The thing that makes my brain tired is trying to figure out how to figure in shipping costs with a third-party payment system. For something you easily stuff into a Priority Mail box fine, but many of my pottery items weigh enough that they can cost anywhere from $15-$25 to ship UPS depending on the zone they are going to. This is kinda steep for a single $50-75 item.
Does one average the costs for all items and zones and "eat it" sometimes and get a more others?
Thanks for a great blog.
Found it via Twitter...
This is a very good question, and one I had to consult with a few colleagues about. While you don’t want to overcharge too much on shipping because it can turn away customers, you don’t want to undercharge on shipping either, as you’ll go bankrupt. Taking the average, or a value slightly higher than the average, may be the best route. Generally it is standard to take the average shipping cost for each individual item (especially if you have items of varying size and weight) and attempt to maintain balance between orders which put you at a loss and those that you end up coming out ahead on. Both The United States Postal Service and FedEx have a shipping calculator available to help you determine shipping rates based on size and destination.
Some artisans choose to overestimate their shipping cost to prevent ending up at a loss, although it does have the potential to scare away potential customers or result in abandoned carts. You can however offer a refund if the actual shipping amount is less than the amount paid by the customer. This takes time, but it is one way around the problem.
Another potential solution would be to incorporate more of your shipping cost into your item cost. While this can result in the over-pricing of your item, keep in mind that many shoppers don’t always consider shipping costs when browsing, and can be turned off by seeing the total cost when checking out. Incorporating your shipping cost into the item’s price will leave the shopper with less of a surprise when they see the shipping cost. You can also ask in the item description for shoppers to note the shipping cost and explain why it is the price that it is.
All in all, there may be no easy solution for your shipping question, but there are some alternatives to consider. I hope this response helps, and let me know if you have additional questions!
Sell Handmade Crafts Online
Have a question for the blog? Email it to Sara@ArtFire.com.
Have further thoughts on determining shipping price? Please leave them in the comments below.