Help, shipping costs may kill me! Trusted re-shippers? Reduced rates?

Hey all, I’m sort of new to this whole thing but I’m already finding out that shipping costs are threatening to eat up all potential profits for me. ($8 per item! Just 'cuz it’s a bit too thick to fit in a standard envelope).

Can anyone recommend a trusted re-shipper? I don’t even know what the proper name is… some company I could ship larger batches of items to, who has some sort of bulk pre-arrangement with standard postal service or Purolator or UPS or DHL, and would give a discounted shipping rate.

Or has anyone managed to negotiate a much cheaper per-item shipping rate with one of the major carriers? If so, who and how?



@Russtopia great questions -

A few things

  • Shipping rate should be on top of the cost (so it shouldn’t eat into your profit?)
  • Where are you located?
  • Also this is something we have started to look into. As a community we can negotiate lower rates on everyone’s behalf…


Sure, I did put shipping costs on top of my product price, but of course I’m just trying to get the total cost down as low as possible… the better the deal for buyers, the more sales :smile:

(I’m in Canada BTW)


I use Shipwire, and I’m quite happy with them. They’re not likely to be any cheaper than $8 for many locations, though! Just make sure you pass on the full cost of shipping to your customers rather than absorbing it out of profit.

Great thread… I was just about to come here with my two cents after getting a second request to ship internationally.

The thing is, I don’t want to offer a service that is completely unreasonable. Tracked shipping with Canada Post out of the country is $40USD+! I can send without tracking at a pretty reasonable price (usually less than $10USD, reasonable because it’s not $40…), but I don’t have any money for a “rainy day” in case packages go missing. I don’t have a whole lot of experience in shipping so I’m waiting to see how my packages going into the US do.

I’d love to hear more from experienced sellers on this topic, as I’ve been reluctant to open up to other countries. I know there are countries you should avoid shipping to, like Russia and Mexico(?)… Need more research…

Agreed. Shipping costs out of Canada are brutal. Tracked packages are pretty much out of the question. I’ve had a few complains that charging $8 regular post was too high. It’s understandable though with many items from China offering free shipping. Not fair.

To just throw in a bit of info into this thread -

Last year I looked into working with 3rd party fulfillment companies (Shipwire was one - we know them very well). 2 issues became apparent - volume & velocity. Most sellers do not sell enough orders at a reliable pace for us to work on a fulfillment solution.

Working with a label/postage company is much easier - and we can definitely negotiate this on behalf of the entire community.

If anyone has ideas on how to work with a fulfillment company, I’m all ears. I think fulfillment is honestly the biggest problem for Tindie Sellers. So I am very aware of how much of a pain this is - just a question of figuring out solutions that many sellers can use immediately.

1 Like

Emile, as for my experience with worldwide expeditions, there is not one global solution (unfortunately) but there are several ones, depending on the place and the kind of shipment.

I served in past from Canada and USA for Sparkfun and the problem was just that they ship in 4-6 weeks. I consider this time almost unacceptable. I can support some solution to/fron Spain and some other worldwide, but I think I should know better the parameters then I will be happy to put my experience for the community.

FWIW, I usually ship without tracking where that’s the cheapest option available. It’s also uninsurable, but I have had very few packages - well under 1% - go missing.

1 Like

Thanks for the input everyone.

Well, for now, I’ve figured out how to get my shipping down to about $3.50 CDN, I hope… (that’s for 50-100g items, max. 2cm thickness – and my product is 2.1cm in diameter).

It fit in the mail slot, we’ll see how strict Canada Post is with their package dimensions :). If I get it returned I’ll have to apologize to my first buyer and re-send…

Shipping costs are killing me and I’m a buyer…

I found five little board (pcb’s) all of which would do the job and all of which has slightly different costs but incredibly different postage charges.

Four of the PCB’s were roughly 2cm x 2cm and the remaining was 2cm x 4cm, all were approximately 1cm high, so no envelopes any time soon…

The actual postage charges didn’t reflect the size, weight or purchase price of the boards ranging as they did from $3 to $20 (ironically the largest board was not the most expensive to post ;))

In a nut shell, the charges appear to have been chosen to artificially hike the product price, either that, or there are some very strange with the US postal service. Either way, when a product cost $3 to buy and $20 to post, there’s something very wrong with the system…I wanted to buy five boards but was afraid I’d be charged five time the postage charge…

It’s nice to see at least one seller is trying to reduce costs…

:slight_smile: Yes it seems the postal carriers are really milking the fees based on
thickness. If my product were 1mm thinner, I might go from $8 to $3
shipping. It’s criminal!

I think I’m going to make my next product variation a credit-card form
factor, so I can ship more inexpensively. Well we can all look on the
bright side – it’s Darwinian selective pressure to make ever-thinner

*–Fight mass surveillance and reclaim your privacy.*Use Mailvelope for Firefox and Chrome,
ChatSecure, RedPhone and
TextSecure for Android.

1 Like

Bear in mind that not everyone ships from the US. And even for those who do, shipping charges can vary widely based on what services a seller has access to and where they live. Be careful before accusing sellers of fraud.

Also, I’d like to retract my recommendation of Shipwire. Things with them are going… not well, for reasons I’ll be happy to get into in more detail once everything’s resolved.

apologies if this is considered spam, I was cleaning up some alerts and noticed this thread and thought I’d jump in.

I work for a shipping and logistics company which handles a wide variety of international (and domestic) shipping. They have two primary business units, but I believe Stackry which focuses on international parcel forwarding using a variety of shipping networks (DHL, FedEx etc) is what fits this conversation.

We work with a few use cases mentioned here. We work with a few small manufacturers where we are essentially managing their international fulfillment. We have scenarios where the seller asks the eventual buyer to open an account w/ us and then all the discounted international shipping costs then are the responsibility of the buyer. This allows the international customer to consolidate the purchase w/ other items they may want to buy in the U.S… This consolidation is really where the international customer can save money on shipping. We also have scenarios where the seller pays international shipping costs and we are more of a white label forwarder.

again, apologies If I’m spamming you. (not my intent). If anyone has any questions or would be interested in rates let me know. Sometimes if there is enough consistent volume to specific countries we can tighten our rates some. We also have an affiliate and referral schemes which pay either a % of shipped cost (recurring) or flat dollars per shipped customer (1st shipment) which might be interesting as a way of adding some margin to your sales.

We also do manage fulfillment and shipping, but inventory and velocity of sales are considerations *(as mentioned in thread above).

Have you tried They have better pricing and loads of different features.