Canada Post does not make shipping in or from Canada easy or cost effective for artisans.
I started my fibre business by selling handmade items but most items didn't fit in Canada Post's slot of doom, and parcel delivery was way too expensive. So I switched to designing and selling digital patterns.
But now that I have discovered my love of hand-dying yarn, I have had to learn how to work with Canada Post because they are my only option. (I know if you live in other centres across Canada you have Chit Chats, but they only have a few locations in Canada.)
I started by taking my parcels to the Post Office and having them ship it for me. This is not recommended. I have found that if I go to different Canada Post locations I am being charged a variety of amounts. I finally found one location that I liked working with and they knew me and it was great, and then the location closed. So I was forced to find an alternative.
I found it was better to organize my packages and ship from my home, so I created a little shipping station (isn't this cart I found adorable!) and it has made my life so much easier.
Let's start with what you need to get started with shipping with Canada Post.
Begin by packaging your item. Don't over package, because you literally pay for it. When I first started shipping I was using bubble padded envelopes. I was paying extra for the extra packaging. I am shipping yarn which needs to be in a sealed package but it isn't going to break if it is dropped or tossed. ?
So I switched to a durable bag with a good seal and it saved me at least $2.00 per item shipped because the package isn't as bulky. A Canadian company that produces sustainable packaging is https://www.friendlymailer.com/
If you have any other recommendation please let me know!!!
By creating an online account with Canada Post you automatically receive a shipping discount. And as your business grows and you do more shipping, the discount continues to grow. (Sounds good to me!)
Once you have your account and you are ready to ship your item you start by entering the name and address of the person you are shipping to. HINT: you have the option to save this information, if you have a fan of your items just save their info and it makes shipping to your favourite customer easier and quicker!
Next you will be asked the weight and measurements of your package. This digital scale works for packages and letter mail which I appreciated and it was $35 from Amazon. For measuring the height, width and length of the item I just use my fabric measuring tape which you can find under $5.
Once you have all your details entered in on the Canada Post website it will give you the option of how you want to send it and how quick you want it to get there. With the Canada Post account you always have $100 of insurance, but more is available if you need it.
Once your shipping preference is selected you are forwarded to the payment section where you pay with a credit card.
After payment is successful - you are given a pdf to open which has your shipping label. When I first started shipping I thought you had to purchase one of those fancy label printers, but my new venture could not afford a $300 label printer and I didn't want to figure out new software. So I printed the label on regular printer paper and then I used packing tape to stick it to the top of the package.
It doesn't have to cost a lot to get started, and it is so easy to prepare your packages in the comfort of your home. If I have a few packages I will just drop them off at a postal counter and all they have to do is scan them. If I have a lot being shipped out I can arrange a pick up from Canada Post at my front door.
Also remember from a marketing stand point that you need to think about your presentation as well. I always included a thank you note with my orders. I just made something up on CANVA and then printed it on card stock and I write a short note to each customer.
**The best orders to receive are repeat orders.
I hope this relieves some of the pressure of shipping with Canada Post and this information is a benefit to your business, by saving some time in the shipping process you will have more time to create!
I love to create with yarn and I love living in Saskatchewan. This is where the two merge to become one.
Find Living Skies Crochet on Ravelry!