Our postage costs explained…

Free postage? There is of course no such thing for a business or the environment. We are making ever evolving steps to minimise postage costs and environmental impacts wherever possible but postage is a service that involves extra work, skills, foresight and expenses. Below we try to explain those added costs beyond those charged by the courier.

We don’t take short cuts with packing to reduce costs. Between us we have fifty years of experience shipping globally from consumer electronics to high end fashion, to containers full of antiques to wedding rings. We have learnt from experience what works and what won’t when shipping to the far flung corners of the world. We use appropriate services and materials like double thickness, lined and padded packing solutions where appropriate. We don’t do cheap or budget shipping, it’s not worth our time or yours. If things arrive broken we have to refund you and go through the process of making an insurance claim. We sooner wouldn’t have to!

We don’t subsidise packing, dispatch and postage costs for customers or hide them within the cost of the item. We believe that individual customers near or far should cover the actual cost of the logistics involved of preparing their items for dispatch, wrapping their parcel appropriately, marketplace fees and the actual cost of sending their item with the courier. A local customer visiting our store and collecting their item in person should not be indirectly covering the cost of postage of items sent to our other customers further afield. When you buy something from us that needs sending, you are buying a product, a wrapping and dispatch service and paying for the carriers to deliver it to you.

Postage and packaging costs we charge include:

  • Postage costs – The couriers charge for carrying your item. We use fully tracked postage services.
  • Cost of packaging materials – Where possible we use recycled packaging materials but even these involve sourcing and logistics costs and it is not always practical to use recycled materials for international deliveries.
  • Cost of recyclable packaging – We try to use as little new plastic packaging as possible. New recyclable packaging is often more expensive than plastic. If you do find plastic packaging in your parcel there is a good chance it has been recycled from a local business. We try to save money and recycle as much as we can!
  • Labour costs for wrapping the item – smaller items can be wrapped in a few minutes but larger fragile items can often take 30-60 minutes to wrap safely.
  • Cost of Insurance – Damage or loss in transit is rare but it does happen. All packages are insured for loss or damage.
  • Cost of paperwork – Items require booking and the completion of paperwork. Most international deliveries take at least 15 minutes to book and prepare paperwork including labels and customs paperwork.
  • Cost of logistics – Moving your item from storage to the Post Office. Items need to be moved at our end. We have multiple storage locations and our Post Office is 10km away.
  • Cost of marketplace fees – Etsy and Ebay charge commission on postage fees and on processing payments for postage. These can be anywhere from 12-25% depending on the marketplace and how you found us. Did you know that if you find us through Google and buy an item from us on Etsy they charge another 12% fees on top of their original fees? That is applied to both the item cost and the postage cost you pay! With VAT fees can be as much as 30% in some cases on third party websites!
  • Cost of packaging licenses – More and more countries now require a packaging licence. This is required to cover the cost of disposing of packaging materials sent into that country in an environmentally appropriate way.

A typical example: A table weighs 10kg.

  • A local customer comes into the shop and pays the standard price and no postage and packaging charge and takes their table away. We are very happy as we don’t have to wrap anything or complete lots of paperwork!
  • A customer in Paris buys the same table and pays the advertised price. They pay the cost of sending the item with the courier to include transit and insurance (typically around 25 Euros), the cost of wrapping materials and wrapping (usually around 5-10 Euros for something like a table) and the marketplace fees on the postage fees (between 12 and 30%, let’s say 3-5 Euros). It doesn’t take too long to process their order as we do not have to complete customs paperwork. A total shipping cost of around 35-40 Euros.
  • A customer in China buys the same table and pays the same advertised price. They pay the cost of sending the item with the courier to include transit and insurance (typically around 140 Euros), the cost of wrapping materials and wrapping (usually around 5-10 Euros for something like a table) and the marketplace fees on the postage fees (between 12 and 30%, let’s say 25-35 Euros). Paperwork is a little more detailed and takes a little longer to complete. A total shipping cost of around 165-185 Euros.

In our example everyone pays the same amount for the item and pays the actual business cost of sending their item to them. We try to get as close as possible to the actual cost but this is rarely possible with variable marketplace fees and all sorts of different items to wrap safely. We seldom overcharge though, and nearly always actual costs are greater than what customers pay. In the rare cases of postage overage charged this is always refunded.

So how can you save money on postage?

  • Buy direct from us on our website! There are no Etsy or Ebay fees included in postage or product prices. We can always do better on price if you purchase directly. Get in touch!
  • Buy multiple items on our website. You will only be charged postage for the heaviest single item! That’s the only time we subsidise postage costs due to no third party marketplace fees.
  • Shop around. Check our competitors prices. Find the same item in comparable condition at a cheaper price and we will try to price match or even beat their price. Even if they are on sale!
  • Arrange your own courier (although the majority of customers are surprised when they get a quote and realise the actual cost of sending items!). There will of course still be a charge at cost for wrapping your item safely and any paperwork / logistics involved.
  • Visit us in store in Normandy in France and collect in person!

Thanks for reading. We believe in an honest, open and transparent approach to costs and charges with our customers and hope this aids in your understanding of the typical costs all businesses face when sending items. Here’s a link to a video on You Tube by CNBC titled: “Why Free Shipping Isn’t Free

Next why not read about our efforts to reduce plastic packaging by recycling packaging from other local businesses, by using recyclable packaging materials and by offsetting our carbon emissions. Click here