31 March 2008

Shipping confusion

As a new etsy seller, I have to say that the most confusing thing for me is setting shipping rates. CanadaPost has a ton of information online, but that doesn't make it much easier. There's lettermail, light packet, small packet, parcel post, not to mention all the pricey priority xpresspost courier stuff. Lettermail has 3 rates depending on weight, before you're into oversize and then there's 3 more weight categories. If that's not enough, there's also dimension and thickness rules. The small/light packet rates have weight and dimension rules, but it's more about the sum of the dimensions than any specific one, and on and on.

Etsy adds an extra layer of complication by offering a secondary shipping cost that would apply if the person bought more than one item. This is great and something I would definitely like to offer, but it brings up the problem of the weight restrictions. 1 or 2 cards fit into one rate, but if you add a third, then it bumps into the next one, and if you add a fourth, you're starting to look at the thickness restriction. Ideally, I'd like to find one envelope that could work for lots of things, but if I just go with something larger then the shipping costs will be a deterrent.

Currently, I am using a larger envelope with thick backer board. I'm looking for a replacement for that backerboard since it's both costly and weighty. I think it's perfect for protecting my photos, but for my cards, I'd love to find some smaller cardboard mailers,. The only ones I've seen are for letter-size pages which moves you into oversize lettermail. Bubble mailers are way too thick even with nothing in them.

I will report back with what alternatives I find.... I'm sure there's others starting out who will encounter the same issues.