I've had to make an adjustment to my shipping procedures within Canada, so I thought I'd explain it here. Shipping within Canada has always been a cause of frustration and loss for me. Regardless of the weight of a package, the rate varies from $8 to $16 to ship across the country. A package sent to my own Postal Code would cost $7.90, and a package sent to Chatham, ON would cost $15.00. Because of this huge difference, I've been forced to change my shipping policy to a flat rate of $14.00.
Etsy only allows one rate PER country, so a customer from Vancouver, and a customer from Toronto would both pay my current rate of $7.25, plus $0.95 per each additional item. Right from the get go, I'm losing money. If the customer in Toronto chooses to buy 1 $5 soap, and pays $7.25 for shipping (a total of $12.75), it's going to cost me $15 to ship. Not only am I making zero dollars on the soap, and using up precious and costly shipping supplies, I'm also paying an additional $2-$3 to ship. Basically I'm paying for someone to buy something from me, which is just not an acceptable way to do business. Now luckily, most customers buy more than one item, but even still, the margins can be way too small.
Shipping to the US is a little more reasonable. The shipping is flat rate across the country (so a package to Maine and a package to Washington cost the exact same). The prices also rise with weight, which makes it easy to set, as the more items you buy, the more the rate goes up with each additional item. (I believe my current US rate is $5.90 plus $0.90 per additional item). The rate jumps up quite a bit, going from $5.97 to $8.35 to $12.80, and anything over 2lbs jumps to $18+. Although this is still not ideal, it is definitely better than shipping within Canada.
I feel that having a flat rate of $14 within Canada will hopefully encourage shoppers to buy more items. Maybe go in with a friend, or co-workers, and split the shipping. The only provinces that really ever come in under $14 is BC and Alberta, so in these cases, I will promptly refund the difference in shipping once I've dropped it off at the post office. I know this new policy will deter "small-time" buyers, just looking to try out 1 or 2 soaps, but at the end of the day, a sale I lose money on, doesn't help me grow my business.
Thanks for reading!
and P.S. - Blog post coming soon on my recent trip to Mexico for my sister's wedding!