Shipping Rate Increase — Chinese Counterfeiting Edition
I’d like to talk a moment about Chinese counterfeiting.
But first, I’m going to go over how our shipping rates will change this year. I’ll give you the big info first, so you’ll have it. You can stop reading after that if you don’t want to be deeply angered any further.
Each year for the last several, the United States Postal Service has increased their rates. To an extent, this is expected. Inflation and other factors mean that the price of shipping and mailing things has to go up. And for the most part we’ve eaten a lot of these costs and just kept our rates the same for basic shipping options.
This year, we’re looking at a vast increase in International shipping rates (As high as 200% in many cases, and more than that in a few). It’s an issue striking a lot of US companies right now particularly given the incredibly cheap rates to ship here from overseas (More on that later). What this increase means for us is that while domestic shipping (Inside the US) can remain the same, including the price point where we offer free shipping, International – Canada too, sorry guys – will have to increase.
We’re mulling over some options to make things easier on you because we hate shipping costs as much as anyone and we love our International customers. But what we’ll have to do for now is increase our rates.
For our Canadian customers, the discounted shipping rate for orders over $25 will be going up from $.95 to $2.95, and for International from $1.95 to $3.95. Why the big increase? With the incredible hike in shipping costs internationally, we had to do the math on our average orders, etc and figure out the price point where we could offer discounted shipping and not lose money.
For Canadian non-discounted shipping, AKA orders under $25, the rates will be going up from $2.95 to $5.50, and for International from $3.95 to $7.50. And that’s with us taking some of the cost of shipping on ourselves. That’s how big a hike in rates they gave us.
Some other forms of shipping will see minor changes, but these are the main two and by far the biggest changes you’ll see. And again, we’re working on some solutions, so stay tuned.
Chinese counterfeiting seems like an odd subject to bring up when talking about shipping increases, but it’s actually really relevant. One of the things I track on social media is our competition, and I’ve seen an incredible rise in aggressive knockoffs coming from overseas and being sold through social media dirt cheap, often with shipping included in the price.
When I say aggressive, I mean like photocopy knockoff. We’re not talking about some barbells or navels that are sort-of-similar. We’re talking someone bought the real thing and used it as a mold to make copies. And there’s no recourse with copyrights and whatnot. I know t-shirt designers that are just going belly up right now, because why bother? Anyhoo.
This creates a problem for us because we promote premium brands – aka, the people doing the original designs that get copied – on our site.
Those brands have designers and artisans making original jewelry and that costs money. Having that jewelry, sometimes only a few weeks after release, be copied and sold for a tiny fraction of the cost online is a major hurt on the entire industry. And not just the body jewelry industry, but all US based industries that rely on ecommerce, aka every business that sells a product.
The question is: Why is it so cheap to ship a product from China to London or the US, but vastly higher to send from the US to Canada? Because of trade deals we (The US of A) signed with China years ago that supplement their shipping costs. Right now, the USPS is losing billions of dollars each year, a significant portion on shipments coming in from China, including knock offs of your favorite t-shirt companies, shoes, clothes and – yes – body jewelry. Losing money because the rate for shipping from China is supplemented so much.
The USPS makes up as much of that loss as it can by hiking prices on our – meaning folks inside the US, not just Bodyartforms – costs to ship internationally. So if you’re in Canada, or London or Japan just know that our shipping costs are increasing to make it easier for Americans to get goods from China at a cheaper, and economically disastrous rate.
I mention this not to change your shopping habits per se, but just to let you know that when you see ads for body jewelry at cut rate shipping costs you know why it costs us more to ship than it might for other companies. We’re in the US, which is apparently not where the USPS is investing their time and money.
And if you wanted to call your Senator or whatnot, go for it. Although those phones are ringing a lot these days for everything, so this issue will probably just fall through the cracks.
More info on the shipping crisis: