This morning I was in for quite a shock. Of course I had heard about the increase in shipping fees from the USPS but I don’t think I allowed myself to believe it. When I sat down this morning to make the calculations my jaw hit the floor mainly because the cost of shipping outside of the United States (via my usual First Class International) has basically doubled. (My U.S. customers will also see a small increase but certainly not what International customers will experience.) After the initial shock wore off I realized it’s probably more surprising that this wasn’t done sooner. The USPS does not receive tax dollars and has been suffering financially for some time now and when one thinks of the amount of time/labour/fuel it takes to move a package half way ’round the world it’s hard to believe they charged so little for so long. As a small business owner, though, I wonder how this will affect the amount of packages I ship outside of the U.S. as well as within, taking into account that I do not include my shipping/packaging fees in my product costs, as some sellers do, so my shipping rates may seem too high for some. My products are also not at retail prices which is why I do not sell to wholesale buyers who want 50% of the cost so moving bulk amounts of product is out of the question. Will I continue to sell my work online or will I need to close shops and start selling more locally via craft shows? I can’t even imagine how difficult it must be for vintage sellers who have to factor in the weight and dimensions of an object they need to ship across the borders. Yikes. This is just me thinking out loud here, but I am wondering, if you sell your products online how do you feel about the shipping changes and how is your shop adjusting?