Can you imagine what would happen if I went to the post office and said, “Will you please mail this for free”? Yet those of us, who are artists on e-commerce websites are encouraged to do this to draw customers. I can understand why these sites encourage this. When makers offer free postage, it is assumed that they will increase the price of their item to make up the loss. E-commerce sites get a tiny percentage for each sale. Last year, one of the larger sites had over 1.7 million sellers. That adds up. The site will certainly make a profit from this. The manipulation is wrong. I feel like the site is attempting to manipulate me. I choose not to manipulate my customers.
This is a difficult situation. My prices are already reasonable. I hear this from my customers. I charge for the cost of my supplies and I have a slight charge for my time. I definitely make less than minimum wage.
My biggest selling items are jewelry. I package with a gift box wrapped in recyclable bubble wrap. This goes into a manila envelope. For quite some, these packages cost $2.67 to mail. I charged $3.00 postage for this size item. This gave me thirty three cents for the box, envelope, bubble wrap, and my trip to the post office. I lost money on a regular basis. Last year, The postal service increased to $3.00 for the same sized envelopes. I raised my postage to $3.50. The fifty cents is a little more fair to me. The fifty cents goes toward the cost of my trip to the post office, and my packaging supplies.
2018 is here. Again, postage went up to $3.50 for my packages. I am increasing my shipping and handling charge to $4.00 to help cover my costs. Changing these prices on my site takes time. I will be gradually doing this as I add new things and as I renew seasonal items.
I am aware that people who are focused on profit and marketing will critique me negatively. There are types who believe fooling others by saying, “free shipping” is a good business move. I am proud to say I am not that type of person. I am not Amazon. I am an old lady working from a tiny studio in my home. I love creating art. I would be making things whether I sold my creations or not. I will continue to respect my customers. I will be honest. I will continue to live by my life values.