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Anyone with exp in shipping packages?

Do you make and sell physical goods?

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"It's fun to stay alive"
Apologies if this is the wrong forum, I figured it's a general question rather than art related :<

This year I'm planning to start selling physical goods, mainly dolls, but I'm mostly clueless about shipping. I want to be sure I use the right packaging and shipping method to ensure the cheapest cost for both me and the buyer. The dolls will generally be around 8-14in long(5-10 ounces?) and shipped from the US. I've only shipped small packages via priority mail a few states away, usually costing about 5$. As much as I enjoy doodling on those boxes, they cost ALOT to ship overseas(like 66$)

Here's some questions I have
- What is the best shipping method? I did some calculating on the USPS site and it seems the average cost would be 8-12$ for US and 15-25$ for other countries via first class

- Would Parcels be cheaper than boxes or the same?

- Is there anything I should know about international shipping/customs? An artist I follow had an issue shipping to Germany because the doll she sent didn't have proper documentation or something(like manufacturer names? They thought it was a mass produced toy)


You can't just quote yourself! -Me
Flat rate boxes are usually a good choice for mailing things of varying weight unless you've got access to a postage meter/scale. The company I work for does an absurd amount of mailing by hand, but mostly in envelopes, and as long as you can fit in the flat rate package you're using the weight shouldn't matter. International shipping does cause some issues though, especially in the fact that different countries sometimes have different customs forms you need to fill out and the general fact that international postage is disgustingly expensive. Oh, and flat rate boxes don't normally work for shipping outside the US.
That said, if you're shipping crafted goods you should be alright so long as you can document the materials if need be. Never had a problem there. Sorry I'm not much help here.
A company I worked for did alot of overseas packages. USPS always tended to be cheaper until we went under contract with fedex. Also, USPS seems to be less tasking on duties/taxes. Just need to be tentative with the international invoices.


dapper cat
The best shipping method is priority since it's flat rate and insured, but the cheapest is definitely first class. I make and sell dolls too (and other things), and typically just send everything first class because it's cheaper. On international orders, I just write "stuffed toy" in the contents section. I haven't had any problems with orders not arriving/going missing, but the risk is still there.
Also, I buy my boxes and envelopes in bulk and I have a food scale for weighing packages. I know the weight of my work well enough to just charge a flat rate based on the item/type of package ($3.5 for an envelope vs $5 for a box)


New Member
When sending a package to Germany, there should be an invoice outside of the package, otherwise the package will get stuck at the customs office, because they do not open the package. You can probably allow them to open it by sending in a form or calling them, but then there still has to be a valid invoice inside at least and still you would lose a few days.
I never had a problem with mass products and the customs office was even fine with printouts of Kickstarter campaign payments to validate the value of the object. Of course you still have to pay the tax, then.