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There's no such thing as a free lunch (or postage)

Thought I'd get a blog post in early(ish) before some making madness commences. Had a quiet month of September; partly because it's usually quiet at that time of year anyway, and partly because I was suffering the effects of autistic burnout. For anyone not in the know, this is when almost everything, mental or physical is simply overwhelming and a gargantuan task to deal with. Put simply I was exhausted mentally and physically and although I do try to work through it, it's like swimming in treacle. It is slowly improving but any extra demands can make it slip back again so that's the reason I've been quieter on social media. There was a time when I'd be making myself ill trying to do it all - I tend to recognise it better now and adjust self expectations as I go.

Covid19 cases have soared again in the UK which is worrying but wasn't a total surprise either which is I stuck with the courier for the time being. On that subject, I was thrown last week with a throwaway comment - basically "Beautiful trees. Expensive postage." I'd like to say a bit about that because it is a subject I torture myself over time and time again.

I'm not a big company that makes squillions of money and I don't qualify for business accounts with delivery companies because I don't ship enough in a year. My profit margins are slim at best and I go back and forth on the psychology of "free shipping!" because obviously it's not free and someone somewhere has to pay. The whole postage thing has stalled me adding new sections to the shop; I've been planning to add beads and crystals since March but that's had to be put on hold for now too.

There are options on this which I'll go over briefly:

Option 1. Cost of product + shipping / packaging costs = what I do now.

I know at first glance it must be a bit of a 'whoa!' moment looking at some of the postage quotes, but that's what I'm currently paying to get items out. Sometimes I've estimated right and packaging costs as well as postage are covered. Often the postage amount charged falls short of what I'm paying which also means packaging isn't covered either but that's a cost I have to swallow because believe me, I don't enjoy asking for high postage BUT THAT'S WHAT IT COSTS. Postage prices have went up twice this year and I've paid the extra because I didn't realise it had changed until I had to book it.

There are slightly cheaper companies out there of course, but weighing up costs vs terrible reviews.... I'd much rather have things arrive than be lost in transit and so far (fingers crossed!) the success rate for delivered items has been 100%. I like those odds.

Option 2. Cost of product + whatever shipping packaging costs added = free shipping

Oh yipee - free shipping! But wait a minute ... if I'm adding the postage costs to every product, that means on multiple items, you'd in effect be paying for postage more than once. That doesn't sound too fair. And what about the rates of postage in different countries? To cover everything I'd have to add the maximum amount of postage on each item which means someone who ordinarily would pay for local shipping would be paying a lot more. That doesn't sit right with me at all.

Option 3. Cost of product + some shipping = reduced shipping / packaging costs

This is something I'm considering trialling because I get that nobody wants to pay a big postage amount. Whatever is added to the product cost would be taken off the postage amount.

Open to thoughts on this! Take care out there and stay safe ❤


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