Wow, that sounds boring.
But the thing that causes the greatest number of questions? Exactly that. Mostly of the “wow, is it really that much?” variety. There’s several problems when it comes to shipping, most of which I’ve managed to resolve today, but the fixes are imperfect. I’m going to break down the various issues here and explain how I’ve patched together a solution.
1. Priority Mail. – Domestic.
Right now, the stuff we make is best shipped via priority mail. The reason why is simple – temperature. Coconut oil will liquify if it gets too warm. As tight as the caps may be, and as well as I try to vacuum seal the baggies I put everything in to avoid any leakage, once our scrubs are shipped, we have no idea how they’re stored in transit. So the shorter the time between leaving here and arriving wherever you are is the best bet. However, the USPS’s smallest size in a padded flat-rate mailer is 9″x12″, which is way larger than what we actually need(if you’ve gotten an order from us, you already know this.) They don’t have an option for a 6×9, which would be ideal. If I use a 6×9 anyway and label it as a package (choose your own box) the shipping rate is *higher* than if I just use their flat rate 9×12. The actual rate for shipping such a thing is a bit over 7 dollars. This does not include all the packaging inside the envelope or obviously the time it takes to get all this stuff together.
2. First Class (regular) mail.
The reason this wasn’t an option is that the USPS no longer allows you to print first class postage from their website. They only let you print priority and express mail labels. Shopify, who is the company we use for our shopping cart, only allows “carrier based pricing” in a MUCH (much) more expensive plan than we have. (this seems like sort of shooting themselves in the foot on this, but whatever.) Stamps.com will let you do it, but it’s subscription based – you need to pay them 16 bucks a month *just to be able to do it*. That’s why until now, I couldn’t do it. However, Paypal is now allowing you to do this on the merchant end. So, basically, if you want something shipped with first class mail, pay for it using paypal, and we can now do that!
Result: Shipping on domestic orders is now $8 for priority (it’s about $7.20, and the 80 cents is for the internal packaging and handling) and $4 for first class mail (it’s about $2,70 for shipping, but it’s got more paperwork and stuff to do on my end, plus I have to add in the mailer, since those don’t come for free from the post office.) More options, significant savings for everyone.
3. Priority Mail – International
This option is still the best way for things to go from point A to point B, but people don’t really know how expensive it is. Shipping priority international *really is* that expensive. In fact, it’s more expensive than we were charging for it. Here’s two examples: One lip scrub set sent to Canada? $23.95. That’s *just the shipping*. The same lip scrub set sent to Australia? $33.95. Again, that’s *just the shipping*. So the $20 flat rate we were charging was actually less than what it was costing us. So as crazy as it sounds, the reality is more crazy.
4. First Class (regular) mail.
The same issues as above apply, but the real problem is that determining a rate for each individual country is a problem. So I’ve basically created a rough average of $15. (most places we ship to seem to hit at $13 and change for the shipping itself, and the rest would cover the rest of the packaging.)
Result: I’ve created a first class international option for $15 based on the products we currently have (it’s weight based so it will take adjusting later when we have different stuff.) However, depending on the order, it may need minor adjustments (to big orders for example.) but even at the lowest point, international shipping costs over $13 no matter what option we use. Ive also raised the cost of the Priority international shipping to $25. It averages out, *mostly* over the various places we send things to. But seriously it’s all shipping. It’s not us.
In other news, if you want fancy flavored lip balms, now is a good time! We’re still taking pre orders on those, in the same flavors as our scrubs. Bonus, they’re not as fragile as our scrubs and so tubes are great! You can get them right here: https://beautiful-freak-cosmetics.myshopify.com/collections/all
Have a great weekend, everyone!