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Why is shipping so high?


Paizo General Discussion

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Hi All. I have a question that I am not sure if it's been asked or if this is the right forum for this but here I go.
Why is shipping so high? I had three subs. One month I only was to receive a map pack, a flip-mat, & a comic book. All smaller items. But it had to be sent in 2 shipments (one in a white envelope, and one in a white envelope inside a big box). And it cost $16.00 in shipping. I have to ask why couldn't it all be shipped in the big box & in one shipment since I'm getting a big box anyway. And $16.00 for shipping!
I live in Texas not another country. Miniature Market has shipping where anything under $100.00 cost only $5.99 & if it's over $100.00 it's free. I had to cancel my subs because I just can't afford the shipping.
If you ever get to having reasonable shipping I will come back but until then I am using Miniature Market.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

8 people marked this as a favorite.

I'm happy to explain our shipping costs to you.

I looked at your order history, but I couldn't find anything that exactly matched what you described. The two I spotted that were close were these: In June, we shipped a Map Pack, a Flip-Mat, a comic, and an Adventure Path volume, with a shipping charge of $11.53. And in July, we shipped a Map Pack, a Flip-Mat, and an Adventure Path volume (but no comic), with a shipping charge of $11.49.

First, let's look at what the Post Office would actually charge if we shipped those items to you in a single package. In either case, the weight of the items, plus a box large enough to hold them, plus some packaging to protect the items, comes to a little more than 2 pounds.

So let's go to the USPS website, and ask for quote on that parcel from our zip code (98052) to yours. Choose "calculate based on shape and size" (which also returns the rates for Flat Rate Boxes), enter a package weight of 2 lbs 2 oz, and select "package" for the form factor. The best rate you'll see ($3.61) is for Media Mail, but the contents of this parcel don't qualify for that rate. The next best ($7.15) is for a Small Flat Rate Box, but the contents of this package can't actually fit in that box. Next up is a Priority Regional service ($9.99) we aren't able to use. Finally, we come to the best actual usable rate for getting this package to you: $13.60 for the Priority Medium Flat-Rate Box, or about $2 more than we charged you.

However, we also have access to special rates for Bound Printed Matter. The problem is, to qualify as BPM, at least half of the weight of the contents have to be material that is both printed and bound. The Adventure Path and Comic Book are BPM, but the Map Pack and Flip-Mat are not. By kicking one of these non-bound items into its own package, that lets us send the rest of the items as BPM, which is so much cheaper that even when factoring in the cost of two shipping boxes and an entire separate small parcel, we end up saving you a couple bucks.

Paizo's shipping charges are designed to cover the actual costs of shipping your order safely, including the the postage and shipping materials, and we go to substantial effort to minimize those costs to you as much as we can—even when that means the warehouse has to pack two boxes instead of one because it saves you money.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Vic, this is a great post. Could I suggest that you put this information into a link of some sort ("How is shipping calculated -- An Example")? It might save some headache for (and from) folks like the OP here.

Doug M.

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