Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Ups & Downs of Owning your own Business

This is definitely going to be a more personal post, just an FYI.

Most days I absolutely LOVE owning my own business. But it definitely can have its drawbacks, some of which rared their ugly heads this week.

I'm not sure what kind of illness hit our family over the last week, but it's been vicious & drawn out. Everyone had completely different symptoms, and other than my oldest (knock on wood), everyone has fallen victim to it.

We've spent the week pretty much quarantined in the house, and now we are all going absolutely frickin stir crazy!

Our youngest should be heading back to school tomorrow. My middle one, I'm not sure yet, cuz he still has a really nasty cough. My oldest is homeschooled, and yeah, with this chaos, he's hardly gotten anything done this week.

And work. Wow. Yeah, I'm behind. Not on orders. But my normal to do list, ages behind. I was able to sneak down there for a little bit a couple days ago, and get the time sensitive orders out the door. I have a couple more that I'm hoping to finish up after the kids have gone to sleep for tonight, so they can ship tomorrow.

So I've been more than a little out of touch for the last week. I think I have gotten caught up on all our emails, convos, messages, etc. But if I've missed you, let me know. While I'm not sick any more, taking care of three other sick people has left me exhausted & scatterbrained. I suspect it will still be fairly chaotic for another few days, then craziness on Monday working to get orders caught up to ship out on time. So be patient with me!

Thanks! Love you guys!!!


Friday, January 18, 2013

BIG International Shipping Changes

I admit it, we have all been spoiled by the fantastic rates that the USPS have been offering, especially for international shipping rates. It's amazing that for just a few dollars, we could send a package around the world.

Alas, it has caught up to them, and the costs are being passed on to all of us. On January 27, 2013, USPS is raising their shipping prices. Domestic (within the US), the rates aren't increasing too much, so we are keeping the Flat Rate Shipping Program active for the US. But the International Rates will be seeing some serious jumps.

Seeing as many of you shop with us on Etsy, we pulled this photo from one of their recent blog posts. It really demonstrates the drastic differences in some of the most commonly shipped international packages. (first column is 2012's prices, the second column is 2013's prices)

We are going to be starting out our smallest & lightest products out at $8.00 for shipping & handling (this includes the postage, shipping materials & insurance), and go up from there based on weights. We aren't too concerned about our website orders. The shopping cart is linked with USPS and uses their calculator to calculate the rates based on the information we plug in for the products. And we've found it to be insanely accurate.

Etsy is where we may have to play with the rates a little until we get them right. We have set our "ship with" rates as low as we think we can, and will adjust them if we find we are underestimating.

Our biggest regret with this latest change is that we unfortunately need to end the Canadian Flat Rate Shipping Program. Our shipping rates to Canada had always been so comparable to US rates. They are now right up there with the rest of the International Rates. So we will be discontinuing that program with this new change.

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask them. Thanks again!



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