Last Updated on April 9, 2023
It’s possible to sell on Etsy without shipping. Besides, there’s no built-in tool you can use for local pickup or delivery to buyers. Thus, Etsy allows you to offer services without shipping.
However, you must clearly indicate no international shipping in your listings and policies. You do this by mentioning that you offer local pickup/delivery only—Etsy.
If someone has already purchased your item outside your local area, you must ship it or refund them and cancel the order to avoid getting your account suspended.
How to sell on Etsy without shipping
Below are ways you can sell most items on Etsy without shipping:
1. Offer local pickup/delivery only
You can choose to offer only local pickup. However, you must include it in your policy and listing that you offer local pickup only.
This information can be included in your Etsy shop announcement, listings, and even in your shop’s FAQ section.
Read also: my cheat sheet for free eBay sales
If the buyer is okay with the no-shipping offer, you can then both agree on the local pickup. This also means you’ll remove the shipping charges on the listing and reserve it for that buyer.
Unfortunately, offering local pickup only will affect your Etsy evaluation for the “Star Seller” badge. To qualify for the Star Seller badge, you’re traditionally required to include a valid tracking number in your listing orders or a shipping label purchased on Etsy.
If you encounter any problem with the transaction, you must present a confirmation of pickup or delivery to help Etsy investigate. This can be a photograph of the delivery, a signed receipt, or a message sent by the buyer confirming that they received the order.
2. Sell digital items only
You can sell just digital items on Etsy if you to avoid shipping. The digital items you can sell include feet pictures, printables, and other downloadable items. You’d also be listing these items the same way you list physical products.
Now, when you mark an order “Complete”, a pop-up should come up showing USPS as default. You don’t even have to select “Other” since below the tracking field is a line/link that reads “This order doesn’t have tracking”. Click This order doesn’t have tracking for a drop-down that says “This order includes”, then click “Let us know why this order doesn’t have tracking” and select “Digital Items”.
You can select other options, including
- Items linked to another order
- Local pickup or delivery
- Oversized or heavy items
- Something else
I’m not sure if this is allowed on all Etsy accounts but it works for me. So, just check to see if you have this, then you’re set to sell on Etsy without shipping.
You can also sell on Etsy without shipping—just start dropshipping. Dropshipping is an Etsy business model that allows you to sell items without manufacturing them, carry inventory, or ship products to customers.
However, Etsy is not explicitly about dropshipping. They do publish some rules and conditions. For instance, all items for sale on Etsy must be handmade, vintage, or a craft supply. If you list an item in Etsy’s Handmade category, it must be your design.
If you must dropship on your online store such as Shopify, you need the authorization of the Etsy seller who owns the specific design.
Free shipping: things to consider
Consider selling lightweight items so that you can adjust the price to cover shipping, then ship it for free. Usually, heavier items are charged expensively, so you may not be able to move the shipping cost to the item.
Also, if the item you intend to sell is typically expensive, you should move the shipping cost to it if the shipping is cheaper.
Another way you can cut off shipping is to avoid shipping to certain countries. Obviously, it costs more to ship to specific countries, so take those countries off your list. Focus on nearby countries where the shipping cost is cheaper and can comfortably be added to the product cost to entice your potential buyer.
How to set up free shipping
You can make free shipping work by pricing your items to include the shipping cost. This means the listing price will include the shipping cost, which the buyer may not even be aware of.
You can also restrict sales to people in your country, and then offer free shipping to the buyers.
Also, you can have more control over your shipping prices and make them more flexible by setting up shipping profiles.
Etsy even allows you to include free shipping for both new and existing shipping profiles. Just edit a shipping profile from your shipping settings to set up that free shipping.
If your shipping is “Calculated Shipping”, scroll down to the Free shipping section of the specific shipping profile and specify free shipping for domestic or international by checking the box.
If a shipping profile is “Fixed”, just select Free shipping from the “What you’ll charge” dropdown.
Setting up a free shipping guarantee
A free shipping guarantee is a feature that automatically applies free shipping for buyers in the US buyers when:
- an individual item costs $35 and above
- total orders cost $35 and above
After setup, Etsy applies the free shipping guarantee to new listings that are more than $35, irrespective of your shop’s currency.
Note that shipping prices do not change from what you set in the shipping profile and listings for buyers in other countries.
Also, a “free shipping guarantee” is applicable to domestic and international sellers who ship orders to any buyer in the US. However, a buyer who chooses to purchase shipping upgrades will be charged for the upgrades, even if their order qualifies for free shipping.
When you’re done setting up a free shipping guarantee, recover the cost of shipping using Etsy smart pricing tool to bulk edit your listing prices for any item that costs more than $35. Note that after using the Etsy pricing tool to make your price, disabling the “free shipping guarantee” won’t undo the changes.