I’m having a quiet week, so this seems a good time to address something that is often not clear: What are Shipping and Handling Fees?
That article makes it fairly clear, but basically S&H is more than just the actual postage charges. It obviously includes the packing materials (envelopes/boxes, tape, labels, etc.) and in larger companies it includes the hourly wages for the people in the shipping department. In short, it covers every expense involved in getting your purchased goods to you, over and above the price of the item and any taxes involved.
For me, this means the white shipping envelopes, the interior plastic bags, the tape, and the paper and ink used for printing your shipping labels.
While we’re at it, might as well include what is included in the cost of the product — in my case, the dyed yarn. This includes the cost of getting the yarn from the supplier (the yarn itself plus any shipping/handling costs!), the dye materials and acids to make the dye strike properly, the time and expertise for applying the dye, plus the process of steaming, washing, rinsing, drying, and reskeining.
What I have not done before is include the costs (time/labor) for turning coned yarn into individual hanks for dyeing. Some of my yarns can be ordered from supplier in ready-to-dye hanks, but it adds a few dollars per pound for them to do it — they have large machines to do many at a time. I have to do it just one, two, or three at a time, depending on how many cones of the same type I have, and except for the actual winding, it is all manual labor. I could realistically add a dollar or two per skein just for this, since that is what it would cost me to have it done at the supplier — and they only put 2 bindings per skein and I need at LEAST 4 bindings to ensure the hank remains in a loop and not a tangled mess, so I’d still have to manually handle it before dyeing.
One item that only one or two people have ever asked for is turning hanks of yarn into center-pull balls. This takes longer than reskeining on the skein-winder, and would be an additional $5 per ball, in case anyone wants that service.