After finding the right size box, adding bubble wrap, tissue paper and over loading the package with FRAGILE stickers, then organising postage or courier… Dispatching hats can be a lengthy process and sometimes a costly one! 

Do you include freight in the cost of your hat or is postage amount best to
add as extra? 

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I ship for free but I add about 1/2 to 2/3 of the shipping cost to the price of the hat and then absorb the rest of the cost myself as a cost of doing business.  That way it is a shared expense especially for those who must pay VAT and/or customs fees.

Since most of my sales are overseas this works out well for both the buyer and me.  I also try to be sure the hats that I make are going to fit into an easily attainable and easily shippable box.  I know the size restricions for the different postage areas and work around those.

Sharon, where are you based?  I ask because I read in your post that you know the size restrictions for different postage areas, which is something I am struggling with; I am based in the US.  Many thanks!

Janet

Janet, I too, am based in the US.  Go to the official USPS web site to calculate rates.  It takes some time but if you know the basic sizes of the boxes you use, you can make note of each size, weight and area you send to the most.  The EU is all the same so all countries in the EU can be done at once. Make sure to read the restrictions on dimentions and weights as well as checking out countries restrictions on what is and is not allowed into the country.  As an example Italy does not allow many items that are often used in millinery (lace for example).  You might get by with it for awhile but if you get checked by customs it would be a legal nightmare. So best to be careful and know the rules and they change from time to time. So I check these out at least once a year.

Occasionally you might miscalculate and have to pay a bit more than expected but generally it works out well.  Good luck.

 

 

Sharon, I definitely need to talk to you some more on this topic. Is it possible to send you a personal email/phone number? I have too many questions and it would be good to talk. Many thanks!

I quote $15 postage and always express so I can track the item if need be. I have found with the help from a friendly lady at the post office that spending the money on a durable box, makes postage a little cheaper.  I can usually just bubble wrap or shrink wrap the box directly. Less weight with additional packaging. Most of the time my $15 covers the costs.

A friendly helpful Post Office makes a difference - ours is Landsborough . Need to drive further but worth it. Some post offices allow lop sided boxes to go on weight instead of cube size which keeps price down. 

if your selling online best to calculate the postage in with the cost and upsell for next day delivery. ask your web designers to detect the users location and provide an estimated delivery cost... bare in mind that when google lists your site it will come form the USA so if your in the UK your listings will look screwey

With postage I have 2 issues- cost and time.
Time is not particularly post service problem rather custome's . Specifically for USA customers. I call it " amazon instant culture" - it's hard to explain ( or make customer to read description:) that overseas delivery (even express, Air) still will take 3-4 days plus customs,whilst amazon claims delivery to your door next morning.
Cost - shipping majority of hats double boxed ( double corrugated carton shipping box and hat box) if box is under 100cm and under 1 kg ( my boxes generalize 800-900gr) price with tracking is very reasonable, fluctuations just cents ( for each gram ), and destination ( by zone : European and overseas- USA/ Canada/ Australia/Asia) . Shipping charge separately from cost of "hat", it is up front for customer during check out. As you see for this type- almost a science- I know how many tissue paper , how many stickers to not exceed 985 gr:) . My German post office - very strict :) ...
Initial cost of "right size " boxes, tissue paper , hat boxes- it is a serious business expense.
for headpieces and very wide brim hats boxing and shipping it 's "case by case" sometimes it is on me , other times insurance on me and shipping agreed on customer.customs always paid by customer. I do prefer keep shipping separately from cost of hat. Some time ago "free shipping" raised more questions from customers- will cost of hat change if "pick up" etc..

And I'd love to know whether people use a branded/smaller box to put inside the cardboard box, or just place the hat directly into cardboard box and get that ready to post. I completely agree, Elaine, that the cost can really add up. I'm almost veering towards making smaller pieces that I know will be easier to post but I don't particularly like to restrict myself in this way.

A custom box can give your hat and brand a longer shelf life…

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