maandag 8 april 2013

MM: Shipping costs

Hi everyone and welcome to the first post on Merchandise Monday!

Today I wanted to share with you my shock on shipping costs. It might seem not the first thing you think about when you think about selling your animals, but once you dive into it… It soon comes to the surface.

My first thought, on selling animals, was: where to sell them? As I can’t conjure up a running shop that perfectly fits my needs, and as  I am knee-deep in the international crochet-community of Ravelry ‘Etsy’ is the first thing that comes to mind…
Alright, Etsy… That means I have to ship my stuff to my costumers by mail and there you have it: I got curious and went looking for prices. And that just knocked my socks off… 

I knew the costs for shipping within the Netherlands, which is €6,75 (8,60 USD) for packages up to 10kg. It’s not cheap, but if you haven’t looked any further and aren’t shipping things on regular bases: it’s okay.
Most of my shipping will be done within the Netherlands, and although pricy, I could take it into account when pricing items and in the end it will all be reasonable.

But as I said, I am mostly active online on international sites and at most of those, the Dutch are most definitely not the most frequent visitors. Naturally, starting an Etsy-shop would require me to take into account these potential international customers. And that is where things are no longer funny.

Within the EU (which is divided into three zones, according to distance I think) a package of max. 2 kg will cost me €9 (11,70 USD), €10,80 (14,05 USD) or €11,70 (15,25 USD). The rest of the world will cost me €18,05 (23,50 USD).
As you can see by these prices… You can’t charge people this for shipping costs. It nears the cost I would consider asking for some of my work (more on pricing in a later blog post).

Of course, this is not the end of the world (as that would be expensive :P okay, lame), but it does draw a line through international business. No big deal in most cases. In my case, however, it means I have a whole lot of work to do before I would get serious about selling my work: I am almost exclusively active on the internet on sites with English as the main language and Americans as the most frequent visitors, as I have not yet found the elaborate network it offers me in Dutch (anyone any suggestions? are there some great places I really should check out?). I guess we’re just a small country, and I am just a little too internationally focused.

The big task that I have ahead of me is: find my way around the Dutch community online. Find nice places to be, find places to sell my stuff while reaching my intended, potential customers.

So, I have work to do. But please, join me next week as I will tackle another subject on my mind.

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