I need your help!
I just had the most ridiculous time at the post office.
A month ago when I started looking at shipping costs, I got really excited to find out about USPS's $4.95 flat rate shipping. I also got really excited to see that they would send any boxes to you that you requested. So I requested one pack each of small, medium, and large flat rate shipping boxes, totaling 30 boxes to mail my items to customers who purchased things on Etsy.
When I went to use my flat rate shipping boxes for the first time today, I packaged two sets of items lovingly in medium sized boxes, tucked them in gently with tissue paper, and set a card inside each box with a note to the recipient.
I was proud of myself for packing everything up at home, and doing it in such a nice, presentable way. I was also happy to cut out the hectic packaging in line at the post office.
But when I set my boxes in front of the man behind the counter, he put labels on them and promptly charged me $10.20 each. Each?!? What happened to the $4.95 flat rate shipping? I still don't quite understand what he said to me as he briskly tried to finish with me and get on with the next customer. Apparently I picked the wrong boxes. Apparently, the $4.95 flat rate shipping applies to an envelope. What's the point of that?
I was flustered, embarrassed, and completely confused. Thankfully, he allowed me to step out of line and shovel my beloved items into smaller boxes that only cost a little over $5 each. I still don't understand the difference, though.
Etsy ladies, how do you do it? I always see low shipping/handling costs in Etsy shops, but don't know how you pull it off if the USPS wants to charge me ten bucks to mail someone 50 miles away a hat and scarf.
What am I doing wrong?
Can you please share your wisdom with me? How do you ship things? What do you charge? What's the secret knowledge that I'm missing out on?