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Tips, Techniques, and Questions -- Technical questions or tips

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  #1  
Old 2012-11-30, 10:42pm
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Default Canadian postage to United States

How do they do it?

I have seen many Canadian vendors on Etsy list their shipping costs to the United States as being $3.00! Wow, how do they do this? And only $5.00 for international!

When I went to the Post Office today they wanted $7.61 for the smallest (under 250 g) package.

Please help as I would like to send some beads out to friends in the States but not if it is going to bankrupt me!

Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 2012-11-30, 11:32pm
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I think they eat up most of the shippingcosts themselves. That is what I do, if I would charge as much as shipping actually costs, I would not sell a bead in my life.
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  #3  
Old 2012-12-01, 10:01am
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This is also what I do... pay for a portion of the shipping costs. Canada Post sucks. It has far too few options, like flat rate packages, etc. that are offered by USPS. If you are able to keep your packages under 4 cm in depth, it will cut the cost down. It is difficult to send beads, with proper protection (bubble wrap, etc.) and keep it under 4 cm, but try for that.

When I'm purchasing online, often the shipping costs make me cancel my purchase. I don't want that to be the reason that customers won't buy from me, so I usually list the shipping at about 1/2 to 2/3 what it would really cost, and sometimes add a buck or two to the price of the item.
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  #4  
Old 2012-12-01, 12:10pm
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I just had to send 5 pais of earrings to California for an exchange that I very late for. I opted out of the $47 for two-day but it still cost me $32 to get them there in 3 days. Outrageous. Next time I won't procrastinate but I think those prices are ridiculous.
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  #5  
Old 2012-12-01, 3:18pm
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Holy cow! $32 is a lot for postage!

Becky and Suzanne, thanks for the info. I had wondered if they "paid" part of the shipping themselves. I agree totally that sometimes the cost of shipping will alter my choice to purchase and I wouldn't want that to happen to any buyers.

I agree to that USPS seems so much better. And it seems that there is a way for them to post from their house! Without ever having to go to the Post Office!! I wish!

Thanks again for the info....and Merry Christmas (it's Dec 1, I can officially say that now!)
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  #6  
Old 2012-12-01, 4:04pm
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I am in Canada and I keep my shipping costs down by avoiding bulky packaging. I use ziplock baggies, doubling them usually and it keeps the package flat and affordable.
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  #7  
Old 2012-12-01, 6:06pm
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If you keep it under 2cm thick and under 100 gr, it is $2.48 to the US. I think it is called Light Packet. The minute you put it into a box the price skyrockets. The secret is the bubble envelope.
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Old 2012-12-01, 6:35pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paulinabeads View Post
If you keep it under 2cm thick and under 100 gr, it is $2.48 to the US. I think it is called Light Packet. The minute you put it into a box the price skyrockets. The secret is the bubble envelope.
This. And yes it is light packet.
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  #9  
Old 2012-12-01, 8:57pm
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It's actually worse to ship in Canada than to the states. I was shipping several identical packages, to the states they were just over five dollars, the exact same pkg to Ontario was over fifteen!
Sometimes it feels like Canada post is just messing with you...
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  #10  
Old 2012-12-01, 10:05pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gemsinbloom View Post
I am in Canada and I keep my shipping costs down by avoiding bulky packaging. I use ziplock baggies, doubling them usually and it keeps the package flat and affordable.
I ship pretty often from CA to Canada and beyond. Shipping can really get you here too if you don't ship in a bubble or insulated mailer envelope. As soon as I send a box instead of an envelope the price doubles. We also get a rate increase with items 13oz. or more and that's simple parcel post, not insured priority shipping. International Insurance starts at $26. Items over 4lbs. International shipping (slow rate) starts at about $48+...

My trick is lots of bubble wrap or a small box well packaged within a padded mailer envelope...
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  #11  
Old 2012-12-02, 3:26am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paulinabeads View Post
If you keep it under 2cm thick and under 100 gr, it is $2.48 to the US. I think it is called Light Packet. The minute you put it into a box the price skyrockets. The secret is the bubble envelope.
Oops, yes, 2 cm, not 4.
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  #12  
Old 2012-12-02, 12:23pm
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Well I guess it is an organza bag with lots of bubble wrap for me then! Thanks for everyone's input. I'm going to check out the light packet!
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  #13  
Old 2012-12-10, 1:02pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bexrox View Post
Oops, yes, 2 cm, not 4.
Yes I do light packet also whenever I can. The other advantage is it gets there very quickly. I string my beads and wrap them in one layer of bubble wrap so they won't clink against each other, and they go in a small bubble envelope. The packaging isn't exactly "pretty" because I can't put the beads in a nice box, but I have only very very rarely had a complaint about beads arriving damaged (and I guess that can happen no matter what, once in a while).

I can usually keep it under 2cm in thickness this way and it's about $2.80 like others said. I charge $2 shipping to US and Canada to keep my shipping prices competetive, so I end up losing a little bit, but not too much.

International light packages also go by air mail so the customer doesn't have to wait months to receive their bead, and I think international ends up costing me between $5-10 depending on where it's going. I charge $6 for international so if it ends up being a bit more, I just eat the difference.

Same goes for if the customer orders lots of beads, and I have to pay for air mail. I don't mind paying the extra and eating the cost because they have usually made a fairly large order at that point. I almost always ship air mail either way (light packet is similar in shipping time than air mail) because I know most of my customers are always eager to get those beads, and I always cringe when I get the emails asking why it hasn't arrived yet. I think air mail to the states usually costs me between $7-10 and internationally I've paid as much as $15-20 I think but that was a very large order so again, I didn't mind paying the difference.

The only real bugger is shipping WITHIN CANADA which seems stupid, but what I have learned is that Canada Post lets you do something similar to a light packet, and you just can't do it through PayPal. It's the same dimensions, under 2 cm, and you have to look up the price based on postal code and weight on the Canada Post website. Make sure you check the rate for ENVELOPE not PARCEL! It's called a thick envelope I think. Anyway the website will calculate the rate for you, then you can just use stamps to ship within Canada. If the package is too big for the thick envelope you end up paying like $10 to ship within Canada, which really sucks. Again usually when the package is that big though, it's because it was a big order.

I hope this info helps (It took me a while to get a good system going for shipping from Canada and figure out the cheapest and quickest ways to do it!)
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  #14  
Old 2012-12-10, 3:45pm
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Super information Amy, thanks a bunch! Where in Canada are you?
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  #15  
Old 2012-12-10, 6:07pm
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I made myself a 2cm slot like they have at the post office - I made it from a plastic lid from a soap bucket. That way I can see before I get to the post office if the package is going to go through. I also make sure all my beads are 16mm wide/deep, so that with bubble wrap and the envelopes they will be sure to fit. Bigger beads I keep for shows I do here - not for mailing.
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  #16  
Old 2012-12-11, 1:36pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bexrox View Post
Super information Amy, thanks a bunch! Where in Canada are you?
I'm in Victoria BC
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