It seems like the last three or four times I've won a small item (tie or square) that has shipped First Class, it always comes from the East Coast. Never from here out West where it would take only a day or two.
But I'm with @My Main Man
, as a buyer I'm looking for the cheapies and I balk when I see a $10 shipping fee on a $20 tie.
$10 is ridiculous.
I pre-package all my ties after photographing. Each tie is folded and in a plastic bag, then placed in a 3" x 4" x 6" box. I bought 500 on sale for $.21 each so my out of pocket for shipping for the box, the label, and the bag is about $.35 per tie
1st class is the free option, and I have a priority and express option. No one has bought the upgraded shipping since Christmas 2014.
I also use plastic Ziplocs - heavy duty ones that are designed to hold machine parts and tools. I've found uses for them around the house as well.
But I suppose this isn't necessarily a good comparison, because you're contrasting a free option against a cost. A better comparison might be a $2.50 shipping charge versus a $5.90 shipping charge, with the latter resulting in much faster delivery. The overall satisfaction of the customer is going to vary depending on their personal preference, of course, and satisfaction could only be judged after the customer received the item. Even though a customer selected the cheaper option upfront, they might be slightly unsatisfied by the time they receive the tie. This could play into their likelihood of leaving feedback and becoming a repeat customer. The analyst in me wants to dissect this in an infinite number of ways, but I suppose the disagreement is moot. Everything sells eventually, and charging customers for priority shipping for ties hasn't prevented me from selling them. The argument would then boil down to inventory turnover, which isn't a concern for me considering that ties take up limited space and the time value of money on a $3.00 investment isn't exactly troublesome (although I do purchase some ties new at a significantly higher cost).
Maybe we should sponsor a peer-reviewed study on how shipping prices affect the online sale and profitability of high-end menswear