Sunday, October 30, 2011

I Love My Customers but I Hate Dimensional Weight Shipping!

I need to whine and vent just a bit about the post office and their "dimensional weight shipping." In case you're not familiar with this term, this is how they calculate postage when a package is larger than 1 cubic foot (i.e., 12x12x12 or any measurements which make the total cubic inches greater than 1728 when you multiply the length times the width times the height.

This morning I received a wholesale order from a new customer. Ben likes my hand stamped flag pillows, but needs them in Ohio no later than this coming Friday, so he can take them to the Simple Goods show on Saturday where he will debut the new FOLKlabel: Private Selection! He requested all of the large pillows I have on hand and a few small ones, but the only box I have that this many pillows would fit in is huge; there was a little room left in the box, but not very much.

The box weighs just 8 pounds. I checked shipping via all of the major carriers. Priority Mail is $57.67; Express Mail is $51.28; it would get there the same day either way, except Express Mail is guaranteed to arrive by 3pm, that's the
only difference ... and it's cheaper! FedEx Ground is $45.75 and is guaranteed to arrive by the end of the 4th business day (i.e., Friday, Nov. 4th if I ship on Oct. 31st). UPS wants $43.26 for their "3 day Select" service, and says it will arrive by the end of the day on Thursday, Nov. 3rd if I ship tomorrow. All of these rates are simply OUTRAGEOUS and they're so high because of the Dimensional Weight calculations! Back in the good ol' days, that is before 2007, Priority Mail didn't cost much more than Parcel Post, and FedEx Ground and UPS home delivery were both very competitive, especially for larger and/or heavier packages. But since then, it's been VERY expensive to ship any packages larger than 1 cubic foot, especially if they're traveling any distance, as is the case with these pillows. Oh, and in case you're wondering, Parcel Post would be just $14.15, but the package likely wouldn't arrive until Monday, Nov. 7th, which is three days too late!

Anyway, Ben and I shot some emails back and forth, trying to decide what to do. In the end, he decided to have me put as many pillows in the huge box as it would hold, so he's got all 21 flag pillows that I have left!

If you go to the Simple Goods show, please stop by Ben's booth and say hi and pick up one of my flag pillows!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Prairie Primitives Mercantile Lives Again!

The Merc has been neglected for much too long because I couldn't quite decide what I wanted to do with it. For the time being, anyway, I've redesigned it and set up tabs which link to the corresponding sections in my Etsy shop and to my yard sale page on Facebook.

I'm giving serious thought to reopening my Picturetrail site soon too! Stay tuned!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Want to Change the Name of Your Etsy Shop?

Starting October 18, you'll be able to!!

Did you sign up for Etsy using a goofy name, or maybe just one you regret? Ready to let it go? Of course, you won't be able to use any Etsy shop names which are already in use, but if you have a new, unique name in mind, you'll have the chance to make it yours! If you'd like to use proper capitalization in your shop name, you will be able to do that as well, however Etsy is still not allowing any spaces in the shop name, so multiple words will remain run together. You will be able to change your shop name ONE TIME, however if you want to change the "case" of your name now and then later you choose to completely change your shop name, you will be able to do that; changing the "case" (i.e., from all lowercase to upper and lower case ... prairieprimitives to PrairiePrimitives, for example) will not count as a name change. Your old shop URL will redirect to your new shop URL (changing your shop name changes your shop URL as well), so you won't end up with a bunch of broken links all over the internet! Read more here!

It also appears that Etsy is re-visiting the whole personal name thing again. If you've signed into Etsy today, you may have been greeted with a pop-up that offered you a chance to change the way your name will be displayed. If you're in business with someone else, consider adding their name to this display name! And, of course, you can opt out of showing your name as you've been able to all along. I don't know, however whether Etsy will automatically begin showing your name if you have previously opted out of doing so. Here's the forum discussion about these changes and this answer (and others) may be in there; it's already up to 20 pages and I don't have time to read all of that right now.