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January 28, 2011

Friday shop update and some thoughts on international shipping fee

Happy Friday!
Here are some things that were recently added to my shop. Lots of prints!
Top left: Black and White stripes scarf, $12
Top right: Black & White rose kimono dress, $50
Bottom left: 50's inspired plaid dress, $90
Bottom right: 50's inspired floral dress, $90

A recent purchase I made online got me thinking about the cost of international shipping fees. I found a dress I liked for $10, and the listing said it includes domestic shipping fee within the U.S. So, I emailed the seller to ask how much the shipping fee be to Japan. It was extra $10, so the total would be $20. Double the price?
I decided to ask her to ship the item to my family's address in NY, so they can forward the item to me, which in the end, will cost me less money. Honestly, it does not cost $10 to ship a light weight summer dress to Japan from the U.S.  I know because I ship world constantly!

Granted, I have only lived in the U.S. and Japan, and have most of my experience working within those countries but, I often feel like etsy and ebay sellers are overcharging the international shipping fee. I don't know if they are including the so called "handling fee", but many times it makes me feel that they are trying to make money by overcharging on shipping fees. I understand higher shipping fee cost if you are getting a wedding dress in a big box, or industrial coffee maker but honestly, it really turns me off to see sellers charging exorbitant for no reason.

I usually charge $5 for orders from the U.S., and $7 for other countries. I charge a standard $5 for U.S., shipping even though, many times, I end up paying a slight difference out of my pocket.  The way I see it, most of my customers are from the U.S., and I do not want the shipping fee to be deterrent from ordering from my shop. Also as I see it, the seller should be quick to refund if they cost is less than had been previously expected.

Just my two cents.....what is your take on shipping fees?


Kat said...

I agree! I live in Australia and I purchased a dress from a US seller the other week and the shipping only cost $6. But then there are sellers on etsy charging $15 or more for postage to Australia. And this is on items that would have a similar weight so would not vary that heavily in postage costs.

Emily said...

I hate unreasonable shipping fees! That being said, I've lost money selling a few things on ebay b/c I didn't charge enough for shipping. I've also sent a few things overseas and have been surprised at how expensive they were (albeit it was a small box). I think your shipping fees are awesome.

RACHAEL said...

I totally agree with you - of course, I am happy to pay extra shipping fees if it legitimately costs that much more, but it does make me sad when I find amazing things I'd love to buy from overseas stores and the shipping costs just as much (or more) than the item itself! It also means I'm probably not going to buy it.

I really love that you are thinking of your sellers, and I'm so grateful for stores like yours!

Fiona said...


Shipping is an interesting one, and I can only speak from experience. But, as an Etsy seller living in Australia, the cost to ship something to the US (or anywhere generally) is really high. For me to ship a lightweight dress or t-shirt to the US costs the equivalent of around $17 USD.

I realize my shipping cost is incredibly high, and I fear that I lose customers because of it, but I just can't afford to make it any lower. On the other hand, shipping from the US to Aus seems to be cheap (when I buy from overseas sellers). Weird.

Something in the Way She Sews said...

I completely agree. I love to buy vintage patterns, and etsy has so many great patterns many for good prices. But the amounts they charge to send to the UK is prohibitive. I'm sure that if they had a better attitude, like you, they would make more in the end.

SH said...

I have not sold anything on the internet but I have heard that places like ebay take a cut out of the sales. Thus, sellers try to make more profit through higher shipping fees and less to ebay.

Anonymous said...


I begin on internet with a directory

Cylia said...

and there's more I think is overpriced.. i think its the 'art' of looking something for a nice price and shipping isnt so expensive. but totally agree.

Cynthia said...

I don't think $10 is that bad? It costs $9 to ship to Japan with first class international and can cost more if you want to include extras.

For Priority Mail it's $13 ... shipping to and from Japan and Korea is just really expensive in general :(

vivatveritas said...

thank you everyone for your comments! it was very interesting to read through what your thoughts are on shipping fees.


wow, 17 dollars! thats really expensive, and i had no idea since i've never lived in AU. that's really too bad that the AU postal services don't offer any cheaper method of shipping..


i would not think $10 shipping fee is bad, if i know the item weights as much. for instance, i dont mind getting charged $20 for shoes, because i know it costs that much.
i guess it all depends on weight for US first class international mail.

Shalyn said...

Well, let me start by saying that I hate any and all shipping fees. They keep me from purchasing so many things I want to. I moved from the US to Canada some years ago now and the shipping for just crossing the border makes me so mad. And this goes both ways. I run an Etsy shop, too, and it is ridiculous how much they charge me to ship things out. Then there is the factor of insurance. Some items I ship have been porcelain travel mugs and due to the fragile nature I've found I can't get around insuring them, which drives it up even higher.

So there may be some countries that it doesn't charge as much for. Perhaps those with higher Intl. shipping charges are rounding it off for the more expensive places?

vivatveritas said...


i do understand if the seller charges more for heavier items (such as porcelain)that requires insurance. its just part of life.
i do not understand seller charging $20 for a light weight summer dress, because obviously, the seller is making money off of rip-off shipping fee!