JOE’S CORNER: Flip-Side Shipping Rant

So, you don’tt like the high cost of shipping. Well, guess what? Neither do I! But I hate it for an entirely different reason. Want to guess what it is?

I received an email this past week. It was from someone who said he likes my products, but not the cost of overseas shipping. This has been the third or fourth such email I have received in the past couple months with almost identical wording. According to the system, they have all been from different people, but who knows. All I know for sure is that it adds to the number of reasons I want to quit this business.

Folks, I don’t control the cost of shipping, so why would you take the time to tell me my overseas shipping is too high? Do you think I should eat the cost of shipping? Or do you just want to bitch at me? OK, fine. I’ll do that; I’ll ship everything free. But my prices will go up by at least 100%. However, if I do this, the same people will then email and tell me they like the free shipping, but my prices are way too high. It’s a no-win situation for me, and it is frustrating to know that there are people out there who just want to make things harder on us little guys. All I’m trying to do is help you with their modeling needs. I promise you, I’m not getting rich in the process.

Luckily, I have JOE’S CORNER for times like this. If I lose customers over what I am bout to say, then I lose customers. I don’t think I care anymore.

First, to the people who have emailed me from Europe, telling me my shipping is too high. I charge a flat-rate of $15.00 to ship your order to you. The average cost to ship a 4-6 oz. package is $15.45 plus $0.55-0.75 for the box. It costs between $16-17.00 to ship customers along the Pacific rim. And these prices are after I give you my merchant’s discount for shipping! So, let me do a little math for you: the average cost for me to ship to my average order to Europe is about $16-17.00. The cost is closer to $18-19.00 if I ship to the Pacific Rim. I only charge you $15.00 for shipping. So I eat about $2.00 for you — because I did not want to be like everyone else and use COVID as an excuse to raise prices and shipping fees. And what do I get for my troubles? Emails about how my shipping fees are too high! Guess what happens if you order more than 8 oz in product? I eat between $8 and $10 in shipping — often times, even more.

But I can already hear it now: “Yeah, but you’re already making a lot of money off the cost of your products!” Really! Have you bothered to watch the prices on my store over the last five years? They have not gone up since before I moved to my new location some 4+ years ago! In that same time, the cost of shipping has continuously increased, and the cost of my materials has gone up at least 4 times. My prices were set at a discount compared to my competitors when I set them 4 years ago and they have stayed there! But the cost of doing business has constantly gone up that whole time. Guess what that means to me? That’s right: I make less and less every year (add that to my reasons for quitting). And I didn’t even mention how much of my overseas business I’ve lost in recent years because of the increased cost of shipping, so let me do that. I’ve lost over 37% of yearly sales because of something I cannot control!

Now, let me throw this in for good measure. When I order from Western European States — you know, those Socialist Utopias where the government subsidizes your shipping rates — I have to pay as much as 2 and sometimes 3 times as much for shipping to the U.S.! In fact, just today, I was told a $12 item that will weigh less than 1 oz would cost me 50 Euroes to ship the the U.S.! Tell me something: where does anyone in the EU get off telling me I charge to much for shipping???

But you know what really angered me about this? This guy — this ‘last straw’ — had the nerve to complain when he could have ordered during my recent sale! Guys, I’m sorry, but I am one man, and I bend over backward to do the best I possibly can to make sure you get every penny’s worth of your hard-earned money from your TMD purchase. I care about the quality of what I sell you as well as the service I provide, and I get and stay upset with myself (usually for days) every single time I let one of you down. But things like this latest email… Well, let’s just say they are starting to have a cumulative affect on my desire to stay in this business.

So, please, fell free to email some more and tell me I charge too much for shipping. I love those type of emails. No, seriously, I do — because they make it easier and easier for me to set that target date for when I hang up my casting pots and walk away from what used to be a great fellowship of modeling friends, but which has lately started to become the biggest bunch of whinny, bitching girly-men I have ever encountered.

Again, if this offends you, TOUGH! That probably just means I hit my target!

To the innocent out there (and I know that is still the majority of my customer), I apologize. I just had to vent or risk the chance that I would close the doors today (and yes, I am that pissed off at this sort of thing).

6 thoughts on “JOE’S CORNER: Flip-Side Shipping Rant

  1. I say either go to not shipping overseas or raise the shipping to a flat $20. Not sure what percentage of your customers are overseas so that may not be feasible, but it’s only going to get worse for quite some time. I recently paid $32 shipping for decals from Belgium so whoever is griping about $15 can kiss my ass, too.

    1. Nic,

      Thanks for the thought. Truth is, I have already lost 90% of my overseas customers — most likely due to shipping rates. I am going to hold out on raising prices on anything until I simply have to give in or go under. Then and ONLY then will I look at pricing. Like I said, I am doing my very best to be a good, honest and fair merchant. I will accept compromises where and when I must, but the day I have to compromise on this,… Well, that is the day I close down.

  2. I am in Western Europe and I think the USPS shipping costs are not that bad actually compared to other parts of the world. Your products are top notch so please don’t let these nutcases make you shutting down business.
    It is sad that they think manufacturers make up the shipping costs….no need to apologize for venting.

    1. Hi Marwin,

      Thanks for the support. I recognize you. You’re a regular customer. It is for guys like yourself that I have been holding the line as best I can. All I can say is, THANK YOU! I appreciate you more than you know (and not because you buy my products, but for other, more meaningful reasons 😉 )

  3. It seems like the only affordable and locgical shipping rates come from Poland, Hungary and Czech Republic. And Hungarian The Body uses FedEx and has a delivery time that is… Fast. Meanwhile the US Postal service seems to be overrun by employees who can’t seem to get mail to the correct house, the national service has come up with a plan to tell you what will be deliver in the mail on any particular day but is wrong at least twice a week or more, packages it claims will be delivered aren’t and don’t appear in the next day’s listing of what is going to be delivered. I would rather just go out to the box like the old days before digital and be surprised.

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