|A good day of sales for Forsythia Hill Vintage.|
In 2012 I paid nearly $700.00 in shipping fees operating my two online Vintage Shops. There was a big jump in international shipping rates early in 2013 which put a serious dent in my international sales. I can only hope the exchange rate is in the favor of non-US countries to help ease the burden of higher shipping fees. The biggest increase was to Canadian customers - the rates nearly doubled.
It hasn't been all doom and gloom. First Class within the US is the cheapest route if your package weighs up to 13 ounces. For heavier packages, Parcel Select is often the best shipping option for me but I've figured out that sometimes you can ship Priority for less. It's all automated through Paypal and Etsy. If you don't ship commercially, you can still print labels at home for your personal packages and I've found that online rates are always less expensive than the Post Office and tracking is included. The quick link to creating your package label is paypal.com/shipnow. There are several steps before printing so you can view how much each option costs before you buy. After you finalize your shipping method, print a label on paper and completely cover it with clear shipping tape, adhering it to your package and you are done. No need to buy expensive stick labels.
|Bigger mailbox finally installed - still not big enough!|
If you are a commercial seller, you can get super inexpensive shipping insurance through shipsaver. I've had one breakage and they covered it so it actually works!
I recently discovered Priority Mail Flat Rate Envelopes that can save you half of shipping Priority in a box. Padded costs a little more so go for the unpadded and wrap your item in bubble wrap. You can order the envelops online and they will be delivered to your house, free of charge. The postage amount is set and you pay when you ship so you always know how much it's going to cost. I would ship in an envelop if the item is heavy and non-breakable.
|4 Bushel Baskets - my heaviest and largest item!|
Get to know your mail carrier, often they will just pick up a package straight from your mail box or front step. I leave a note in the box if my items won't all fit - that my packages need to be picked up from my front porch. I love my mail carrier! I've saved hundreds of dollars on gas from not having to drive to the post office, not to mention TIME.
|My 1st lesson to pack WELL - Cast Iron actually damaged!|
When wrapping breakables I bubble wrap first then stuff with plain white packing paper leaving 2" between the item and the box for movement. I often start with a 1" layer of recycled packing peanuts in the bottom of the box. Light clothing gets pretty tissue paper and is inserted into a mailing envelop.
Just a few tricks of the trade. Happy shipping!