What should be its fair value? How can this transaction stage be profitable for the buyer and unprofitable for the master?
1. Shouldn’t the postal delivery cost equal the postage rate?
No, it shouldn’t. Many factors can add up to the cost of postage:
Postage rate – not negotiable, as the postal service sets prices and we can’t influence it;
Packaging (box, package, etc.) – without which the item will not reach the addressee;
plastic bags – in case of a “world flood” on the way;
Stuffing (bubble wrap, foam plastic, paper, cardboard, hay) and other auxiliary materials (duct tape, glue, staples, paper clips, nails, self-tapping screws);
Time for packing – those who have ever packed a large picture in a baguette on the road will understand me. Those who have sent a large painting in the mail under glass probably died of a broken heart before the package reached the destination;
Transportation (bus ticket, gasoline for the car);
The time it took to get to the post office. Sometimes it is not a five-minute walk, and time, as you know, is money;
Time spent in line at the window. Many people, of course, manage to do something helpful in this case, but it is more pleasant to read a book in a cozy armchair at home rather than standing in line. Master here does not enjoy and works, so any work must be paid;
The labor of assistants (couriers, packers, porters, drivers) – the specifics of the goods (weight, size) or a large number of orders can prevent doing without their forces;
Insurance – you can save money on this point only if the artisan is ready to compensate the buyer for losses in case of force majeure (loss, theft, damage);
2. It turns out that the artisan can charge a higher delivery price than the cost of the postal service?
Yes, because not only the post office is required to send the parcel, but also many of the above. And the buyer can always back out of the deal if any of the items he does not like.
3. And if the amount for delivery turns out to be more than the amount stated by the crafter, does the buyer have to pay extra for delivery?
Only if it was agreed upon before the purchase. Many artisans, who have parcels of roughly the same weight, size, and type of postage, quote an approximate average price. Thus, the overpayment and shortfall appear to be negligible for both parties.
4. Why do some crafters return the difference between the prepayment and the postage check to the buyer after shipping, and some do not?
Because the former includes some of the cost of packing and shipping in the price of goods, while the latter does not. Both are right in their way. But the buyer also has the right to know that nothing in the world is free and that everything that was “given” to him/her has already been paid for.
– 20 common questions about postage costs
5. There are artisans whose shipping is cheap, and their prices are such that they don’t include shipping – so how do they achieve this?
Honestly? I don’t know. But there are several versions:
Handicrafts for such an artist – a hobby, and earnings are not crucial to her because she and her “business” exist from other sources (Dad – a millionaire, a rich sponsor, another job, pension, rent, etc.);
The crafter is a novice and works at a loss, hoping that “today I work for my name, tomorrow the name will work for me.”
Both methods have a right to life, but you should not expect many artisans to choose them. At the beginning of the handmade path, when each sale is perceived as an extraordinary gift of fate, it is possible to give the long-awaited customer her apartment under the influence of endorphins to the purchase. However, suppose handicraft is not only a means of self-expression and a hobby but also a business. In that case, any calculations must be approached professionally – accurately, and fairly.
6. Why isn’t it possible to see shipping costs for all artisans simultaneously (in the product page rules)?
An artisan can’t know in advance where another handmade lover will be found. And if the goods are also very different in weight and size, then specifying the price in advance, it is very easy to make a mistake. In this case, we must calculate each order’s shipping costs separately.
7. Why does the artisan include the cost of travel to the post office in the delivery amount?
Because the package itself is not teleported to the post office, and the master has only two legs (not always healthy), one life, and a lot of things to do.
8. If the artisan chooses to take a cab to the post office, does the buyer also have to pay for that?
Yes, if he/she wants to buy from that particular crafter. Suppose the artist is so exclusive and unique. In that case, she may soon put the purchase and maintenance of a Lamborghini in her expenses. But the buyer always has a choice – to agree or to look for someone who is no less talented but not yet so popular.
9. Why does the crafter get greedy and include little things like a few inches of tape or a single bag?
Because the crafter didn’t steal all of this “stuff” or find it in a dumpster but bought it. In the customer’s interest, she continues to do exactly that. After all, the reliability of packaging, and therefore the safety of the goods, depends on it.
10. But if the crafter is so successful, she has a lot of sales; can’t she just give the customer those 10-50 cents?
Probably, she can, but at the expense of what? By saving on the reliability of packaging? By reducing the quality of work? By working day and night for a pittance? Taking a piece of bread from her child? Robbing banks in her spare time?
11. But it is possible to include the cost of delivery in the price of the goods, right?
It is possible, but will the person who picks up the item at home be happy if he/she has to pay for postage that he/she didn’t use?
12. Can the delivery cost exceed the order cost itself?
It can. And how! If I need those three “pearl buttons, who else will pay for their trip from China to the U.S.? Remote purchase of some things (cheap, for example, or very large, heavy) can be very expensive.
13. Why do some artisans set so-called “postal days” instead of sending the parcel immediately after receiving the money?
More often than not, this is done precisely to spend less time and money on postage, which means the delivery to the buyer will be cheaper. Well, the master is not just a parcel sender – there are probably many things in her life and work that require time and attention. So she collects all the orders and sends them simultaneously once a week, for example.
14. Why does the artisan refuse to send the order by ordinary parcel?
Because the rules of some postal services prohibit sending goods by ordinary parcel, it is intended only for paper correspondence and publications.
15. But you can disguise a small thing as a thick letter, can’t you?
You can. But not every artisan, when talking to a postal worker, will be able to lie to the operator’s question about what’s inside the parcel. And artisans usually do not take on what they do not know how to do.
16. The crafter wants to send an order by First Class. Why should I do this?
First-class parcels are shipped in plastic containers, separate from the rest, which should help keep them safe. Although there is no one hundred percent guarantee, but I can tell you from my own experience that the parcels that come to me look less “tired”. If the parcel’s weight is small, sending 1st class may be even more profitable than a simple parcel. And one more bonus: in some cities, 1st class parcels are brought home for free.
– 20 common questions about postage costs
17. Why do some artisans insist on a full appraisal (insurance) of the parcel since shipping is more expensive and unprofitable for the buyer?
More expensive. But is it more profitable for the buyer to lose the entire order amount if the package is lost/stolen/damaged en route?
18. Why do many artisans send orders without evaluation (insurance)? Or they specify the minimum value of the item when they send it to the post office.
Often customers ask for this, and artisans meet them halfway. If a crafter makes such a decision on her own, she usually does it when the work is not too expensive and not too long in the making. In the case of force majeure (which does not happen very often), the artisan compensates the buyer (with new work or money) from his own “insurance fund.”
19. If a package is lost in the post office, does the artisan have to refund the buyer?
Yes, if the buyer has paid the insurance for the total value of the attachment or the sender, on her initiative, did not pay for it partially. Also, if technically possible, it is usually possible to negotiate with the crafter to make a repeat of the lost item. Suppose the buyer him or herself did not want to spend money on a complete evaluation and was warned about the possible risks. In that case, the master does not owe him/her anything. However, artisans often meet the buyer halfway here as well. But this is only with the “mutual agreement of the parties.
20. Why do artisans not like cash on delivery?
Because they have already met forgetful/unscrupulous/unserious/ suddenly impoverished “customers.” Such customers tend to order a lot but will not take everything. And the master, instead of money, after a month and a half to two months, has wasted time, money, and goods are taken out of turnover, two checks for the journey of the package “there” and “back” + costs for packaging, insurance, and other “pleasures.”
The expenses are there, but the work is not sold. Large online stores “swallow” such costs quickly enough due to the large sales volume, but for someone who earns with her hands, such losses are too great.
Conscientious buyers appreciate cash on delivery for the opportunity to pay not at once (until the cherished box gets to its destination, you can get a salary, an inheritance, or a Nobel Prize). But do not take into account that, in this case, overpay. And from unscrupulous sellers, cash on delivery is bad protection. Because finding out at what delivery stage a Chinese vase from the Ming era turned into faience from today’s Shanghai basements can only be done in court.
So how much can a fair postal delivery cost?
Probably as much as you agreed to pay.
We are all different – we see the world differently, work differently, and choose different ways. Therefore, we communicate with buyers and pay as we know how, understand, and see fit. And the customer agrees. Or not. We are free of our choice and have the right to treasure our honestly earned dollar, euro, or gold coin.
I wish the master’s creative victories and sales. I wish the buyers successful purchases, and I wish all of us – mutual understanding!