So I have something I'd like to discuss with all you lovely people out there..it's not anything particularly exciting but something I'd love to invite all of you to comment on because I'm a little unsure of how to proceed from here!
It's not very often that a parcel goes missing in the mail system..delays have certainly happened over the years and holidays are particularly a prime time for misplaced parcels that get found after the holiday rush in the postal system and sent forward..sometimes weeks later. I have to say, I have only had a small handful of unpleasant experiences with buyers and have always been grateful and so appreciative of those of you who have been ever so patient with delays or the replacement being created then sent on again. For those of you kind souls..I thank you for this. Such a seemingly small gesture of patience makes a world of difference for me since I'm usually in a tizzy at the thought of one of my beloved pieces having gone missing in the first place..and scrambling to make a replacement is generally in a panic as well.
So comes the decision I've been pondering..I'm at a place right now where I think I will have to start shipping International parcels with tracking and insurance. Although this sounds like a no-brainer to some, the cost difference between shipping an International parcel as a "regular small parcel" with no tracking or insurance is currently around $12. Add insurance and tracking and the cost for the exact same parcel jumps to $26 ~ $30. Xpresspost and Priority shipping costs run another $30 ~ $40 on top of that. You can see how quickly a seemingly "budget friendly" purchase can suddenly add up. Currently, shipping with tracking and insurance is offered as an upgrade option..but without any real consequence to the buyer if the item disappears in the system while in transit, this option is rarely, if ever selected.
Up until now, missing parcels are resolved with a full refund or an offer of a custom piece similar to the original item. It's proving to be quite costly on my end..even with lost incidents being (thankfully) fairly rare. So a question to all you lovely peeps overseas..do you think shipping with tracking and insurance should be a mandatory thing for items over..say, $75? Or would you rather have the option of choosing to pay extra for tracking and shipping insurance..and if you choose to stay with the most economical shipping option, possibly risk the very rare chance of your purchased item getting lost in the mail and not getting a refund or replacement? The cheapest shipping option would be offered and if chosen, Blue Gnome Emporium would not be responsible for lost or stolen items.
Although tracked items have on occasion managed to elude tracking and a couple (in the last 4 years..) have never been located, what the insurance does is offset the cost for me to create for you, a replacement. In the event that an item cannot be recreated / replaced such in the event of a one-of-a-kind focal stone, a full refund will still be offered. Again, the insurance would also offset my out of pocket cost to offer this to my clients.
Oh my..this has turned into quite the rant. Lol.
So my lovely International friends..what are your thoughts? Would paying a higher shipping rate deter you from making that purchase..even if it means peace of mind that you'll know where your item is if delayed..or a full refund if lost? Or would you rather take your chances with a cheaper shipping cost and in a very rare case, risk losing your entire purchase?
Write to me! I want to hear from you!smile emoticon