Wednesday, July 18, 2012


This photo doesn't do the warp colours justice - the pale areas are a warm peach with rose highlights.

The controversy about the cost of shipping to the US has sparked a lot of thought and some suggestions from people.

One suggestion, that I did seriously consider before setting my price, was to charge more for the publication and less for the shipping.  In the end I chose not to go this route for a couple of reasons.  A) it would look like I was making more of a profit on the publication than I truly was and B) it would put into people's minds that they didn't have to pay the full cost of the shipping, that tiny independent businesses would subsidize their purchases.

If we want local yarn shops, small yarn/tool producers and independent publishers to stay in business the customers have to realize that we can only stay in business if we are honest with ourselves and with our customers.  I could have charged $65 for the publication and $10 for shipping to the US but the postage is much higher than that, never mind the rest of the costs. So I didn't go that route.

An alternate to the above would be to set a price including shipping.  But that means people in Canada would be paying more than they should for shipping and very likely those in the US would be paying less unless I had a two tier pricing - one price for in Canada, one for the US.

Another strategy is to produce a publication with fewer samples.  This would reduce the paper costs, the labour (weaving, wet finishing, cutting/taping/stapling/assembling) and might even bring the package down in size enough to qualify for 'small packet' pricing which is around $8 at the moment.

A further refinement on the above would be to provide the text files burned onto a cd and the samples loose, not stapled to card stock.  That approach would probably fit into a cd mailer and likely qualify for 'small packet' pricing, as well.

So, those are some of the thoughts rumbling around in my brain.  My goal with this publication was to fill a niche - provide actual fabric samples for study along with the project notes.  Unfortunately that sort of format is more costly to produce than an ebook.


Kayleigh Garner said...

Having seen a much-loved older copy of one of your books at my weaving guild in Kelowna, I can say that it would be sad to see it cut down in anyway, and people should know that postage is postage. Yes it can be expensive, but the book is worth it!

DebbieB said...

Tiered pricing might be a good workaround, Laura - I know I would completely understand having one price in-country and another international.

IMHO, the samples are a large part of the value of the book, so please don't reduce the number of them!

Anonymous said...

Yes, I was slightly stunned when I saw the shipping price, BUT, where else would I be able to get such explicit information, I need samples, this will be a text book for me. As much as I would love to study with you in person, I can afford your publication a lot easier than travelling. Thank you so much, I appreciate your angst but I prefer truthfulness in my purchases. Thank you. Steph in NH

Laura Fry said...

Like Abe Lincoln says, you cannot please all of the people all of the time. :) I just have to remember that!


Judith said...

Yes shipping is expensive these days but so is gas and Starbucks etc. Lets pick our battles here!
How about the endless pipeline
of information and teaching you supply every day for free through
You Tube, Weavolution, e-mails. My now perfect selvedges didn't cost me a dime just a few minutes of
a Laura Fry free tutorial! This knitpicking about shipping is sad. Thank you for all you do
for the weaving community.

Peg Cherre said...

Check my blog --…little-of-that/ ‎-- for a photo of my package of A Good Yarn. It's covered with stamps. Shipping costs what it costs. I wouldn't try to hide the cost of something over which you have no control.

Klara said...

I think I'd prefer the (lots of) loose samples and the text on CD option (as a pdf) - as long as the samples are clearly identifiable (labels attached to them? Work again). Then I could print out the text myself, if I wanted it on paper.

Or maybe even an either/or option? So that those weavers who don't want to muck around with computers can get the book ready-to-read?