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A few thoughts on shipping ...

RisingPhoenix

Resident Artisan
I received an email today, which is one of many communications I’ve had since the middle of November when holiday shopping season started over here in the US, that I wanted to share.

Hopefully folks read this and understand that there is no malice in my sharing this, and I don’t think there was any malice in the message I received, which was both friendly and a little bit of a polite jab at how long it takes to get packages out. (Many folks have written me with the same sentiment ... but have been far from being as friendly about it).

I’m sharing this not just for my edification, but I think it applies to many small businesses, including many of the fellow vendors here, which I know sometimes deal with the same problems I deal with. In my response I go over a number of things that a lot of small businesses deal with, and it’s nice to keep these things in mind, not just during the holiday season, but throughout the year - especially considering everything businesses have had to manage and survive during the last two years.

So - hopefully this message is received as the educational sharing of a communication, which is how I am intending it ☺️

The email :

12.23.2021

Morning Joseph!

Hope You have a Happy Holiday Season!🙂
I am writing not to complain, but as a friendly comment:

You know, I like You as a Person and love Your aromatic treasures! I read often the descriptions of Your new products on Etsy and very often want to buy them, but I think that every time I order it takes You at least 8-10 days to prepare the order and then few days of shipping,- which total about 2-3 weeks,- Every time!!! Not just Christmas
So I end up not buying, because when you wait so long for something that you bought,- it’s more frustration than happiness when it comes,- 2-3 weeks is really a looooong time!
You know Katlyn from Mermade Magical arts?

I buy almost everything new, because she sends it next day and even though she charges less than You for multiple items, she always sends it 2 day air, so I know I will enjoy the aroma in 4 days and it’s so happy customer experience!

I am just letting You know, that maybe You wish customers have impression that You have millions orders… customer don’t care for image, they just wish to enjoy something they found desirable! So, maybe there are others like me, or You ship to others quicker and just don’t like me😂

Have a Fantastic Holiday season!🌺🦚🌅🌈👍

——-
Nice enough message, right? And I totally get what this person is saying. I get it folks 😉 Truly, I do.

——-

My response :


Morning X!

Let me first say - I appreciate the message and the sentiment. I appreciate you taking the time to write me about a relatively common issue that I hear about from people, namely that of how long it takes to get packages out.

Katlyn, the owner of MERMADE Arts, is an old friend. Have been to her place out in Nevada several times over the years. Glad to hear you’ve been enjoying her products! She’s quite a lovely lady. 🥰

Yes she is selling incense, but the products she is selling are entirely different than what I’m selling. I have to fill each vial, and label each one per order. And I’m usually fulfilling 30-50 orders at any given point in time - which often consists of 100-300 items that all need to be labeled, bottled, packaged. Often times weighed, sorted, sliced and cut, as well - Especially if we are talking about the woods.

I have over 170-200 items in my shop, and hundreds more here in my workshop that are not up in the Etsy shop. I also generally have two or three sizes of everything available (and often more), so if they’re 170-200 items in the shop, there are nearly 1000 sku’s that I have to manage.

People often request custom sizes or a custom items, which also takes extra time. This would go a lot easier if everybody was buying full bottles, and all I had to do was pre-fill bottles and then just grab and ship. Unfortunately, that’s not how this business works. If only people were buying full bottles 😂😅

Many businesses are able to pre-fill containers and then just grab and ship when the order comes in. That’s not at all possible in this business, especially when I have to weigh or cut things like woods. Or people want custom items, or custom sizes. And people generally want to sample everything, which means sample sizes for practically everything, let alone people trying to request custom orders with even smaller sizes, which quite frankly takes even more time to sell while also making less money doing more work. But I do my best to accommodate… And I often get yelled at when I tell people I can’t. 🤷🏼‍♂️

Also keep in mind that people usually don’t just put in their orders. I’m often juggling dozens of conversations that often take place over several days or weeks before people ever put their order in. Hundreds, if not thousands of messages back and forth, every day. This takes a tremendous amount of my time - But it’s what’s necessary in order to get to people putting in the order. I have to build those relationships and cultivate trust, as well as steer people to the kinds of products they are actually wanting to buy. You may be buying online, but people still talk to me like I am the guy behind the counter in the shop. It’s often enjoyable - but very time consuming.

Shipping often takes longer than people think, especially for international orders or orders that require some kind of paperwork that needs to be included. (This is 30-50% of my orders) For example, shipping a DHL package often takes me about 30 minutes per package. Sometimes (often) longer. Especially with all the new HTC codes - Of which many of my products don’t fit squarely in to the standardized HTC codes. Takes a lotta time figuring that all out. And that’s after everything has been bottled and labeled and weighed.

Not to mention when there are problems with packages, especially international packages. I end up spending an awful lot of time having to take care of things that I’ve already done. Case in point, I’ve been dealing with a package I shipped off to India, and I’ve spent over an hour working on it today, and it’s work that I’ve already done and shipped off a week ago. So even though I’ve already done the work - there’s often more work to be done even after you’ve done it. 😂 Not to mention - responding to customers wondering ‘why I’m not Amazon and where is their package?’ Let alone explaining shipping stuff, which I go over extensively in my Shop Policies (which no one bothers to read) 🙄

And then there’s the customers ...

I’m often juggling hundreds of messages, and dozens of orders at any given point in time. This extension of customer service is incredibly time-consuming, but is necessary. I have to educate customers about products. I have people who are new to these kinds of products and know nothing about them. And many of these folks get chatty, which is perfectly fine and for the most part I enjoy. But this alone is a standalone job that I’m having to do along with any other number of hats that I have to wear.

Let’s also not forget that I’m still a working physician, and I juggle both patients and packages. I’m essentially working two full-time jobs - because I have to.

Much of the work for Rising Phoenix is just fulfilling orders - which can be quite mind numbing. I probably have to fill 2 - 300 sample vials every couple of days. And since October (yes - OCTOBER) - hundreds of items every week to fulfill orders.

Mind you, there’s only one of me wearing all of these hats. Many other businesses have multiple people working there. I have huge overheads between workspaces, inventory, and ongoing projects. This work ain’t cheap. I simply don’t have enough revenue to support multiple people working here and helping me out AND juggle all the fixed expenses involved in the business. Let’s also not forget that many other people I work with, especially since the pandemic, I send money to just to help them out because their livelihoods have been impacted. Rising Phoenix has only one employee - myself. But there are over 500 people involved in supporting the work I’m doing. That’s a lot of overhead, so to speak - and a lot of relationships, generally between 30 to 50, that I personally have to cultivate and spend time with. I’m talking to these people constantly.

Yes, it generally takes me a week and a half or two weeks to get packages out. Sometimes faster. Sometimes not. Sometimes it depends on if you are order number 2 in line, or if you are order number 70 with 69 other packages in front of you consisting of hundreds of items that I have to get bottled and labeled and eventually shipped out. And then writing me to jump the line (happens more than you’d think). And then screaming at me when you have to wait your turn. 🙄

This is tough work. Very time consuming work. And a lot of it is not some thing that can be passed off someone else to do. It’s questions that only I know answers to, and work that only I know how to get done. Yes, part of the solution is bringing in help, but I can only do that with my customer’s continued support and more revenue to afford all the additional overhead. Don’t even get me started on how the last two years of all this Covid bullshit and regulations have impacted my sales and revenues. I need the revenue and everyone’s support more than ever, especially if I am to grow and tackle some of these challenges like we are talking about in this message.

Hopefully that helps clarify why it takes the time it does to get the orders out.

I do appreciate your support, and I’m sorry that I can’t get things out as quickly as you’d like. Thanks for the thoughtful message - I appreciate it. Merry Christmas!

JK

PS - since Covid started - I also have to physically take packages to the Post and ship them. Once COVID started - many many packages were not getting scanned and were just disappearing. I generally take packages in 2x / week. Takes me 90 minutes each time.

Here’s what 60 orders look like :

2EF26F80-2118-4A07-8800-D03FAFB62397.jpeg
 

DubOudh

Aster Oudh
I received an email today, which is one of many communications I’ve had since the middle of November when holiday shopping season started over here in the US, that I wanted to share.

Hopefully folks read this and understand that there is no malice in my sharing this, and I don’t think there was any malice in the message I received, which was both friendly and a little bit of a polite jab at how long it takes to get packages out. (Many folks have written me with the same sentiment ... but have been far from being as friendly about it).

I’m sharing this not just for my edification, but I think it applies to many small businesses, including many of the fellow vendors here, which I know sometimes deal with the same problems I deal with. In my response I go over a number of things that a lot of small businesses deal with, and it’s nice to keep these things in mind, not just during the holiday season, but throughout the year - especially considering everything businesses have had to manage and survive during the last two years.

So - hopefully this message is received as the educational sharing of a communication, which is how I am intending it ☺️

The email :

12.23.2021

Morning Joseph!

Hope You have a Happy Holiday Season!🙂
I am writing not to complain, but as a friendly comment:

You know, I like You as a Person and love Your aromatic treasures! I read often the descriptions of Your new products on Etsy and very often want to buy them, but I think that every time I order it takes You at least 8-10 days to prepare the order and then few days of shipping,- which total about 2-3 weeks,- Every time!!! Not just Christmas
So I end up not buying, because when you wait so long for something that you bought,- it’s more frustration than happiness when it comes,- 2-3 weeks is really a looooong time!
You know Katlyn from Mermade Magical arts?

I buy almost everything new, because she sends it next day and even though she charges less than You for multiple items, she always sends it 2 day air, so I know I will enjoy the aroma in 4 days and it’s so happy customer experience!

I am just letting You know, that maybe You wish customers have impression that You have millions orders… customer don’t care for image, they just wish to enjoy something they found desirable! So, maybe there are others like me, or You ship to others quicker and just don’t like me😂

Have a Fantastic Holiday season!🌺🦚🌅🌈👍

——-
Nice enough message, right? And I totally get what this person is saying. I get it folks 😉 Truly, I do.

——-

My response :


Morning X!

Let me first say - I appreciate the message and the sentiment. I appreciate you taking the time to write me about a relatively common issue that I hear about from people, namely that of how long it takes to get packages out.

Katlyn, the owner of MERMADE Arts, is an old friend. Have been to her place out in Nevada several times over the years. Glad to hear you’ve been enjoying her products! She’s quite a lovely lady. 🥰

Yes she is selling incense, but the products she is selling are entirely different than what I’m selling. I have to fill each vial, and label each one per order. And I’m usually fulfilling 30-50 orders at any given point in time - which often consists of 100-300 items that all need to be labeled, bottled, packaged. Often times weighed, sorted, sliced and cut, as well - Especially if we are talking about the woods.

I have over 170-200 items in my shop, and hundreds more here in my workshop that are not up in the Etsy shop. I also generally have two or three sizes of everything available (and often more), so if they’re 170-200 items in the shop, there are nearly 1000 sku’s that I have to manage.

People often request custom sizes or a custom items, which also takes extra time. This would go a lot easier if everybody was buying full bottles, and all I had to do was pre-fill bottles and then just grab and ship. Unfortunately, that’s not how this business works. If only people were buying full bottles 😂😅

Many businesses are able to pre-fill containers and then just grab and ship when the order comes in. That’s not at all possible in this business, especially when I have to weigh or cut things like woods. Or people want custom items, or custom sizes. And people generally want to sample everything, which means sample sizes for practically everything, let alone people trying to request custom orders with even smaller sizes, which quite frankly takes even more time to sell while also making less money doing more work. But I do my best to accommodate… And I often get yelled at when I tell people I can’t. 🤷🏼‍♂️

Also keep in mind that people usually don’t just put in their orders. I’m often juggling dozens of conversations that often take place over several days or weeks before people ever put their order in. Hundreds, if not thousands of messages back and forth, every day. This takes a tremendous amount of my time - But it’s what’s necessary in order to get to people putting in the order. I have to build those relationships and cultivate trust, as well as steer people to the kinds of products they are actually wanting to buy. You may be buying online, but people still talk to me like I am the guy behind the counter in the shop. It’s often enjoyable - but very time consuming.

Shipping often takes longer than people think, especially for international orders or orders that require some kind of paperwork that needs to be included. (This is 30-50% of my orders) For example, shipping a DHL package often takes me about 30 minutes per package. Sometimes (often) longer. Especially with all the new HTC codes - Of which many of my products don’t fit squarely in to the standardized HTC codes. Takes a lotta time figuring that all out. And that’s after everything has been bottled and labeled and weighed.

Not to mention when there are problems with packages, especially international packages. I end up spending an awful lot of time having to take care of things that I’ve already done. Case in point, I’ve been dealing with a package I shipped off to India, and I’ve spent over an hour working on it today, and it’s work that I’ve already done and shipped off a week ago. So even though I’ve already done the work - there’s often more work to be done even after you’ve done it. 😂 Not to mention - responding to customers wondering ‘why I’m not Amazon and where is their package?’ Let alone explaining shipping stuff, which I go over extensively in my Shop Policies (which no one bothers to read) 🙄

And then there’s the customers ...

I’m often juggling hundreds of messages, and dozens of orders at any given point in time. This extension of customer service is incredibly time-consuming, but is necessary. I have to educate customers about products. I have people who are new to these kinds of products and know nothing about them. And many of these folks get chatty, which is perfectly fine and for the most part I enjoy. But this alone is a standalone job that I’m having to do along with any other number of hats that I have to wear.

Let’s also not forget that I’m still a working physician, and I juggle both patients and packages. I’m essentially working two full-time jobs - because I have to.

Much of the work for Rising Phoenix is just fulfilling orders - which can be quite mind numbing. I probably have to fill 2 - 300 sample vials every couple of days. And since October (yes - OCTOBER) - hundreds of items every week to fulfill orders.

Mind you, there’s only one of me wearing all of these hats. Many other businesses have multiple people working there. I have huge overheads between workspaces, inventory, and ongoing projects. This work ain’t cheap. I simply don’t have enough revenue to support multiple people working here and helping me out AND juggle all the fixed expenses involved in the business. Let’s also not forget that many other people I work with, especially since the pandemic, I send money to just to help them out because their livelihoods have been impacted. Rising Phoenix has only one employee - myself. But there are over 500 people involved in supporting the work I’m doing. That’s a lot of overhead, so to speak - and a lot of relationships, generally between 30 to 50, that I personally have to cultivate and spend time with. I’m talking to these people constantly.

Yes, it generally takes me a week and a half or two weeks to get packages out. Sometimes faster. Sometimes not. Sometimes it depends on if you are order number 2 in line, or if you are order number 70 with 69 other packages in front of you consisting of hundreds of items that I have to get bottled and labeled and eventually shipped out. And then writing me to jump the line (happens more than you’d think). And then screaming at me when you have to wait your turn. 🙄

This is tough work. Very time consuming work. And a lot of it is not some thing that can be passed off someone else to do. It’s questions that only I know answers to, and work that only I know how to get done. Yes, part of the solution is bringing in help, but I can only do that with my customer’s continued support and more revenue to afford all the additional overhead. Don’t even get me started on how the last two years of all this Covid bullshit and regulations have impacted my sales and revenues. I need the revenue and everyone’s support more than ever, especially if I am to grow and tackle some of these challenges like we are talking about in this message.

Hopefully that helps clarify why it takes the time it does to get the orders out.

I do appreciate your support, and I’m sorry that I can’t get things out as quickly as you’d like. Thanks for the thoughtful message - I appreciate it. Merry Christmas!

JK

PS - since Covid started - I also have to physically take packages to the Post and ship them. Once COVID started - many many packages were not getting scanned and were just disappearing. I generally take packages in 2x / week. Takes me 90 minutes each time.

Here’s what 60 orders look like :

View attachment 20132
The pandemic has brought home some truths indeed.
Many people have had there first experience with online shopping during this health emergency....And unlike store shopping...you can't walk out with what you paid for immediately....
Shopping is an instant gratification exercise and can not properly be met with the online experience. As I write this...I am waiting for three packages that are at different stages of travel.....primarily all seem lost....
Other then using DHL everything else is a lottery when it comes to shipping...I still hold out expectations that these parcels will arrive but the time in between ordering and paying and actually getting the product is now over two months and climbing.....
Now clearly this is not the fault of the shop. But I have found national postal systems to be extremely slow to want to change from their customary way or traditional way of doing business...

More and more I have found myself deciding on a purchase more on where it is shipping from then just the quality or price of an article....Sellers AND buyers have lots to think about before changing all shopping habits.....
 

Diamond Joe

Just Arrived
I feel like you could possibly alleviate - or head off - a lot of customer anger with a simple disclaimer when ordering. "Please note, there is a 10-14 day handling time before your order will be shipped". Its that easy - manage your customer's expectations ahead of time.

I was one of those people complaining recently. I bought an attar for my wife as a *Christmas present*. I placed the order on Dec 2nd. When my order didn't ship out till December 20th, well... not a happy customer; of course it didn't arrive in time for Christmas, which in my mind was ridiculous, since I ordered it more than three weeks before the holiday. Had I known when ordering that it would take 12 business days to get my order out, well... I would't have been as annoyed.
 

RisingPhoenix

Resident Artisan
I feel like you could possibly alleviate - or head off - a lot of customer anger with a simple disclaimer when ordering. "Please note, there is a 10-14 day handling time before your order will be shipped". Its that easy - manage your customer's expectations ahead of time.

I was one of those people complaining recently. I bought an attar for my wife as a *Christmas present*. I placed the order on Dec 2nd. When my order didn't ship out till December 20th, well... not a happy customer; of course it didn't arrive in time for Christmas, which in my mind was ridiculous, since I ordered it more than three weeks before the holiday. Had I known when ordering that it would take 12 business days to get my order out, well... I would't have been as annoyed.

Believe me - I get it.

The thing I struggle with, is that I state these things all over the place. In the shop, it’s mentioned several places, the most obvious and plainly stated here :


51EB9F5D-8A9F-4B62-B5F8-451012B94A24.jpeg

2712D1D7-573E-4F83-90B7-39F7FA06748B.jpeg


As an extra layer, I even made a video about shipping and posted it on my IG :


And then posted about it here after having this conversation as I thought it would add a layer of clarification ☺️

Not to mention - the limitations of platforms like Etsy to place information or details in even more plain sight.

I really struggle with what to do about this as I’ve done my best to mention shipping times and shipping challenges in multiple places. I can’t help it if folks don’t read the details or follow the prompts for details I’ve put in several places. I try to get that info as visible as possible 🤷🏼‍♂️

Some common sense on behalf of shoppers would help, as well ... December 3rd may be 3 weeks before Christmas - but it’s right in the meat of Black Friday and Christmas shopping and hundreds of orders spanning thousands of items needing to be cut, weighed, bottled, labeled, packed and shipped 😉

Historically, the holiday shopping kicked off on Black Friday - the day after Thanksgiving (for international folks, that’s the last Thursday of every November ... so the date shifts around a bit). But these days ... it starts at least as early as the middle of November. I’d argue it seems to be starting at the beginning of November the past several years.

Not to mention the shifting cultural habits of buying online - especially the past two years with all this COVID insanity.

It would be helpful for folks to have a little awareness and mindfulness of when in the year the orders are being placed, how small and underfunded and understaffed most small businesses tend to be (especially artisan operations) - and of course - to read about any shop’s policies and shipping for details.

Hopefully this helps to further clarify the shipping challenges all small and artisan businesses face - not just mine - especially over the last 8 weeks of the year. The last few years - the higher order volumes have lasted all the way through the end of January ... keeping me quite busy through the middle of February.

I’m glad I started this thread - and I really appreciate you for chiming in. Now I’ll have a link I can send to folks whenever I get a message.

These explanations will hopefully clarify and explain why shipping can take as long as it does - especially during the holidays (and the realities of when the holidays really start for businesses).

Thanks for chiming in !
 
Last edited:

DubOudh

Aster Oudh
Believe me - I get it.

The thing I struggle with, is that I state these things all over the place. In the shop, it’s mentioned several places, the most obvious and plainly stated here :


View attachment 20299
View attachment 20298

As an extra layer, I even made a video about shipping and posted it on my IG :


And then posted about it here after having this conversation as I thought it would add a layer of clarification ☺️

Not to mention - the limitations of platforms like Etsy to place information or details in even more plain sight.

I really struggle with what to do about this as I’ve done my best to mention shipping times and shipping challenges in multiple places. I can’t help it if folks don’t read the details or follow the prompts for details I’ve put in several places. I try to get that info as visible as possible 🤷🏼‍♂️

Some common sense on behalf of shoppers would help, as well ... December 3rd may be 3 weeks before Christmas - but it’s right in the meat of Black Friday and Christmas shopping and hundreds of orders spanning thousands of items needing to be cut, weighed, bottled, labeled, packed and shipped 😉

Historically, the holiday shopping kicked off on Black Friday - the day after Thanksgiving (for international folks, that’s the last Thursday of every November ... so the date shifts around a bit). But these days ... it starts at least as early as the middle of November. I’d argue it seems to be starting at the beginning of November the past several years.

Not to mention the shifting cultural habits of buying online - especially the past two years with all this COVID insanity.

It would be helpful for folks to have a little awareness and mindfulness of when in the year the orders are being placed, how small and underfunded and understaffed most small businesses tend to be (especially artisan operations) - and of course - to read about any shop’s policies and shipping for details.

Hopefully this helps to further clarify the shipping challenges all small and artisan businesses face - not just mine - especially over the last 8 weeks of the year. The last few years - the higher order volumes have lasted all the way through the end of January ... keeping me quite busy through the middle of February.

I’m glad I started this thread - and I really appreciate you for chiming in. Now I’ll have a link I can send to folks whenever I get a message.

These explanations will hopefully clarify and explain why shipping can take as long as it does - especially during the holidays (and the realities of when the holidays really start for businesses).

Thanks for chiming in !
I put a poll up in another thread regarding shipping companies, which is in tandem with this thread. I do believe shoppers have to adjust to the new convenient shopping online approach. Gone are the days of having instant gratification on a purchase.
I personally order anything for Christmas around September as I have been buying online for a number of years and do the maths...(pandemic not withstanding).
I think alot of the trouble lies with customs. Most delays I have ever experienced has always been when something arrives at customs. It doesn't matter which customs...they are all pretty much the same. Very slow. The pandemic has only highlighted the inefficiencies in many of these places.
But they better change...cause the online phenomenon is staying for sure.
 

RisingPhoenix

Resident Artisan
I put a poll up in another thread regarding shipping companies, which is in tandem with this thread. I do believe shoppers have to adjust to the new convenient shopping online approach. Gone are the days of having instant gratification on a purchase.
I personally order anything for Christmas around September as I have been buying online for a number of years and do the maths...(pandemic not withstanding).
I think alot of the trouble lies with customs. Most delays I have ever experienced has always been when something arrives at customs. It doesn't matter which customs...they are all pretty much the same. Very slow. The pandemic has only highlighted the inefficiencies in many of these places.
But they better change...cause the online phenomenon is staying for sure.

Yeah - Customs is a whole ‘nuther hurdle ...

I’ve been contemplating doing away with Standard shipping options on international orders. Orders to Europe used to take 2’ish weeks. Now the Standard is 8-12 weeks, and starting October 1st jumped to 12-16+. Another topic I cover in shipping shipping info that nobody bothers to look at. And nobody wants to pay the premium price, but then turns and complains to me when they make a decision to pay for the slowest option.

I also can’t communicate with a package once it leaves the United States if a customer selects the lowest level of shipping. So if there’s a problem ...

This is why I don’t take ownership of packages once they leave my hands. The choice is that of the Customer’s. If they choose to not pay for speed and security - that is their choice, and one I will not accept responsibility for. Partly why I’m considering removing the option and leaving the only international option to be the USPS PRIORITY INTERNATIONAL EXPRESS option, which I ship by DHL. People will bitch and moan about the expense - and I will most assuredly lose more business due to the added expense - but this is the new normal.


Shipping with DHL - a single package can often take me 30-60 minutes, btw, depending on where it’s going. Figuring out codes. Paperwork needed for Customs. Etc. It’s a huge drain on my time.

Just remember that for those that advocated for lockdowns and shutting down entire economies - this is the one of the very foreseeable prices of those political decisions people were warning about. It’s not going back to the way things were. You will never regain ground you give to higher prices, Tariffs, Regulations, and Governments. Those wanting quarantines and lockdowns and shutting down economies - this is your decisions playing out in the real world. Did it save lives? Debatable. Did it destroy livelihoods? Absolutely. It’s not a judgment. It’s acknowledging the new realities resulting from those decisions.

Talking politics before was contentious. Now it’s suicide. But it needs to be done, and people need to acknowledge how it affects businesses - especially small businesses and international businesses. Hell, I was just at the grocery store yesterday and paid nearly 2x as much as I did a year ago. “Only 7% inflation is” is propaganda.

And as a business - either way I lose. Kinda like most of my European business disappeared when their new COVID-induced tariffs kicked in back on July 1st - and Etsy taxes those sales automatically. I practically lost an entire continent as a result of the even bigger tax expense to European buyers. (Good opportunity for someone that wants to distribute my products in Europe, btw 😉)

All of these things impact my ability to grow and get help and fast track getting packages out. It impacts how quickly international packages move - and how quickly Customs can process.

These delays are the New Normal. Paying for premium shipping services will help some. But not entirely.
 

oudicto

Oud Beginner
An european distributor for your products would be very much appreciated.

Custom fees plus taxes are a big problem for low budget customers (like me), specially with DHL in Spain since they charge a lot of extra money apart from taxes. Sadly, DHL means nay for me.
 

RisingPhoenix

Resident Artisan
An european distributor for your products would be very much appreciated.

Custom fees plus taxes are a big problem for low budget customers (like me), specially with DHL in Spain since they charge a lot of extra money apart from taxes. Sadly, DHL means nay for me.

The problem is, without the DHL, shipments to Europe are taking anywhere from 8 to 20 weeks to be received. Meanwhile people scream at me about the shipping times.

The other challenge is - once the package leaves the United States, there is no way for me to communicate with it. It leaves the domestic government shipping system and then enters whichever system it flies into after that, and there is nothing that I can do for the package once it leaves as the various systems are not interconnected.

This is why I recommend DHL - and also why I tell people that they are on their own if there’s a problem with the package if they choose the cheapest shipping method. It’s a choice the customer makes, but then tries to dump the responsibility on me ... it’s not a choice I made for them. Which is why I am considering eliminating the option and only offering DHL for international orders.

As for European distribution, or distribution in general, when dealing with more conventional distributors, they generally will not pay enough for the products. Factoring in shipping and the taxes and all the other fun expenses involved in doing business, it makes it challenging to put certain products in distribution. It’s a challenge I’m happy to chat with interested parties about - but it is a realistic hurdle that needs to be acknowledged.

I’m open to any suggestions people have of companies I should chat with.
 

oudicto

Oud Beginner
Would be possible something like Ebay's Global Shipping Program so the taxes are prepaid by the vendor? this way, apart from being cheaper, the customer would know the final price beforehand and would not be subjected to arbitrary and abusive fees, just the tax and a reasonable fee.
 

RisingPhoenix

Resident Artisan
Would be possible something like Ebay's Global Shipping Program so the taxes are prepaid by the vendor? this way, apart from being cheaper, the customer would know the final price beforehand and would not be subjected to arbitrary and abusive fees, just the tax and a reasonable fee.
Dang - I had a nice response to this I had typed out ... but it seems it didn’t post, nor did it hang on for me to keep trying. Let’s try again, shall we?

It’s a nice thought - unfortunately not very realistic though.

For starters, I am limited in what I can do by the Etsy platform. True for whatever platform or website you’re using. It’s not quite as easy to customize everything to cover every base… Especially when the problems or conversations are more nuanced than simple blanket statements.

secondly, Etsy DOES already do this on orders from the EU that are under €150. Take a guess what they did to our sales going to the EU 🤦🏻‍♂️ On sales over €150, they charge you not upfront, but on the backend as it’s going through customs, and the problem here is that if you list a value for anything under €150… That usually gets flagged because it would’ve been charged upfront on the platform. Which means now you can’t really Mark packages lower than €150 or about $185. People will have to pay at least some fees now.

Not to mention, by asking a vendor to change the values, you’re inherently putting them at risk of getting in trouble.

The reality is - all this COVID fun we’ve been having the past two years - and by all accounts, they have no plans to let up - and people pushing for “free everything” - Guess where all that money for “free stuff” comes from? Taxes. And guess where that tax revenue comes from? You, the buyer.

Reality is - customers need to be aware of their own country’s and region’s paperwork requirements, taxes, restrictions, etc. Its not possible to communicate it all after a sale has already been made - let alone feasible for a vendor to know all the ins and outs of a customer’s home country x 50 or 60 countries.
 
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DubOudh

Aster Oudh
Dang - I had a nice response to this I had typed out ... but it seems it didn’t post, nor did it hang on for me to keep trying. Let’s try again, shall we?

It’s a nice thought - unfortunately not very realistic though.

For starters, I am limited in what I can do by the Etsy platform. True for whatever platform or website you’re using. It’s not quite as easy to customize everything to cover every base… Especially when the problems or conversations are more nuanced than simple blanket statements.

secondly, Etsy DOES already do this on orders from the EU that are under €150. Take a guess what they did to our sales going to the EU 🤦🏻‍♂️ On sales over €150, they charge you not upfront, but on the backend as it’s going through customs, and the problem here is that if you list a value for anything under €150… That usually gets flagged because it would’ve been charged upfront on the platform. Which means now you can’t really Mark packages lower than €150 or about $185. People will have to pay at least some fees now.

Not to mention, by asking a vendor to change the values, you’re inherently putting them at risk of getting in trouble.

The reality is - all this COVID fun we’ve been having the past two years - and by all accounts, they have no plans to let up - and people pushing for “free everything” - Guess where all that money for “free stuff” comes from? Taxes. And guess where that tax revenue comes from? You, the buyer.

Reality is - customers need to be aware of their own country’s and region’s paperwork requirements, taxes, restrictions, etc. Its not possible to communicate it all after a sale has already been made - let alone feasible for a vendor to know all the ins and outs of a customer’s home country x 50 or 60 countries.
Absolutely no question since July 1st 2021 and the customs changes that have been introduced have changed my way of doing business online. None the less it now means when I look a website that is not EU based I have to consider an extra 25% on top of marked price in an Etsy shop. This has clearly prohibited me from spending as before.

The BREXIT thing isn't helping either as many small business enterprises have no idea about extra paperwork that's needs to be done now. I expect this to continue. Not just Etsy but Amazon, eBay they all now collect taxes at or below €150 at frontend. I have adjusted what I purchase and how often now.
The VAT cost has been a hammer blow to small business outside EU zone. Even my buying had dried up from UK as well.
 

RisingPhoenix

Resident Artisan
Absolutely no question since July 1st 2021 and the customs changes that have been introduced have changed my way of doing business online. None the less it now means when I look a website that is not EU based I have to consider an extra 25% on top of marked price in an Etsy shop. This has clearly prohibited me from spending as before.

The BREXIT thing isn't helping either as many small business enterprises have no idea about extra paperwork that's needs to be done now. I expect this to continue. Not just Etsy but Amazon, eBay they all now collect taxes at or below €150 at frontend. I have adjusted what I purchase and how often now.
The VAT cost has been a hammer blow to small business outside EU zone. Even my buying had dried up from UK as well.

Yeah - it’s really impacted a lot of us.

I do my best to help out on the package values - but now I can’t fib below €150.

Just remember folks - Socialism / Communism ain’t free. Supporting Lockdowns, V-Passports, and authoritarian CVD policies not only destroy businesses - but YOU FUND IT.

It all sounds nice philosophically - but many are beginning to see the actual costs of the realities of their choices over the past 2 years now - and it doesn’t end at inflation.
 

EJayB

True Ouddict
The expense of shipping compounded with the expense of taxes make shipping outside of USA not very realistic for business’ or customers. If the American government taxed incoming goods in this manner people world wide would call foul.
 

RisingPhoenix

Resident Artisan
The expense of shipping compounded with the expense of taxes make shipping outside of USA not very realistic for business’ or customers. If the American government taxed incoming goods in this manner people world wide would call foul.

Absolutely. As American businesses - we are disproportionately taxed. It’s puts us at quite a bit of a disadvantage.

If you’re outside the US and looking to buy, maybe send me a message and it would be better to operate through PayPal and I can send you an invoice. More flexibility that way.
 

DubOudh

Aster Oudh
Absolutely. As American businesses - we are disproportionately taxed. It’s puts us at quite a bit of a disadvantage.

If you’re outside the US and looking to buy, maybe send me a message and it would be better to operate through PayPal and I can send you an invoice. More flexibility that way.
To be honest...with all sellers that I have built up an online business relationship with...this is standard for me.
I usually email them away from the platform to arrange a deal. Texts sent PM on Etsy or Amazon etc.....are open to monitoring, if you read small print. Some on Etsy have been banned for texting how to avoid tax. So be careful....best to trust your buyer/seller and conduct "arrangements" away from platform.
 

DubOudh

Aster Oudh
It's not even the 25% customs that's added on but it's the fact that they tax the shipping cost as well. Hungry greedy shysters. I see it as my right to avoid paying tax where possible....like a prisoner of war has his right to attempt to escape from captivity.
Of course, I can't afford an accountant to help me avoid all my tax like some people...so I do what I can to have my victories in this bent twisted system we are now locked into thanks to the greedy few....
Have a great day ya'll
 

RisingPhoenix

Resident Artisan
To be honest...with all sellers that I have built up an online business relationship with...this is standard for me.
I usually email them away from the platform to arrange a deal. Texts sent PM on Etsy or Amazon etc.....are open to monitoring, if you read small print. Some on Etsy have been banned for texting how to avoid tax. So be careful....best to trust your buyer/seller and conduct "arrangements" away from platform.
Yep! Can hit me up here and ask. Or on FB. Or on IG.
 
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