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Saturday, March 9, 2013

etsy and shipping

printmaking in Spain
Internet, is the new way of doing business... online shopping grows and grows and grows..... and yet...does the post office know this????

etsy... and shipping... or rather, the cost of shipping...  is one of my ongoing issues with my etsy shop... do I include shipping? do I not?
What do I charge? what?.... "what do I charge??" ...what do you mean???? don't I charge the cost??

NO WAY.... as that is not possible... to mail one of my prints really safely, so it arrives in the pristine condition it has to arrive in.... I sometimes pay more than double, than what I actually charge for shipping! Yes, that is the stark truth when living in Europe and selling to the US and OZ..... maybe it is the same from all European countries, or is Spain more expensive? I don't know... ?

What do you do about this? I have no clue, although if you have a fantastic tip, then please get in touch....

I know that for me, it makes it impossible to sell anything that is not over a certain value on etsy,
forget selling greeting cards etc, which are fun and easily accessible for the first time buyer of my work. I see many etsy sellers selling things for under 5 dollars... and I wonder how, you have to list, 20 cents, you have to pay etsy when (if) you sell it, and you have to pay PayPal...thisis what makes etsy such a strange shopping experience at times, as if you have a good look around, you can find the "same" item for wildly varying prices!

Just before I went on holiday , I took my latest etsy sale to the post office, and the CUI...that is the
"carta urgente international" (urgent international letter) which I have used during the last year,
as it gives me a tracking number, has gone from 8 Euros,.... to ....wait.... 16 Euros.... wow...... thank you post office officials for that little nifty price raisin' it kind of took over the whole bun .....
last time I use that I guess.....

So, in solution mode, well, I self insure... and hope to h-ll that people buying from me are nice people who do not tell me that it did not arrive, as I then have to send another one..... not having any tracking number of any kind..... how can do anything else, and still be on etsy?

:o)) Mariann


  1. Ah, this discussion happens fairly regularly, in the Etsy Groups I belong to.
    Postage seems to have increased all over the world - in some places, there's been a dramatic leap (though I'm not sure I've come across 100% increase anywhere else just yet). Items going Into certain countries now carry surcharges too, which also bumps up the cost - eg. Australia now apparently charge a Security fee (I think $10Aus).
    UK postage rates have gone up a lot too and they restructured some of the postage, so for some items you pay by Size, rather than Weight - with just a maximum weight cap. That has benefitted me in some cases, but in others it has added to the postage cost (small items average out more expensive to post now, but medium-sized books can be cheaper). I had just got my own postage costs balanced nicely... then they upped the cost of "Airsure" postage - a tracked service I use to post abroad. And UK "Signed-for" delivery went up too...
    The sellers I know in USA were looking at alternative postal services and weighing up their relative merits. Then the same thing happened with some of the UK Facebook people - they were looking at USPS etc. I wonder if you might find it more cost-effective to use one of those services - at least to USA / Canada / Aus - rather than the standard Spanish post?
    As for myself, I work out the cost of packaging and postage within UK and include that in the item price. (I have a statement to this effect, at the bottom of each listing) I then charge the difference between UK postage and the cost of sending to destinations abroad.
    (or that's the theory, though it doesn't always work out...). Interestingly, it has now become more expensive to post to EU addresses, than to post to many destinations outside EU. (!?!)
    Anyway, that's all I have to offer. It's a tricky subject for sure!

  2. Always a tricky problem. Postage costs in the UK are sky-high (I think) and it is probably the same for most other countries. I have been on Etsy (caitlihne) for a couple of years and I do mostly send items abroad for the correct postage. However, I produce work that is either easily replaceable digital prints or not too expensive originals. I don't sell my very complex artwork as that would make it too expensive. Another etsian once told me my work is way too cheap but once I explained to her my reasoning she understood. The tracking postage for most of my US drawings works out around $14 which is just under £10. My reasoning is that if my art isn't too pricey then people will be willing to pay the higher postage costs. I also only do this as a hobby so I am not reliant on any sales I make. Small stuff which is easy to replicate I don't bother to track and just hope to providence that it will arrive. It is not ideal but it seems to work for me.

    I suppose the sensible thing to do is to calculate the true postage as opposed the postage you are offering and put the extra on the cost on your prints so that you can recoup the difference. I notice that huge numbers of sellers do not offer the correct postage on Etsy. I am talking mainly about art here by the way.

    As I said tricky. I hope you come up with a good solution that works well for you.


  3. I think you should dive into shipping your products now more than ever. When a customer spotted an item they love, they'd buy it, regardless of the shipping fee. It is a given when buying things online, especially in Etsy, after all. If you're afraid of charging too high or too low for the shipment, a shipping calculator can help you with that. Take the risk, Mariann. :))

  4. Etsy looks like a great selling platform but as you say, it's not all easy. As I live in Australia, the cost of shipping even interstate is high and international is extremely expensive. For these reasons I haven't tried selling on Etsy. You already have a great product so may be able to charge shipping to cover costs plus more.

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