Making and Posting!

I am feeling much better this week, thank you to everyone for the get well wishes!

This week I have been making and sorting my items for a craft fair yesterday.  The fair was another dismal one with hardly any footfall. People around me sold nothing – some left early, obviously fed up.  I only  sold 3 things 🙁  but I received an email  custom request from Folksy so that cheered me up!

Something I wanted to ask all the lovely crafters at Handmade Harbour is whether or not you all know about the postal increases from Tuesday?   Not only are prices increasing – but categories have been altered – for the worst as far as posting by handmade sellers are concerned. The Post Office lady explained it to me when I went to post one of my Faery Gardens which sold on Folksy this week.

Glass jar with ivy and yellow flowers hanging down with a little dainty faery sitting on green glassbase

Faery Garden

I boxed up this bottle garden and wrote “FRAGILE”  and “KEEP THIS WAY UP” all over the box.  It cost £2.70 first class which was fine. – BUT – then the Post offfice lady explained that  ‘Fragile’  items don’t get any special treatment and will be tipped out of the sack along with everything else. (duh?)   The most you can hope for is that they won’t kick it about !!!!  I haven’t heard from my buyer yet as to whether she received it undamaged.  I have posted one before which arrived safely so I am really hoping this will too!

However,  she then dropped the bombshell that along with the increase in postal charges the categorization is changing,  so that a small box similar to mine would no longer be classsed as a packet, but would from now on be a small parcel with the associated charge of £5.30 at PRE rate changes!  Who knows what it will be from tomorrow?

So now what do I do about my Faery Gardens?  I sell them for £5 – no-one is going to pay more postage than the item costs to buy – effectively doubling the cost. Although there is no increase for ordinary first and second class post, Royal Mail are reducing the size allowed  for ‘letters’ and ‘large letters’ so that fewer items will fit into these categories.

If you want to check out what it will mean for your business http://www.royalmail.com/prices-2013 will tell you!

I think these changes will have implications for sellers of handmade items which are at the lower end of the price range.  Someone buying something  as big as a Faery Bottle Garden but costing say £40 won’t be as bothered at a £5 p&p as someone buying something under £10. Has anyone any thoughts about what they will do?  Over to Handmade Monday!!

36 thoughts on “Making and Posting!

  1. The postage increases are crazy, especially the introduction of medium parcel for what would have been a small packet. I’ve had to redo all my postage charges. The compensation amounts are dropping too for unsigned parcels. Royal Mail had just acted silly over the past few years.

    Glass is one of the things you have to package very very well as it just gets treated the same as any other package. Some couriers won’t even take parcels containing glass because it’s so breakable.

  2. I certainly need to look into the postal charges but at the moment I’m not putting an increase on. I know a few people who are going to add a pound or so to their items and 50p or so to the postage. I hope you are now feeling lots better. 🙂

    Jan x

  3. The postal charges are worrying me a bit, but I am in the euphoria of having sold my first knitted item on Etsy, and will be heading to the Post Office to send it off on Tuesday morning. Very bad timing, although at least I don’t have the added worry of breakages. I have also decided it may still be better to try and sell online, as at craft fairs there are overheads, and I seem to have to price so low I am not at all allowing for my time.

  4. I have known about this for a while now and tried very hard to spread the word about. There have been petitions about. The worst thing is that it is all about size. So knitted items and yarn will cost so much more even though they are light. I think that this will be putting the strain on a LOT of people. Really pleased for you about your order though 🙂

  5. I agree the new postal charges are crazy. I’m not too sure what i will do about adjusting my charges yet but one thing’s for sure, i will have to pass on the extra charges to customers one way or another or i won’t have a business!

    I’m glad you’re feeling better, that’s great news 🙂 x

  6. First – your garden is gorgeous! I too have been trying to get my head round these changes, and am considering putting the price of the item up, to include postage and then putting ‘free postage’ down, as I feel the new charges will put customers off. Have a happy Easter, Jo x

  7. I once read that everything you post should be wrapped up well enough to survive being kicked around like a football in the garden, and after seeing a postman in my local post office kick a parcel the full length of the post office (his hands were full, but that’s no excuse) I can see why. I used to make mirrors and always worried about them arriving in one piece!

    You really need to put your prices up, I think – it’s better than charging a high P&P charge. I don’t do “free” P&P as I think most people expect to pay it, but they don’t like to pay a high P&P charge. Mine is from £1.50 to £3.50 and will stay like that. Last time the post office increased charges, I re-priced certain items. Most of mine will still go as a small parcel in the new system.

    • I think putting up some prices is what I will do as otherwise I will have to stop selling some things. Your postage is low enough to be very encouraging and a good way to do it of you can. Fabric shops which charge a high p&p annoy me as they could probably get a contract and do it more cheaply!

  8. We’re constantly being told that work pays, but many of us who are trying to make a living through are own little businesses (often because we have chronic conditions so couldn’t get a job elsewhere) are now stung for higher postal charges. Big companies can negotiate their postage prices, but we have no choice but to pay the new charges. If we do put prices up, will we be able to sell items at the higher price?
    Like you, the couple fairs I have done so far this year haven’t yeilded many sales, the bad weather hasn’t helped at all. For me, things are looking bleak.
    Apologies for this doleful response, I’ve just been listening to Ian Duncan Smith on the radio and he has got my dander up.
    One the plus side, I’ve seen your beautiful faery garden 🙂

    • I don’t blame you ranting – I feel just the same way! I am trying to make a living best way I can no. Sorry it’s affecting you similarly – it’s no fun at all is it! Government says it wants to help small businesses but then sanctions postage rises which do the opposite!

  9. The way Royal Mail are going on they are going to drive everyone to private couriers which seems to be the way a lot of the discussions on FB are going. It all seems to be related to the size rather than weight which is crazy. I think it’s a cunning plan, tell us no one is going to take any notice of the FRAGILE stickers so we use loads of bubble wrap to make big parcels which cost more…Grrr!
    I think Wendy’s comment is the way to go, and I also think your Fairy Gardens are worth more than £5 anyway!

    • Thank you! I am going to look into both those options – never heard of them before this week – maybe Royal Mail will notice the drop in custom if lots of businesses drop them.

  10. Sorry the fair wasn’t very busy – isn’t that a shame. I only do markets these days – people seem to avoid indoor events. It’s jolly cold some days though! I’m going to wait for the weather to warm up before doing any more.

  11. I did the same as you once and wrote fragile all over the parcel and was told exactly the same as you. it’s ludicrous.
    Fortunately I dont sell my crafts anymore so I dont have the problem of postage but I can see why it’s so frustrating for you.
    Your little garden is sweet

  12. Although I don’t send out parcels, I do order items and what Royal Mail are doing is day light robbery !!!

    What about trying other delivery firms such as DHL. I seem to recall they had a deal with Staples where you could drop off your parcels there.

    Shame about the fair. Here’s hoping the next one is better attended.

  13. I posted a recorded make last week as it was high value and that was expensive. I don’t know what the answer is for smaller makes where postage is dearer than the actual creation. I have decided that when I restock my shop I can no longer offer free p&p but haven’t got further than that as yet. I hope you can find a way forward as it seems a real shame that your lovely smaller makes might not be available

  14. I understand your resentment and disappointment with the postal services. I think we all feel a bit like this. The prices go up with each financial year whether we want it or not and what can we really do? It is hitting us hard, the “normal” senders and the selling crafters… perhaps, this is the reason why I dont sell my painted glass pieces – it would too much to ship them, God know how far… Australia maybe… and the mistreatment of the parcels at the depots is another reason.
    Not only sending parcel is costly, but also they arrive damaged, broken and open – even the plain birthday cards? what the hell do they look in those envelopes? money? drugs? – seriously, things with shipping have gone way too crazy these days.
    and us? at least we can have a moan 🙂
    hope you have had good easter x x

    • Lol – yes at least we’ve all had a good moan about it! Trouble is what when we

        need

      to sell our items – it really is a problem. Anyone starting crafting should turn their hand to small lightweight flat items!!

  15. I feel your pain – it’s an absolute disgrace 🙁 I’m just in the middle of opening an account with MyHermes and think I’ll try them for a while. I really don’t want to just sit back and accept the RM postage hikes – especially as most of my items are so light, but can be quite bulky.

    Sorry to hear the fair wasn’t better – it’s so annoying when that happens, you spend ages getting ready for them too. Glad to hear you’re feeling better. Simmi x

  16. Hiya, it was me that bought the fairy garden! I did send a message through Folksy to let you know it had arrived safely, but you obviously haven’t seen it! The box was a bit battered, but the glass jar inside was absolutely fine. I have had parcels through my Hermes, and I think they are actually worse than royal mail for not taking care with parcels. Zoe

    P.s. I am in your postcircle group!

  17. Hi Zoe

    No I haven’t had a message in Folksy at all and no feedback so that’s why I messaged you – wonder what happened? So glad it got there safely! Thanks for letting me know here. Interesting about My hermes – I am not sure which service I will use next!

    I just got my post circle email and read it in bed last night – didn’t notice you there! I will now go and read the list again!!

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