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Charging for P&P - Any Advice?

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  • Charging for P&P - Any Advice?

    Hi there everyone, just looking for some opinions.

    I sell painted glasses, and I charge £12 per glass but I've always offered free P&P. My packaging sets me back about £3 (box, bubble wrap, brown paper and tissue paper) and postage is usually £3 as I send recorded. I'm starting to wonder if I should scrap my free P&P policy as I'm starting to use nicer boxes and wrapping - but I don't want to lose customers. Or should I put up the price of the glasses and leave postage free?

    Would really like to know you're experiences of charging/not charging.

    Thanks! Anna xx


  • #2
    I have just started my online shop but was advised by WiRE to charge the cost of post and packaging, as customers expect to pay it and just suspect it is in the price if you say it is free.

    However blanket delivery charges drive me wild, particularly if I am only ordering a small thing, that comes in a tatty brown envelope with a large letter stamp on it - feel very ripped off to have been charged say £4.99

    I sell party goods and some are very small and light so I have weighed all my items and my website adds the weights up as they are added to cart. Thus I only charge the actual postage, plus actual packaging costs. My customers to date have commented on how nice it is to see a clear, open and honest policy - I neither make nor lose on P&P
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    • #3
      Anna as you sell glass items it could be seen as reassuring for a customer to see a P&P charge especially if you have some blurb on your site about how you take great care in packaging the glasses to ensure they arrive in perfect condition.

      Originally posted by Lootybag View Post
      I sell party goods and some are very small and light so I have weighed all my items and my website adds the weights up as they are added to cart. Thus I only charge the actual postage, plus actual packaging costs.
      How do you get around the issue of large letter and small packet? We have some items that weigh next to nothing but because they are bulky cost £1.58 to post which is more than it costs for me to send 450g of flat items.

      I find it very frustrating and impossible to get accurate P&P costs by weight so have no choice but to charge a blanket delivery cost.
      Visit Natty Netty for a huge selection of Iris Folding supplies


      • #4
        Thats a good point about it being fragile - it does cost a small fortune in bubble wrap! Thanks x



        • #5
          I think a flat rate charge of £3.00 or like on ebay have a postage cost for every listing. But I would definately make a charge for postage.


          • #6
            Hi Anna

            You can't sell something at £12 and immediately spend half that on sending it to the customer without any payment from them. It is crazy - by the time you have also deducted the cost of the glasses in the first place plus your paints and the commission taken off any payments received by PayPal you must be close to making a loss.

            I am fortunate that my items are flat and lightweight so don't cost a lot to post however I do charge a flat postage charge per order which works for my products. In many cases this payment covers the PayPal commission and postage (with a bit left over towards the envelope) and in those cases when it doesn't it means the customer has placed a larger order for a few items, in which case I don't mind taking a small hit (but it has to be small). I am planning on putting up my postage charge soon as the postal charges and raw material charges have increased so I am receiving more orders where the charge isn't covering my costs.

            Most customers expect to pay a postal charge for items ordered (unless there is a special offer running for free postage for a short period of time) and if you explain how your items are packaged (add photographs of the beautifully packaged glasses) and sent recorded delivery, this will explain the need for this charge. You could split it if you feel the amount needed looks too much to show all as postage - put some of the cost onto your base price and the rest as a postal charge. Many companies will offer free postage if a customer spends over a certain amount (which can help to increase the amount spent by a customer) but make this an amount which is good for you e.g. Free postage on orders over £60.

            It is difficult to decide what is best but you certainly can't keep up making such a small amount on the items you sell - you have to cover your costs and make some money too.
            Ali x

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            • #7
              I think you should charge for postage - good idea of AliCat to show a pic of it parcelled up - when ordering something like glass I personally would expect a p&p charge. (ps your things are lovely )


              • #8
                I would certainly expect to pay postage and packing.
                (Don't try to include it in the cost of your glass otherwise it makes the glass look over-priced.)

                Don't undersell yourself - you make lovely items and deserve fair reward for your labour.
                Annie and Lyn


                • #9
                  Argggghhhh ... delivery charges!

                  The majority of our stock is fragile so we share the same experiences and cost considerations .... bubblewrap, voidfill, tri-wall cartons, non-stackable pallets, caged courier deliveries (supposedly safer) etc.

                  Also, we provide a different delivery service to the ones mentioned earlier. We don't give a final cost until the order is picked, packed and weighed. It is a really fair method as it means that we don't under or over charge ... but even that service seems to frustrate customers.

                  I don't think there is an easy answer to your question ... you can never please all of the people all of the time. I love the KISS strategy - keep it simple stupid. So my advice is to choose a delivery option that is a simple solution for your business i.e. if a flat rate is less hassle for you, then go for it (be careful to choose a rate that will breakeven at the very least and I would recommend an honest price that is not over inflated).

                  Good luck!
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                  • #10
                    Why not make a virtue out of your P&P?

                    "Each of our glasses is carefully bubble wrapped and place in secure external packaging. We also ensure that each delivery is signed for so that we can track it until you safely receive it"

                    It makes a virtue out of a necessity.