I recently checked US postal rates for international shipping, and the truth is, they're making me sad.
I have a few fabric pieces listed, and to send each piece abroad costs at least $15, but that's via First Class uninsured, so I would only offer it to someone I know. Priority Mail with insurance for one piece of fabric starts at $37! And since my bears are on the larger side, insured Priority Mail will run from $40 to $60 when I ship bears overseas.
Not only are these USPS prices sure to give bear collectors pause, they'll probably be typical worldwide soon enough. That means buying bearmaking supplies from other countries will no longer be practical for me.
Is anyone else re-thinking life in the face of shipping costs like these?
I know what you mean Becky.
I offer first class international shipping outside the US. But there is no way to track the package. I have not lost a bear yet ,but I know it could just be a matter of time.
I can ship a bear a flat rate shipping box for 17.00 via priority mail International. But I can not package the bear as nice i.e no gift box.
Even in the US, priority mail has been slower but costs more. :(
Also, I did not have any international buyers in the last online show.
We have the same exorbitant fees with Australia Post - I like to send my bears by International Express Post which offers insurance and tracking, particularly to o/s customers but it always ends up costing around AUD$65-$75 (depending on weight of bear). I know there are cheaper ways to send, but they are either lacking in insurance or tracking options - neither of which I would consider, and I always put myself in my collectors' shoes: I would prefer to pay the extra for peace of mind than lose a beloved bear
Its the same here in South Africa. Postal rates are exhorbitant so ordering from overseas is just not viable anymore. Even imported Mohair from the suppliers is very expensive and I'm sure that's because of the ridiculous shipping rates. It makes me so sad that I have to slow down on my bear making because its becoming unaffordable.
If it's any consolation, Becky, tariffs for sending parcels to the US (or anywhere outside Europe) are just as expensive here:
e.g. a parcel weighing less than 2 kgs. (not really that much for a bear) are EUR 43 (= $ 55) including insurance :(
If the parcel just exceeds 2 kgs, the price goes up to EUR 65 (= $ 83) :mad:
If it were only the shipping costs, I wouldn't hesitate to adopt more bears from the US or Canada, but I think it's mainly the astronomical import duties and other costs (VAT, handling charges, etc..) that scare collectors off.
To give you an example, I recently won a bear on e-bay for $ 52 (a real bargain I thought ), the shipping costs were $ 59, the import duties were $ 50. (maybe it wasn't such a bargain after all... )
If it's any consolation, Becky, tariffs for sending parcels to the US (or anywhere outside Europe) are just as expensive here
I think that's only a consolation to the customs department! It definitely makes matters worse for us.
It makes me so sad that I have to slow down on my bear making because its becoming unaffordable.
That's what I'm afraid of, too - that our bearmaking and collecting will suffer because of these high rates.
To post a bear within the UK under 2 kilos costs me £9.75... So I include that cost in the price of the bear...I also subsidise overseas shipping of smaller bears. When the weight goes over 2 kilos it ratchets the shipping costs up hugely to over £25. It really makes no sense ...so I try to keep the weight to under 2 kilos including the box.
I often get people ask me to undervalue the box...I feel very uncomfortable with this as my insurance is then voided...but I know why people ask...and I have been on the end of import duties myself so it's a tough one. I am sure that the parcels arrive still safely but I wouldn't have a leg stand on if I had to claim..
I do try as far a possible to build in the shipping costs into cost of the bear..certainly UK postage anyway..I then an reduce the worldwide costs by the UK shipping price..
Postage is a problem for everyone.
I think the U.S. is finally catching up to the rest of the world, where shipping rates have been huge for a long time. It had to come, sooner or later. I ship UPS within North America, because it's cheaper than sending by Priority & Express and about the same as Expedited mail, which are the only ways we can track a parcel. We can also only get $100.00 insurance for our parcels, no matter what the value is. I can track UPS online and i like my driver. As for overseas, I've always send small packet air, which has no insurance, but so far it's been great and everything has been much faster than sending a bear within North America. I can get a parcel to its destination in Europe in 3 days and I can't even get a letter from my house to Toronto (an hour away) in that time. I find it quite remarkable.
Now that Canada Post has dropped the $100 included insurance on small packet air parcels - both to the US and International, I feel I can no longer use that method as if anyone claims they didn't get their parcel PayPal would give them a full refund and I would be out the cost of the bear and the postage. At least with the $100 insurance I could always count on getting that much of the transaction back. Now I am forced to use their new tracked packet rate and for smaller parcels my postage cost to the US has more than doubled from $7.60 to over $16.00. The smallest parcel internationally has gone from around $10 to $45 or $50 (and even more depending on the country) so my sales have effectively been cut back to just Canada and the US. My sales so far this year have been pretty limited with most being local sales in person with no shipping involved. My purchasing has also been significantly reduced too with these new greatly increased postage costs worldwide.
I know what you mean. I had someone interested in the apple cart I was selling, but because the shipping cost were so high they backed out. I don't blame them at all. I want to make bears and sell them but if the buyers don't like shipping cost what do you do. Maybe one should look at adding the cost of shipping with the bear cost. I don't know what a good solution would be.
Becky, I just had to mail a box Priority Mail domestically, and I was shocked, It was under 3 pounds, but it was now considered a large box. This is new, it would have never been a large box before, the longest side was only 15". They have done this since they got rid of parcel post. Well anyway, I am rambling. It cost me $38.00! Two months ago it would have been $20.00. So this means no more free domestic shipping for me.
I decided to make smaller teddies. The smaller the package, the less it costs to ship.
That's true, and sounds like a good strategy.
I just had to mail a box Priority Mail domestically...It cost me $38.00!
That's a serious shocker, and I've heard similar stories from people all over the globe. It seems the postal services had a meeting somewhere...