Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Shipping Overseas

A natural Pacific beach stone wind chime, handcrafted by Coast Chiimes
Natural Pacific Beach Stone Wind Chime
Available at Coast Chimes for $75.00

I sell my work almost exclusively on the Internet— these days through Etsy and my own website, Coast Chimes. I've been doing this for about twenty years, and it works pretty well. The funny thing is, you would think that I would have it all figured out by now, that it would be natural and easy, like breathing, no thinking needed. Nope. I run into new situations and problems all the time.

An example from just yesterday. The beach stone wind chime, pictured above, sold. That's great. But then I saw it sold to someone in Switzerland. That's nice-- my wife is Swiss. But I knew right away that this would complicate things, as I had put $25 down for shipping. That is the standard price for some small, light weight package to Europe, airmail. But, sadly, beach stones are not light!

I packaged it up all nicely, cutting away every ounce of extra cardboard from the box. When I weighed it, it came in at well over one kilogram, which meant I would have had to pay nearly $100 in postage.

I unwrapped the whole thing, and tried using a padded envelop. That did it; well under a kilogram. The only problem is all the time I spent wrapping and unwrapping and re-wrapping, and, more importantly, the customer will have a far less pleasant experience when receiving the chime, as I had to unhook the chimes, and also, honestly, an envelop just is not the same as opening a box. But hopefully they will forget about the ugly envelop and unhooked chimes when they hook it back together and see just how neat and beautiful it is.

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