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#1 Natania

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 08:47 AM

Until now I've mostly dealt with galleries that are within driving distance but it looks like I may be entering the world of shipping more work. The shipping charges seem expensive everywhere. Is that just how it is? I've looked into UPS and fed ex, but I haven't yet compared USPS to them. What do people use? Any tips?

#2 Chris Campbell

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 11:18 AM

If you are a Member of Potters Council you will get discounted shipping charges with FedEx.

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#3 Mark C.

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 11:25 AM

The facts are shipping ceramics is costly. You have to pack it very well (I double box) and depending on where you live One of the two services will be best for you. For me its ups as they drive out this rural way almost every day. I will ship USPS if its one small item as its cheaper than the others for small weights under 2#s(like 1 mug) but I have to go to a post office to do that.Shipping works out to be about 1/3 the cost of pottery.
I tell folks this up front.
Its also on my web site.
Mark
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#4 OffCenter

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 01:36 PM

For small packages of 1-2 lbs and sometimes 3 or 4 lbs, the PO is the best deal. Do it all online and you save 15% over taking it to the PO. You don't have to take it to the PO if your mailbox is big enough to hold the package. (It's actually worth buying a bigger mailbox if it isn't.) Also, if it doesn't fit in your mailbox you can schedule a pick up. For packages over 4 lbs you're usually better off going with UPS (or maybe FedEx). UPS (and probably FedEx) have drop off places (like Staples, etc.) or you can schedule a pick up but it is expensive. Also, if you plan to ship often it is well worth setting up an efficient shipping area and going to the expense of having packing material and boxes organized and ready so that it takes 10 or so minutes from printout to ready for pickup. Using double-wall boxes instead of double boxing saves time and money for large items.

Jim
E pur si muove.

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#5 GEP

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 01:46 PM

I chose UPS over Fedex because their customer service was so much more reliable and clear. However, it has been several years since I've used Fedex so I can't say whether that is still true. I will use USPS when someone orders a small item from my online store, or when an online order is being sent to a PO box.

If you are shipping an order to a gallery, the gallery should pay for the shipping, so the cost is not going to come out of your pocket. It behooves you to find the best prices for shipping so you are not creating unnecessary costs for the gallery, but it is still more important to ship your work safely rather than cheaply.

Mea
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#6 Mark C.

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 03:02 PM

Giant mailbox is always a great idea mine is huge and hold about anything except a fishing rod. One thing to keep in mind with USPS is the software does not like macs. So if your are a PC person its great mac person like me the click and ship is a joke. You can jump thru some hoops to make it work on a mac but I save my frustration for other things.
If you are on a Mac Version 10.4 (or higher), your Safari Browser will not work at this time due to ...(this is where you can say whatever you want about why its broke)
Now with UPS click and ship works great. I do enough shipping where I always know my driver. I just put a florescent flag out and he knows to stop and pick up.
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#7 OffCenter

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 06:20 PM

Giant mailbox is always a great idea mine is huge and hold about anything except a fishing rod. One thing to keep in mind with USPS is the software does not like macs. So if your are a PC person its great mac person like me the click and ship is a joke. You can jump thru some hoops to make it work on a mac but I save my frustration for other things.
If you are on a Mac Version 10.4 (or higher), your Safari Browser will not work at this time due to ...(this is where you can say whatever you want about why its broke)
Now with UPS click and ship works great. I do enough shipping where I always know my driver. I just put a florescent flag out and he knows to stop and pick up.
Mark





I'm a Mac person, too, and USPS software works fine for me. I use Firefox browser. You're lucky to your UPS driver takes that chance. I had daily pickup for 15 years with UPS, FedEx (and for a while even DHL) for the business I ran but now my old buddy of a driver for UPS knows that if he picks up without me either having daily pickup or a called in special pick up for $10, he could be fired.

Jim
E pur si muove.

"But it does move," said Galileo under his breath.

#8 Natania

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 08:21 PM

So people, do you charge customers the full price of shipping, or do you take a little of a loss (as a potter friend of mine does)?
Thanks for the great info. Above!

#9 Mark C.

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 08:40 PM

So people, do you charge customers the full price of shipping, or do you take a little of a loss (as a potter friend of mine does)?
Thanks for the great info. Above!


They pay for shipping-I never get paid enough to pack it and usually absorb most of the pack cost-I always bill the ship part. I do charge for packing dinnerware sets and a bunch of stuff but its peanuts compared to what involved for a dinner set pack up.
I choose not to pursue more mail oder business-I get plenty without trying
Since I just totaled my freight column for taxes my UPS total was 1,185 for 2012-this whole cost was passed on to the customer.
My thought is I have 4 outlets spread out and I do 7 shows and if a customer cannot hook up with those outlets then they will pay to ship it.
Its really never been an issue for any customer as long as they know up front-I just added a page on my web site just to inform about shipping.
Mark
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#10 GEP

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 09:19 PM

So people, do you charge customers the full price of shipping, or do you take a little of a loss (as a potter friend of mine does)?
Thanks for the great info. Above!


Yes I charge them the exact cost of the shipping, but I pay for the boxes and packing materials. There's no need to take any losses on it, any good gallery won't mind.

Mea
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http://www.goodelephant.com

#11 OffCenter

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 11:21 PM

So people, do you charge customers the full price of shipping, or do you take a little of a loss (as a potter friend of mine does)?
Thanks for the great info. Above!


Most of my mail order customers pay an estimated shipping (that does not include time or materials) and I refund when they overpay what I am actually charged by USPS or UPS. It really makes a good impression on customers when you refund a couple of bucks to their credit card or Paypal. That customer happiness is well worth a few bucks.

Jim
E pur si muove.

"But it does move," said Galileo under his breath.

#12 JBaymore

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 11:33 PM

I chose UPS over Fedex because their customer service was so much more reliable and clear.


I have found the exact opposite. I use FedEx.

Shipping ..... a cost of doing business. Other choice.... don't sell the work. Seems to be a "no-brainer". Just bill accordingly.

best,

...................john
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#13 JBaymore

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 11:36 PM

.......... and I refund when they overpay what I am actually charged by USPS or UPS. It really makes a good impression on customers when you refund a couple of bucks to their credit card or Paypal.


The "Montgomery Scott" (Scottie on Star Trek) school of business management. Underpromise and over deliver. (It'll take 3 week to get the dilithium crystals online again Cap'n.".....then he does it in 2 hours. A true hero!) ;)src="http://ceramicartsda...ault/wink.gif">

best,

.....................john
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#14 neilestrick

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 01:09 PM

I use UPS, because it always comes out cheaper than FedEx. I tried FedEx a couple of times, but they had a service charge for each week that I actually shipped something. Because I rarely ship more than once a week it came out to be more expensive. And they were slower. My UPS drivers are always more friendly than the FedEx drivers, and my current UPS guy will even drop stuff off at my house if my shop is closed- didn't even ask him, he just started doing it! I get good prices from UPS, and after printing the labels online I drop off the packages at the UPS store down the road. Much more convenient and cheaper than paying each time for pickup service.
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#15 Pres

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 02:27 PM

Until now I've mostly dealt with galleries that are within driving distance but it looks like I may be entering the world of shipping more work. The shipping charges seem expensive everywhere. Is that just how it is? I've looked into UPS and fed ex, but I haven't yet compared USPS to them. What do people use? Any tips?


I have been shipping by USPS for years now. I usually send out a many pieces at one time to all parts of the country for one customer. I charge the customer for the boxes I buy in bulk, the popcorn and bubble wrap I use to pack the pots, the packing tape, and a handling fee of 10% on the order itself, and for the shipping itself. This has been going on for many years and I have not insured any of the shipments as I have not lost any pieces to shipping. I only single box, compression pack in fresh popped popcorn and bubble wrap. The only time I lost anything was when my son packed an order when I was away. . . . last time. At any rate my methods are unorthodox, but work for me.

Simply retired teacher, not dead, living the dream. on and on and. . . . on. . . .                                                                                 http://picworkspottery.blogspot.com/


#16 robin jack

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 12:41 AM

As you saying "Chris Campbell" If you are a Member of the Potters Council you will get discounted shipping charges with FedEx. So let me explain I am also member of the Potters Council and want to move my floor scales from one place to other place. So will you provide me the discount for this shipping also or you just have this discount for some limited products shipping.

 



#17 Pompots

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Posted 02 April 2013 - 12:04 AM

It seems like the opinions are divided among the 3 main carriers, I guess it depends on your State. Your shipping cost might be different for someone in CA than somebody in NY for the same box to be ship to the same distance, sales Tax and other transportation taxes may vary too. Shop around and get a feel of your options and choose one is the way to go.




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