Sunday, March 14, 2010

Webstore Postage Charges

From time to time we hear those stories about how mail that never got delivered was found in the attic of an overworked postal worker, and of packages that sat in a truck on a loading dock during a busy holiday season. It's enough to drive you crazy when you operate a webstore that relies on mailing services! (And believe me, I don't need any help in the crazy department.)

I think everyone would agree that postal rates are high, yet how else does one receive merchandise when ordering on line? Clearly, you want your items as quickly as possible, in good shape, and at the lowest possible price. Right? At least that's what I want when I'm ordering on line.

After carefully studying all the mailing options available, we decided to mail as many packages as possible using the United States Post Office's priority mail system. We believe this method is the safest and quickest means of delivery available. These packages come in sturdy priority mailing boxes that are insured and sent with confirmation of receipt numbers. That way, should something go wrong, we have a hope of being able to resolve the problem. If your package is not received, we can track down where it landed using the confirmation numbers. If, heaven forbid, it is damaged, postage insurance can protect you. In our opinion, using USPS priority mail means that you have the highest probability of receiving your packages in a safe, secure, timely and convenient method.

And then there's our web store shopping cart. It's a great shopping cart that is totally secure when it comes to keeping your information private and protected. It's not so great when it comes to calculating postage. And that's because the United States postal system has decided to use "zones" to figure out how much postage to charge. Depending on where you live, postage can cost more or less than what it says on the order at check-out time. So what to do?

Our shopping cart postage charts are an "estimate" by the computer of what it will cost to mail a package to you based on price. It's the way the software in the web store is set up--an automatic thing but not necessarily what we will actually charge on smaller orders. If it costs more to send your order to where you live in the United States than you are charged, we do not charge extra postage. If we can get it to you at a lesser rate because of the zone you live in, we adjust the postage price down to reflect a lower amount. And clearly, we are not going to charge you $4.95 to send a package of needles your way, or a single pattern or block club packet. For those things, we do use first class mail whenever possible. (And if you think delivery to the United States is complicated, it's even crazier when shipping overseas!)

Bottom line is that every time postal rates go up, we are driven a little farther around the bend to insanity. We work hard to ensure that postal rates charged to you are fair and comprehensive. Hopefully, with this explanation of how the system works and why we use USPS priority mail for shipping the majority of our packages, you will have a better understanding of why we charge what we charge to get your goods to you as quickly and safely as possible!

No comments: