Folksy Ltd

Postage cost conundrum

(Karen Ellam) #1


After receiving my first over seas sale today I quickly realised that my postage charge estimation was way off, so therefore I am a fair bit out of pocket.
It’s a lesson learned this time, but I want to update all of my listings with more accurate cost for future sales.
My worry is that the postage costs abroad are quite steep. I don’t want to put off potential custom from over seas but at the same time I can’t afford to keep them as they are.

I’ve noticed a lot of shops here charge the same kind of price as I do at £3.50, but that doesn’t even cover half. I just paid £8.70 at the post office.

I’m thinking it will put folk off buying from overseas if I charge £8.70 but i can’t see any other option.

Is it worth giving it a try with the new high postage costs or maybe not offering a delivery abroad at all and just keep to UK… I’m in a pickle :blush:


(Dawn Sneesby) #2

Hi Karen,

Was that for tracked postage? I have sent a couple of items abroad, one Spain and one USA by first class airmail and I think it was about £3.80 - they were only necklaces though so not a lot of weight.

(Roz) #3

I think it depends how much the item you are sending is worth. I used to send my items tracked UK and overseas but found a good many of them never flagged up as delivered on the Royal Mail website so I was none the wiser as to whether they had arrived. I assume they did as no one has got back to me to say otherwise! I decided recently to reduce my postage costs and send all my items that are £20 or less by standard delivery as you are covered by RM insurance for that amount anyway as long as you get proof of postage. I only send higher value items by tracked now in order to increase insurance value. I can’t comment on whether it has bought in more orders yet as I have only reduced my postage about 2 weeks ago but I will be monitoring it.

edit: having said all that - apparently US customers are used to paying high postage costs but I have to agree I think £8.70 is too much!

(Karen Ellam) #4

Hi Dawn

I noticed the PayPal print off relating to the order stated a signature would be required on delivery as per seller protection guidelines so I didn’t want to take any chances.

Karen :smiley:

(Rosesworkshop) #5

Congratulations on your first overseas sale Karen. I would say put the correct postage charge on your listings.

Postage charges in other countries are much higher than here, and my international customers have paid the £8.70, £9.70, even £18 postage without any quibble. Remember customers can look it up too, and if you can swallow £5 loss on international postage that must mean you are overcharging for the item to all your UK customers.

(Sasha Garrett) #6

The difference between the £3.50 ish postage charge and the £8.70 ish postage is whether you’ve gone for tracked/signed for or not. For my <£20 items I’ve decided to risk it and post internationally without tracking, if it goes missing I’ll suck up the cost for replacing it. For items >£20 it goes tracked, they’ve got more time, effort and materials in them so I want them covered if they go missing or there is a problem. Still to decide about whether I’m prepared to post some of the very expensive items (>£100) overseas as postage would be ~£13 or the bulky items that would have to go small parcel (again postage would be over £10).

(Roz) #7

What does paypal seller protection offer you that RM doesn’t regarding delivery. Presumably if there is a problem with the item once received then that in itself is proof of delivery and if the customer claims non delivery then you can claim from RM. Or am I missing something?!

(Karen Ellam) #8

Hi Roz @Rozcraftz

My head throbs from trying to think of a way to avoid having such steep postage costs abroad, but if PayPal state a signature is required on the order info I can’t really see any other option. I’m going to adjust the prices accordingly to make sure I’m not £’s out of pocket next time.

It would be good if we could have a drop down menu for customers to choose what type of postage they required. That way we could have a price for international Standard, signature, Tracked & signature.

That way there is a choice from the £3 bracket onwards depending on service…

Hope this makes sense lol. My head is beginning to swirl. Time for tea I think.

Karen :blush:

(Roz) #9

I’m still unclear as to what Paypal seller protection offers that RM doesn’t regarding delivery.

(Sasha Garrett) #10

The paypal seller protection covers you if the buyer claims that the transaction wasn’t made by them (ie someone was fraudulently using their account). If you can prove that it was delivered to them (at the address specified in paypal) then they don’t really have a leg to stand on, if you can’t prove it was received by them then they can claim their money back. Royal Mail only covers if it gets damaged or goes missing in transit.

(Eileens Craft Studio) #11

Charge what it costs and remember most USA customers expect to a tracking number oh and they are having big delays at the moment with packages just siting in bins at customers in the USA.

Remember most people if they want something and can’t get it in their own country they’ll pay no matter what the cost is for posting.

(Camilla) #12

Maybe this is a question for #folksyhour tomorrow @karenscraftybitz?

(Dawn Sneesby) #13

Hi Karen,

The drop down menu sounds a good idea, giving the customer the option of how much they want to pay for postage. Save us the headache too.

(Karen Ellam) #14

Tomorrows FolksyHour sounds like it’s going to be a good one. I will try my best to make it, but I have my parents visiting for a roast dinner. I will definitely read through at a later date if I do miss it :laughing:


(Eileens Craft Studio) #15

Not a good idea as they’ll choose the cheapest way which maybe not cover you for seller protection.

(Sarah Eves) #16

When I send tracked abroad using Royal Mail I type the tracking number into the tracking system for the destination country rather than Royal Mail, as they are much more reliable, update far quicker, and in real time.

Sarah x

(Roz) #17

Just a thought - its not just overseas postage that should be sent trackable according to Paypal but everything - including low cost UK sales so if you are really wanting to cover yourself and get Paypal seller protection you should be sending everything tracked. This applies to sales on other sites that use paypal too. Think I’ll just take the risk and claim from Royal mail if my item goes missing!

(Helen Smith) #18

It is a judgement call in the end whether to use tracked shipping. Is the number of sales that you lose because of the much higher shipping charges worth it for the peace of mind that if you should be unlucky enough to have a rogue customer you would be covered buy the seller protection scheme? I would say that if your items are relatively low priced then the occasional individual loss would be far outweighed by the profits on all those you wouldn’t have sold with shipping set at the higher price.

Like many sellers, I practice what we call ‘self insurance’, which is adding in a small extra amount to the ‘overheads’ portion when calculating the our prices. Over time these small extra amounts add up and will cover these type of losses. And unlike traditional insurance, if you don’t lose anything you get to keep the ‘premiums’!

At which price point you feel it is worth paying for tracking etc is a personal decision. I certainly pay the extra for larger custom wedding ffflower orders, for everyone’s peace of mind, but I wouldn’t dream of paying it for a smaller order no matter where it was going.

(Susan Bonnar) #19

I sell a lot on Etsy to the USA and charge £12.90 for tracked shipping on a book that is £24.95. People seem quite happy to pay it - postal charges over there inter state are much higher that we pay. I have also had someone pay £49 for 24 hour delivery of a book to New York for a Wedding! So twice the price of the book! I just quote for actual shipping costs and I think people look at an item/postage combined price and if it suits them they buy! x