Transparency: Shipping Cost Increase (Boo!) and an Explanation (Yay!)
Shipping rates are going up on February 1.
Ouch! Geez, Erica, couldn't you break it a bit more gently? It might have been better served as a "poop" sandwich (you know, say something nice, say something yukky, say something nice again) but no, you just put it out there without even saying "hello".
I am like any other quilter or sewist out there - spending money on postage is a bit of a drag and takes away from money to spend on fabric, right? I have thought long and hard about making this change and after reviewing the data, talking to mentors, and a couple of stern looks from the accountant, I need to make a change to my shipping charges. And here's why: it costs way, way more than $4.95 to mail almost all of the packages I send.
Canada is geographically huge, but our population isn't. That means our postal system can't recognize the economies of scale we observe in its US counterpart. I think every online business owner in Canada wishes we could send flat-rate envelopes for under $10, but that isn't an option for us. On the other hand, we get to live in Canada and I think most of us are proud of our nation and wouldn't trade that for all the cheap postage in the world.
I initially set my postage rates based on a certain minimum order I had in mind and based on the information I was provided by Canada Post at that time. Based on my calculations, my shipping charges and the net profit made on the sale would cover the cost of postage. Any order bigger than my minimum would let me recognize some profit. Before you wonder if I set that minimum order amount (in my mind) too high, I didn't. What I got wrong was my interpretation of the postal rates, as quoted in the small business shipping literature. I got it really, really wrong. While I've been charging $4.95 postage on orders up to $100, I've actually been spending, on average, about $13-$14 to send each order and, as you can probably guess, it isn't sustainable. I don't regret charging a low postage rate for the past 20 months, and am grateful for all the customers I've met and the things I have learned. But, if I want to be credible as a business-woman (and that should matter to you - my customers - as well) then I need to look at the data and make the decision it is telling me to make.
So, here goes. As of February 1, 2018, the standard shipping rate in Canada will be $10.95 for orders up to $139; orders over that amount will ship for free in Canada. Orders $25 or less will ship within Canada for $4.95 and be sent using standard letter mail. If you live in or around Lethbridge and want to pick up your order, you can avoid shipping charges at checkout by entering the code FreeShipYQL.
It's a huge increase all at once; I balance this news by reminding you I have some of the best prices on modern quilt fabric in Canada which I believe helps to offset the increase in mailing costs. With this change, my shipping charges are now comparable to most online shops in Canada which is not only fair to me, but to the other shop owners as well.
Thank you for your support of my shop; I am grateful every day for the opportunity to work at what I love and am grateful for all who shop my store, interact with my social media, and the ones who just pop in to "take a look around".