At the request of customers, I have been trying to limit packaging in general and trying to use more "green" alternatives specifically for shipping. This makes things challenging on several levels. I want to protect the items i am shipping from accidental damage, so I try to cushion things as well as I can, but the methods that work well and add very little weight (keeping shipping costs as low as possible) are usually some sort of "non-green" shipping option like bubble wrap or foam.
Shipping tape, for now, will be plastic. I realize that there are paper options out there, but they require special applicators that are expensive. Also, the packages that I have received that have utilized paper tape, have not always been sealed up as well as they should have been.
Since I also receive goods and materials, I save and reuse padding/void filler materials where it is appropriate. This means that I get items that are shipped with air pillows, bubble wrap, foam etc. The "fluff" that is clean and undamaged will be saved and reused where it seems appropriate. The best "green" option for me is to reuse this packaging, rather than adding it to my recycling bin.
One of my considerations is how fragile is the item being shipped is. After all, a solid lotion bar in a tin, is significantly less fragile than some 7" birthday candles,
Here are a couple popular items and the "standard" way they are dealt with:
regular bar soap : "naked" bar wrapped in a glassine envelope and padded with kraft paper
10" taper candles: 4 and 8-packs come in a box. The padding is kraft paper
pillar candles: wrapped with foam or bubble wrap and voids filled with kraft paper
lotions/creams/body oils: these are in plastic bottles/jars (for now) and will first into a zip top bag (USPS regulation) and voids filled with kraft paper
If you have specific needs as far as packaging is concerned, either send me an email before ordering, or add a note at check-out like "no plastic please".
I pride myself on fast shipping, however as we get close to the holidays, I may need a couple extra days to get your order out. If you need something by a certain day, let me know in the comments section. I will do my best to accommodate. If its just not possible, I will send you an email letting you know.
Shipping is the bane of most small businesses and mine is no exception. I HATE to charge for shipping, in part, because it can be so variable. Most of my orders go via USPS, small orders go First Class and all others go Priority Mail. I also have a UPS account and for larger orders I explore that option for potentially cheaper rates. So far that has worked relatively well. I pride myself on quick, often same day shipping.
My shipping rates are based on total dollar value, so the shopping cart will charge the same amount for a small, light, flat item as for a large, heavy, bulky item. So I have it set to charge the shipping for the bulky item. I realize that this will mean that the small item will probably be overcharged for shipping, but I refund ALL the overage on shipping as soon as I ship the item.
NEW FOR LOCAL SHOPPERS (May 1st, 2014): For local customers, I have tried several times to change the shipping in Paypal to reflect local pick-up (free) and was unsuccessful. In those cases I would refund the shipping, either in person or via Paypal. I am pleased to announce that I now have a coupon code that bypasses the shipping charged on local orders... LocalOrder
If you are not sure if you are local, send me an email first to check
All orders that use the coupon code, but do not qualify, will be charged shipping before the orders go out.
While I would love to take the place of your friendly mail carrier and save you shipping costs, I am busy as well. Please include in the order notes, ideas on how you would like to arrange for pick-up/delivery (examples: "I can stop by your house after work on Monday or Tuesday" or "I live by the airport, any chance you will be in my part of town in the next couple days?" ). I am willing to work with you.