shipping furniture - what is best the way?
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I've been using UPS...mostly because it's close to my house..everything has arrived on time in good condition, hope that helps...
I know some peeps use greyhound..but idk, I think the customer has to go and pick it up from the station ~ I have not used them
Posted at 9:32 am Nov 9, 2010 EST
uship.com is a lifesaver! You post your item and shipping companies bid on it. Most of the time it's larger carriers trying to fill a truck, they seek out small shippers like us to fill the extra room. For example, I just had an entire full size canopy bed go from Pennsylvania to Texas for $170.00.
That, or Greyhound's Package Express (very cheap option but only use it if you can pack your item fully and really really well.) VERY large heavy items (I'm talking 100lbs and up to 82") can be just $90.00 but you have to drop off at your nearest Greyhound station, and your customer has to pick up at theirs.
The reason I mention the packing for Greyhound is because your piece is in the bottom of the bus, and on long trips luggage is being taken out and put in at every stop. But it is by FAR the cheapest option.
Hope this helps. I have lots of experience with this but it was pretty overwhelming at first, so feel free to ask away if you have any more questions!
Posted at 10:10 am Nov 9, 2010 EST
Just joining in....
My husband and I have used uship for vehicles, but never thought about larger Etsy items! kts, how do you come up with a figure for the listing without knowing where it is going????
The shipping had kept me from listing very large items!
Posted at 10:17 am Nov 9, 2010 EST
Well, my furniture that I've shipped with uship has sold on ebay (customers there are more familiar with uship, I haven't really offered it on Etsy yet but I'd like to).
And I just put details in the listing itself. For example "Economy Shipping options include: Greyhound (I include an explanation, and I give the highest possible Greyhound quote... calculated from East to West coast, size and weight), and uship.com (another explanation). Please choose Economy Shipping at checkout and I will contact you to make arrangements after the sale." I also explain that if they prefer uship (service to their door) than the cost my vary, and that I will send an invoice for any differences in shipping after arrangements are made.
It's not as complicated as I think I just made it sound, really! Every time I've sold anything large or costly to ship I've had much more pre and post sale communication with the buyer anyway than with some who buys something small. So it's pretty case-by-case, but it works well for me!
(One thing I want to add is if you do this... Some of the larger shipping companies have systems set up where an automatic bid is placed for every listing, and it's usually in the $600-700 range. So every first bid you get looks outrageous. Shocked me at first until I realized it was just a generic auto-bid.)
Posted at 10:38 am Nov 9, 2010 EST
I guess the easiest way I've seen it done is just to put "buyer is responsible for making shipping arrangements" in the listing. But because shipping is intimidating (even for me sometimes) I like to make it as easy as possible on my customers and shoulder the responsibility.
I've found the really detailed and long Shipping/Delivery/Pickup section at the end of my larger item listings (and not just in Shop Policies makes people much less hesitant to buy furniture online.
Posted at 10:47 am Nov 9, 2010 EST