Need some shipping advise

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Forum topic by SteveMI posted 09-16-2012 04:29 PM 1328 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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872 posts in 2082 days

09-16-2012 04:29 PM

I am considering to give selling online another try. One of my problems is figuring out how to ship for the best price.

Today I took one of the USPS freebie boxes, put two of my 6” square by 4” tall inlaid wood boxes in it and it came up just under $14 to ship from Michigan to the west coast at the Post Office. Taking one of my boxes out of the USPS box brought the shipping to $11. In my mind that is expensive for a product under $80 and might cause the customer to pass on the whole purchase. I’ve bought plenty online and have paid shipping at a fraction of that for bigger and heavier items. Of course I believe Amazon and major online sellers have a special break.

One of my thoughts is to raise the online prices by $7 and offer $7 shipping to everyone. Or, add $10 to online price and give free shipping, just hope that not every box needs to go to San Diego or Florida Keys.

What do other do?


11 replies so far

View Dallas's profile


3284 posts in 1275 days

#1 posted 09-16-2012 04:49 PM

I sell a lot on eBay and elsewhere. Your shipping isn’t that expensive. I use flaterate boxes wherever I can and add $2-3 to my handling fee.
If your $80 buyers aren’t willing to cough up the shipping costs, they don’t really want your product anyway.
Raising the prices of the base unit may drive some buyers off, although they will pay extra for shipping.

Good Luck!

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View Sunstealer73's profile


42 posts in 880 days

#2 posted 09-16-2012 05:39 PM

Try the flat-rate boxes to see what you can fit in them.

View Don W's profile

Don W

15785 posts in 1355 days

#3 posted 09-16-2012 06:03 PM

I asked the exact same question a while ago and got a lot of good advice

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

View DeputyDawg's profile


188 posts in 2753 days

#4 posted 09-16-2012 06:08 PM

I have used USPS for years and even though the shipping cost has gone up you just can’t beat the conveinous and the service you get. But you need to look at all the options of the service. There is different sizes, rates, and regional boxes. We usually use Regional A and B boxes. And we always look for the best rate for our customer and refund the differance if any from the PayPal rate from our website. We live in an area where we have the postal boxes in a cluster on the street so I printed up a magnet that says USPS shipment on it and if it is a box bigger than the A box the carrier knows to come to the huse and pick up the shipment. Love the service

-- DeputyDawg

View SteveMI's profile


872 posts in 2082 days

#5 posted 09-16-2012 07:40 PM

Don W – I didn’t go back far enough on the site to hit your post, but it covers a lot of questions.

Reading between the lines with trifocals i picked up on something. Only a block from me is a service station that has a “Post Office” it it with the boxes, scale and software. The operation is nice and convenient. My question is, If I weigh and print postage at my house, will I save money? I can check this during the week, but wondered if someone knew.

One other thought that came from reading Don’s post is that I should look into reducing the shipping box size to more closely fit my wood boxes (with adequate bubble wrap). My quote might have been inflated for size I didn’t need. Couple years ago I went to UPS with something bigger to ship and the person behind the counter very quickly cut down and refolded a bigger box to make custom smaller size for me. Seemed like magic at the time how they did it.


View Don W's profile

Don W

15785 posts in 1355 days

#6 posted 09-16-2012 10:02 PM

Paying postage online is cheaper than taking it to the post office for almost everything except very small items, which is a little annoying. I’ll sometime want to ship a plane iron in an envelope. Cheapest online is $4.90, but its like a buck cheaper at the post office. Were I live, it would cost me a buck in gas, so I ship flat rate.

Since i’ve bought the scale and setup online, shipping isn’t quit as annoying to me. For me ups is still a pain, and I let people know if I’m shipping ups it may take a couple days to a week longer, because the trip to my closest shipping point need to be “when I’m going anyhow”.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

View Puzzleman's profile


348 posts in 1731 days

#7 posted 09-18-2012 11:21 AM

I ship about 150+ packages per week. I also include the shipping in my pricing and advertise “Free Shipping”.

For shipping I primarily use FedEx but also ship with USPS. They do a great job in that they come by everyday, can do shipping labels online and they give you free boxes. One thing I would like to know is if you have a FedEx store close by or a business that is close that has daily pickup. FedEx labels can also be made online and they have an option that is “SmartPost” which is that FedEx takes the package to the closest post office and USPS takes it the last mile. This service is a real cost saver. Some packages I lose money on as I spend more than what I budget for but on most packages I spend less than my budgeted shipping costs. So in the end I am a little ahead.

For someone buying your $80 item, going to $90 is not that much of a stretch. It only becomes an issue when you reach $100. That third digit is a psychological barrier. My experience is that once you sell them on the price and then tell them “Free Shipping” they are much more likely to purchase. People appreciate knowing the full price upfront so there are no hidden fees.

-- Jim Beachler, Chief Puzzler,

View Bertha's profile


12951 posts in 1480 days

#8 posted 09-18-2012 12:58 PM

Those free shipping offers will influence me to buy that product; I’m not sure why; I mean, I know how to do math. Just last night I was ordering a $4 fitting from a plumbing store. After about 10 minutes of filling in their stupid fields, the postage was almost $19. I was so offended that I will NEVER return to that site.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View Grandpa's profile


3233 posts in 1463 days

#9 posted 09-18-2012 02:56 PM

A couple of winters back I ordered a snow shovel. You never know what you will need in southern Oklahoma. I looked at a specific shovel and model #. One guy had a high price and cheap shipping while the other had a little lower price and expensive shipping. I looked at the bottom line. What were my out of pocket expenses. I think that is what most people will do. BTW I ordered the cheaper shovel with higher shipping and saved about $5. Just the way I do it.

View Bertha's profile


12951 posts in 1480 days

#10 posted 09-18-2012 03:17 PM

That’s funny Grandpa because the part I was trying to buy was in anticipation of the upcoming snow season. Great minds plan alike;)
Edit: don’t ever forget about They’re shipping is 2.95 for anything and they’ve got more than you might think in stock (bunch of refurb stuff, too, that I avoid). I just ordered a submersible pump from them for about $50 less than everyone else with $3 shipping.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View SteveMI's profile


872 posts in 2082 days

#11 posted 09-18-2012 11:24 PM

Bertha – ”$4 fitting … the postage was almost $19” I inherited a 10’ square pop up tent that had two of the aluminum struts broke. Called about replacements which seemed steep at $14 each, but the $20 shipping just ticked me off and I stopped the order. This was with a live person who couldn’t appreciate that the shipping was that dumb.

Puzzleman – “Free Shipping” I’m leaning toward that. When I go on Amazon and buy buy a Dado set, table saw fence or couple tables saw blades for 40% off, the free shipping many times will put me over the edge. [An of those weigh far more than the aluminum struts at $20 shipping.]


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