Folksy Ltd

1st Class or 2nd Class?!? Please help :'(

(Claire Louise Barlow) #1

Right, I’m about to end my free postage offer tonight so I’m updating all my postage costs. Now before Easter I had a set flat price of £3.30 for 1st class postage. No matter how many items were purchased. The only exception was my Prints and cards which were cheaper.

But, since the postage price hike of 2014 my sales have really been affected. So what I want to know is as a buyer would you rather pay a fee for each item or a flat rate again. AND do customers generally want cheaper 2nd class or the pricey 1st class?

Literally half of my shop will post under the 2.5cm diameter rule and the other half is too chunky. :confused:

I’d appreciate any advice as my head is hurting, and my shop is very close to being closed down all together. :’(


(Susannah Ayre) #2

As a seller, I did a period of time where I did free postage. And it didn’t seem to make any difference. In the same period of time I actually sell more charging for postage.
I also take a hit in terms of the postage. I always post first class. The most expensive I do UK postage for is £5. But that’s simply because as a buyer- I hate paying a lot for postage. And as a seller I’m prepared to take a bit of a hit on the postage. It only usually works out at a few extra £ lost.
But that’s just me.
I know there are a lot of sellers who want to cover their costs which is obvious- but for me, some of my prints are large and can only go via Parcel Force- so postage is about £11. If I put £11 on the postage costs, I guarantee that would put 99% of people off.
If however I was selling smaller items then yes, I would try and cover my costs. I think saying £3 or so for postage from a small business is perfectly reasonable.

I always post first class. Don’t know why to be honest. I don’t specify. I do say Royal Mail. But I sort of feel if someone got something second class in the post, they might think their order was less of a priority. Maybe?

I don’t see a real problem in posting second class, but I would say that’s how it’s being posted so they know before they place the order.

Not sure if I’ve helped at all. :confused: Apologies if I haven’t.

Don’t give up though! There’s no fun in that! :stuck_out_tongue::stuck_out_tongue:

(Claire Louise Barlow) #3

Thank you for taking the time to reply Susannah. I get you, and for big items like my wholesale orders and SOR i take a hit with postage too.

But it’s the small shop sales i have to cover my costs with. I do wish Royal mail would make it easier for small businesses.

Your point about 2nd class and felling less of a priority is interesting. thanks.

Hmm I’m on the price finder now with a very large list in front of me! the last thing i want to do is close my shops after all these years on folksy but my sales recently have fallen dramatically. I know its not all down to postage costs, but it sure aint helping! :’(


(Liz Dyson) #4

I wouldn’t offer free postage as you end up paying more in Folksy fees than you need to. I buy 95% of all cards and gifts here and I expect to pay postage for them. As a buyer, I would prefer things to be posed first class but as a seller, when I get a larger order, I email the buyer and ask if they would prefer me to use second class and refund the postage. As a supplies seller, my customers aren’t usually in a mad rush for their beads etc.

(Sasha Garrett) #5

I guess the problem is the relative cost of shipping to the value of the item. If I am spending a lot of money on an item I want to know that it will get to me safely so will pay more for the postage and packaging so that I know it will be properly packaged and treated appropriately (like wise if I am shipping an expensive item I want to know I am insured in case it goes missing). If an item is under an inch thick once boxed (and for most of my jewellery that is the case) I send it first class signed for which costs £2.05 now and I charge £2.50 for p&p, my cheapest items are £10 so the p&p is 20% of the total order value and additional items are p&p free to encourage people to buy more. Over an inch and it goes small parcel signed for which is £4.40, I think I charge £5 for those items, but that still equates to 20% or less of the cost of the item and additional items are still free. For your items the ratio of shipping costs to order value isn’t so good if you charge the full postage cost which might put people off. Maybe try charging the full postage cost but with additional items still being free and see how it goes? You never know it might encourage people to get extra items to match with what they first wanted (if only we could put clickable links in to make it easier for people to find matching items). I’d also highlight more the fact that it comes boxed and ready for gift giving - makes people realise that it is not just the postage they are paying for but beautiful packaging as well.
Have you looked into myhermes or ipostparcels as an alternative to RM for the small parcel items?

(Louise Foot) #6

Almost all orders I get fall in to large letter / small parcel / medium parcel. I charge £1.50 for large letter items & £3.50 for parcels. Most orders come below 1kg & they always get sent 1st class & those from 1-2kg get sent 2nd as its half the cost. I think what I charge vs what P&P costs me just about pans out, I certainly don’t profit from it.

As a customer I’m privately both impatient & very keen to pay fair P+P. I’ve fallen in love with items that would obviously go as a large letter with little packaging & refused to buy cos shops are asking £2.50+ If I’m aware something won’t cost anything additional to send I resent paying more for it. I accidentally entered shipping to charge £3.50 for every item in both shops & did notice sales per order improved no end once I’d amended it. I don’t really go for free P+P either.

I do package carefully, pretty much always includes bubble wrap or similar that has come in with my supplies (accompanied by an apology for its use & pointing out it’s recycled). Surely everyone loves to get their parcel earlier than anticipated so I’d say over deliver where possible.

Good luck with your decision

(Claire Louise Barlow) #7

Thank you all. I have only had free postage on for the Easter Holidays. before that i charged £3.30 per order and additional items free. With the view in mind that people would buy another item. Sadly most people only seem to buy one item at a time.

Louise, your point is a very valid one. Some of my items could go as a large letter, but I’m charging one flat rate. Perhaps i should adjust my items into different postage groups. Unfortunately earrings that are £3 have to go as a sml parcel so they don’t get bent. This is definitely not a 20% ratio sasha :frowning:

Also my hermes annoyingly don’t cover me for selling jewellery. Otherwise I’d use them x

Thank you all x

(Deborah Jones) #8

Like Louise I resent being overcharged for postage .
As a seller I want my items in the postal system for as short a time as possible , so I send the majority of my items first class lge letter rate for £1.50 . additional items are also £1.50 each. Depending on the accumulated value I will either refund some postage or upgrade the service to Special delivery.

People don’t seem to balk at paying for addition items, but are often over the moon when they get a bit of a refund - so come back for more.

Claire Louise @Realicoul Royal Mail won’t cover you for jewellery either (unless you use special delivery)

(Claire Louise Barlow) #9

@DeborahJonesJewellery i have had no problems being covered by royal mail as long as I have my proof of postage. perhaps this is because my items are below the £20 value?

Just sorting my new postage structure. Sat in my office with scales and a tape measure :confused:

(Deborah Jones) #10

@RealicoulI My post office are very emphatic that no jewellery is covered for compensation by a first class stamp , they don’t ask value or what it is made of .

Edit: I have just hunted down what RM class as jewellery, so it looks like you are right and are covered with your buttons. Have you had to claim and been compensated?
I will have to put the ladies right in our local office.

The Royal Mail definition of jewellery includes:
• any precious metal that has been manufactured in such a way as to add value to the raw material, including coins used for ornament;
• diamonds and precious stones;
• watches - the cases of which are made wholly or mainly of precious metal;
• similar articles with an intrinsic value other than the value of the workmanship.

(Nobias Art) #11

I didn’t sell anything on here yet, (I have joined a month ago) but I have set everything I think around £2.50-£3 and send everything first class

(Claire Louise Barlow) #12

@DeborahJonesJewellery yes I have unfortunately had to make a few claims in my time as a seller. only a handful, but they have always paid up.

(Helen Smith) #13

I send first class because I’m impatient myself - and for smaller items the difference in cost is not huge. For larger, or awkward shapes like my glass sculpture, I take a hit on the postage but then the items are higher priced so I have more of a margin so it’s fine.

I think for smaller items it’s a good idea to plan the packaging so they can go as large letter, especially if the items themselves are relatively cheap. Have you looked at PIP boxes? They’re great for making sure things stay as large letter size and they protect the contents well, I happily send my glass decorations out in them. (I know I plug these boxes at every opportunity, I don’t have shares, honest!)

The tiny box company do a box they call a ‘thin earring box’ which works for large letter postage too if you want a gift box.