Shipping checklist

This checklist outlines the main steps to start shipping products from your store. You might find it helpful to print this checklist or to download it as a PDF so that you can reference it throughout the setup process.

To start shipping, complete the following tasks:

Set up your shipping rates and methods

When deciding what to charge customers for shipping, you need to consider the following options:

  • Exact shipping costs: Charge customers the same thing that carriers such as USPS or Canada Post charge to ship.
  • Flat rate shipping: Charge fixed shipping rates based on order value or weight. For example, charge $5 to ship anywhere in the United States.
  • Free shipping: Offer free shipping on all orders or set free shipping rules. For example, offer free shipping on orders over $150.

Unexpected costs at the checkout are the main reason why customers don’t complete purchases. The most common unexpected costs are for shipping. Make your shipping costs clear on your home or product page to avoid surprises at the checkout.

Add product weights

Shipping costs are calculated based on the weight and dimensions of your shipment.

To calculate accurate shipping costs, add weights to all of the products that you will be shipping. If you’re unsure how much your products weigh, then learn about common product weights or order a scale.

Add HS codes to your products

As of March 1, 2023, it's mandatory for all shipments transported by air destined to, or transiting through the European Union, Northern Ireland, Norway, and Switzerland to have a 6-digit Harmonised System (HS) code and detailed goods description for each item in the order.

The World Customs Organization offers resources to learn more about the system, and you can find your product's HS code in HTS search.

Choose your preferred package types

Save your preferred package types on the shipping settings page of your Shopify admin. You can select envelopes, boxes, or carrier-specific packaging like USPS Flat Rate packaging.

Get free packaging materials

Many carriers offer free packaging to use with specific shipping services. Although there is no cost for the packaging, you might need to create a free account with the carrier so that they can send the packaging to you. The following Shopify Shipping carriers offer free packaging:

If a customer pays for shipping, whether for the exact cost or flat rate, then you will receive the payment along with the rest of the funds for their order. When you print shipping labels through Shopify, you will be charged the cost of the label on your Shopify bill.

When you receive an order you can buy and print USPS, UPS, DHL Express, and Canada Post shipping labels from Shopify to ship your order. Depending on your Shopify subscription plan, you will save up to 60% on shipping as compared to retail rates.

Labels can be printed using a standard desktop printer or with a supported thermal label printer.

Resolve issues with location assignment

If you see a checkout failure alert because a product could not be shipped to a customer's address, then follow these steps to correct the issue.


  1. Review the product’s assigned inventory location on the product details page, in the Inventory section. Make a note of this.
  2. Go to the the shipping profile assigned to that product in the Shipping and delivery settings page of your Shopify admin.
  3. Review the Shipping from location in this profile.
  4. If the shipping profile location doesn't match the inventory location assigned to the product, then there will be an error at checkout. To enable the product to ship, update one of these locations to ensure both are the same.
Can’t find the answers you’re looking for? We’re here to help.