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!
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, 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.
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
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…