Wednesday, May 5, 2010

My Shipping Experience - Part 1

No, I wasn't out cruising the seas......I was simply trying to ship my first Etsy Sale so that I could begin to earn a good reputation as an Etsy Shop owner.

Maybe you all know about shipping and don't need to read this post;

I'm always thinking that people who have items for sale on auction sites are trying to make a little extra money on the shipping part of their listings, so I want to be fair and not have the shipping amount scare people away from purchasing item, so I have already declared a $10 shipping charge on my Inspiration Boards over at The item I want to ship is about 30" x 24" x 1.5". I arrived at this $10 by looking up on the Post Office site what some of my options were. I was instructed to use a formula to arrive at a shipping cost - measure length and girth and weight and date of birth, multiply by 2 and add 14.5, click my heels together 3 times and repeat "There's no place like home." That would give me the amount of shipping. So I did all that and came up with the idea that I thought $10 would be a fair shipping cost, so that's what I listed.

Once the item sold, I needed to get it out right away, so as to build my reputation as a good seller on etsy. I needed a box....oh darn, I have to go out and buy a box. I thought that the UPS store would be a logical place to by a box that would fit the Inspiration Board. After giving general dimensions to the clerk, he came up with a double walled box that would fit said item. (I knew that in the future I was going to order boxes to have on hand at home from Uline, but the timing was important on this particular shipping - good reputation and all. I said I'd take the box. He rung it up for me and it came to $16.50. ???? What???? That's already $6.50 over my listed shipping cost. Okay, it's just this one time. I'll eat the cost in order to build my good reputation. I still have profited from this sale on Etsy.

I take the box home, pack it with the Inspiration Board, add a nice little gift - I heard that you're supposed to do that on Etsy - and join the 21st century and decide I'm going to print out my own label from my own computer. I go to to get my label. Again I use the formula and the least amount I can get away with paying is $19.50. ??? What? I thought it could go Media Mail, blah, blah, blah. Okay, I'll eat this because I want that good reputation. At this point I'm still breaking even on my sale. It's worth it for a good reputation. I'll just have to list a higher shipping cost on further Etsy listings. ( I love to learn as I go)

The package is all ready to go, label printed and applied. I take it to the Post Office on my lunch hour and am "pat-myself-on-the-back" surprised that there is no line. I take my package up to the clerk. I explain that this is my first Etsy sale, and I was wondering if she could check to make sure that I measured correctly and applied the correct postage......She measures the length and the girth and weight and date of birth, multiplies by 2, and adds 14.5, clicks her heels together 3 times, saying, "There's no place like home." and announces that it is going to cost me $68.20 to ship this box. ??? What??? I take back my box and figure I'll just buy a plane ticket to Houston and deliver the box myself for that kind of money.

Needless to say, my dream of being a successful etsy seller is slowly turning into a nightmare. I simply cannot charge $68.20 shipping on an item that costs only $45. A very nice lady in line - by now there's a line at the post office witnessing my humiliation - tells me that I should try UPS. I explain to her that it's my first Etsy sale and how I need to build a good Etsy reputation and that I appreciate her suggestion. I head over to UPS.

Tune in later for part 2. I'd better wake the kids up for school.



Julie said...

I tried to read this but the font against the wood paneling and my aging eyes made it too difficult.

Dotty said...

Julie, this can't be good. I wonder if you aren't seeing the same thing I'm seeing. What I'm seeing has the font on a background other than the paneling. Maybe I need to redo it. Anyone else having this problem?