A while back, the good people at the excellent Quo Vadis blog wrote about a question online retailers hear all the time: What's the deal with shipping charges?
Hopefully they won't mind if we follow in their footsteps because our customers outside the UK often want to know the same thing.
Let me just start by saying that shipping charges are as much a point of frustration for us as they are for you. The whole idea behind Tiger Pens is to offer great pens at great prices. Anything that adds to the cost of our pens – and inconveniences our customers – is a hindrance we don't want.
Unfortunately, shipping charges are a necessary evil.
In the UK, our shipping options are more limited than they might be in the US, as private carriers are, to be frank, prohibitively expensive. If we could find a cost-effective private shipper along the lines of UPS or FedEx to deliver to our customers outside of the UK, we would, but so far, no luck in that regard.
Royal Mail gives us two options for shipping internationally, such as to customers in the US. One is shipping with tracking for £10 (roughly US$16). The other is shipping without tracking for slightly cheaper.
As Pete the Pen Warrior, owner and operator of Tiger Pens, says:
We do not use this as there is no proof to the customer that we have posted it, and if the items go missing, we cannot claim any compensation. As a reputable company, we do not believe that this is in either ours or the customer's interest.
So, we ship all orders via Royal Mail, charging £7.50 in the UK and £10 for international. There is no profit for us in the shipping charges, and when you factor in handling and some additional shipping-related expenses, it actually results in a slight loss.
(We offer free shipping in the UK on orders over £10.)
So while we would love for our many fans in the US and abroad to visit our site and order just a few refills or a couple pens at a time, as our UK customers do, we know this is not feasible for most of you. As much as it pains us, the only thing we can suggest at this point is to wait until you have a large enough order to make the cost of shipping worth it...if and until there is a better solution.
We value all of you who visit the blog, like us on FB and interact with us on Twitter. Please know that we will continue searching for ways to offer you the best possible values on all your favorite pens.
And by all means, if you have any thoughts or suggestions on delivery in general or shipping charges in particular, let us know!