Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Joy of Shipping

This post goes beyond my Etsy experiences as all my sales there have been digital items that I could email.  I've played around with selling on Ebay over the years and I sometimes have to ship things at work.  Since it doesn't happen often, I'm not as up to date on shipping practices as I guess I should be.  One snag I've run into is the extra paperwork and trip to the post office if you want to ship something to our neighbors in Canada.  My personal experience with trying to send an item to Canada and with no tracking possibilities led to a nasty dispute on PayPal which left me minus the item and the money.  The positive result of this was that when I had to mail some things this week at work, I already knew a little about how to handle foreign country shipments.  The other snag has been the change from tracking packages being a nice extra to having the tracking be required.  If you don't have a way to prove that you shipped the item and it arrived, the buyer can file a complaint and could receive the item.  I just got hit with one of those and I believe the buyer is just exploiting the system.  Lesson learned!!  I will no longer ship without tracking information.  Unfortunately, that means shipping costs will go up.  I'm not a fan of those who charge a bunch extra for shipping and handling, so I always try to keep mine reasonable.  Sometimes I end up eating some of the cost.  If I ever get things moving out of my shop faster, I will need to consider having a better system for determining shipping costs and getting things packaged quickly.  It would be nice to at least have an accurate scale so I can do this stuff online.  PayPal offers a nice shipping service for sales paid there.

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