Yet another postage spew

This only applies to international customers - UK-based folks can walk on by.


A number of people have recently asked why overseas postage is so expensive - the glib answer to this would be 'because it is', but since I don't roll that way, my real answer is a bit more in depth and less snarky.

My overseas postage rates are based on the average cost to send something to the US - in this case a small-parcel sized box weighing less than 250g.

Why the US? Because since the trainwreck that is Brexit, that's where most of my overseas business comes from. Unfortunately, thanks to USPS, shipping to the US costs about 20% more than it did 12-18 months ago. As it happens, posting stuff to the EU/EEA is quite a bit cheaper, but my last attempt to do zonal postage costs was a colossal failure (ie. I lost a fuck-ton of money) and Royal Mail have a distressing tendency to move the goalposts with little or no notice.

The rates I charge are what Royal Mail charge me, plus a small amount to cover packaging materials etc. I am in no position to be able to negotiate preferential rates - my postal volumes are nowhere near high enough.

Unfortunately (again) I don't know the final shipping cost of an item until I've actually weighed it and paid for the shipping label - this is annoying in the extreme, but Royal Mail seem ill-inclined to do anything about it.

This leads us rather nicely to the following points:

  1. The displayed shipping costs are based on a 'typical' overseas order for me - to whit, a sub-250g small parcel going to the US. That's where the vast majority of my overseas business comes from.
  2. Shipping to the EU/EEA is usually significantly less - postage for a single 4HP module will typically come in at around £10-11. I always use large boxes for international shipments as they afford more protection from the cargo smashers.
  3. If there is a significant difference, then I will process an appropriate refund - you may receive this before or after a shipping notification, depending on how Shopify is feeling at any given time.
  4. The shipping cost will be displayed on the shipping label (note that this cost does not include any VAT/customs charges)

But what about free shipping?

Free shipping is a con - there's no such thing; show me a carrier that will deliver my stuff for nothing and I'll use them; a more accurate term would be 'shipping included'.

I charge shipping on UK orders under £20 and overseas orders under £200. There are one or two people for whom I'll pick up the cost of shipping, but they're the exception rather than the rule.

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