It’s expensive. Nuff said
Ok you can go now. Oh…you want more? Well let’s delve into perhaps one of the most important articles I’ve written for a while.
First up people including myself genuinely believe there is some malarkey going on with various companies and their shipping quotes….but is there. I decided to investigate after the following event. A very nice chap in Hong Kong requested to buy a piece from me and as it has been a couple of years since I sent him something I decided to get him a rock solid price on shipping.
Most of the time I keep boxes from previous transactions. If I do have to buy them then that’s usually $10. If you go behind your local shoe/clothing/tv store it’s free. I expect box sales at UPS to collapse upon this news.
Secondly size matters as does weight. Look below at the “practice” version of the ups bill.
The box is an unremarkable but large size for a costume consisting of boots, trousers, top and in this case a shield almost as large as the square of the box, but only a few inches high.
The post office only allows 108 inches if you measure the four sides and then from bottom of box to top. You add those together and in this case your at 130. That is 22 inches higher than the cheapest way to ship by USPS. So we do fall in ups and fed ex (I believe their highest dimensions are 150) but the way they do it is by weight too. If you see it’s only 31lbs. The upcharge because the larger box size is then taken into account and suddenly you are billed at 111lbs. That is what the u.s post office calls a “balloon charge”. Suddenly your in for a bill of around $950 for shipping that still takes a week.
Now if you can get your shipment under 108 inches and say 25lbs your looking at around $175 for 5 day shipping from USPS (which strangely enough does use FedEx sometimes as part of the journey) and most importantly like the others can be insured and tracked. (I don’t care what prop you send to who…ALWAYS track it….here me….ALWAYS!!!!)
So hopefully a picture is developing in your head. Yes shipping is bloody expensive. That’s why VIP, propstore and all the others charge you guys so much. There really is no way around it. For a long time people assumed it was weight but it’s also size or both to make that magic number.
What’s the best way around this. Well there really isn’t one. Bear in mind everything above next time you buy something. It may make you want to look at those hand size pieces again instead if the giant robot costume you crave.
Lastly yes some companies do try to profit from Shipping. Some face been caught with their fingers in the pie. You can always challenge it. It’s interesting to note how many times this results in a reduction. In my opinion no company charging fees for other things should ever make shipping part of the profit….ever! It’s just wrong to nickle and dime people.
Bear in mind you can see the shipping fee people pay in the box unless typically it’s done by a business. I feel that’s part of hiding the true price. All you need is the size of box and weight and put that in the companies system to check what your price would be. ALWAYS add $10 for tape, gas, boxes etc and if it’s ridiculously higher then you know your paying over the top. Again bear in mind if they are paying someone to pack something doing it right IS very time consuming. Typically a big box for me takes an hour so bear that in mind too. I’m really starting if it’s $40-50 more then your being gouged.
So I hope that this was eye opening for you all. If I’m doubt you can always check more info on your or other countries websites.
Don’t ask me about customs. That’s a whole new kettle of fish!