Is setting postage costs a headache for your crafty business?

So you've spent hours making one of your gorgeous handmade wares, listed it for a price that was properly a little unvalued already and then sold it to a lovely customer who can't wait to receive it.  Now it's time to post. Have you charged enough postage to cover location, packaging and fulfilment?

Setting postage costs can be really difficult especially for small online businesses. It's a part of my business that constantly needs assessing and updating so I thought I would share some tips and options for making life a little easier.

  • Weigh your products before listing them for sale so you know how much to charge.
  • I don't know how many times I've repackaged something to get it under a certain weight.
  • Use the Australia Post postage calculator - very accurate for both local and international parcels.

  • Tough bags are half the price when purchased in a box.
  • Prepaid registered post stickers in box of 50 saves time from having to fill out forms and is a little cheaper per sticker.
  • Prepaid parcel satchels are now trackable and are cheaper purchased in packs of 10.  The are usually the most cost effective way of sending parcels over 500g interstate especially a parcel over 1kg from Melbourne to Western Australia or Northern Queensland.

  • Some Australia Post outlets like my post office have a local account system that is in house and is 30 days.
  • Or you can apply for a business credit account where you can view transactions and pay online.
  • This is also a great way to get a credit history with your business.

  • Have a collection of forms at home.  This is essential if you ship internationally and need to fill in custom forms.  You don't want to be doing this at the post office counter!
  • Having a business self inking stamp for your return address is time saving and it's a job you can get the kids to do!
  • Many businesses are now moving towards charging a set price for postage regardless of the product purchased.  This can encourage the Customer to purchase multiple items to justify the postage being charged.  The customer can also win if the products weight exceeds the total of postage charged.

As most customers expect that the cost of postage is exactly that, I recommend adding all associated postage costs to the cost of your product.

  • This is a cost I think most small businesses seem to just absorb and very rarely recover. Examples are tissue paper or any type of wrapping, business cards, twine or ribbon, tape, bubble wrap and other sorts of protective materials, self inking stamps for return address - these sorts of things. They can take $1 - $2 from your bottom line.
  • Make sure this cost is accounted for somewhere in your pricing.

Fulfillment costs
  • What are they? They are the costs associated with anything in between the order being placed and posting. 
  • An example of a fulfillment costs would be the time spent packing the orders.  In a shop like mine, this can vary greatly.  If I have an order for a pattern it takes very little time to pack and send, an order for bias on the other hand is very different as it is usually ordered in 10-20 metre lots so it needs to be measured out, rolled back up and then packaged.  A large order of multiple bias can take 1/2 an hour to pack.

Travelling to the Post Office.
  • How much time does this take out of your day?


CurlyPops said...

Great tips Jody!

I have a little cupboard set aside for all of my postage bits and bobs - labels, cello bags, business cards, postcards etc etc. I try my hardest to make sure that most things can be sent as a large letter rather than a parcel. I buy stamps in bulk and use the red street posting box rather than driving all the way to the post office if I can. Also the Auspost iPhone App is brilliant if you don't have the computer handy to calculate postage.

Jodie @ The Haby Goddess said...

Thanks Cam, using stamps & red street posting is a great idea if you have one handy.

Calico Child said...

Thanks for that Jodie I made that mistake the other day forgot to check new post costs so had to pay more than what I had charged.
will be more organised this time (well I hope so) scales is a must buy on my list now :)

Carmel Morris said...

Thanks for those great tips.

I never even thought of using an app. There's an android one too, so I've added it to my phone.

International postage worries me a little.

Dee said...

This is a great post ! And very timely as I am talking to a new group of crafters. Hopefully with great advice like this, they can avoid all the postage mistakes I have made !
Thanks Jodie.

rachelmp said...

Great post Jodie!

nicole kane said...

what a fabulous post! such good information!!

clare's craftroom said...

Thanks Jodie , great information as usual from you ! I have shared this on facebook .

Jenny of Elefantz said...

Great post and advice, Jodie! Thanks for taking time to put all this in a post. Greatly appreciated!

Sas said...

Yep, I just love your blog... full of great tips! I have been stung on a few occasions, so now I am one of the businesses that charges a flat rate... although I still got duped the other day as well.
Cheers Sas.