Thursday, January 11, 2018

Shipping and Other Costs

For the fourth time TODAY, I have had someone ask me, why is shipping so expensive?

The simple answer:  because the airlines charge a lot.

The more complicated answer: 

(1) price of flight
(2) price of carrier that is constantly scrutinized by the airlines upon arrival, which I actually get a discount on, because I help make the carriers
(3) price of my time for doing paperwork / driving, which is at least somewhat valuable (if only to me)
       (3a) buyer contact me, wanting to ship
       (3b) I explain shipping
       (3c) buyer asks further questions
       (3d) I answer questions, and link you to my shipping info page
       (3e) buyer asks more questions, undoubtedly all of which are covered on the shipping info page
       (3f) I answer further questions
       (3g) buyer agrees to pay for shipping
       (3h) I call airline, get possible flights
       (3i)  I contact buyer, list flights
       (3j)  buyer contacts back, lets me know what flight is good
       (3k) I contact airline, flight is booked, now that too much time is passed
                ------repeat 3h through 3k until appropriate flight is found and booked-------
       (3l)  I get carrier and all necessary paperwork ready the night before (2-ish hours)
       (3m) I get chin and carrier ready to go in the morning
       (3n) I drive to airport (1-1.5 hours)
       (3o) I sign my life away at the airport, so buyer's chin can ship
       (3p) I drive home
       (3q) I email / text buyer how the crate opens
       (3r) I email buyer all paperwork that needs to be completed

I know I've broken down costs in one of these blogs before, so I won't do it again, but I want to say it literally worked out to me possibly making like $20-30 on shipping.  Which is fine, and I'm not complaining, but look at all the time that goes in... so you can imagine why I might get frustrated when people start complaining about the cost, the grand majority of which I can do nothing about.  If the carrier is over weight... like if I'm shipping one chin and chin+carrier is OVER the 10 pound limit (extra, ah, "fluffy" chin), I have to pay an additional like $50 to ship for the next weight class... so then I'm at -$30 to ship a chin (when charging $200).  It's not me setting the price, it's just more or less recouping what I have to pay to get the chin to you.

Same with shipping on supply orders.  Usually I refund a good chunk of change when people pay too much in shipping -- but I can't control that one water bottle might cost $10 to mail to California.  I don't set those rates, I just pack up the box, weigh it and put the weight and measurements in, and print out the label.  The post office sets the rates, and oh by the way, they're going up again super soon.  Buy now, before they go up.

I will repeat.  I don't set the rates.  If they're too rich for you, that's perfectly fine...but I can't do anything to lower them.  Sorry.

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