Monday, November 22, 2010

Shipping Conundrum

So, I'm hoping you guys can give me some advice on determining shipping rates. It's easy enough for me to come up with a fair shipping rate for single item orders, but apparently the USPS rates get all wonky once the weight goes above a certain point. You would think that shipping two candles would simply be double the cost of shipping one, right? Nope...because that would just make way too much sense for USPS. Instead, it costs me about $2.75 to ship one candle within the US and $8 to ship two candles. What the heck?!?

This makes it a real pain in the butt to come up with shipping costs for my customers on Etsy. How do I explain to them that shipping is only $2.75 if you buy one candle, but a whopping $4 per candle if you buy two? It's normally the other way around...if you buy multiples, I should be able to offer even lower shipping per item.

Ah and I also forgot to mention the ridiculous rates for flat-rate boxes. My candles won't fit in flat-rate envelopes, so those are out of the question. They also won't fit in the small flat-rate box which is $4 and the medium box shoots up to $10! So...flat-rate shipping unfortunately is of no help in my situation.

As you can tell, this is really infuriating. I hate that I need to charge such insane shipping rates for my customers and I hate it even more that I'll need to charge them MORE in shipping per item if they buy multiples--it would certainly deter me from buying multiple items if I were a customer.

I know many of you also have shops on Etsy so I'm hoping you have some wisdom that you can impart? Pretty please? I really just want to make my shipping as fair as possible for my customers but the dang USPS is making that really hard to do. Anyway, thanks in advance for your help!


  1. Yes, I have been researching the same thing. After my first official order cost me way above what I had originally listed as shipping rates, I knew I had to make some changes. Since I'm shipping scarfs, I though flat rate would be more expensive because it generally benefits you when shipping heavier stuff. However, I think that the flat rates are the best way for me to go and until I find something better that is how I've priced my items.
    I went to the post office on a quiet morning and chatted with the post lady for a bit on suggestions for the best way to ship scarves. She was very helpful. Maybe you could try that?
    Good luck. I can't wait to receive my candles!

  2. Thanks, Laura! I have spoken to the woman at the post office, but she didn't have any suggestions. I think it's tougher for my stuff because they're heavier :( I'll keep bugging her for advice anyway though haha