However there is a lot more to shipping and saving the smart customer needs to know.
Most US retailers have no clue what it takes to ship internationally. There are external factors which greatly affect the cost of shipping. Therefore Mailbox Intl believes it’s important that the international shopper becomes a smarter shopper. We want you to get maximum benefit out of your international shopping and shipping.
When the average retailer sends us a box, they usually use a box that does not accommodate the size of the article very well. The average box that arrives is twice the size or more than the article that is in it.
In other words they are shipping a lot of air.
This is not such a big deal on domestic ground transportation since those trucks have lots of room and therefore it does not affect cost as much. Transporting packages in an airplane is completely different. Flying is expensive, so every square inch counts.
Couriers like Fedex therefore want you to measure and weigh every box. Besides the actual weight of a box, Fedex also wants to know the dimensional weight of the box.
For dimensional weight couriers use the formula length X width X height, divided by 139 equals the dimensional weight in lbs. (you need to go to the next round number)
As an example we use:
Applying the formula gives 7 lbs (rounded to the nearest lb) for the pillow and 1 lb for the brick.
This means that even though they weigh the same you are paying the 7 lbs number for the pillow due to its size.
Do you think that due to the nature of the pillow we can get some extra stuff in that box?
Let us say you wanted to ship some bricks too. If it fits, we could add 6 bricks extra (6 lbs) to the box with the pillow and it would still weigh 7lbs. Actual weight and dimensional weight are now equal. What this means that in this case the 6 bricks can ship for free with the pillow!!!
Let’s use another example. You order 3 pairs of shoes. They arrive in a pretty large box as you can imagine.
We always ask if you want us to remove the shoe box (sometimes we can flatten them too if you plan on reselling. We do this a lot on UGGS boots for example). We can ship them this way as a lot smaller package which saves you on shipping due to the smaller dimensional weight.
Why is that the case?
First of all, shipping cost is not influenced by the value of the item. A $1000 watch costs just as much to ship as a $10 watch. Second, whether a package weighs 3 lbs or 10 lbs it still has to travel the same distance. This means that the first lb is by far the most expensive one to ship. The cost per lb to ship goes down dramatically when the weight increases. The smart buyer tries to combine several items into one shipment to decrease the shipping cost per item. This can effectively decrease shipping cost up to 80%!!! compared to shipping separately.
If you have questions about shipping, let us know. We are here to help.