Clarification of New International Mail Rules

Go To Great Panes, Kathryn Maloney ©2012
This post is copyrighted–you do not have permission to repost this content elsewhere but you are welcome to link to it if you’d like to share the information.

There’s been a lot of concern about the new international mail rules and shipping international packages from home so I double checked with USPS on the phone and they confirmed that:

If your package is under 13 oz and has a computer-generated label where the customs data was electronically submitted, you can place your package in your mail box for pick up or drop it off in a blue mail box even if you are only using postage stamps to cover the cost of mailing.

To help with where the May 17th bulletin that announced that it is acceptable describes that aspect:

Under “Overview of Work Changes” there’s a statement that excludes packages with electronically submitted info from being required to be presented to a postal clerk if they are less than 13 oz:

…international mailpieces bearing a PS Form 2976-A, Customs Declaration and Dispatch Note CP 72, or PS Form 2976, Customs Declaration CN 22 — Sender’s Declaration, that was not completed and submitted online (e.g., using Click-N-Ship service, Click-N-Ship® for Business service, an authorized PC Postage® vendor, or the USPS Web Tools® system) will only be accepted at a retail service counter at a Post Office™ location…

I don’t know why they used a ‘negative statement’ to make that point, but I think it’s what has really got folks confuted.

The Click-N-Ship® for Business service (formerly the Shipping Assistant) and the USPS Web Tools® system (the online version of Click-N-Ship® for Business which can be used by Mac owners) both submit the customs form online, so packages using these labels can still be dropped in any mail box to be mailed with postage stamps, so long as they are under 13 oz.

I asked a half dozen different ways to be sure the person I spoke with fully understood I was using either “Click-N-Ship for Business service” and/or the “USPS Web Tools system” to create the label & customs form and using peel & stick and postage stamps with those labels (not paying for the postage online or with a meter). She found two different locations in her supporting paperwork that described that it is still ok, but said unfortunately it was not something she could show me on the USPS website.

Q: If I use Click-N-Ship® for Business to create the label, and it submits the customs form, do I have to bring an under 13 oz package to the PO to mail or can I add postage stamps and leave in any mailbox?

A: If the package is under 13 oz (and the customs information has been submitted electronically as this program does), you can ship from home or drop your package in any mail box.

Go To Great Panes, Kathryn Maloney ©2012
This post is copyrighted–you do not have permission to repost this content elsewhere but you are welcome to link to it if you’d like to share the information.

International Mail–new regs & Shipping Assistant Update

Go To Great Panes, Kathryn Maloney ©2012
This post is copyrighted–you do not have permission to repost this content elsewhere but you are welcome to link to it if you’d like to share the information.

New USPS rules for international mail today:

International Mail Acceptance Policy Change
(http://about.usps.com/postal-bulletin/2012/pb22337/html/info_006.htm)

If you’re looking to see what the new info is in the International Mail Manual, use the links on the side of this page to see sections mentioned in the above postal bulletin:

International Mail Manual
(http://pe.usps.gov/text/imm/welcome.htm)

Did you notice the USPS Shipping Assistant got a new name recently?

During the last update it became… Click-N-Ship for Business

We use it to print our First Class International labels & just updated the above link with more info.

There’s also new help for Mac users & folks who had trouble getting the program to install in the updated post. 🙂

Go To Great Panes, Kathryn Maloney ©2012
This post is copyrighted–you do not have permission to repost this content elsewhere but you are welcome to link to it if you’d like to share the information.

Seeing Random Ads on Etsy?

Go To Great Panes, Kathryn Maloney ©2012
This post is copyrighted–you do not have permission to repost this content elsewhere but you are welcome to link to it if you’d like to share the information.

The past few weeks there seems to be a larger number than normal of folks coming to the forums complaining about random ads on the site–some expecting that Etsy sold ad space & others knowing there was something wrong on their end but needing help to get rid of the ads.

Here are three quick things to try–one of them should get rid of the non-Etsy ads you are seeing while on the site:

1. Clear your cache–I know it’s a running joke whenever there’s a problem, but it helped at least one person get rid of the ads.

2. Check your browser for add-ons–like a shopping feature or an extra tool bar, and turn it off. If you don’t know how to find where to turn add-ons on & off in your browser, give Google a spin–I’m sure there are many sites that describe how to do it for each browser.

3. Run an anti-virus scan–you may have picked up some ad-ware that should be removed from your computer. There are many good free ones–some online, some you download—see the links in this old forum post here if you’d like to try a new one out:

http://www.etsy.com/teams/7718/site-help/discuss/6214391/page/3

Special Effect Hair Color

Go To Great Panes, Kathryn Maloney ©2012
This post is copyrighted–you do not have permission to repost this content elsewhere but you are welcome to link to it if you’d like to share the information.

Print Shipping Labels for Etsy Direct Checkout Payments

Update: You can now print labels for your Direct Checkout orders right on Etsy:

Etsy Shipping for Etsy Direct Checkout

Why yes you can print Paypal shipping labels for your Etsy Direct Checkout transactions!

See this post for printing Paypal labels with postage for non-Paypal orders, or even just when you are shipping to friends:

Shipping Through Paypal–Regardless of How the Customer Paid

Need more help with shipping? See the gold link in the right sidebar to get to our main Shipping page.

Shipping to Germany?

Go To Supplies
Visit our 2nd Etsy shop:
GoToSupplies

Go To Great Panes, Kathryn Maloney ©2012
This post is copyrighted–you do not have permission to repost this content elsewhere but you are welcome to link to it if you’d like to share the information.

Just a heads up:

I have been hearing lots of folks mention issues with shipping to Germany in the past week or so. Packages headed to Germany should have a customs form and 2 copies of an invoice that is accessible on the outside of the package or it risks getting held up in customs (for a longer time).

In the past buyers have also said that Paypal labels are a red flag for Germany’s customs dept, so if you use a Paypal label that might be part of why a package gets stopped.

You can get free Customs Form Envelopes for the outside of your packages from the post office here–or if you are shipping a smaller package/in a pinch to get a package out, just tape a zip lock on so it can be opened at the border:

USPS Store: Mailing & Shipping Supplies : International Shipping

Go To Great Panes, Kathryn Maloney ©2012
This post is copyrighted–you do not have permission to repost this content elsewhere but you are welcome to link to it if you’d like to share the information.

Do I need a domain name?

GoTo on Etsy
Visit our Etsy shop:
GoTo

Go To Great Panes, Kathryn Maloney ©2012
This post is copyrighted–you do not have permission to repost this content elsewhere but you are welcome to link to it if you’d like to share the information.

“Should I get a domain?”

We often see new shops asking this and there’s only one answer…

yes

You should get your domain as soon as possible and consider it an investment in your business–for about $20 a year it’s definitely worthwhile.

I know many folks will say that you can be successful just having your business on shopping venues/online marketplaces and not having your own website–that you can have a good business selling only on other company’s websites, and while that is true, it is not the end of the story.

Starting with branding, it’s good to get the domain name for your business so that buyers will identify your items with your own brand, not just with the venues you sell on.

You also want to reserve the name so no one else takes it before you do–it’s been known to happen and is easily avoided by registering it yourself and renewing the registration as necessary. (You can choose how many years you’d like to register the name–you can start out with just one year and then renew each year, or choose to register or renew for one or more years at any time.)

You never know when your business will boom and you’ll want to start up your own website, or when you’ll decide it’s more affordable to do more of your business through another venue or your own website’s shopping cart, or when you just want to expand to include your own domain to the places you sell from.

If / when that time comes, you want your previous customers to already know how to find you. If you’ve been promoting your business using your domain address then you are well on your way.

  • Use your domain on your business cards
  • Use your domain on your packaging
  • Use your domain-based email address when contacting customers

If you are doing the above, customers will be able to go to the domain and find where you are currently selling your goods, even if you choose to sell somewhere new.

Even if you never sell directly from your own domain, I think it looks better on a business card than a venue shop address does & you can have your matching email address–a little more professional, making your business more independent.

To have your own domain:

1. You need to register the domain name (you can start with registering for one year and renewing as you go if you want) and
2. either:

set it up to automatically forward to where you sell now or
pay for hosting (if you want to have anything on the domain itself, you can always add this at a later date)

.

The risky part is picking who to register with–you want to do it through a site where you will own the registration, so you can choose where to forward people to or choose which company hosts the website, basically have control over the domain name.

There are some sites out there that will offer to register domains “for you” but in reality they are registering it themselves & letting you use it.

The problem with that is when you decide you’d like to change registration companies or hosting (to find more affordable pricing, better shopping carts, redirect to a different venue, etc), they don’t just give you the codes needed to access the back end of the domain’s registration.

They often charge you a fee for transferring where the webpage address for your site goes to, or they sell you the domain registration when you thought it had already been yours.

Usually sites that do this are a shopping cart service where you pick from a number of pre-fab web site designs with a shopping cart to enter your items, but there are many sites that offer similar service while giving you full control over your domain registration. The trick is finding ones that allow you to edit your own DNS records to point the domain at whichever web host you choose.

The only other really risky thing is easily taken care of by choosing private registration for your domain. If you don’t, anyone on the web will be able to access your contact information using any number of free-to-use websites that offer whois look up services. It might not seem like a big deal now, but if you ever have a problem you don’t want your full name, address, phone number and email address out there for easy pickings.

If you need assistance with registration I can register a domain for 1 year for you (.com. .net, .org, or .info addresses) for $20.00 including one email address, private registration & I’ll set up the address to point at another page (like your shop on a venue like Etsy or Ebay), and hand over all the info you need to take the domain registration and hosting wherever you’d like as soon as it is registered. Just drop me a line:

Email GoTo & mention hosting in the subject line please
(aka Kathy)

That’ll give you a whole year to figure out what you’d like to do with it–have an ecommerce site, blog, gallery, redirect to any place you like… You’ll be able to set it up right away, or wait until you’ve learned a little more on the topic & are ready to forge ahead.

Go To Great Panes, Kathryn Maloney ©2012
This post is copyrighted–you do not have permission to repost this content elsewhere but you are welcome to link to it if you’d like to share the information.