Every now and then you’ll run into a situation where a customer wants to pay for a bulk order, but they want you to ship to multiple addresses.
This is pretty common during the holidays if someone is ordering multiples of the same thing as a group gift, or for corporate gifts.
The problem is that the Etsy system isn’t set up to handle this, so there are a few things to think about if someone asks you to ship to more than one address.
Table of Contents
- Can you ship to multiple addresses for a single Etsy order?
- Can you buy more than one shipping label for one order?
- How to buy multiple shipping labels for one order on Etsy.
- Does Etsy Purchase Protection cover multiple shipping addresses?
- Can I buy multiple shipping labels off of Etsy?
- How to refund shipping labels for canceled orders.
- Other things to think about when sending to multiple addresses.
- How to handle bulk orders on Etsy.
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Can you ship to multiple addresses for a single Etsy order?
You can, but you probably shouldn’t. You can ship to multiple addresses for a single Etsy order by purchasing multiple shipping labels and editing the shipping address. However, this doesn’t mean that you should do this. Shipping to addresses that aren’t on the order can void the purchase protection for the order, and it can create problems if the buyer files a claim if something goes wrong with one of the individual shipments.
Read on for more details about the specifics.
Can you buy more than one shipping label for one order?
Yes, you can buy multiple Etsy shipping labels for a single order on Etsy, but each one of those labels will be attached to the entire order, not just a part of it. If something happens and you have to deal with a non-delivery problem, each label will be associated with the entire order.
This isn’t a big deal if you keep track and do partial refunds for the items yourself if the customer reports a problem, but it can be a big deal if the customer files a claim with Etsy!
If Etsy refunds an order it will be for the full amount, and there’s no guarantee that they’ll pay for the refund.
It could come out of your funds, so you could lose the entire amount of the order, especially if the different addresses that the orders were sent to come to light during the process.
How to buy multiple shipping labels for one order on Etsy.
Start by purchasing the first label, then go back to the order screen and click on the little mail truck icon to get to the order shipping label screen again. You can also click the “+ add another label” at the bottom of the page where you bought the first label to open another label info window:
Clicking the mail truck will open a dropdown where you can click “get shipping labels:”
Enter the information for the next label in the page that comes up and purchase it there. You’ll need to edit the shipping address on the right side of the page (on desktop:)
As you purchase each additional label the tracking numbers of the labels you’ve bought will show up in the tracking section under the “get shipping labels” buttons.
Does Etsy Purchase Protection cover multiple shipping addresses?
The short answer is no, Etsy’s purchase protection won’t cover orders that are sent to addresses other than the one on the order. If you change an address and send the order to anything other than the one on the original order, you’ll lose that guarantee.
So for example, if a customer orders 50 of an item and wants you to send them to 50 different addresses, you won’t have purchase protection on any of the items that went to an address that was different from the one shipping address on the order.
It doesn’t matter if you have messages from the customer verifying that they want you to send the items to a different address, you won’t be covered.
The Purchase Protection program seems to be run by bots that verify the qualification criteria in a very short time (like minutes) and it’s only looking to see if the requirements are met.
It’s not looking at it like a human does, it’s just a computer program that goes down the list and checks boxes off.
If it sees that a claim was filed (by the customer) about a package that was missing or received late, it’s going to refund the entire amount of the order, not just the cost of the one item that was received late!
You could end up having one order out of all of the ones that you sent cause the customer to file a claim, and the entire amount will be refunded.
In addition, Purchase Protection only covers orders up to $250 including the cost of the shipping! So if the large order was more than that, you won’t qualify for it to begin with and Etsy could theoretically refund the entire order if the customer files a claim.
A member of my Facebook group had Etsy issue a refund out of her account for $400 because out of 160 items, the customer didn’t like two of them.
The full amount of the order was refunded to the customer and it was taken out of the seller’s account because of the order being more than $250.
The same thing could happen if you sent 160 packages based on one order, and one of them was delivered late. The bots would refund the entire order because it’s one order.
Can I buy multiple shipping labels off of Etsy?
Yes, you can buy multiple shipping labels on a non-Etsy shipping service like GoShippo, Pirateship, Stamps dot com, and any other service. I use GoShippo to buy my shipping labels, and it integrates with Etsy so that the tracking numbers are updated as I buy the labels.
That’s the problem, though, because each label that you buy can overwrite the tracking number on Etsy, so every time you buy another label and the order is updated, Etsy could only have that one tracking number to associate with the order.
This goes back to the same problem of one order/one label. The Etsy system isn’t set up to recognize that multiple labels mean that parts of the order were shipped separately, it just lumps everything together.
You should be able to track the labels that you’ve purchased on the outside platform within the platform, but it might not show up on Etsy.
How to refund shipping labels for canceled orders.
If you have to cancel an order or a shipping label if you purchased multiple labels, you can cancel first then request the label refund, or vice-versa.
In this case, I had purchased two labels for one order, canceled the order, then went to the order in the orders list.
Both tracking numbers were showing up, and I was able to click “refund” on both to get a refund for those labels.
You can also request the refund for the label first, then cancel the orders. Since canceled orders still show up in your orders section you’ll be able to manage the shipping labels later.
After clicking on “Refund” on the specific order, you’ll get this screen where you can choose a reason for the refund on the dropdown. Choose “transaction was canceled” and submit the request.
It can take a couple of weeks to process the refund for the labels, so it won’t show up automatically in your payment account.
Other things to think about when sending to multiple addresses.
If a customer asks you to send multiple items to multiple addresses with only one order, you also have to think about things like the shipping cost.
If the customer is paying one shipping cost for one large order, there’s suddenly going to be multiple shipping costs to consider, which might not fit in with your profit structure.
You also have to think about things like gift wrapping, which a lot of customers want, but which is only charged once per order.
One gift wrap fee isn’t going to cover the cost of the materials to wrap things or the time it will take to wrap them.
Then there’s the cost of multiple boxes to ship out the individual items, and you’re suddenly increasing your shipping costs in a way you’re probably not thinking about.
How to handle bulk orders on Etsy.
The best way (for the seller) to handle bulk orders is to have the customer place each order individually so that they each have the correct shipping address and they each pay any shipping or gift wrap fee.
Many customers don’t want to do that, though, they want the seller to do it all for them.
You might be trying to balance the thought of getting a large order with figuring out whether it’s worth it for your time, but you NEED to take the Etsy system into account with your calculations.
One filed claim could mean that Etsy refunds the entire order, and your calculations will mean nothing because you’ll lose the full amount.
Consider whether you can take the financial hit if something does go wrong, because it very well could, especially during the holiday shopping season when shipping problems tend to increase.
And finally, if the customer found you through an Etsy offsite ad at any point in the previous 30 days, you might have to pay that fee, which will cut into your profits more.
Asking the customer to fill out each order individually is the safest way to go, even if it means passing on an order.
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