Shipping Small Orders From Poland
There is more to the cost to you of a product than the wholesale price. You have to know your shelved cost.
You pay a factory the wholesale cost, but then you must add shipping, customs and other fees. Finally you have to add the cost that it takes you to receive the product and put it on your shelves. The total is the shelved cost.
This page discusses the shipping factor involved.
Small orders, meaning less than a euro pallet load (a volume of 1 meter by 1 meter by 1 meter shipped on a 1 meter by 1 meter wooden base), are usually shipped from Poland by either UPS or express Polish post.
These two companies are chosen because their administrative process satisfies the paperwork requirements of exporters.
The costs are not insignificant. For example, shipping a single Polish pottery dish from Poland to the United States will cost about $75. (This is an estimate that will vary for you if for no other reason than the variability of the value of the dollar.) The result is that a $10 wholesale cost plate will cost you more than $85 to put on your shelf.
So it behooves you to do one of two things - fill the shipping box to capacity or assemble orders from different companies onto a pallet.
Shipping by box.
If you are ordering from only one company, order enough to fill the boxes to capacity. That amortizes the cost of shipping the box over each of the items in the box.
And if you are ordering small amounts, order high value items so the cost of shipping per piece is a smaller percentage of value.
And order low volume pieces. For example, the cost per unit of shipping Christmas balls by the box is MUCH higher than shipping figurines or forms? Why? The balls take up a lot of space as compared to the figurines or forms. (It only make sense to order balls by the pallet.)
Shipping by pallet.
This is definitely MUCH cheaper.
Because the cost of shipping a pallet is fixed, whether it is full or not, for the lowest shipping cost per unit, your best approach is to fill the pallet.
Order from several companies and have everything packed on one pallet. There will be an extra packing charge, but the end cost per unit of shipping will be MUCH less.
Why is this Important?
Let's go back to our pottery example. The wholesale cost of one Polish pottery plate would have tacked onto it about $75 in shipping cost. Plus of course, customs, etc.
You could not sell that plate.
And if you were buying for yourself, you are liable to think twice about how important that piece is to you.
But if you were buying a high value item, like $2,000 in jewelry, that would fit in the box, the $75 charge is more than acceptable.
If you do not want to order a pallet, find a local distributor who can help you.
Pack as much high value in a box as you can.
Order small amounts only if absolutely necessary.
If you have a shop, save in the long run by assembling a pallet load. Aggregate the products from several companies. Also see the business opportunities here.
Order enough to fill a pallet and pack as much value on the pallet.
Order low value or low value per unit volume by the pallet load.