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Another gripe about postage

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  • Another gripe about postage

    As some of you may remember I started another thread a little while ago, about postage, or rather about the lack of clear information on many websites about P&P charges (mainly) for overseas customers.

    In fact although I said above ,clear information, some have none at all, and not just regarding overseas customers!

    Another "complaint " I have is regarding Free P&P.
    How can she complain about free P& P I hear you all groan!

    well I can, because, very FEW sites offer free P&P worldwide, and what seems unfair, is that the home country customer gets free P&P and the overseas customer pays full whack. Are we the overseas customers subsidising those who live nearer?

    Why not consider just charging the DIFFERENCE, i.e. the overseas customer still gets a "free" portion of the P&P charges.

    Let's say for example it's a small packet weighing 120g to post it to Europe costs £1.36, rest of the world £1.87. The cost within Uk 1st class for the same small packet is actually MORE at £1.45, than to europe!

    Admittedly , that same £1.45 will post within Uk a small packet up to 250g, which would now (at 250g) cost £2.28 to europe.

    If it's a bigger , heavier package of say 950g, I (the customer) would be charged £5.91 (or more) but the same package would still cost you ( the vendor) £3.08 to post within the UK.

    The point is that if you can offer free p&p for certain orders over a certain amount,( which encourages the customer to bump up his/her order) why not try to do the same for overseas customers, just charging the extra.

    I appreciate that offering totally free P&P for overseas, could cut heavily into profit margins, but charging at cost for overseas, but free within Uk can seem to be ( to the potential overseas buyer) a bit of a rip off!

    I do understand that P&P is a problem, and a big issue for the very small business, and I don't mean to sound as if I'm having a go at anyone,the same applies to some very BIG enterprises, but I felt I should mention this to give you all some food for thought, as P&P can make all the difference between getting a sale or not!

  • #2
    Its invaluable to have your thoughts about postage from "across the waves" so thanks for taking the time

    The whole post & packaging question is the one thing that's holding me back from setting up an Etsy or alternative just yet - the thought of test-packaging up my various sized pictures to calculate some sort of average weights and postage for UK customers let alone if I'm lucky enough to attract overseas customers oh it all seems a bit confusing and time consuming so I havent gotten around to it yet, I need to post a big "how to safely package up large glass framed pictures" before I do anything else!

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    • #3
      I really do understand where you are coming from!

      And on my site I have free p&p for UK based customers but ask overseas to contact me first........

      I have debated this for a long long time, but Mr Site is a little restrictive and I don't want to charge so much for item 1 and then say 10p for each additional item as this could really mount up when it doesn't actually cost me any more to send.

      If an overseas customer wanted a few items, then I would probably send them out free of charge - so they would get the same benefit as UK based customers or at least I would only charge them a percentage of what it costs to send.

      Sorry, I know this does not answer or help your gripe, but its difficult for a little business!!


      • #4
        Tip Top

        totally appreciate the dificulties, especially for a small business, and like you many do state that postage costs will be advised, BUT... there are some that do state postage will be charged at cost for overseas, whilst offering free for uK, which can seem a bit unfair, when as in the example above it could actually be cheaper to post overseas ( that will be very rare admittedly).

        obviously any customer can vote with their feet, so to speak, and just go elsewhere, or find ways round the problem, but it is worth small site owners being aware of this, to maybe make the matter clear on their sites and not lose customers.

        Again, really I'm pointing all this out so that it might help some of you!


        • #5
          This is a really good point and one I hadn't thought of when I set up my site only a couple of weeks ago.

          The way the site I used (theartistsweb) sets up postage was complicated, and the easiest way to price postage was to offer free UK postage, but I couldn't offer that worldwide so decided to ask overseas buyers to contact me.

          I will follow this post with interest, as I'm sure others will, so if anyone comes up with an enlightened solution, please share!

          Meanwhile, I'll think about how I can make it fairer.
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          • #6
            I feel like this thread was aimed at me! LOL
            You have a good point ilovecrafts! I've just changed the wording on my website so that overseas customers have to contact me for a shipping quote first.
            I offer free postage to Uk customers and until a few moments ago (when I read this thread) overseas customers were going to be asked for the full cost. I don't know why it just seemed easier at the time.

            Thank you for bringing this to my attention. I'm glad to made aware so early on. My website only went live last week so I don't think I'll have missed out on any customers in that short time (I hope!).
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            • #7
              It's a tricky one but as a customer I personally wouldn't expect to get free P&P if I ordered something from overseas so don't see a problem in charging my overseas customers at cost. They certainly aren't subsidising UK customers, by charging the actual postage cost for overseas I'm actually making a small loss because packaging isn't taken into account.

              I think you can never make postage absolutely fair to everyone and remember a lot of companies that offer free P&P often add it onto their product prices instead so in reality you're still paying for it but it's just hidden.
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              • #8
                Originally posted by nattynetty View Post
                and remember a lot of companies that offer free P&P often add it onto their product prices instead so in reality you're still paying for it but it's just hidden.

                that's EXACTLY what makes it feel like a rip-off ! P&P is already worked into basic cost, but the as an overseas customer I would have to pay the full postage cost, on top of what's already worked in to basic price !

                Roseberry Crafts:

                this wasn't aimed at anyone in particular, just a general observation.

                I know that P&P is a nightmare for most of you, and I do appreciate how difficult it can be to work out.

                For big companies, who have so much traffic anyway, the possible loss of 1 or 2 potential overseas customers is neither here nor there, but for the smaller concerns, like most of the members here, it could make quite a difference.

                Personally I find it annoying to see , spend £50 get free P&P to uk, (for example) but I would have to pay the whole lot.

                the Uk customer is encouraged to spend a little bit more on goods, to make up the £50, and may then have the postage knocked off, but the overseas customer gets no such incentive!

                and as mentioned in the original post, a lightweight item could even work out cheaper to post to europe than within the Uk ( now go figure that one !)

                If the customer wants something enough, then they'll buy it, and that's the bottom line. you want to lose a slae to the competition, for an identical or very similar item, because their overseas P & P is more attractive?
                I do get wound up about the whole subject ( just in case you hadn't noticed !) but thought that by venting the frustations on here, it might just be helpful ( hopefully), and give you something ( as if there wasn't enough!) to think about on your websites


                • #9
                  I offer free p&p worldwide on my site (and it isnt hidden in with the price of the item either - my stall prices and online prices are the same!). To be honest, because I'm only sending out little things, there isn't all that much difference between uk &abroad prices anyways.


                  • #10
                    Hi everyone

                    I seem to be spending more time worrying about the oohs and aahs of p&p than I do making things hehe so I wondered what people think of just having free P&P to everyone (overseas, uk, etc)?

                    Because when you think about it, the price you charge for each item is one you have set yourself, bearing in mind the costs to make the item (materials, time). Perhaps better to just treat p&p as another cost in the first place, make it free (or a standard low price i.e. £1) to everyone, and save the worry??


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                    • #11
                      I've just come back from posting two to UK which cost me £8.25 and the other to America at £ on earth could I offer free P&P??

                      I do not make any profit out of P&P and in fact in a lot of cases with the bubble wrap, selotape and brown paper, I can actually lose on some.

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                      • #12
                        Be nice if everyone could offer FREE P&P ( or would it, cos it's mostly just added in anyway!), and I've no objection to paying a fair cost, just seems unfair when free to Uk and not to overseas!, or no reduction to make up for it. iyswim