The Woes of Shipping

I was told that I am doing it wrong. I purchased boxes to ship my items. “Boxes can be sourced for free,” I was told.

Yeah, they can, but some boxes are more common. My items are small. The dimension of a pony is 7x5x4. That is a very small box and people often order one. I got a stack of boxes to do single sales so that I could save money. Buying to save is often something struggled with. The basics come down to the fact that the .20 cents per box I paid allows me to keep shipping down. My shipping costs are normally 3.80 to send the pony in the smallest possible box. ┬áThat box is normally 8 ounces. With each ounce about 20 cents is added. A box that is free but twice as large can add 40-60 cents (include packing material so the item doesn’t knock around and become damaged).

But I’ve learned that people are sensitive to shipping.

I too remember the days of low costs and high shipping on ebay. Sellers made their money by avoiding the fees. Ebay struck back and now they charge me a fee for the shipping amount. If I charge my exact fee of around 4 dollars, ebay eats around .30 cents of that. I charge about 4.50. That has me breaking even on shipping.

But how angry it makes people.

The comics have a similar problem. I ordered comic book mailers. They are media mailers but thinner to hold comics tightly and securely. They cost me about .50 per comic. I use them because these are very old and rather valuable comics. Do you really want your $40, sixty year old comic arriving in a bubble mailer hopefully unbent and undented?

I had someone offer me $10.50 on a $10 item. I asked why they had made an offer above the price. The response was free shipping. That means I’d spend around $4 in shipping on a $10 item as well as the %10 ebay takes from the value. I’d walk away with 5 dollars on an item that is a collectible and has a value.

I could take the offer and move my inventory. But, I don’t mind waiting. The sales are addictive. It is fun to make money and do a bit extra with my time. But, I’m not going to stab myself in the foot for it.

July is a notoriously slow from what I have read. Patience and time will get the stuff moved. They’ve been sitting in bins and boxes for well over a decade. Fifty years for most of the comic books and 12-15 for my ponies.

Of course when you are a buyer you just care about price. It is interesting to see how I have reevaluated seller costs and shipping over the last month. Things don’t look the same from the other side of the line.