When it comes to postage charges from Annie’s Goat Hill Handcrafted Soaps I try to be as fair as possible. I want the value of the product that you receive from me to maximize the dollars that you have spent. Not only do I expect the product to be what I claim it to be, but I also want the shipping and packaging to be equitably priced.
My online shopping cart calculates shipping based on the dollar amount of the order (from calculations that I have determined based on weight/pricing). Fine tuning of the system is not an option at this point.
With many customer orders, the dollar amount charged to the customer for shipping and handling closely matches the actual postage charged by the US Postal Service. Occasionally, I fork out a bit of my own money to cover the shipping. Generally, the difference rests on the customer.
I carefully consider all costs when I price a product, but I do not include the time that I spend packaging and shipping a product. This falls into the shipping costs category.
Have your eyes glazed over yet? Are you still with me? Sounds and looks like dry reading to me.
So, here is my proposal. To help your pocketbook and to ease my mind until I can afford a shopping cart that works miracle postal calculations, beginning with orders shipped today, I am going to refund any postage that amounts to a difference of $1.00 or more on any single given order.
Example: The shopping cart charged $5.00, the actual postage is $3.99, I will automatically refund the $1.01 to the customer.
Keep in mind, I do include samples, and have even included an extra bar of soap from time to time because I do not believe in stiffing a customer when it comes to their pockets. Let me throw out a sad scenario, have you ever seen soap for sale for $2.00 a bar on some auction site/entity, but the seller charges an enormous shipping fee? They are making money, believe me, and if they are not, so sad for those of us trying to make good for our industry!
So, back to business at hand…bottom line, if the shipping for your order is $1.00 or greater, your credit card will be refunded the difference.
As I wrap this up, for those of you that do not ship packages out on a regular basis, you may not know, USPS priority mail shipping is often cheaper than parcel post. I calculated shipping for a customer yesterday. Her instructions were, “Ship the cheapest rate. I do not care if it takes a week to deliver.” When I calculated her postage I found that priority mail was .03 cheaper than parcel post (and it was not a flat rate box). So, to ship her order with a received date in 2-3 days, was much cheaper than regular parcel post with a 5-7 day shipment date.
Also, the “zones” that USPS uses to calculate their postage are based on miles. The USPS paperwork that I have is not sitting right in front of me so, I am going to draft up an example. Before Ms. Smith was educated on the USPS postage rates, she thought zone 5 was the west coast, California. Incorrect, zone 5 is a destination at least 900 miles away. And shipping is considerably higher for zone 5, than it would be for zone 2 (200 miles away).
If you have any question, concerns, or anything else of added value, I would love to hear! This is a discussion blog in my opinion, not something that I write and hope you read. I love the interaction, it is a matter of me hearing what works best for everyone!