Do Shipping Costs Affect Art Sales
Purchasing products online has been steadily increasing over the past 15 plus years.
Shopping online is more convenient, and it easier to find the best prices.
Even though in most cases, shoppers are saving money on the products they are purchasing online, they still do not want to pay for shipping.
In this post, I am going to talk about how shipping costs affect art sales and your different options so you can keep your buyers happy and make a higher profit.
How Shipping Costs Affect Art Sales
Do customers contacting you about your shipping costs?
If you are constantly being asked about your shipping fees you might want to consider trying a different strategy.
The fact is that people do not like to pay for shipping.
How many times have you decided not to purchase an item online because the shipping costs were too high?
It was a common practice for sellers to underprice products and inflate shipping costs when I started selling my art on eBay over 16 years ago.
People soon realized the games sellers were playing and stopped purchasing from them.
Sellers had no choice but to offer the best prices while charging reasonable shipping if they wanted to continue to see sales rolling in.
Over time shoppers required more, they wanted the lowest price for the product they were interested in and they didn’t want to pay for shipping.
Can shipping costs affect art sales?
Your shipping costs could affect your sales in a positive or negative way.
If your shipping costs are too high you will potentially lose sales.
If your shipping costs are too low you might sell more art but you have a chance or it eating away at your profits if you are not careful.
Art Business Objectives
The objective of any business owner is to make a profit.
Nobody starts a business hoping to lose money.
Before we go into different shipping options, you will want to know the costs of doing business and how much profit you make per sale.
There are costs associated with owning a website, and you will want to price your art according to not only the cost of products but also the cost of owning an online art gallery and your hourly salary.
Costs Of Owning A Website:
- Website hosting
- Domain Name
- Premium plugins
- Premium themes
- Premium email service
Costs Of Marketing:
- Internet fees
- Smartphone fees
- Business cards
Costs Associated With A Studio:
Cost Associated With Creating Art:
- Hourly wage
Now that you have a clear idea of how much money is going out, you can make a better decision with pricing your art and shipping options.
Four Shipping Options To Consider
It is safe to say that you are selling your art to make a profit.
To make the highest profit from a sale, you will want to take some time to decide on what your best options are for both pricing your art and shipping costs.
Below are some shipping options that are available for you.
Take some time to become familiar with your options so you can make a better decision that will work in your favor.
Calculated Shipping Costs
Calculated shipping costs charge the shopper a calculated shipping cost depending on location.
There are plugins for WordPress that will calculate the shipping costs for you.
When the buyer goes to the checkout page and types in their address, the calculator will provide the shipping costs.
Most shipping calculators will allow you to add handling fees.
Handling fees are the costs of shipping supplies.
For example, if the shipping materials cost you $3.00, you will want to include that with the shipping fees.
If you don’t include the handling fees, you will be lowering the profit margin of a sale.
Here is an example of how the shipping fees will be broken down when you include handling fees.
Shipping plus handling fees:
- Shipping fees$6.95
- Handling fees $3.00
- Total shipping costs the buyer will pay. 9.95
WooCommerce Shipping Calculator Plugins:
- WooCommerce Table Rate Shipping Pro
- Woocommerce Delivery Time Picker for Shipping
- WooCommerce Shipment Tracking Pro
- WooCommerce Weight Based Shipping
- WooCommerce Multi-Carrier Shipping Plugin
- WooCommerce Advanced Free Shipping Plugin
The plugins above are some of the most popular plugins for WordPress and will calculate:
- Ups shipping cost
- Usps shipping cost
- FedEx shipping cost
Keep in mind that if you are going to provide a shipping calculator, the farther a buyer lives from you, the higher the shipping costs will be for the buyer.
The higher shipping fees might discourage a buyer who lives cross-country.
Flat Rate Shipping
Flat rate shipping is when you have a set price for everyone to pay.
Flat rate shipping works well if you live in the middle of the country.
But if you live on the East Coast as I do, flat rate shipping might not be the best option.
Shipping to California is a lot more expensive than to ship to Boston.
No matter what price I set for flat rate shipping, it would not be the best option for either the customers or me.
I set the flat rate shipping cost to twenty dollars.
For me to ship to Boston, I would pay the shipping service ten dollars.
People from the Boston area would be overpriced, and this could destroy my business name. They would know that they were overcharged and probably would not purchase from me again.
For me to ship to California, I would pay the shipping service thirty-five dollars.
People from around California would be happy with the shipping costs, but it would be lowering my profits.
Like I have said earlier if you live in the middle of the country, flat rate shipping might be the right choice. However, if you live far east or far west, it could be a challenge.
The only way you could make it work is to increase your selling prices.
For example, if shipping to the closest location costs $10.00, and shipping to the farthest location is $20.00, you might want up your prices by $10.00.
Free shipping is what will make your customers the happiest. Everyone loves free shipping.
There are two things that you will need to consider if you offer free shipping.
The first thing you will want to consider is if you would need to add the shipping costs with the artwork’s price.
You need to be careful not to overprice your artwork too much.
It will not matter to the customers if you offer free shipping or not if your prices are too high.
The second thing that you will need to consider is if you are planning on shipping internationally.
If you are, you might want to state that free shipping is only for US Residents. International orders must contact the artist for shipping costs.
Free Shipping With Purchases Over A Certain Amount
This plan works well for online sites that are marketing to receiving multiple sales.
This option might not be in your best interest because most art collectors will only purchase one item at a time.
Final Thoughts On How Shipping Costs Affect Art Sales
Shipping costs will be the difference between a sale or no sale.
You will want to think about what will be the best plan for you and your customers.
Every artist will have a different situation depending on where you live and if you are selling framed art, framed posters, or canvas wall art.
Research other artists that are selling similar products and see what is working for them.
People are going to the search engine every day to find art just like yours.
When they land on your artist website, they will first scroll through all of your fine art listings then they might read your artist statement to learn more about you.
There will be a point when they want to purchase an original painting or a giclee print.
The shipping fees that they see after they click on the “Buy Now” link might encourage them to continue or discourage them and have them visit another artist’s website.
It is easy for potential art collectors to find beautiful art online, either through search results or on social media.
You know how challenging it is to drive traffic to your website. The last thing you will want to do is scare visitors away because of your shipping rates.
Take some time to decide what the best option is for your business goals.
How Shipping Costs Affect Art Sales Overview:
- Four Shipping Options To Consider
- Calculated Shipping Costs
- Flat Rate Shipping
- Free Shipping
- Free Shipping With Purchases Over A Certain Amount
You might also be interested in:
Did you enjoy this article? Don’t forget to sign up for my free weekly newsletter.
You can also join me on:
Learn how to start, grow and monetize your online art business.
Art Business Planners