|If only same-day carrier pigeon were possible!|
As a seller, I understand this, and ship things using that sense of urgency, often the same day as the order. Whether it is clothing, new bed linens, or perhaps that Eames-era ash tray you got off Etsy as a new jewelry holder, it's like Christmas every day you get a package in the mail.
Two things: 1) customers should set normal expectations for delivery times, and 2) sellers should make sure the packages arrive (safely) within those expected times.
-There is, unfortunately, no cheap shipping option. Shipping is determined by weight, size, and destination. So, unless you purchased a feather, expect it to cost something.
- The more inexpensive the option, the slower. First class mail takes about 3 business days. Priority is 2-3. Express is overnight. Large/heavy items go by parcel and take 10. Note: over 13 oz. cannot go 1st class and are forced into the next tier.
- Don't trust the seller. I said it. It's true. Make sure they add tracking. If it's breakable, make sure they add insurance. The best sellers include these options in their shipping costs.
|Yay! A box of bubble wrap!|
What sellers should know:
- If you plan on making even a part-part-time business of selling online, you MUST buy a scale and a printer. Trips to the post office cause unnecessary delays and are actually costing you money in paying full price postage and packaging.
- Utilize online shipping, tracking, and insurance options. Many sites will offer label printing for you and even discount the postage. There are now several companies that will insure your package for a fraction of the price of the big shippers (UPS, USPS, FedEx).
- Ship immediately! Pretend it is you waiting for that awesome thing you just bought!
- Don't trust the buyer. Yep. Make sure you add tracking and insurance to every package. Otherwise, be prepared to give your stuff away for free whether it is actually lost or damaged as a very high percentage will claim it was. Yes, this sucks. Don't be a victim.
-Check everything before you ship it and package it accordingly. Don't let things bang around inside a box. You have seen those videos of the delivery person kicking boxes onto porches? (source: YouTube) Packing peanuts are cheap. Newspaper is often free. Boxes can be free if you aren't adverse to perusing the dumpsters behind the local strip mall.
|Whatever you do, don't mark it fragile.|
International shipping has gotten so much better. You can now print the customs forms and do all the things online from the comfort of your home office. Did you buy that scale and printer yet? DO IT. While you are at it, buy/get some tissue paper, shipping envelopes, paper & ink for your printer (or labels if you wanna be so fancy), packing tape, and boxes (you can order USPS priority containers for free and delivered to your door). I still find the best deals on ink, tissue paper, and mailers on eBay.
Please feel free to post any comments, questions, or concerns for my general well-being. I hope you have a wonderful holiday shopping season!