On a fairly regular basis, I get an email along the following lines:
Your fabric is beautiful and I wanted to order fabric but when I got to the shipping cost I couldn’t believe how expensive it was. Why is that?
Ah, shipping costs. The line item we all love to hate. Let me try to explain how it works with Gorgeous Fabrics, in the hopes that a little knowledge gives a lot of power. First, I'll point you to...
The somewhat cheeky explanation from the FAQ Page:
"WOW! Shipping seems really high! Whazzup with that?
Fear not! We charge the actual cost of shipping plus a small handling fee (in the vicinity of $3). Because fabric shipping is an inexact science, we use a combination of weight and volume to give an estimate of what it will cost to ship your fabrics to you. To quote "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy," DON'T PANIC (in large, friendly letters) when you see the shipping cost. As soon as I know the actual cost of the package, I refund any overage. Trust me, I hate shipping costs as much as the next person, and I want to make your shipping as painless for you as possible."
And the TL/dr from the Policies Page:
We use USPS Priority Mail to ship your packages. We charge the actual cost of shipping plus a small handling fee (in the vicinity of $3). Because fabric shipping is an inexact science, we use a combination of weight and volume to give an estimate of what it will cost to ship your fabrics to you. US shipping rates are as follows:
Regular shipping: $10 (this is the base rate)
Heavy shipping: $20
Wicked heavy shipping: $50
To quote "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy," DON'T PANIC (in large, friendly letters) when you see the shipping cost. As soon as I know the actual cost shipping and handling on larger packages, I refund any overage. I want to make your shipping as painless as possible.
Domestic shipping rates cover addresses in the US and US territories, APO and FPO.
We now ship to the following countries: Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, and Denmark!!! The shipping rate is based on weight and volume, and I'll be the first one to tell you that at first glance it
probably definitely looks high. The published rates for shipping to Canada are:
Standard International Shipping
Heavy International Shipping (based on package weight up to 20 lbs)
Wicked Heavy International shipping (based on package weight up to $50 lbs)
BUT the good news is that, like with US shipping, as soon as I have the actual weight and dimension of your box I will have the actual shipping/handling rate, and I will refund any overage. I really do hate paying for shipping, and I try to keep yours as low as possible."
So, Why Is Shipping Done Thusly?
Legit question. It's done for your security and mine. See, fabrics, as you know, weigh different amounts, and have different levels of bulkiness. A yard of silk chiffon weighs less and takes up (a lot) less space than a boiled wool. So I estimate the weight/bulk for each fabric when I enter it into the site. And shipping levels are set for incremental weights. Lower weights get lower shipping levels, higher weights get bumped to higher shipping levels.
But as it's an inexact science, sometimes the weight estimate bumps you into a higher shipping cost than the actual. In those cases, I refund the overage once I have the actual shipping and handling.
The next logical question is, "Why can't you underestimate and then add any extra to my credit card if it goes over?" Well, for your security and mine. For your security, I never see your credit card information. The handshake goes straight from you to the CC processor. I prefer it that way. I don't want the legal responsibilities of handling anyone's financial information. And you don't want it either, amiright? So as anyone who has shopped with me can tell you, if the shipping estimate was higher than the actual, they see a refund as soon as their order ships. I admit, it's a little awkward, but it works, and my customers seem to understand and appreciate it.
I hope that gives you a little insight into the process here, and I hope that gives you more confidence in shopping with Gorgeous Fabrics. This week I hope to put my sewing room back together. Until next time,