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Topic: shipping costs, wholesale prices  (Read 3865 times)
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startle
« on: December 16, 2003 06:44:17 AM »

Hi everyone, I've just started selling my crafts, and am about to launch my site

I've decided to start out with paypal for ease of use. My big concern is how to calculate shipping. Should I just take my products to the post office, weigh them, and use those as my shipping costs? Should I get a postal scale?

My second question concerns wholesale pricing. I got approached by a buyer at a craft fair this weekend (eeep!) and I'm super excited, but I have no idea what to charge for a wholesale order. How would I calculate that? It's for my vagina soaps, which I was selling at the craft fair for $4. I'm not sure how much my materials will cost, as I am going to start buying in bulk and not just craft store sales.

Thanks,

Betsy
« Last Edit: April 18, 2007 02:39:14 PM by jungrrl » THIS ROCKS   Logged
Anu
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2003 08:16:47 AM »

There are postal rate charts at www.usps.com. check it out.

Okay...sorry this is off topic but what are vagina soaps?Huh?  Curious minds want to know.

cheers,

Anu
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comfits
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2003 08:24:45 AM »

we definitley need some pictures!!

my stuff is all light-weight.  i add my s&h into the price and leave it at that.  i find this to be the easiest method for me.  i do priority mail, so typically that's about $3.50.  i guess it just depends on what & how much stuff you sell.  

i'm not sure about wholesale???  i'm sure someone will.
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startle
« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2003 10:26:56 AM »

There are postal rate charts at www.usps.com. check it out.

Okay...sorry this is off topic but what are vagina soaps?Huh?  Curious minds want to know.

cheers,

Anu

I'm making vagina-shaped soaps in a variety of colors with beads for clits. They should be up on my site within the next few days, although I'm currently out of stock.

http://www.betsyrae.com
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startle
« Reply #4 on: December 16, 2003 10:28:17 AM »

Personally... I think priority mail is way overpriced... and I don't like paying for the extra shipping, when regular first class mail is just as fast in most cases.  I understand you can get free boxes and envelopes from the post office.  A lot of times I have noticed that the shipping costs more than the actual item.
 
Get a digital scale, they aren't that expensive:
http://shop.usps.com/cgi-bin/vsbv/postal_store_non_ssl/display_products/productCategory.jsp?prodCat=/Stamp+Products/Scales&appName=SSOL
It's really easy to calculate postage:
http://www.usps.com/tools/calculatepostage/welcome.htm?from=home&page=0061calculatepostage

If you only sell a few types of items... of course, you could just box them up and weigh them at the post office.  write down what each item weighs.  use those numbers to calculate your postage.  

Thank you! I think I will look into getting a digital scale, that seems like the best option for me. Does anyone print their own stamps??

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« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2003 10:55:45 AM »

I know nothing about shipping, but OH MY GOD!!  I can't wait to see your soaps!!!
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artzyfartzy
« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2003 11:36:10 AM »

i agree w/priority mail being way too high..but something to keep in mind...with soaps... I'd send them priority.  ( i DO send them priority)...Even tho' most say it's gets there in the same amount of time first class...if it doesn't. ... and they seize in the winter or sweat in the summer sent first class -- you will have a very unhappy customer & the outcome does not make you look very professional.

BTW....if you are shipping a large "lightweight item"..if the box is over a certain size .. ( cant remember exact measurements..check out usps.com for exact).. for example..i shipped 2 scarfs to getcrafty's scarf drive..i tried to send it first class in a cereal box sized Box -- the box was big enough to be consider priority size.  suks i know!

i dont see my customers minding priority mail.  Heck..some of them send me payments in the mail via priority! that i think is wild! people just want their treasures quick i guess  Grin
« Last Edit: December 18, 2003 05:00:42 PM by artzyfartzy » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2003 11:50:56 AM »

I saw the infamous soaps at the Punk Rock Flea Market in Boston on Sunday. They're very funny!

And "hi" and "welcome" to Craftster. I'm the one who gave out the Craftster fliers at the fair...
« Last Edit: December 16, 2003 11:51:37 AM by the craftster admin » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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OldQlts
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« Reply #8 on: December 18, 2003 04:03:02 PM »

startle, congrats on your new business venture! i would give customers an option of paypal or money order (assuming you don't want to deal with personal checks). although i'd like to think that everyone was cool with paypal, it just ain't the case ... yet.  i receive quite a few personal checks; just allow a week or 10 days for them to clear the bank, and you should be ok. DO NOT accept personal checks from international customers!! there are generally hefty fees involved to cash them. for international customers, only accept paypal (which isn't available in all, US cash (remind them to wrap it securely so it doesn't show, and that it's being sent at their own risk!), or international postal money orders. i just had a discussion elsewhere about international postal money orders; i've never had trouble cashing them, but this other person has ... 'course she lives in an itty bitty town, so that may have more than a little to do with that!!

definitely get a postal scale. the one i have is the "royal EX2" and i got it on ebay a couple years ago for less than $30, including shipping! it's advertised to weigh up to 4 pounds, but really goes to at least 7 or 8 pounds pretty accurately. a friend just got a different scale on ebay for something like $15, and it's supposed to weigh up to, i think, 40 pounds!!

there are lots of "theories" about wholesale pricing. the main thing to keep in mind is that stores will want to double the price they pay for the merchandise (at least double, some may mark it higher than that!). what you don't want to do is put yourself in a position of competing with the store, where you're selling the same merchandise for a lower cost (i.e., if you do art fairs near the stores that are buying your wares wholesale). of course, if the store marks the stuff up more than 2x, you can't really do anything about that, and i wouldn't worry about it.

http://postcalc.usps.gov/Zonecharts/ will create a customized priority mail zone chart based on your zip code.

http://www.usps.com/ratecase/_pdf/notice123.pdf once you know the zone you're shipping to, you can look at this chart and see what the postage will be. priority mail rates are on page 6, i think. i printed out the zone chart (above) and also this rate chart for 1 thru 10 pounds. it's rare that i need to mail anything heavier than that ... and anything over about 3 pounds, i send fedex ground anyway!

speaking of which, if you have a fedex counter near you, check it out!! fedex is now located in most, if not all, kinko's copy shops in the u.s.! their ground rates (not their regular overnight rates) are VERY good, for packages weighing more than about 3 pounds and they're even better if you're shipping to zone 7 or 8 (i.e., from one coast to the other, or most of the way at least). from california, shipping to indiana and points east of there are all zone 8, so that's a BIG chunk of the u.s.! keep in mind that priority mail is zone-based now (and has been for 18 months or so). this means it's cheaper to send a priority mail package within your state (technically within zones 1 thru 3 or 4) than it is to zones 5 thru Cool. zones will be different for everyone. i'm in california and my zone 8 is indiana and east of there, more or less. for someone on the east coast, their zone 8 is apt to be everything west of denver. this is worth mentioning in case you were considering a flat postage rate, cuz that could get you into big trouble financially ...

ok, back to priority mail, you can get FREE priority mail boxes, a few at a time, at the p.o. or if you really get into this big time, order your priority boxes online, and they're delivered (still FREE!). i was going to give the link for priority mail supplies, but it appears that the ol' USPS has changed it and i don't have time to look for it right now. but it's there, trust me!

comfits mentioned adding s&h costs into the product cost. however s/he also noted that their products are lightweight. soaps will be a bit heavier, so you'd probably do well to add on the shipping. for "handling," i generally just round the priority mail rate to the next even dollar amount.

artzyfartzy said something about a box being "priority mail size." i've never heard of this. but it would be silly to insist on sending something "first class" if "priority" is actually cheaper!

hope some of this info is helpful to you or others!

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startle
« Reply #9 on: December 19, 2003 02:21:21 AM »

I saw the infamous soaps at the Punk Rock Flea Market in Boston on Sunday. They're very funny!

And "hi" and "welcome" to Craftster. I'm the one who gave out the Craftster fliers at the fair...

Hi! I think I saw you briefly fliering at the PRFM. I noticed on your website you're part of the glitter web ring, my friend and I who were sharing a table have both been on glitter for years. Smiley

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startle
« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2004 07:49:58 AM »

Soap pictures are at last up!

http://www.betsyrae.com

in the gallery

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« Reply #11 on: January 21, 2004 02:52:50 PM »

I've been reading all of this interesting info on shipping and it occured to me: how do people pack their stuff to send it?  Bubble wrap? Popcorn? I want to send out scarves, but I'm not sure if I should put any packing in the box with it or not.
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Goddess
« Reply #12 on: January 22, 2004 06:36:55 PM »

you are hilarious, I almost peed my pants when I saw those soaps....best of luck to you
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OldQlts
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« Reply #13 on: January 23, 2004 11:22:21 PM »

I've been reading all of this interesting info on shipping and it occured to me: how do people pack their stuff to send it?  Bubble wrap? Popcorn? I want to send out scarves, but I'm not sure if I should put any packing in the box with it or not.

when you're shipping items that aren't fragile, i'd just put the item in a clean plastic bag, or if you want to make it more gifty looking, wrap it in colorful tissue paper and tie it with raffia or pretty string (the hazard with colored tissue paper is if it happens to get wet, it will make a mess!). i generally just use recycled plastic grocery bags, or if i want to get "fancy" i have a roll of new clear plastic bags. if you need to fill up empty space in a box with non-fragile items, maybe crunch up some tissue paper (or paper towels or newspaper if that's all you have, however with newspaper you need to remember that the ink can also rub off ... and it doesn't even need to get wet to do that sometimes!).

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