I am afraid this entry may be a little long, there are several changes going on, some (the most) positive, and some (one) not that great that can’t be avoided.
Shipping rates (The not so great change but still with a positive outcome).
Shipping costs will increase a little bit because apparently, our national postal services made changes in one of the shipping methods that I use, but not on the costs; in the description of the shipping itself.
So far, I shipped all the orders as a “certified letter” which had a very competitive shipping cost; yes, it does not make much sense that you would ship goods under that kind of shipping, however, their site stated that you could ship documents and goods without exceeding the required dimensions and weights (which had been always within limits).
Recently some of the “freshmen” at the office started to tell me that I declared my shipments as a “document” when I did not do such thing, I just used their online form as always and attached the CN22 customs declaration form for shipments outside the EU.
This questioning kind of threatening and “I did it wrong” started to bother me, specially because no one informed me on how to do things right, (and I must confess, I am afraid that workers are not being updated of the changes). I ship the packages and evenlopes ready, all they have to do is scan the bar code, make sure the online info is the same as in the box/envelope and hit “admit”, this is how I’ve been doing it for the past years.
I went to their site and double checked the “certified letter” specifications and… voila! they did remove the word “goods” out of the description, leaving that area for “documents, contracts, signed budgets etc”.
So now what? I wondered, well, it appears that by removing that feature of that shipping method, they created a new one called “Light International Package” (which you can ship goods up to 2kg anyway).
So the strategy that they did was; modify one shipping and create another one a little bit more expensive. This change does not only happen with international shippings, but with national ones as well.
Have any of you guys ever heard of “volumetric weight”? This is an aspect that now takes part in the preparation of the packages (box/envelope) and price increases if the volume is bigger.
That is why now I am currently working on settings within the store to provide the less volume possible per product as well as purchase smaller envelopes for single-item order (small blister), so that if you buy one single item, the store automatically detects its dimensions and chose a proper package (volume). This is a very tedious task that I am doing offline at the moment, so I am going to need a couple days to make those adjustments.
Here is an example of a shipping to EU (same can be applied outside EU but with other costs)
Weight of the package 200 gram, box 30 x 20 x 15cm shipping costs: 20,5 Euro, now if I push the weight up to 500g in their automatic shipping calculator, it still costs the same, pushing the weight up to 1000g cost the same, and I can say that I don’t remember shipping anything over 1000 gram.
So what I can see here is that the weight really does not matter that much but the volume does, this translates in the end meaning that you can add more items to the package for the same shipping costs.
Not only I will have to modify the products by including more information but I will also have to re arrange the shipping zones so that shipping is calculated precisely.
Another downside of the new “International Light Package” is the inhability to ship to PO boxes, however, I will solve this by creating another shipping method in case you want the order to be delivered to a PO box, I may also include a “Premium shipping” which is like the EMS shipping.
Now the good thing of all this new mess; the shipping times (and it is still using tracking number).
I am quoting their site:
“Main European destinations: 3-5 days”.
“Russia: from 9 days”.
“Main destinations in America: 5-8 days”.
“Main destinations in Asia: 6-8 days”.
Shipping costs increased but according to their site and comparing to the “old method”, shipping times have been reduced.
In any case, I am going to do my very best to keep the shipping costs as low as possible. I am a buyer too, and sometimes I feel uneasy for some shipping costs, but even more uneasy on the other hand when shipping prices are too cheap (for that thing of it may take ages to arrive).
I hope this can be understood, shipping rates aren’t set by me, they are set by the government and I do not add any other cost to the shipping totals, the price you see is what I see when preparing the shipping.
I did check private companies here, and they were charging me 117 Euro for shipping a small box of 10 x 10 x 20 cm to the USA, so I don’t think that private carriers could offer a better shipping solutions at the moment.
I am also going to see what I can do with the shipping method for the decals, most sellers do ship them as a document, so I will do my best to keep prices as low as possible.
So far shipping costs will remain all the same for all items in the store until I update it with the new regulations, info on the change will be updated on the blog.
Now the positive points:
The positive points… I will try to be brief here because nothing is tested, proven yet, but I have new equipment on the way which will allow me to make the new items in a better way, ease things for me, save me times (at first) and produce a widder range of products. If this works, the GSE family will grow, for both the 1/144 and 1/200 scale, I will be able to perhaps create ramp worker figures to go along with these models and civilians as well in several kind of configurations.
The other positive point is that I am looking to join forces with a professional decal company so that an important part of the artwork will actually be silk screened with white colors behind the decals, and include metallic color as well. It will be a combo of silk-screened plus laser print. Can’t really expand much on that since it is something that I still have to test, to consider the costs and quantities, but what I know is that this may be possible right from the start with the 777-300ER and the 787 decal sets for which I am putting all my efforts to include the smallest of the details. If things go well, this change will be made for the A320, A320Neos and A350’s.
Since I am taking the chance to write this very long entry, I wanted to say that although I don’t publish updates on the projects, I am currently working on them, I am advancing with the cargo holds on the 747-8F/-400 deck set, for which the next update I plan to show finally the interior detail completed, prior working on the side cargo door/nose cargo door area.
I am also starting to write a brief “tutorial” or guide for building the 1/144 catering truck for which units I expect to start during this week, taking the chance that humidity has dropped a little bit.
That is all for now, I will write another entry once I managed to change the shipping methods and will be posting the catering guide. An increase of the shipping costs is something that no one likes, I apologize for that, but I want to think positively and remember that even shipping rates increased a little bit, shipping times will be faster and all orders will have a priorized shipping over the old “certified” type.