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Honour the Child

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BTRT Patterns (on Etsy)

Friday, 27 May 2011
As you may know, this month is the 4th Anniversary for BTRT.
I was feeling reflective and thought I'd share some info and experiences, but thought I'd ask *you* what you want to know.
You can add your own questions HERE and read more about this (self) feature!

Question: How do you handle shipping with Canada Post? The rates are so high and seem so unreasonable.
Amen.  It stinks!
I have a theory on the expense.. Giant country, relatively small population generating revenue (and declining with alternative ways of using the mail).  I know my Postmistress has more than once asked me not to use Paypal shipping as the business is important to keeping our local PO viable (not just mine, I mean, but all counter business).

However, when competing in a market with the USPS in the states, our shipping rates always appear exorbitant and even fishy to shoppers.  In fact, I include a 'shipping rates reflect the realities of Canada Post' disclaimer in every listing!  I do not like the practice of hiding shipping in an item's price that some folks use.  This just makes it harder to 'justify' the actual rates for those of us who don't obscure them.

Many of my products have been developed based upon what will fit through the 'slot of doom'~ that 20 mm slot that dictates whether an item is a Light Packet (International/ USA) / Oversize (domestic) or a parcel.  If they are under 500g and fit through the slot, the rates aren't too bad. But if they do not... a small packet starts at nearly $8 CAD, even if the item is only 10 g in weight!

 For setting my rates in Etsy, I know the approximate mass of my products and which class they can travel.
The awkward part is the 'ships with another item' and the parcel rates for within Canada (on which I generally lose money as BC starts at $13 from Ontario, and people have a hard time believing the USA rate is $7+ while their is that high!). Knowing the rate/weight increments helps tremendously!

On the other hand, it costs what it costs, and I do not let the parcel rates affect fair pricing.  I simply lay it out there and let the customer decide (and always suggest combined shipping!).


(And don't get me started on the expenses to bring in supplies and the gouging of US suppliers! Add customs, taxes, duty as well and supplies cost significantly more than they do for our US counterparts ~ and competitors! OR a high Canadian dollar...)

It is a challenge, for sure! But knowing the options (and insisting on them at the counter~ yes we Canadians go to the counter for EVERY item we ship out!~ many postal employees simply don't know about Light Packet, for example) and staying on top of rate changes will definitely help stabilize shipping charges for your business.

1 comments:

Emma said...

I always struggle with shipping costs and often undercharge my customers because I can't really believe shipping overseas costs that much. But it really does cost that much! I ought to work on that really ~ thanks for the info.

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