Shipping on a Budget

Do you feel like you lose half of your profit trying to ship your orders? Depending on your shipping materials, you can lose a lot of time, money, and add more weight to your items. If you’re familiar with the cost of shipping, you know that even 1 oz can add a lot extra shipping cost. I’m sharing everything I use to ship my orders in the hopes that it will help you too!

This post contains Amazon Affiliate links throughout. This means if you use my link to buy something, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting my blog in this way so I can keep creating content!

What do I put my items in?

The most important thing when filling orders is what you ship your item in. You want it to be as small and lightweight as possible, but also safe from weather and damage. Depending on what you sell, it’s usually not necessary to use a box. I can ship all my knitwear items in a bag and they are completely safe. Of course, if you sell something like mugs, for example, this isn’t possible for you.

I have sent out hundreds of orders in these poly mailers, domestically and internationally, for over three years now and have not had a single one break or the items become damaged. I keep three sizes on hand at all times, but use the small and medium sizes the most for cozies and beanies. Each bag comes out to be a couple cents while adding no extra weight to your item.

You can find the small size here: 6×9 inch poly mailers.

You can find the medium size here: 10×13 inch poly mailers. These are an excellent size for beanies.

You can find the large size here: 14.5×19 inch poly mailers. These are great for multiple beanies, a pillow, and other large items.

If you are looking for good bubble mailers for something like earrings or stitch markers, these are ones I have used that are great quality: 6×10 inch bubble mailers.

I always use pink and purple mailers so repeat customers recognize my brand, but I have also heard that brightly colored packages are less likely to be lost in the mail!

How do I safely package my items?

Please note, if you are shipping fragile items, this is not my area of expertise and I am not giving advice in that area.

If you are like me and mostly sell knitwear, you don’t have to worry too much about your items being safe. The poly mailer protects them from rain and tearing, so now you are free to package your items in a way that’s aesthetically pleasing and on brand!

When I ship knitwear, I wrap it in white tissue paper. I typically buy it wherever I can find it for a low cost, like Walmart or Dollar Tree. The dollar spot in the front of Target is also a great place to load up on cute tissue paper, especially around the holidays!

When I ship coffee cozies, I put them in a brown paper bag. They are essentially weightless, and can be recycled. They are also quick to package if I’m shipping out a lot of cozies! You can find them here: 5×7.5 brown bags.


When you’re running a business and shipping physical items, you want to make sure you have professional marketing materials.

Vistaprint is where I have always ordered business cards. My logo was designed by a friend and I am able to upload it for any product I want. If you don’t have a logo, vistaprint has a lot of unique designs of their own to choose from! They also have a lot of sales so make sure you keep an eye out or sign up to receive promotional emails!

I like to order postcards and stickers as well. They add a personal touch to every package! Always make sure you include a hand written “thank you” note. When someone purchases something from us, they made a decision to shop small which usually means spending a little extra money and waiting a little longer for the item. It’s important to show your appreciation to the customer for supporting you, and it always means a lot to them, too!


If you have an Etsy shop, you can easily print your labels directly from home. To do this, you will need a postal or kitchen scale to weigh your item. This is the one I have used for years: Digital Shipping Postal Scale. You can also schedule a porch pickup for the next day through USPS. I can’t remember the last time I went to a post office!

I print my labels with a black and white printer onto regular printer paper, and cut them out myself. I have used the sticker labels in the past, and from my experience they aren’t worth the little bit of time you may save because they eat into your profits. They also made me a little nervous if they weren’t sticky enough, and sometimes I would ended up wasting a few if I accidentally stuck them in the wrong place. I have considered getting a thermal printer, but since I need a printer at home for other things it’s just not necessary or a practical use of space right now.

After I cut out the labels, I position them on the mailer and stick a “handmade with love” sticker on the side, being careful not to cover any part of the shipping information. Then I tape the label to the mailer. I order this box of tape and this dispenser (mine is a different color). The tape lasts me a few months! You can find the roll of stickers here. They last almost forever too!

I like to keep my packaging very minimal, but you can always spice up your packaging with cute things that don’t break the bank! Washi tape is a fun way to package your items and usually comes in big packets that last a long time. You could also use scrap yarn or twine to tie a bow. Leave a comment letting me know your go-to way to package your orders!

I hope you found these tips helpful and practical! XOXO, Kalley

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