping cost should be calculated by (format, quantity or weight). You can see examples for all three different types below.

Looking at how each of these is favoured in current Shipping Policies, format is the most popular among sellers, followed by quantity.

4) Once you have picked the shipping method and type, go ahead and add the shipping prices for the different ranges (for this one I’m using format):

As you can see, you can add more than one shipping method for a country. You can also diversify your available shipping methods by adding a value range: For any item that costs more than $50, my buyers will be able to select either “Standard” or “Registered” as a shipping method. This will be shown to them in the shipping cart:

Here you could also allow for “Free Shipping” over a certain amount:

5) Remember that you can set a minimum (must be at least) or maximum (must be under) value for a policy to apply.

Note: You can set a Minimum Order Total in your seller settings. If the subtotal of an order is less than indicated in your minimum order total, the buyer won’t be able to complete the order.

6) Always remember to “Save Changes” and you’re all set!

For specific shipping policy examples please see below. 

Shipping Policies based on weight

1) Setting your shipping policies based on weight allows you to set prices based on the estimated grams of each item. You can find an overview of how much items weigh in this table:


Note: In order for the system to understand how much an item weighs, you will need to add the weight to the item. This can be done on the Edit Inventory page:

You can estimate the weights of all the items in your inventory by using the “With entire inventory” feature and selecting Estimate shipping weights:

If some of your items don’t have a weight attached, the aforementioned shipping policy won’t work properly - no shipping price will be shown but buyers will see “+shipping” below the item price.

2) You can now start adding your shipping prices by weight tier. To add more “ranges”, simply click on Add a range:

3) Make sure to Save Changes when you’re done!


Shipping Policies based on quantity

1) Setting your shipping policies based on quantity allows you to set prices based on the number of items within an order. 

Note: In order for the system to understand the quantity of an item, you will need to add that number to “Counts as” for each item. This can be done on the Edit Inventory page:

You can estimate the quantity of all the items in your inventory by using the “With entire inventory” feature and selecting Estimate shipping quantities:

If some of your items don’t have a quantity attached, the aforementioned shipping policy won’t work properly - no shipping price will be shown but buyers will see “+shipping” below the item price.

2) You can now start adding your shipping prices by quantity tier. To add more “ranges”, simply click on Add a range:

3) Make sure to Save Changes when you’re done!


Shipping Policies based on format

1) Setting your shipping policies based on format allows you to set prices based on the type of media:

2) Start by adding your shipping prices based on format. To add more “ranges”, simply click on Add a range:

3) Make sure to Save Changes when you’re done!

 

Shipping Policies combining format and quantity

We know that some sellers would like to combine format and quantity when using an automated shipping policy for their orders. For example, for 1-3 LPs charge 10€ and for 4-6 LPs charge 17€. Unfortunately, our current system does not allow this. In these instances, we advise you to use a shipping policy based on weight

In the example mentioned above, you would end up with the following policy (based on weight):

Remember that 1 LP weighs 230g, you can find the complete overview here.

How to block a country

You can block a country using shipping policies if you don’t wish to ship to a certain country. This can be done by unticking the box in front of the country:

Buyers residing in countries that you do not accept orders from will be unable to add your inventory item(s) to their cart. Using the example from the image above, buyers in Belgium would no longer be able to place orders from this seller. While they can still see the item listed for sale in the Marketplace, the listing will be opaque and say “Unavailable in Belgium”.

                                                                                                                                                  

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