Tuesday, April 10, 2007

"Defending My Life" (I mean my shipping prices:)

"It's My Shop and I'll Charge What I Want To"
or "A Study In Etsy Controversy"

There is no longer a need to deny it, you want to call me out! Yes, I charge shipping! Is there a 12 step program on etsy I can attend that will convince me I'm wrong?? I absolutely love my customers and I feel the need today to defend my shipping practices.

When I started on etsy at the end of January, I was coming off a 2 year run on my own site. I had learned the ins and outs of internet promotion and pricing the hard way. Looking for a community to host my site and give me a better sense of belonging, I turned to etsy. Now etsy is not like having your own site or listing in an auction. But, you still call the shots for the policies and services you offer. Therefore, I thought it would be perfectly reasonable to continue charging my usual shipping fee that I had done for 2 years previous to this move. Unfortunately, etsy sellers felt that because they knew the actual postage for every single time zone on the planet, that I was overcharging. Nevermind that everyone else on the web is charging triple what most etsy sellers are. Or that all the high end jewelry sellers on etsy are completely outraged by low prices. How dare I ship for more than $1 at the most???

So now, I'd like to break it down for any of you that care to hear my side. I am here to please my customers and hopefully that will always include the wonderful sellers on etsy. However, I do have huge overhead costs. Let's take shipping a $2 pair of earrings for example.

Bubble Mailer - .35
Silk Pouch - .25
Plastic Bag - .05
Business Card - .05
Thank you Card - .05
Sticker - .05
Other etsy seller promos I insert - .05 (Exta Postage Costs)
Actual postage to U.S. (w/out etsy promos) - .39

So just my mailing materials alone cost me about $1.24. I am only charging $2 and this is for unlimited items! Most of my packages require more postage than this and supplies have cost me up to $8 out of pocket.

Let's consider my other costs in general,
Listing on etsy - .20
Materials - anywhere from .75 - $20.00
PayPal fee ?
Etsy selling fee ?

Would I be making any money at all were I to charge less than $2? Definitely not and there would no longer be a way for me to continue selling my jewelry.

I've also had some complaints regarding my overseas charge of $5. Well, let's be honest, you really have to make sure something is packaged well and shipped correctly when going to a different country. Since my prices are already more than reasonable, do you want to take the chance of the Post Office losing your item? Or would you rather have your jewelry at reasonble prices and reach you in tact?

Finally, I'd just like to say that a lot of people on etsy have sent me convos when I started regarding my prices being too low and my shipping too high. I am not trying to make up for my prices with higher shipping costs. If I did that, I would have to charge $10 to all U.S. customers! The reason for my low prices is simply this, I have been making jewelry for over 7 years now, I have great wholesale suppliers and I don't like to overcharge my customers. You can expect the same quality of jewelry in my shop as in a higher priced one.

Thank you for listening and Happy Crafting!