Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Making sense of shipping

Hello wise ganoksin counsel, i’m once again navigating new waters,
and asking for advice from your years of experience. shipping.
here’s what i don’t understand: as i am setting up orders w/galleries
and shops that i have to ship my work to, i’ve set up my wholesale
terms to be payment up front for a first order, thereafter setting up
terms (net/30). all that seems pretty clear. but when i’m going to do
the actual shipping, how does one (like me!) figure out and add in
the s/h and insurance before i’ve actually got things all packed up
and ready to go? my assumption is that the invoice that i would send
separately, as well as the packing slip copy would have those costs
included-but how can you figure them in before you’ve actually taken
your package somewhere (ups etc.) to be shipped? this is especially
confusing when i’m thinking about mailing that first order and
making sure their check clears before i ship my jewelry, and also if
someone wants a pro form a bill before- hand. am i missing a basic
piece of common logic here?

Davida Newman

You should set up your own account with Fed Ex or UPS. They all have
systems in place to produce your shipping waybills on line. They
also will calculate costs for you on the websites. Cheaper than going
to a shipping store too.

Daniel R. Spirer, G.G.
Daniel R. Spirer Jewelers, LLC

Hi Davida,

One method you might explore is using the US Post Office.

They have a Priority Mail program with set prices within the US.
Basically the mailing cost is $4.75 for anything under 1 lb. & $9.30
for any amount of weight you can get in a box with the following
inside dimensions 11" x 8 1/2" x 5 1/2"… There’s also another box
that can be used at the $9.30 rate with the following dimensions.: 11
7/8" x 3 3/8" x 13 5/8". There are several other sizes of boxes
available. If you go to & look at shipping & mailing
supplies you can see the range of items available. The nice thing
about the Post Office is that you can order the items online &
they’ll be delivered to your door. All the items are FREE as is the

You can also print the labels for the packages online with postage
all ready on the label. The site can be used to determine
the postage cost to anywhere in the world. It also lists the various
ways to mail something. The packages can either be dropped off at the
post office or picked up at your location. It sure is nice to be able
to walk in to the post office, go right by the line waiting to get to
the counter & drop your package off.

There are other companies that provide online label & postage
printing services as well. is one such company.

I’ve been using the Priority Mail method for shipping for over 15
years with no problem. Compared to other ways of shipping, it’s the
least expensive & most expeditious.



Set yourself up with a shipping account so you can figure your cost
before you ship. I personally would not use USPS for any expensive
jewelry… too risky. The only tracking they have is with their
express service and that starts at $16.00- before insurance.

Here’s a copy of a post I recently wrote on another board… I
love these guys!

If anyone is shipping jewelry, I ask you to check out parcel pro.
They are specifically for the jewelry and watch industry.

They ship UPS, fed ex, dhl… all through their website. They are
the insurer- not UPS, fed-ex… they charge about 2/3 less for the
insurance, and the 2nd day and overnight rates are less than if you
went to UPS directly due to the bulk discount they get.

UPS and fed-ex are tricky with their in-house insurance… things
are worded in such a manner that you think you’re insuring your
entire package, and in reality you’re not. Like someone mentioned
they won’t insure art for over $100- but they’ll let you buy the

There’s also a disclosure about jewelry- they’ll only pay out the
replacement value- how much it costs you to replace it, not how much
it costs the store. so they’ll pay your cost- not your wholesale.

Parcelpro covers the amount on the invoice, period.

If any jewelers are interested. my contact is Scott Travis:

Tel: 310-328-8484 ext. 123
Fax: 310-320-1617

please tell him I sent you if you contact him.

oh, did I mention that pick up is included in the cost of shipping?

Hi, Davida,

UPS has an online calculator for shipping costs, as does USPS. Have
you tried using those, then adding in extra for handling, and using
that total on the invoice?


as well as the packing slip copy would have those costs included-but
how can you figure them in before you’ve actually taken your package
somewhere (ups etc.) to be shipped?,,

Davida, I would buy a scale - not a bathroom scale, but one that will
show you ounces. I think I got mine at Harbor Freight, but you can
probably find them elsewhere locally. You can also buy scales meant
specifically for postage. To figure out future postage, I weight
different things in their packaging to find out how much they would
cost - you can go on the usps, ups, or fedex website (whichever you
intend to use) and find out how much it would cost at that weight.
Then I charge my shipping according to the similarities of what I
weighed to what I am shipping.


Pretty much all of my inventory purchase invoices have a round
number charge for shipping. Fifteen bucks, twenty-five, fifty. I
don’t know that its mandatory to charge shipping at exactly your
cost. In fact at cost you’re losing a little money because you have
your time and the box and stuffing.

In fact at cost you're losing a little money because you have your
time and the box and stuffing. 

That’s my take on it too and most others I suspect. P&P as it’s
often called in the UK is “post and packing” and takes into account
the shipping charge and the packaging costs.


In fact at cost you're losing a little money because you have your
time and the box and stuffing. 

I round up… if UPS costs me $9.70, I charge $10.00.

I’ve heard some retailers complain about "shipping & handling"
charges for jewelry. I wouldn’t do it, it just seems greedy. Add
$1.00- $3.00 to the price of every piece of jewelry you sell to cover
any incidentals like that. People don’t like to be surprised with
large shipping bills. An extra dollar or two on the shipping bill
isn’t worth jeopardizing a future good relationship.

I also don’t charge shipping on backorders. Only insurance, and most
of the time I waive that.