I am the (self-proclaimed) queen of online shopping! It saves me so much time! If I can ever have the option to shop from home, I'll do it, so I love when local stores and boutiques offer online ordering. It spares me the headache of having to brave the roads, the traffic jams, the crowds, and the ever full parking lots. Instead, I can hop online at any time during my day (no worries about store/shop hours), get what I need, and carry on with my day. It's simple, quick, and easy.
Online shopping has so many perks, but something that's always an issue, especially living on an island in the middle of the Pacific, is shipping fees. Often times if shipping is too expensive, I'll end up cancelling an entire order because the cost to ship is nearly as much as my order total. That being said, I do understand that shipping fees are often determined by the carriers (such as USPS, FedEx, UPS, etc.) and are not entirely up to the businesses to determine. On top of postage, we also have to factor in the cost of shipping supplies and time spent packing and shipping orders. I do strongly believe that everyone should be paid fair wages for their work and understand that everything has a cost, so I try to keep that in mind when I'm doing my personal shopping.
So, as a business owner, I am very mindful with how much I charge for shipping. I want to provide affordable options while also providing quality service and using eco-friendly shipping products to reduce waste and be as sustainable as possible. I offer free local pick-up, which reduces the amount of packing/shipping materials used and gives customers the opportunity to pick-up their orders at their convenience. This is a great option, but is limited to residents of Oʻahu. The only other option for everyone else is to pay for shipping, and that can cause a little bit of hesitation for some.
I decided the best way to be as transparent as possible with this entire process is to create a blog post with the full breakdown of the shipping fee so you guys can see what you're actually paying for:
Postage (within HI, < 1lb.): $7.02
Mahalo Cards: $1
Postage (continental US, < 1lb.): $8.42
Mahalo Cards: $1
Postage: USPS Priority Shipping, includes tracking, insured up to $100, price goes up for packages > 1lb.
Eco-mailer: See Eco-Friendly Packaging blog post
Eco-label: See Eco-Friendly Packaging blog post
Misc: This includes all other miscellaneous shipping supplies such as a printer, printer ink, printer paper (for packing slips), shipping scale, pens, etc.)
Mahalo Cards: See Eco-Friendly Packaging blog post
Labor: I pack and ship every order myself, takes about 10 minutes to pull up an order, pack it, write a thank you note, check it, weigh it, input the info, print the label, seal up package, and drop in my mailbox (sometimes I also have to drive over to the post office to drop off so this doesn't include car/gas expenses) - so I pay myself $9.30/hr to pack and ship orders.
I hope this was a helpful breakdown to see where your money is going. I do put a lot of effort into providing a quality service for my customers while also using the best quality shipping products for our environment. Please let me know if you have any questions, concerns, or recommendations, mahalo!