Holiday shipping 101

Dec 11 2020 | Julie Warshaw, PayPal editorial staff

Get tips to help streamline your shipping and fulfillment this holiday season.
As e-commerce continues to boom, small businesses are more empowered than ever to leverage all the tools PayPal and UPS offer to help streamline operations. Whether you’re fulfilling orders from Black Friday or gearing up for Boxing Day, here are some shipping best practices that can help make your holiday season a success.

Get set up
PayPal can support your business in areas beyond payment processing. From your account dashboard, you can register for a UPS® account and manage payments and shipping on one easy platform. You’ll get competitive rates, backed by the reliability UPS is known for. Set up your account today to benefit from no increased rates this holiday season.
And when you download the PayPal app, you can turn on notifications that let you know when new a new transaction has been processed. That’s especially helpful if you’re take orders that require fulfillment.

Remember key shipping dates
Few things are more disappointing than a package that doesn’t arrive on time. It’s crucial to understand when you need your packages out the door. For example, Christmas Day falls on a Friday this year, meaning means no last-minute processing over a weekend. Take a look at the UPS 2020 Year-End Holiday Schedule for recommended last days to ship for key holiday dates.

Set customer expectations
Whether you’re charging flat rate, exact cost, or offering free shipping, it’s important to be transparent with your customers. Clearly communicate your shipping and handling timeframes, as well as ordering cut-off dates for holiday arrival.

Practice your process
Tape, boxes, labels, packing materials – start stocking up on packaging essentials as soon as possible. If you’re shipping regularly, even from your home, consider setting up a temporary workstation to pick and pack your products.

Another way to prepare for the holiday rush is by timing your fulfillment process, from the moment an order is received to the time the packaged item goes out the door. Look for ways to shave down the seconds, such as pre-packing some of your most popular items during down time.

Manage deliveries and drop offs
By encouraging your customers to sign up for UPS My Choice® for home, you’ll reduce the time you’d have to spend tracking packages and managing re-deliveries. Your customers can set up additional delivery preferences that include over 22,000 UPS Access Point® locations, so they can pick up their order at their convenience and don’t have to worry about missing packages. And as an added benefit, they can also use the UPS Access Point network as a drop-off for packages while running holiday errands.

Share return policies
Holiday shipping doesn’t end with the delivery of your goods. One important message to communicate to your customers is if and how you will handle returns. With PayPal’s Return Shipping in Us, customers can log into their account and request a refund on return shipping on eligible purchases – at no cost to you! Limits Apply

The content of this article is provided for informational purposes only. You should always obtain independent business, tax, financial, and legal advice before making any business decision.

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Frequently asked questions.

With PayPal Shipping, you can purchase U.S. Postal Service and UPS shipping labels online using your PayPal account. Once you’ve purchased a label, all you need to do is print and affix it to your package, and then give the package to the carrier.

With PayPal Shipping, you can:
  • Spend less time on shipping paperwork.
  • Manage all of your PayPal shipments in one place.
  • Prepare several packages to ship at the same time.
  • Track packages that you post through PayPal.
  • Customize and print packing slips to include with your shipments.
  • Ship to nearly every location in the world.

To start using PayPal Shipping, click the Activity tab. Find the relevant transaction and click Print shipping label. Choose a shipping carrier and click Continue. Review the "Ship From" and "Ship To" addresses on the "Create Your Shipping Label" page and make any edits, if needed. Enter the required information under "Shipment Information" and "Shipment Options" and click Continue. Review your information for accuracy and click Pay and Continue. Click Print Label, which will appear in a separate pop-up window. After you print the label, you'll see "Label Completed."

If you need to update the address you’re shipping from, your shipping carrier preferences, return labels or other details, visit the PayPal Shipping Information page.

Shipping rates
Your shipping rates are how much you charge customers to ship their items. For single items, you can use flat-rate shipping. When customers order more than one item, you can charge an incremental shipping fee.

For more complex shipping rates, you can use the PayPal Shipping Calculator. It sets your shipping rates based on order amount (monetary value), order weight or item quantity. You can also set profiles for different states or regions.

If you are looking for more information on how to ship internationally, click here.
There are no set up or recurring fees for using the MultiOrder Shipping tool. Customers will only be charged for the price of the label. USPS labels are available at a price lower than retail price on the PayPal Shipping platform.
Here’s how to access the MultiOrder Shipping tool from your Business account.
  1. Go to your App Center.
  2. Click View All next to 'Streamline Operations'.
  3. Click the Shipping labels tile, then Get Started.

You can customize your PayPal Payments Standard shipping rates based on currency, region, shipping method, and delivery time. Or you can base your shipping rates on fixed amounts or fixed percentages.

Here's how to calculate shipping costs for purchases made on your website:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Click on Postage and Packaging under Products and Services.
  3. Click on Update.
  4. Click Start under "Set Up Domestic Shipping Methods" or "Set Up International Shipping Methods." If you've already set up shipping methods, you can click Add new shipping method or Add another shipping method.
  5. Select the currency and regions, and then click Continue.
  6. Specify your preferences for shipping method, delivery time, and shipping rate, and then click Continue.
  7. Review your selections, and then click Save Shipping Methods.

To enable your shipping calculations, you must click Use settings saved in your PayPal profile within each button you have created. To offer free shipping, select "Use specific amount," and enter 0.00 as the amount. The HTML code in your shopping cart buttons under "Shipping" overrides the shipping methods in your Profile.

If you calculate costs by weight, you must enter the weight of each item within each "Buy Now" or "Add to Cart" buttons you create.

If you need more specific shipping calculation options, go to PayPal Developer Portal or contact your developer.

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