Cheaper postage needed
The UPS rates prevent a lot of overseas customers from buying items. Please come up with a way to allow customers to choose different postage rates.
UPS controversially charges a large brokerage fee for clearing customs deliveries to Canada (and possibly other countries). On a recent $60 order my brokerage fee was $27. It's bad enough that it's the subject of a class-action lawsuit in Canada.
I would strongly suggest switching couriers or, failing that, at least providing the Express shipping option which supposedly bypasses the brokerage fee.
just to let you know that this issue IS on our radar and we’re discussing how to resolve this. It’s not a simple problem to solve however (we’d have to start supporting multiple shipping companies and also figure out which shipper works best for each specific country).
Wel’ll keep you informed.
From my experience of ordering small 1:100 (15mm) models from the States to Israel, USPS is much cheaper than UPS, especially if you choose the cheaper options. I don't mind to wait a month or so to get my model if that saves me significant money.
Option 2 doesn't really address the issue, global postage costs are too high. Putting off many customers. Like Shulyaka said, they cannot establish a distribution centre through the world (without a huge capital investment) and a centre in Canada seems naive when mainland Europe would be more central for more customers.
Hoping you sort this out soon, not willing to pay £20 for a £3 item.
Shame you cannot arrange for community distribution centres, where one user receives several items and dispatches them throughout the region, similar to Shapeways shops.
I'm also in favor of option 2, but either makes me happy if I can avoid the dreaded UPS! But heads up, it's actually more expensive to send small packages within Canada than to/from the US. I run an etsy shop and for my items that don't fit in an envelope I only ship to the US because it's so expensive to mail it even within my province.
@GWMT - I disagree. I live in Canada and have companies in the US send (small) items to me via USPS. It sure as heck doesn't cost me $6.50 up front and then an additional spin-the-wheel amount of $0 to $70 per package!
You can't establish a distribution center in every country... The UPS charges in Australia are also very big, and don't forget that you are currently unable to deliver a single package to Russian Federation by any means, so I vote for Option 1 (USPS). By the way, they do offer a trackable and more fast (but more expensive) service with Express Mail.
P.S. I thought you were based in Germany, not US...
Waiting six to twelve months for a Canadian distribution centre sounds great to me - I opt for Option 2: (Distribution Centre in Canada).
Going to USPS won't really save any money (UPS is already around $20 for inexpensive orders), it will just take twice as long to receive the order and there's no online tracking for final delivery..
I'm including a post that Natalia did on the forum. It gives good insight into what we're currently up to.
We've been doing a LOT of research into shipping options, because we know this is an issue you are passionate about and I wanted to share our findings and get your input.
While there is no immediate solution, these are our options, with their pros and cons.
Shapeways uses UPS as we have negotiated a bulk discount, allowing us to offer affordable, trackable shipping around the world.
Packages going to Canada are charged an *additional* handling fee by UPS as it is a private carrier, which in some cases doubles the shipping cost for the recipient.
Option 1: USPS to Canada
Unlike our arrangement with UPS, we don't have a negotiated rate with USPS as we currently can not meet their minimum volume, therefore the average price for a package to Canada will be around $20.
Pros:Cheaper as there is no handling fee
Cons: Adds 6-10 days ON TOP of the current 10 day turnaround for any material. So for white, strong and flexible, it would be 10 days production PLUS 6-10 days of shipping with USPS. Total 16-20 days from placing the order.
USPS is not trackable. You would be able to see when your package cleared customs, but not where it was while in transit.
Time to implement: We could start to do this in about 3 months, and it could take up to (xx??) to implement.
So is this worth it to you? Would you be willing to wait longer for your packages if you knew you could eliminate the extra handling fee?
Option 2: Distribution Centre in Canada
Shapeways could open a small distribution centre in Canada, and ship all packages from a Canadian location, thus eliminating customs and broker fees.
This would eliminate BOTH a handling fee from a private carrier (like UPS) and the slower time of USPS.
Pros: Complete solution
Cons: Long term solution
Time to implement: This is something we have researched and since it involves opening a Shapeways outpost, we could feasibly set it up in about 6-8 months.
Is this worth the wait?
Option 3: Your ideas
If you buy other US produced products, how are those shipped to you? Are there any other ideas we could look into?
We want to solve this as much as you, so would really value your feedback here.
ps: I realize this doesn't address expensive shipping to other parts of the world, but if we can figure out Canada, I believe we can apply the same solution worldwide.
SG Designs commented
Yeah, I should have specified Canada. Heres a link, looks like every country has its own restrictions....
not true. when USPS sends something out of the country it is no longer their responsibility, so if it gets lost after that point, nobody will do anything to recover it. especially if you're in South Africa where many many parcels get stolen from the postal service daily.
SG Designs commented
USPS is a perfect alternative. They have flat rate boxes and best f all, for our security, as an option they offer signature confirmation. If the package doesn't arrive its because nobody signed for it. They cannot say they sent it if they don't have a signature. Package tracking is also an option. I have had no problems with UPS, but for all of you that are, USPS with the additional options might be good.
Thanks Bart & Admin, great to hear this is being looked into.
hmm. well I can guarantee that if you guys change to only using USPS or some kind of normal mail as opposed to a courrier, I won't be able to use the services any more. Packages to South Africa get stolen 2/3 times via USPS. So... Don't do that please.
Thanks Jen! I'll forward that information to the team that's working on this.
Just as a note, I believe ThinkGeek uses a system through UPS where the package is handed off the the local postal system after leaving a major center. This would be super helpful for us Canadians where the issue is not the actual postage, but with the fees UPS charges to bring your package across the border.
jesus i was gonna buy a dragon pendant for £3.00 dont know convertion rte to pount but it was going to end up with almost £18 postage. Also how can get something shipped from america for just £3.90 whereas you chare almost £9 or higher
Sorry for the lack of feedback folks! I'll have a chat with our logistics people and ask them what's in the works.
I agree with this, with anything using UPS or FedEx you can pretty much gurantee that your going to get landed with heavy borkerage fees.
I suggest using a regular postal service (I think it's PostNL in our case), as opposed to a "shipping service" such as UPS or DHL. A postal service is much more predictable and reliable when you are dealing with customs.
I have to agree with the people wanting an alternate courier.
Acc: 00151954, Order: 98816, Inv: 168671
Cost $27.68, Shipping $6.50, UPS $17.50
Plus I had the added fun of trying to arrange payment for UPS shaking me down since they don't accept payment by cash. I ended up paying 24 extra for a 27 dollar ring. I like the ring and I intend to order again but 17.50 on top of the 6.50 I already paid for shipping is a deal breaker for all but the most must have items.
I've never had a problem with USPS untracked all the way from USA yet.
I've had more problems with local tracked and supposedly signed-for local courier services which are only delivering things from across town!