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 Post subject: Shipping Prices Lowered
PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2009 10:48 pm 
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Location: Toronto, Canada
In my continuing effort to have accurate shipping costs, I have been carefully monitoring and comparing virtual and actual shipping weights and prices. As a result, shipping costs should be lower across the board as of right now.

I have also sent out a batch of shipping refunds to people who ordered since I raised the shipping costs last week. Check your e-mail if you've recently placed an order with a seemingly high shipping amount.

Sandy


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 Post subject: Re: Shipping Prices Lowered
PostPosted: Tue Jul 07, 2009 1:23 pm 
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That's great news, but I think they could still be a bit cheaper.. Can you ship via Royal Mail in Canada? Their shipping prices are pretty cheap :)

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 Post subject: Re: Shipping Prices Lowered
PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2009 3:45 pm 
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Shipped two packages today. On one the customer paid about $8 and it cost $6, so I unintentionally overcharged $2. On the other the customer paid about $16 and it cost $31! The $13 difference has to come out of my pocket. That has happened three times so far, and it's a serious problem that I need to resolve. Cheap shipping would be nice, but accurate shipping would be the best. If I can't get the accuracy issue resolved, I'll have to build in a "handling" flat fee that will help cover my butt in situations like the above. I have the dimensions and weight of the box that cost $15 extra, so I'll be looking into this in a lot more detail this evening.

Sandy


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 Post subject: Re: Shipping Prices Lowered
PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2009 5:42 pm 
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Location: Palerang Shire, NSW, Australia
You might have to resort to collecting the shipping data from the post office to the various destinations + size / weight and create you own table.

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 Post subject: Re: Shipping Prices Lowered
PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 1:01 pm 
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Well, I found one problem. I had the weight of Rubik's 360 set to 0 grams. That's 226 grams less than what it actually weighs! The package with the $15 difference in shipping included two of them, which is almost a half a kilogram difference in shipping weight. Heck. This is quite the learning process.

Sandy


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 Post subject: Re: Shipping Prices Lowered
PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 1:59 pm 
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Hi Sandy,

Why not use the Sell Online shipping module from Canada Post? It integrates with an existing ecommerce store; users will be able to select the cost and delivery speed of their purchases (it takes into account the weight)... and it's free.

http://www.canadapost.ca/cpo/mc/business/solutions/sellonlinedemo.jsf

Skarabajo

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 Post subject: Re: Shipping Prices Lowered
PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 3:44 pm 
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Thanks for the tip. I am using it already, actually. It is far from perfect. You can read about some of my struggles with it here.

Sandy


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 Post subject: Re: Shipping Prices Lowered
PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2009 11:52 pm 
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Location: Louisiana, US
It still seems that shipping costs are too high. I have found that USPS Priority and UPS ground generally have the cheapest rates within the US, and have had items shipped to me in the past, from faraway places like China and Europe, for far less than the twenty dollars the Twisty store is charging me.

I'm not trying to be a prick about it, and I'm buying these items anyway to show my support to TwistyPuzzles, but 19-something for $49 in goods seems just a little high, especially seeing it is roughly equal to the most expensive item in my cart:

Quote:
Total Items: 3, Weight: 0.742kgs, Amount: $49.00
***** $19.00
***** $18.00
***** $12.00
Subtotal: $49.00
Quote:
Canada Post (Xpresspost USA, 2009-10-03) $31.50
Canada Post (Expedited US Commercial, 2009-10-08) $19.85
Canada Post (Expedited US Business, 2009-10-08) $19.85
Canada Post (Small Packets Air, up to 2 weeks) $23.70
Canada Post (Small Packets Surface, 2 to 4 weeks) $19.65

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 Post subject: Re: Shipping Prices Lowered
PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2009 1:24 pm 
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I agree. I've shipped puzzles up to Canada for less then 2 dollars. I cant imagine shipping down is 20. It's the reason I haven't yet purchased a Ball.B

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 Post subject: Re: Shipping Prices Lowered
PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2009 3:51 pm 
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Location: Toronto, Canada
Yeah, that looks like a lot. I can tell (by looking at the prices and the total weight) which three items you choose. The weight isn't too bad, but two of them come in rather large packages, so maybe that's what's happening. The total cost of the products has nothing to do with the shipping amount.

I just removed the $1 handling fee I was charging (which was being used to cover all the shipping overhead: time & materials). The entire amount you are being quoted now is what I will be charged to ship your item which is easily verified by examining the postage when the package arrives.

Whenever the shipping estimator has over-charged the customer by more than a few dollars, I send a gift certificate for the difference. I have sent over 30 of these to date (does anyone care to attest to that?), but I've only had to send one in the past 3-4 weeks. Shipping costs are almost always exactly correct these days.

If anyone has any other ideas, please share them.

Sandy


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 Post subject: Re: Shipping Prices Lowered
PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2009 2:22 am 
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Location: Hong Kong
carrier pigeon?

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 Post subject: Re: Shipping Prices Lowered
PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2009 8:25 am 
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Location: Georgia, USA
stardust4ever wrote:
It still seems that shipping costs are too high. I have found that USPS Priority and UPS ground generally have the cheapest rates within the US, and have had items shipped to me in the past, from faraway places like China and Europe, for far less than the twenty dollars the Twisty store is charging me.
EMarx wrote:
I agree. I've shipped puzzles up to Canada for less then 2 dollars. I cant imagine shipping down is 20. It's the reason I haven't yet purchased a Ball.B

Have you guys ever BEEN to Canada? I have. Sandy isn't exaggerating the shipping cost. It really costs that much to ship from Canada. Also, I've bought several items from him, and when I opened the packages, I didn't see any excessive space being wasted inside the boxes. He even gave me a certificate for the excess shipping charge in late June 2009. He's being on the up and up about shipping.

And it's not just shipping - EVERYTHING is much more expensive over there, even if you take smaller volume buys because of the smaller population into account. That, and the fact that 75% of Canadians live within 150 km (90 mi) of the border, is why so many Canadians cross-border shop.

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 Post subject: Re: Shipping Prices Lowered
PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2009 9:00 am 
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Location: Hong Kong
I can't remember what I paid for shipping when I purchased from Sandy, but I do know I didn't think it was excessive. Anytime I buy anything from Canada the shipping is higher. It's a shame, but a fact. There is nothing he can do to lower the costs.

But while you are complaining, think of the mark up ebay sellers put on a 3x3x3 when they charge a flat fee of US$7 for shipping? With Sandy you know what you get will be worth the money spent.

I can attest to his honesty in a different way. I placed an order from him a while back and some bits were missing. When I notified him of it and offered to pay again (because if he sent them to the wrong person and they didn't fess up, that's money out of his pocket) he wouldn't hear of it. He promptly sent the puzzles again. I'm waiting for him to put something in the shop I don't have. I'll gladly pay his shipping fees to purchase it.

Glo Balls? Marachenko? (and don't tell me I can't spell! I know that already) :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Shipping Prices Lowered
PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2009 9:09 am 
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Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 9:32 am
Location: Canada
living in canada and having shipped stuff to canada and internationally I can attest to the fact that canada post shipping rates are high.

I've often caught flak for the amount I charge to ship on ebay until I mention to the seller that I've rounded down and I'm not charging for packing material and if they have further issues they need to bring it up to canada post.
Many sellers on ebay stick it to you for shipping, I've seen shipping as high as 35 dollars for small items and I know that's inflated.
I doubt Sandy is charging too much.

If you really want a rough idea of what it should cost, use Roxanne's measurements thread for a guideline , add 10% for packing and go to canadapost.ca for a quote.

for me usual shipping to the US is $8 usd and internationally is about $15 usd. and that's just air with no tracking. I've had things get lost and an incident where I was accused of sending a damaged item. I'd rather go with higher shipping to ensure things arrive in one piece and don't get lost because it creates less headaches for me in the long run.


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 Post subject: Re: Shipping Prices Lowered
PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2009 10:39 am 
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Location: Toronto, Canada
First off, thanks to those who posted their support. I am doing my best to serve this community in spite of how it may appear on occasion! It's always nice to hear that my efforts are recognized and appreciated.

I just shipped the order in question. Once it was all packed, it weighed 1062g and measured about 30x25x25cms. So the box and an appropriate amount of packing materials weighed in at 300g. I could have reduced one dimension of the box by about 3cms if I had been creative with a knife and a bunch of tape. In hind-sight, I should have because when I got to the post office, they said it couldn't be shipped via "Small Packets Surface" because it was over 1kg. This is what the Shipping Estimator was trying to tell us. In the case of Small Packets Surface and Small Packets Air, it wanted to split the order into two boxes, which was technically right, but definitely not an ideal situation.

What I ended up doing was buying a box cutter and a roll of tape (at ridiculous retail prices, mind you -- note to self: leave them in the car for next time) and removing 65g worth of box and packing materials to get it under 1kg. Because of the shape of these three items, there was a fair amount of space in the box that I had filled with those little styrofoam peanuts. I had to remove most of them because they don't weigh a whole lot. I also shortened two of the inner "flaps" in the box and removed the packing slip (paper is heavy!). Once it was all packed again, it was 996g. I'm taking a chance in sending the package this way. I wouldn't normally send products so lightly padded. Let's just hope nothing gets damaged.

I have temporarily added this box configuration to the Shipping Estimator. So now if you put together that same order in the shopping cart now, you will be correctly quoted $11.15, the exact price I paid to ship this under-padded box. I say "temporarily" because this may be a dangerous combination. I certainly don't want to get into the habit of sending things intentionally poorly packaged just to save a few dollars on shipping. If it happens this way again, I'll probably remove the combination.

As promised, I have sent you a gift certificate for the difference.

By the way, I've reconsidered the rash decision I made above: I have restored the $1 flat fee to shipping. All it takes is for one order to be over a cusp, and I'm $5 or $10 or even $15 out of pocket. The $1 helps me absorb those losses. It also helps to cover the cost for the packing materials (some of which I have to buy since I can't seem to find/recycle: tape, padded envelopes). I could work those costs into the product prices (as some stores do), but I'd rather keep things clean by applying shipping-related fees to the shipping costs.

Sandy


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 Post subject: Re: Shipping Prices Lowered
PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2009 10:21 pm 
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Location: Louisiana, US
Wow, thanks, Sandy!!! I received a $7.50 gift certificate on my Twisty account. Most companies would just pocket those funds. Is CanadaPost really the only option for international shipping out of Canada?

Here in the United States, the four most popular carriers are USPS (United States Postal Service), which is the official government run system, UPS, Fedex, and DHL. USPS deals primarily with letters (standard postage stamps, 1st class, bulk mail), but they also have have Priority service, which includes Media mail and small standardized flat-rate boxes for a nominal fee. But if it don't fit in a Priority box, expect to pay boatloads to ship it. I've never tried to send international mail, so I don't know what USPS rates are in that regard. UPS and Fedex are worldwide companies, and UPS generally have the best rates on medium to large sized packages, whereas with Fedex you pay a little bit more, but their specialty is in getting stuff there fast. DHL is expensive, slow, and occasionally roughhandle the packages. I don't know why they're even in business.

I have received stuff from Hong Kong via UPS Global many times and also received a number of items from Japan and U.K./ Europe as well. A nice alternative to packing peanuts is old newspapers, grocery bags, etc, although newspapers may add some bulk in terms of weight. They still cushion very well and are practically free as there is usually a continual supply of them lying about.

As for me, the paper/plastic retail cartons don't really matter that much, although some hard-core collectors would say otherwise. The carton could probably absorb a fair amount of shock itself without damage to the puzzle.

Thanks again for the gift-certificate :mrgreen:

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 Post subject: Re: Shipping Prices Lowered
PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 12:20 pm 
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Location: Toronto, Canada
You're welcome.

I could/should look into a courier like UPS or FedEx as an option. I tend to think of them as fast and expensive compared to the post office options. The truth is, I don't actually KNOW the real situation.

I've just used the time and costs calculator on UPS.com and the cheapest option to send the exact same package to you was $28.18 for 1 week delivery. FedEx.com says it would be $16.65 for 4 days... which seems like a really good rate. DHL.com says it would be $44.90 for 6 days... which seems a little steep! If the FedEx quote is accurate, that seems like a valid and desirable option. It may be possible to integrate a FedEx option into the shopping cart at some future point.

Sandy


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