The holiday rush is rearing it’s ugly head. Time to dust off the shop policies and do some tweaking! It is better to be prepared (even if this is your first year with a handmade business during the holiday season) than to be flabbergasted and rushing to come up with a solution when a customer approaches you about a problem with their order that you didn’t foresee.
Things you may want to add specifically for the holidays to ensure smooth sailing right through the new year:
When you stop accepting custom orders for the season (if you don’t totally stop with custom orders for the season, you will still want to include a “last day to place a custom order and still receive in time for the holidays” date).
Last date to order in stock products from your shop in order to receive in time for the holidays. Don’t guesstimate this, call your local post office and get the last date you can ship a package with your shipping options (first class, priority, parcel) in order for it to arrive in time for the holidays, and subtract two days to allow for possibly delayed postal service. I actually set my own for a week before the last possible shipping date in case a package is returned for any reason. That way it has time to go back out before the holiday.
The number of custom slots available if you have a cap on them. And count down each time you receive a custom order, letting people know how many slots are left available. This also drives people to place their orders sooner rather than later so you aren’t rushing to finish custom orders in December.
Holiday return/refund/exchange policies in case someone is gifted an item from your shop and is unhappy with it. If you don’t want to except any returns or exchanges on gifted items, be sure to lay this out in your policies. If you are willing to refund someone for an unsatisfactory order but not for the shipping the product back to you, be very clear about this in your policies so there is no confusion.
Your policies on lost, damaged, or stolen packages. If you don’t normally get delivery confirmation on your parcels, I recommend you do it during the holiday season, especially if you are the type of artist that sends out a replacement if a package is lost. If you don’t offer any compensation for lost, damaged or stolen parcels be sure to outline this clearly not only in your policies but in the note to the buyer when you ship the package.
If this is your first year with a handmade business during the holiday season or you are having a hard time wording your policies, try visiting some shops with products in the same category as yours and see what type of holiday policies they have in place to give you an idea of what you may want to include.
If you have any suggestions for other policies that could help a handmade business run smoothly during the holiday season, feel free to leave us a comment!