When I just started to do jewelry, shipping was confusing and difficult to some degree. Mostly because there are so many options available – USPS, FedEx, UPS. I use 100% of the time USPS standard services – I found that they have a really good prices and fantastic delivery time. I’m using USPS service for international deliveries as well and so far I had no issues.
As simple as it sounds, using US Post Office requires understanding of all options available and they have pretty wide range! I think Lisa has a great summary of USPS services, so if you new to it, take a look:
I completely agree with the Lisa’s look to insurance – I bought it only once when I had to mail relatively expensive piece overseas. Other than that, I trust USPS, they are doing fantastic job!
The only thing I want to add is Etsy and PayPal they both have “shipping label” service, where you can print shipping labels online. It does require some extra work, though. I had to buy a small scale (does not have to be a specialized post office scale. A kitchen or food scale that can weight small objects with a good precision will do the job. Mine says that it can weight objects with precision 1/8 oz). And, of course, it requires you to have a package – check my post “Packaging 101” J
Usually I print shipping labels from PayPal and only occasionally from Etsy. Printing labels saves time in post office; it is more convenient and also could be less expensive. I mail most of my orders with tracking number and was really surprised to find out that tracking number in the post office costs 90 cents while for the same package with printed online label it costs only 20 cents. I can live with extra 20 cents paid for a piece of mind.