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Question Regarding Shipping

For my pin-back buttons I normally charge $1.22 for domestic and $2-$3 for international shipping when a customer orders 1-20 buttons. Buttons I can do.

HOWEVER, I am now planning to sell items on my website ranging from buttons to clothing to posters, items whose size and weight vary greatly. I've tried to set shipping via weight and item type, but so far nothing I've done has been satisfactory (not to mention that the clothing will include pants, t-shirts, and shoes, so it makes things really, really difficult).

All-in-all, I've decided to set a flat-rate shipping price, but I'm not exactly sure what price would be considered fair to both those in the US and my international customers. Any ideas?

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( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 31st, 2011 07:17 pm (UTC)
personally I don't like flat rate shipping... If I were to buy a button I wouldn't think it was fair to pay the same price as someone buying a lot of clothes.
Jul. 31st, 2011 07:20 pm (UTC)
You could have a weight cut off. Anything under 1 lb = whatever price, 5 lbs, 10 lbs.
Jul. 31st, 2011 07:20 pm (UTC)
and then just kind of average out domestic vs. international shipping. Most people understand shipping costs extra to outside the states.
Jul. 31st, 2011 07:23 pm (UTC)
This is what I was thinking, because I believe that's how a few other smaller clothing shops I've used in the past have done it. And I think that's also how Cafe Press does it but don't quote me on them. I haven't used their service in 5 years!
Jul. 31st, 2011 07:27 pm (UTC)
I would suggest the flat rate boxes for clothing, ie what ever fits into the certain size box, or what they are ordering is what they pay. As for the buttons just keep them at the same flat rate.
Jul. 31st, 2011 07:33 pm (UTC)
This is what I was thinking. It would be easy to ship a shirt in a 4.95 flat rate padded envelop and you could step it up to a medium box for 10.95 for a pair of shoes. :) And then you can get the boxes/envelopes for free!
Jul. 31st, 2011 07:35 pm (UTC)
For the US that is. For international it might be best to get a scale and then determine the weight of the items and packing and then use whatever carrier's site you use to determine what shipping for that one item would be to x country and then average them out.
Jul. 31st, 2011 08:57 pm (UTC)
Yep, flat rate boxes from the USPS might be the way to go, as you dont have to pay for the boxes. You can fit a rolled up shirt in their smallest box very well.

This is simply for convince though, as I am sure there are cheaper ways to get your lighter weighted things out to where they need to go. So for the heavy stuff, go with the flat rate.
Jul. 31st, 2011 11:36 pm (UTC)
First class mail, via USPS, is considerably cheaper for small, light things. I was looking into options for my ACEOs, since I'm very careful about making sure they arrive safely, and my shipping costs were $7 for a flat rate priority box with insurance, and not accounting for my packing. I added the option for first class with insurance, in a padded envelope, which works out to be just under $5, so I made it a flat 5, and that gives me some extra to recoup the costs of the packing. Without insurance (which I'm required to provide per eBay's ToU), it's something like $2-ish for first class.

If something is heavy or large, it may be cheaper to go UPS.
Aug. 1st, 2011 01:42 pm (UTC)
I don't ship from the US, so I don't know how things are done there (if you are from the US...) but I have recently started shipping products and at first I would ship according to individuals but that got hectic. Now for smaller items I have a set rate, and I picked it by getting online and looking up what the most expensive country was (Africa for me... I know it's not a country, but all of Africa was lumped together in the same category) for shipping to and set that as my price. For smaller items, the difference is usually only a buck or two, maybe a little less.

For larger items, I got a scale (not expensive) and I go by weight. The problem with larger items is sometimes people want insurance for pricier items, and for international that really hikes up the price.

...I realize now this probably wasn't helpful. But if you haven't decided on whether insurance will be included or not, you should probably do that. Personally, I don't mess with it unless a customer wants a tracking number and specifically asks I insure a package.
Aug. 2nd, 2011 01:42 am (UTC)
I think the main problem is that I'd like to sell stuff of my site using paypal shopping carts/click-and-buy, and the shipping bit is very confusing for me. I'd prefer to do it case-by-case, but I can't possibly ask for a second payment to cover shipping. It seems unprofessional to me...
(no subject) - fenris_lorsrai - Aug. 1st, 2011 05:40 pm (UTC) - Expand
Aug. 2nd, 2011 01:45 am (UTC)
Hmmm, I never thought of that---I'm going to check that one out. Thanks!
Aug. 1st, 2011 06:07 pm (UTC)
International shipping tends to be a mess. USPS offers flat rate envelopes (unsure if they offer boxes), but only to certain locations (for instance, in my country, it's only offered to two cities). Everywhere else, shipping costs would vary based on package weight and size. I recommend checking with your post office - they should have prices based on weight/size ranges listed somewhere. Copy those down, calculate shipping based on the combined weight of what you're sending.
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )


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