Millinery Market – How to Estimate Postage Costs and Delivery Times
There’s two ways to estimate postage costs and delivery times; you can either visit a Post Office in person and get a quote over the counter, or use the Australia Post website (or equivalent NZ, US or UK website). In this article we provide an example of how to estimate postage costs and times and discuss other common questions related to posting your hat.
An Example of How to Estimate Postage Costs and Times
Step 1: Visit Australia Post Postage Calculator site: https://auspost.com.au/parcels-mail/calculate-postage-delivery-times/
Enter the ‘From’ and ‘To’ fields and click ‘Go’. In this example we will estimate the cost to post a hat from Bundall, Gold Coast to Perth.
Step 2: Click the ‘Enter size & weight’ link.
Step 3: Enter the length, width, height and weight and click the ‘Set size & weight’ button.
Step 4: The estimated parcel post cost is $17.00 with an estimated delivery time of 5-6 business days.
Express Post vs. Parcel Post
If you need to send a parcel quickly, Express Post is a good option as they provide next business day delivery within the Express Post Delivery Network, which operates between all capital cities and some major centres.
If the customer has left their hat booking to the last minute requiring you to send it via Express Post, prior to them submitting a booking request you can edit your hat listing and temporarily increase the shipping price to cover Express postage. After the booking is accepted, you can edit the listing again to change the shipping cost back to the original amount.
For lightweight hats such as small crowns and headbands where the parcel weight is 0.5 kg or less, the difference in cost between express post and parcel post can be as little as $3, but the difference in shipping time can be as much as 5 business days depending on where you are shipping to. If the cost difference is small, consider changing the listing’s shipping cost to the express post price. This will help you better manage back-to-back bookings.
Caution: Don’t Exceed 1kg Parcel Weight
Let’s see what happens when I increase the parcel weight from 1.0 kg to 1.1 kg in the previous example.
The Parcel Post cost skyrockets from $17.00 to $45.35! And the Express Post cost increases from $30.30 to $154.50!
So why does the Parcel Post cost almost triple in price?
It’s because of the way Australia Post calculates the postage cost. Parcels up to 1kg are charged according to their actual weight. Whereas parcels over 1kg are charged according to their actual weight or cubic weight equivalent, whichever is greater.
The cubic weight is the parcel’s volume in cubic metres, multiplied by 250. To work this out, use the following formula: Cubic weight = Height x length x width x 250.
In the above example, the cubic weight would equal: 0.25 m x 0.40 m x 0.40 m x 250 = 10 kg cubic weight.
So even though the parcel only weighs 1.1 kg, it’s being charged as if it weighed 10kg.
If your parcel is getting close to the 1kg limit, make sure you choose your cardboard box and stuffing material carefully so that you don’t go over. It’s also a good idea to let the renter know to use the same packaging material and to not add any stuffing when they return the hat so they don’t exceed the 1kg limit.
The owner assumes the risk of loss or damage when the item is in transit from the owner to the customer. The renter assumes the risk of loss or damage when the item is in transit from the renter back to the owner.
Millinery Market Lender’s Protection does not cover items lost or damaged in transit, so users are encouraged to get postal insurance coverage to reduce their risk. The coverage amount should be enough to cover the major damage/replacement fee as specified on the listing’s terms of hire. Postal insurance costs $2 per $100 of coverage with Australia Post.
What Postage Cost should I put on my Hat Listing?
You should select a postage cost amount that will in general cover getting the parcel to most places within your country. Using the post office website, estimate the cost to a number of cities within your country to get a feel for how the cost varies.
In the example above, it cost $17.00 to Perth, $15.05 to Sydney, $15.40 to Melbourne, $15.85 to Dubbo, $10.85 to Brisbane, $18.70 to Darwin. Allowing $4 for $200 worth of insurance coverage, I could set the listing’s postage cost to $20. Sometimes the actual amount paid will be slightly less like when the renter is located in Brisbane, or slightly higher like when the renter is located in Darwin, but over time it should balance out. You could raise the listing’s shipping cost to $25 to cover all cities, however, keep in mind higher shipping costs may deter some customers.
Over time if you find postage routinely costs more than what you have on your hat listing, you can always edit your hat listing and update the shipping cost.