Monday, March 4, 2013

Shipping Woes

So.  Canada Post radically changed their shipping categories in February and I have had to make some decisions about doing mail order.

If you biggify the above photo you may be able to see that an item that I have been selling for $20 just cost me $23.94 postage to ship.  This amount does not include all the other costs of shipping (padded mailing envelope, drive to post office, time involved in writing up customs forms, waiting on line etc.

(I know in the US you can have mail picked up, but that isn't really an option for me.)

Even though I still have a few cones of the 'energized' and lycra yarn, I have had to make the decision to stop selling this specialty yarn via mail order.  When the shipping is more than the price of the item it no longer makes economical sense to try and sell it 'remotely'.  Whatever yarn I have left will just go to whatever shows that we do in person, or it will get used up for workshops.

But this decision has caused me to reflect on selling on Art Fire, which is where I've sold this yarn for the past couple of years.  If I can no longer economically sell yarn or tea towels in my Art Fire store, why bother to have it at all?

So I am seriously considering cancelling my Art Fire shop and just continue to market and sell my publications via internet sales groups or my contact list.

Since there is no longer a 'cheap' category to ship items, there is no longer any need to keep the Linen and Hemp publication as small as possible.  With just a few dollars separating the cheapest rate from ordinary expedited mail, I may as well go for a significant publication and make it worth while for people to pay the shipping to receive it.

I have already determined that the print run for L&H will be 50.  Right now I am thinking of going back to 10 samples (before and after wet finishing, of course!), including a binder and plastic pocket pages for the text pages.  I will decide on a price for the whole package in the next little while after I finalize the 10 samples to be included.

With just 50 copies, be sure you are on my contact list.  I will send out a notification closer to publication date.

AGY:Silk will likely be about the same in terms of format and price - possibly a little more expensive due to the cost of silk yarn.


Laura said...

USPS has done the same thing, elimating Parcel Post, making it a requirement that you come to the PO to ship things in their new "parcel" class, instead of being able to generate online shipping labels.

It's like they don't want us with home-based businesses to succeed. Grrr on all of them!

Apple Jack Creek said...

Yep, the postage changes were really nasty this time around! If you use Ship-in-a-Click you get a bit of a discount, but not enough to offset some of the increases. Blergh.

I'm sure you have a good arrangement with a printer already, but just in case you are looking, you might check out Printorium (Island Blue) in Victoria. They specialize in short run printing and do excellent work (they printed my first book and are right now working on my second).

Hope to see you (or your companion at least) at Fibre Week!

Laura Fry said...

Doug will be at Olds in the vendor hall ;)