What Are Shipping Policies And How To Use Them

What are Shipping Policies?

How to set up Shipping Policies

How to have “complete” Shipping Policies

How do I know if my policy is complete?

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 immediately calculate their shipping costs based on that location.

You can 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.
  • Review orders from the past month or year to get an idea of average packaging weight / costs to factor into your Shipping Policies.

Getting started:

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

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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:

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The selected countries will be the destinations you will ship to. Buyers from any country 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 Shipping Policy, rather than creating multiple ones. For example, if you ship to Germany, Italy, France, Norway and Denmark, you’ll likely be able to group Italy and France in one Shipping Policy and Germany, Denmark and Norway in another one.

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

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First of all, choose if you would like to offer Local Pickup and/or Free Shipping above a certain amount. Simply tick the box next to In this region, offer:

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Now go ahead and select your preferred service type (Standard, Express or Economy). The Shipping service field is a free textfield and you can name your shipping method as you like. This name will be displayed to your buyer when they click ‘Ships From’ to get an overview of your Shipping Policies, as well as in the cart. If you offer several shipping methods with different names, these will be displayed in a dropdown menu with the buyer able to select their preferred shipping option:

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Add the number of business days that your orders will take to be delivered and any minimum value for the Shipping Policy to be applied to an order (i.e. some sellers offer Express shipping on orders above $50).

Select whether the shipping cost should be calculated by quantity or weight (this can be combined with one or more format types). You can see examples for all the different types below.

4) Once you have picked the shipping service and type, go ahead and add the shipping prices for the different ranges (for this one we’re using quantity/all formats):

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As you can see, you can add more than one shipping method for a country or group of countries. You can also diversify your available shipping methods by adding a value range: For any item that costs more than $50, our buyers will only be offered Express shipping at checkout:

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Remember that you can either 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. 

How to have "complete" Shipping Policies

A complete Shipping Policy should be set up to cover all orders of all formats and weights for a region.

“Complete” means that your Shipping Policy will need to have at least one shipping method to cover the possibility of all orders through your shop. Within your Shipping Policy, you can have as many methods as you like, which can be as granular as you want, but it’s essential to have at least one ‘default’ method to cover all formats with a value set for ‘and up’ (‘flat rate’ or ‘per additional’) to cover all quantities and weight ranges. This method should also be without value restrictions (e.g. ‘Order subtotal must be over/at least XX.XX’). 

There are a few different ways to ensure you’re covered for all orders:

  • Select ‘All Formats’ from the Format section on the left of your method

  • Use “and up” to apply a flat shipping rate for orders over a certain weight or quantity.

Example: €20 for orders 1,800 grams and up, $20 for 20 items and up.

  • Set the amount for shipping incrementally per each additional item or specified weight range.

Example: For orders seven items and up, it’s €5 each per two additional items, or $5 per additional 500 grams.

Any Shipping Policy that doesn’t have a method that takes into account all order possibilities will be considered incomplete and your listings for that region won’t appear in the Marketplace. If you’ve got a Shipping Policy that covers just one format or orders up to 2kg, for example, it will be considered incomplete and your items will appear as unavailable to some or all Buyers in the Marketplace after October 1.

How do I know if my policy is complete?

In your Shipping Policies, there are some dynamic indicators to make it clear when your policy is complete or if it needs work (and what you need to do to get it to a valid state).

To the right side of each of your policies, you’ll either see a green checkmark saying ‘This policy is complete’, or a red exclamation point saying ‘This policy is incomplete’. If you see green, you’re good to go. This policy will be applied in the marketplace and shipping costs will automatically be applied to your buyers’ orders.


If you see red is where you’ll need to either set up a new policy (if you want to ship to that region), or tweak the policy to get it to a valid state. If you click on the incomplete policy, you’ll get a banner with more information on what you need to add or remove to make the policy complete.

In the above example, as it’s an empty policy, the banner is telling what things are missing to make it complete. You can click through for further details on what we mean by ‘all formats’, ‘order sizes’, and ‘order values’.

If you have a shipping method set up that’s missing just one element in order for it to be complete, the banner will specify what it is. In the example below, our only shipping method has a €20.00 value for ‘Order subtotal must be at least -‘. This should be removed to apply to orders of all values.

The following are considered incomplete policies:

  • No ‘All Formats’ method, but separate methods for each format (e.g. Vinyl (Large), Vinyl (Small), CDs, Cassettes, etc). As this doesn’t account for formats not listed in the editor this is considered incomplete.
  • A method only offering local pickup. Unfortunately local pickup cannot be offered exclusively with no postal options.
  • A shipping method with the ‘Order subtotal must be at least -‘ the same as the Minimum Order Total you defined. The order subtotal in your method should be set to 0, but your Minimum Order Total will prevent any orders below your defined amount coming through.
  • A policy that does not end with "and up". A complete shipping policy must not be limited by a maximum number of items, or a maximum weight. The policy must end with "and up" for it to be considered complete.

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. Formats include Vinyl (Large), Vinyl (Small), CD, Cassette and DVD/Blu-ray.

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 will be invalid and your items may appear as unavailable in the marketplace.

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 ‘counts as’ quantity entered, the aforementioned shipping policy will be invalid and your items may appear as unavailable in the marketplace.

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 and quantity

You can set a combined Shipping Policy by selecting the format (All formats or specific formats) on the left and then choose “quantity” to add shipping costs based on quantity ranges:

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Note: You can add multiple shipping methods using different format options on the left!

Shipping Policies combining format and weight

You can set a combined Shipping Policy by selecting the format (All formats, or specific formats) on the left and then choose “weight” to add shipping costs based on weight ranges:

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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:

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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 the Faroe Islands or Svalbard 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 Svalbard”, for example.

                                                                                                                                                  

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