Have you increased your standard shipping costs to reflect increases from USPS?

Discussion in 'Marketplace Discussions' started by kwadguy, Sep 19, 2021.

  1. kwadguy

    kwadguy Senior Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Cambridge, MA
    For many years, my standard shipping for media mail items was $2.95. Then it went to $3.95.

    With the latest increase in media mail prices, the cost to ship a standard LP + mailer has jumped to $3.82. Taking eBay's cut out of the shipping cost (they take their 10+% off the top on everything), $3.95 isn't even covering the postage. And then there's the mailer itself (around a buck +/-).

    I guess I'm gonna bump shipping up a dollar across the board for vinyl.
     
  2. R. Totale

    R. Totale The Voice of Reason

    Your buyers have no knowledge of how much if any profit you are making on the item. They can see what you are charging for shipping. Exploit their naivety by leaving shipping low and raising the item price a buck or going to "free" shipping.
     
    Tjazz likes this.
  3. Chee

    Chee Forum Resident

    Location:
    Denver
    Totale is correct or just don't do anything....most stuff is listed a lot on eBay etc. common....just undercut the postage of others.
     
  4. kwadguy

    kwadguy Senior Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Cambridge, MA
    One of the reasons I try to have a realistic value on shipping is that in cases where the buyer wants to return for remorse reasons, that determines my actual payment when it's returned.

    I rarely get returns for cause (sell either sealed stuff, or stuff very carefully described), but I get the occasional "I forgot I already have this" or "made a mistake" returns. And in those cases, even though I sell with "no returns" the reality is that I take every reasonable return. But my choice is to either refund everything including shipping, or just refund minus shipping. So if I undercut my shipping, I burn myself.

    Most buyers these days are smart enough to look at the full purchase price with shipping. The days when $0.01 and $149.99 shipping would work are behind us. (Not that I ever got on that train).
     
    SJP likes this.
  5. giantleech

    giantleech Lord of all fevers and plagues

    Still holding at $4.98 for LP parcels weighing between 1.1 to 2.0 pounds for as long as I can (I use high quality rectangular shaped LP mailers, not cheap, wack-ass square mailers or recycled pizza boxes.) Quality mailers ain't cheap and I buy 'em by the (several) thousand at a time.

    Next time the USPS bumps up the media mail rate (and I'm certain that we can basically count on that grueling punishment happening like clockwork each and every year... hoping that twice a year doesn't start to become the new normal) I'll factor in another buck to either my postage rates or upping the ante on the unit price of my stock.
     
    quicksrt likes this.
  6. R. Totale

    R. Totale The Voice of Reason

    That's a fair point. I'm low volume, but haven't had a return in at least a decade, so I've never really considered it.
     
  7. ScramMan2

    ScramMan2 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Portland OR
    Yes, I have raised prices about $1 each for titles under $10. I build it into the price and offer fast & free shipping. Keep in mind the cost of cardboard shipping materials has increased. Postage has increased not only in Media Mail but the USPS has higher holiday surcharge rates for the season. And the USPS continues to loose items in transit.
     
  8. vinylbuff

    vinylbuff Forum Resident

    Location:
    North Port Florida
    Apparently I must be some kind of postal masochist or something. I almost always include shipping when I sell here, (or just about anywhere for that matter), and up to two cds ship first class instead of media. I also do my best to overpack so they arrive the way I sent them.
     
    stevef likes this.
  9. Chee

    Chee Forum Resident

    Location:
    Denver
    Nope, $3 for 1 CD.
     
  10. starkiller

    starkiller Forum Resident

    Location:
    Dupont, Wa USA
  11. Agreed. Some ( a lot of ?) people love to see the term "Free Shipping".

    How that impacts a potential sale is "up-in-the-air"--- with how eager you are to sell (at a potential loss of revenue). You can only add the cost of shipping into the initial cost of the item so much before potential buyers (may) become disinterested.
     
  12. Chee

    Chee Forum Resident

    Location:
    Denver
    "Free shipping" is rip city on the price.
     
  13. Spitfire

    Spitfire Senior Member

    Location:
    Pacific Northwest
  14. quicksrt

    quicksrt Senior Member

    Location:
    City of Angels
    I saw the recent increase and decided to not hike my rates yet. I'm charging $4.95 per LP and CD shipment no matter how many items are included. I'm now losing a bit on an LP but making it back on a CD. Buyers save a lot when ordering 2 of more items to be sent together.

    I did something interesting a couple of months ago. My supplier ran out of cardboard insert squares, and so I was only able to get the mailers but none of the supporting insert materials. I ended up hunting down large boxes (left behind stores in the alleyway) from large screen TVs, and cutting my own squares from them. They are a bit stiffer and thicker than the standard ones which I was using (a good thing), and I am saving .25 per mailing from using these "free" cardboard squares. This covered the postage hike I think and is sturdier / safer. I've had a few LPs shattered in the mail previously. I think it is much less likely now with my new inserts. It is nice to have saved $1.00 for every 4 LPs sent, and giving my packages a higher quality package as well.
     
  15. giantleech

    giantleech Lord of all fevers and plagues

    Rather than throw away "junk cardboard" that winds up in my orbit, I cut any high-quality corrugated cardboard that remains into usable flats for padding in shipping LPs, 7"s., CDs, floppy disks, etc. Remaining craps get tossed into the "recycle" bins (which I'm highly skeptical don't just wind up in the landfills as trash) at my various rental properties (I'm paying for them damn extra bins so I figure I may as well use 'em in the off chance that some of these recyclables actually get utilized in some productive manner.)

    I package/send off enough parcels on a daily/weekly basis that relying exclusively on salvageable cardboard for filler pads is not really feasible, time-wise, so I purchase plenty of filler pads along with my mailers, but I extract as many extra supplemental pads as I can from whatever usable quality materials wind up here in the course of my operations (a utility blade and a large thick plastic cutting board is a must.)
     
  16. quicksrt

    quicksrt Senior Member

    Location:
    City of Angels
    I keep a box cutter, a sharper marker, and an LP cover in the trunk of my car. And so if driving down the street and I see the right box next to a dumpster, I will stop if I have the time and cut it up after marking the 12x12 lines on it with the marker.

    I was doing 7 to 10 LPs sent out per week for a year or more, but it has dropped in the last 10 days. Not sure if it's because I've sold the hottest stuff and need to load up more, or it's the end of summer beginning of the school year and folks are busy. I've had a very hot sales streak for the last 14 months and really wish to continue through this year.

    Anyway, I find it fast and easy to cut up the big boxes into inserts, and the quality is so much better with them than the cheap ones I paid for. I enjoy the therapeutic nature of doing it actually. A mindless activity that saves the planet and some cash, and is a better product.

    Oh, and I did a bunch of 7.5 inch squares as well, as I want to blow out a bunch of 45s soon. I picked up a lot of imports back in the 70s and early 80s that were cool at the time. And now are not so cool. Also 60s hits with PS which I have always loved. The great rare b-sides that eventually come out on CDs are no longer needed (Zeppelin / Fleetwood Mac) I got on Japanese imports. I should liquidate them and see if top condition there means anything.
     
  17. Chee

    Chee Forum Resident

    Location:
    Denver
    Thick cardboard from a clothing store cut to 13 by 13 in 60 seconds. Tape and done. $3.50 media.
     
  18. cwitt1980

    cwitt1980 Senior Member

    Location:
    Carbondale, IL USA
    Not yet. The next bump will probably bring more folks into the next dollar range of normalcy. With higher dollar single cds, sending out First Class isn't too far off from the 1 lb Media rate anymore.
     
  19. quicksrt

    quicksrt Senior Member

    Location:
    City of Angels
    I agree, CDs especially with Media Mail are fine as is, it's the LP with higher costs plus expensive mailer cartons that are an issue. I'm going to wait until the next hike and then rework (raise) my shipping prices, or else raise all my items by $1.00. Or maybe raise all LPs, but leave CDs priced as is.

    Something has to go up, but I don't want to do it right now, what with everything else going on right now, reduced hours, worse service, and higher prices. I'd like to not contribute to all the issues we are facing at this time.

    I like a nicer presentation with my items. I like it to look nicer than a homemade mailer with the rough edges and all. But I'd do it in a pinch if I am out of mailers and need to ship out a couple of items.
     
  20. kwadguy

    kwadguy Senior Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Cambridge, MA
    A real problem with using mailers that look "lackluster" is that it puts some buyers on the lookout for defects.

    Same with all goods. One time, I shipped a factory sealed $2000 audio receiver to someone. The box was designed for direct shipment, but to get insurance, UPS required another outer box. So I put a second box outside it. When it arrived (in Hawaii!) the outer box looked bad. Not destroyed. But with skid marks from handling. The inner box (which was the retail shipping box) was perfect--no damage at all. But the customer refused delivery because "I didn't like the way it looked." That was nearly $100 in shipping lost.
     
  21. quicksrt

    quicksrt Senior Member

    Location:
    City of Angels
    I do recall that horror story you had. Buyer did not want to even look at the item. :cry::mad::shake:

    Also you know those red angular marks (next to your inventory list in Discogs) that state you are listing or charging more than the normal average price for your items? Well my inventory has those marks on about 70% of my listings. In other words, I am on the high-priced side of the scale most of the time. So I looked at my sold items to see if I was not doing very well on those "over-priced" items? No, I am selling more of my over-priced (or higher-end) items than my lower average-priced stuff. I am listing these items at higher prices because I feel they are indeed top examples of their releases (nicer than the competition so often offers). Really mirror clean, and flawless when I state it. Therefore, I am going to have to back this up with not just really nice (pricy items), but shipping a higher quality mailer and care with the presentation. I'm talking ... my own trademark, patented cleaning job, rice paper inners, and Japanese resealable outers, the works.

    Not to be boastful or brag at all. But after a couple of decades of online selling, I am heading into the cream of the collection soon. I want to have stellar feedback, and get top dollar. In 9 or 10 years I might leave LA and move to a log cabin in the woods in the Pacific Northwest, having cashed out all my records when the rock stuff reached its peak.

    Ratty-looking mailers won't cut it for a $100 LP.
     
    Gumboo likes this.

Share This Page

molar-endocrine