Friday, September 16, 2011
Shipping Ups And Downs
Shipping is the one thing that we all have in common, from vintage seller to handmade jewelry shop. If you have an online shop you will have to ship items out. The question is what is the best way to ship? In most cases USPS is the best way to ship. That is if you live in the US. As far as different countries, if you live outside the US let us know how it is.
I use PayPal to collect funds on the items I sell. Paypal has a handy feature that allows you to print a shipping label directly from the order. Every label printed comes with "Delivery Confirmation." It does not have any insurance included. At least you have the word of the USPS that the package was delivered.
The way I figured out how much to charge for shipping was simple. I chose different weights and found out how much each would cost to ship to the farthest location in the US from me. That gave me my baseline for all shipping in the US. I also checked the same with the farthest location in Canada to get Canadian shipping. As far as International shipping goes, I took a look at the most expensive place to ship and dropped a few dollars off to get my Everywhere Else taken care of. If it weighs over 4 pounds you have to do International Priority which is very expensive, about double what it is under 4 pounds so keep that in mind.
Some of my items weigh over a pound so I use a lot of Flat Rate boxes. One item might cost $7.50 to ship priority but only $5.00 to ship flat rate. Another thing to take into account is packing material. If you use bubble wrap you know it isn't cheap. Shredded paper is a good alternative in some cases and it promotes recycling.
If you want to keep your shipping charges down so your customers don't freak out, you can put part of the cost into the item. This especially works well with insurance. On items that are higher dollar ($100+) you can add in $8 to $10 to your price and just say insurance is included. You could actually have free US shipping this way as well. Something to think about in the upcoming Holiday season.