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Much Ado about Shipping

So, I just finished writing my latest installment of The Owl (my action research directed report of my business adventure) and it was all about shipping. I have minimal experience with shipping my items and already I have come upon some decisions to be made.

One is that I can ship in cute  little paper boxes that I make origami style, but then I have to ship the items in a box. Shipping in a box involves more packing materials and higher cost. The alternative is that I wrap my items in cool tissue paper, sealed with stickers and then I can use a padded envelope to send them, using no packing materials and at a lower cost. I’m trying to be both economical and environmentally friendly…. but the boxes are pretty cool too!  I may just vary the packaging depending on what kinds of items and how many a person orders. Some orders necessitate a box anyway. What do you think?

My more immediate concern is the scare I had when I didn’t think some of my items were going to make it to the buyer and I had no way to track them because I sent them regular USPS mail. My friend Katrina specifically ordered a necklace to wear at the Burning Man Festival and I sent it out with plenty of time. However, a couple of days before the event she still hadn’t received it! I was freaked out!!! So, since then I have sent out items using delivery confirmation, so I can at least track the package if it hasn’t shown up. However, I found that this additional price means that I am charging less for shipping than I am actually paying. Should I use delivery confirmation on all orders? Should I raise my shipping rates?

So, these are all the shipping related questions I am pondering at the moment. If anyone has any ideas or suggestions I would love to hear them!


4 responses

  1. John Newland

    Divide your work into three weight groups, go on line and find the highest cost in the lower 48 and set that as your shipping rate.
    You might check with some of the local industries, most of them throw away mountains of packing material that you could recycle for your products.

    September 6, 2010 at 11:33 am

    • Hi John,

      Thanks, that is great advice! Do you know what kind of industries I should look at?


      September 6, 2010 at 2:33 pm

  2. erik

    you can always ship them in a watermelon!

    September 8, 2010 at 5:54 pm

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