What type of postage would you recommend to send your items by ie 1st class or 2nd class or would you offer them a choice? Do you include tracking and insurance?
Tracking and Insurance is always a good idea, mostly so that the customer knows when to expect the item in the mail. In terms of shipping, customers want their items as quickly as possible. I think around 5 business days is probably what most customers are willing to tolerate. In my experience, 1st class mail gets lost very often, about 10% of the time. So it may be worth doing a slighly more expensive, faster shipping cost, and build the cost of shipping into your Artwork. I highly recommend a flat-rate shipping option, such as $5, $7, or $10. The simpler and lower your shipping costs can be, the more likely a customer will go for a sale. Shipping can definitely make or break the sale, because it is an added cost the customer often feels like they shouldn't have to pay for.
What to do when an item has not been received? What do you do if the customer doesn't want to pay for tracking but the item hasn't been delivered and should have arrived by now?
First I check with the Post Office to see if there was an issue. If they lost it, then I send the customer the same item for free right away. Everyone these days is now more used to free shipping & free returns with companies like Amazon Prime. So to provide high quality customer service, you must be willing to reship items for free. That's why it is important to pay a little extra to ensure the item gets there quickly and on time, and with insurance. You want to maintain a 5-star review, and it's super important to provide good customer service all the way until the customer recieves the item and even beyond that.
What do you do when a order has tracking which shows the parcel arrived but the customer said they never received it?
This absolutely can happen, and it happens to us all the time. The United States Postal Service has terrible customer service. So if you can use UPS or FedEx instead, I highly recommend that. If a customer says this to you, you need to believe them, because it does happen all the time. Ship them a 2nd item immediately for free. This will absolutely happen to you on a regular basis for physical items, especially if you use the USPS.
Packaging & Materials
I usually go to the Dollar Store for nice, inexpensive packaging supplies, like Tissue Paper, bubble wrap, boxes, and that sort of thing. The hardest thing to find is the right-sized box. And the smaller & thinner the box, the less expensive it is to ship. For glassware, or any other thing you sell, I highly recommend working on standardizing your shipping supplies. So if you can roughly sell all of your items using the same box size, then it's going to help streamline your time and costs, and you can start to order in bulk over time. So, for a single-glass item you may have a small size, and a dozen items, you might have a small size.But for fragile things in particular, these kinds of items get damaged all the time, very very often. Even if you do Fragile shipping, I would expect the item to get damaged anyways. So I highly recommend to triple and quadruple wrap your fragile items, or even use popcorn packaging to ultra-protect your items.