Shipping to the World

12 Dec

I promised myself I would figure out how to add International Shipping to my Etsy boutique, Faerie Fabulous Finds, if it was at all possible to do so given my health constraints.

Using my 35 years of expertise in reading Government documentation, I plowed through the “Mailing Standards of the United States Postal Service, IMM Issue 36 – International Mail Manual dated May 11, 2009, Updated With Postal Bulletin Revisions Through November 19, 2009, PSN 7610-02-000-9904” in record time.  Easy peasy compared to the Federal Acquisition Regulations!

And now I know everything I need to know about using Click-N-Ship combined with Priority Mail to add international shipping to my boutique.  I’m conversant with all the custom regulations and know which countries prohibit what items.  Yada, yada, yawn.  All of  my postings have been updated to include the actual shipping information and option, and I’m half-way through updating each posting manually so it will have a smidgeon of a chance of showing up in a search for “international shipping” or “worldwide shipping.”

Running these search terms to ensure my treasures were popping up demonstrated two things:  (1) My modifications are working, but (2) my new marketing ploy is probably going to sink like a brick.

I am in competition with people who are producing items in my price range (for instance, a $4.00 ring) who are then offering to ship the bloody thing anywhere in the world for NOTHING.  Nada.  Zip.  Zero.

I simply can’t do that.  I’m already in debt up the ying-yang for the material costs of playing around and amusing myself making all these goodies while I struggled to stay alive; now I’m trying to recoup at least a little of my material costs.  I can’t expend more money and create more debt in order to give these treasures away for less than cost.

Part of being a Government Contracting Officer means you wear many hats, among one of them being a pricing analyst.  That means I can tear down or build from the ground up the price of anything, be it a pencil, a hammer, a nuclear device, or an aircraft carrier.  I know how to collect and analyze data for overhead costs.  I know what is and what is not allowable and allocable.  I know what costs are overhead and what costs are General and Administrative (G&A) costs.  I can segregate out Research and Development (R&D) costs and analyze whether any of these costs were shared by others.  I can analyze timesheets and interview employees to see if claimed hours were charged to the correct program.  I can analyze the labor spent on similar tasks to predict and estimate labor for future projects.  I can analyze world trends in labor costs and shifts.  I can argue and win a case against unabsorbed overhead.  I can build an accounting system that would be compliant with the Government’s requirements for cost reimbursement with my eyes closed and my hands tied behind my back.

This all boils down to the fact that I AM NOT STUPID when it comes to determining whether or not a price is fair and reasonable and I cannot for my life understand how anyone in the US can afford to ship a $4.00 ring to anybody anywhere in the WORLD for FREE and stay in business.  That is because it cannot be done unless one customer purchased 200 of those $4.00 rings in a single order so that sheer volume outpaces the cost of shipping.  But that’s not happening, because they don’t have that kind of stock in their entire store, and only one of those rings.

If I lived outside the US, I certainly would NOT purchase anything from my boutique until ALL of the FREE WORLDWIDE/INTERNATIONAL SHIPPING items were gone, gone, gone.  Yet Etsy continues to advise, “Add international shipping to your listings!”

If someone over the pond or across the border wants something of mine badly enough, they’ll just have to suck up the shipping costs to get it.  My items right now are priced like this:  actual material costs + Etsy cut + PayPal cut = rounded to nearest $5 (i.e., $26.88 = $25; $28.15 = $30.00).  Smaller amounts are rounded to nearest 50 cents.  Once the jewelry is gone and I settle on my core market (pouches, papers, books, posable faeries most likely), my prices will get very precise.  Gawd, some days I just hate selling shit.

I’m getting pretty sick of Twitter, too.  I retweet all the other Etsian’s tweets about their listings, but there’s not been one damn retweet of any of my tweets.  Now I have a tweety headache and I still don’t have any ideas for my PaganPages column.  I’m done with this crap for today.

3 Responses to “Shipping to the World”

  1. gt281 December 12, 2009 at 8:36 PM #

    tweet tweet
    tweet tweetly-tweet
    ‘Cause we’re really gonna cost it
    all nite long
    tweetly-tweet tweet

    Can you price this for me? I’m thinking of getting one as a stocking stuffer…

    (1) Nimitz-class aircraft carrier,
    Displacement: Approximately 101,000 long tons (103,000 t) full load
    Length: Overall: 1,092 feet (332.8 m)
    Waterline: 1,040 feet (317.0 m)
    Beam: Overall: 252 ft (76.8 m)
    Waterline: 134 ft (40.8 m)
    Draft: Maximum navigational: 37 ft (11.3 m)
    Limit: 41 ft (12.5 m)
    Flight deck 252 feet (77 m) wide. Approx. 4.5 acres
    Propulsion: 2 × Westinghouse A4W nuclear reactors
    4 × steam turbines
    4 × shafts
    260,000 shp (194 MW)
    Speed: 30+ knots (56+ km/h; 35+ mph)
    Range: Essentially unlimited distance;
    Life span: 20 years
    Sensors and processing systems: SPS-48E 3-D air search radar
    SPS-49A(V)1 2-D air search radar
    SPQ-9B fire control radar
    2 × SPN-46 air traffic control radars
    SPN-43C air traffic control radar
    SPN-41 instrument landing system radar
    3 × Mk 91 NSSM guidance systems
    3 × Mk 95 radars
    Electronic warfare and decoys: SLQ-32A(V)4 Countermeasures suite
    SLQ-25A Nixie torpedo countermeasures
    Armament: 2 × Mk 29 Sea Sparrow
    2 × RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missile

    Armor: a lot
    Aircraft carried: 90 fixed wing and helicopters

    • Faerie♥Kat December 13, 2009 at 12:29 AM #

      Price: $993,539,203,230,120,394,234,375,234,923,345,286,854,982,826.99 Shipping: $4.80 Total: $993,539,203,230,120,394,234,375,234,923,345,286,854,982,831.79

      Quantity discounts are available.

  2. Marvin December 15, 2009 at 6:31 PM #

    GT281 is aiming low. He really wants a Virginia-class attack submarine, he just doesn’t know it. 😉

    Charge what you must. You’ll always find someone to pay it.

    Twitter sucks. But you know that.

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