Life & Family

Shipping Costs are Crazy~

As I am creating and learning the ropes of the handmade business world – I am truly amazed at how much shipping costs! It’s so crazy.

Recently I created a sign that is a little larger – in fact it was this “Toasted” sign I posted back in May.

My aunt was in town visiting from Georgia. She saw the sign and wanted to buy it for her good friends back home. They have tons of fun bbq’ing, boating, and relaxing together. She thought this would be the perfect addition to the newly renovated backyard they created with a built in grill, fire pit and gazebo. Problem was she couldn’t fit it in her suitcase to take home. She gave me a little extra money and I was going to ship it to her – sounds easy enough right…

This particular sign is a little larger and I knew it may be difficult to find a box to fit it and still keep the cost down. I just never knew how difficult this whole process would turn out to be ~

My first attempt was the post office. I went there hoping to find a box that might fit. Maybe something in the flat rate shipping area. However, it didn’t fit in any flat rate boxes and the other options they had were the wrong size & a bit costly. Not too bad, but I was looking to ship this as low as possible. So I skipped the post office option for now and wanted to look for other options.

We happened to be at Home Depot (yes I am there a lot)

– I saw a medium size box for under two dollars. This was a great deal and I knew it would fit the height of the sign so I picked it up and brought it back to try it out. It fit alright, but there was so much extra room in the box, it would need to be filled with sooo much packing material, it just wasn’t worth it. I was also concerned about the size of the box and if it may add to the overall cost of shipping since it was quite big. This box is now my “donate” box by the back door so it’s found a great alternative purpose.

Next stop was to a local pack it and ship it type business. The lady, which it turns out I went to High School with was very helpful! She looked and tried so many options to help me out, but in the end it was going to cost $40-$50 to purchase the box, have it packed and shipped. Easy work for me – but way too expensive!! I was completely amazed and obviously decided to take another route.

My next thought was that I could just make my own box to fit the sign. I headed to the Dollar Tree and purchased 2 cardboard project boards. Something similar to this:  


I also purchased 2 small rolls of bubble wrap for a little extra protection. It took some time and creativity, but I was able to piece it all together. Here is what I came up with


Not too bad for $2.00, a little time and lots of packing tape. I wrapped the sign up with the bubble wrap and adding some extra newspaper to fill in the gaps…

I weighed the package and went online to get an idea of the shipping cost from the post office. Now it was going to cost $20-$30. Not too bad but still a little steep for her so she decided against it. Bummer huh

My question is – how does everyone afford to make products and ship them at a decent rate? How does Amazon offer free shipping to Prime Members? I realize they are a much larger company and all, but why is shipping so expensive?

According to the high school buddy at the ship it store – shipping is determined by weight, size & distance.

Please let me know if you have any insight or suggestions in this area as I would love to be able to sell items and ship them in addition to just selling them locally.

Hope you all have a great day!

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