Paying for postage?

So something that crops up every now and again – from both sides, if having to pay postage and packaging. Some places now actively discourage charging for postage and packaging (Ebay, I am looking at you) and there is always the worry of what you will be charged on top of the cost of the item you are paying for.

Now, when we are talking internationally, we have not only the cost of sending the item abroad, but we also have to factor in the import cost. When you buy internationally, you can’t always work out what the cost will be, as it isn’t a given that it will be checked and charged, and companies will not be held responsible for these charges.There is nothing more frustrating when you have ordered something abroad, to have the import duty cost more than the item you bought.

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Some places have tried to avoid this, by sending items to Germany and then they are sent onwards within Europe to try and avoid the import duties. I can understand why, if I am working out the cost of the item, then the postage and have to factor in potential import… often you end up thinking paying a little more of the item and buy it domestically makes sense.

But that isn’t what I wanted to discuss – if you recall my review of Revenge Wigs – I discussed the attention to detail that was used for the packaging, the envelope, the address label – there were a lot of small touches included. I don’t know about you, but it is little touches like this that make me think that the person who sent the item cares? Likewise, when I get a delivery from Wild Bangarang, there is always a little personal note on the packing slip, and a wristband/little bag of goodies. The leggings themselves are always wrapped in tissue paper, it makes it feel as if you are receiving a present?

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But something that keeps coming back is the cost of postage – it is something I was chatting to a friend about – and it struck me that somewhere along the way, we forgot that P&P stands for postage… and packaging… so when you see the postmark isn’t close to what you paid in postage and packaging.. take a moment!

My friend is a stationary and fountain pen aficionado – I want to have his collection it is amazing. But it also means that he spends time and money buying the perfect paper, one brand of paper he buys is Tamoe River, the paper itself is expensive, imported from Japan, with few suppliers here in the UK so retails £25 for a block of 100 sheets A4 paper. When David put in his order, the P&P came to £2.99 and when it arrived, it was post marked at £0.67 – his initial reaction was that it was a complete ripoff.

Now, this next part is in David’s own words : But the parcel was nicely wrapped in wax brown paper, it can withstand hurricanes. Double layered. So I’m impressed as I open it.

 The inside is a handwritten thank you note, nicely done. More a card really.
 

Then the Tomoe river block is inside a cellophane wrapper again with a biz card in from the seller with a stock number handwritten on the back of the card

 

Makes it more personal again

 

Inside that cellophane is the actual Tomoe river paper in its production cellophane

 

So the whole thing is an experience in care and attention.

So really, what you have to bear in mind as a customer – when companies put together their pricing, they are going to attempt to be as competitive as possible without doing their brand a disservice. The postage is another cost that they have to factor in, and again try and make as economical for all involved. And as a customer, I of course keep in mind the cost of a product, I will try and make sure that it is not extortionate. I won’t buy in the USA if I can buy here. Sometimes i have to do without, but that is fine with me. As a customer, it doesn’t matter if I am buying for me, or buying for a friend, when I see attention to detail in the packaging, it makes me happy.

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I have a review of an Etsy shop to put together which also looks at packaging as an important part of the relationship between business and customer – no matter how big. It is something that we should consider. But also think about how much the business is investing in this part of the relationship. Think again before you complain about how much you are paying, or that you didn’t quite get enough items in your basket to qualify for free shipping.

And please support small business! 

FD

 
 
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