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Now Shipping…

by admin

image by: Worldmapper. This one shows countries proportionate to the amount of toys they import but there’s a heap more on different subjects on the Worldmapper site.

Going Global

International shipping is now live. UK sellers can now ship to the rest of the world and we’ve got high hopes of making a dent in the balance of payments deficit for the next quarter ;)

As we talked about a while ago we’ve enabled shipping to the rest of the world. The list of countries in the drop down to choose from has been kept to ‘main markets’ but you can select to “ship to other destinations” which will enable you to ship to every single destination in the world. Keeping specific shipping costs to main markets allows for a far easier way to select competitive shipping costs.

So what does International Shipping ‘do’?:

  • You can choose which countries to sell to around the world
  • Folksy calculates the price of the item in a variety of currencies and…
  • You can now see the price of the item in the currency of your choice (it’s based on the country you sign up from and you can also change this in “your account”)
  • The price of items in non-UK currencies is calculated across the eighteen currencies that Paypal supports. It is approximate, however and the price you pay on Paypal may differ very slightly.

We’re working on better ways to present shipping destinations to buyers so you’ll be able to select items that ship to your country.

I’m sure most buyers will be now going to edit their item listings to enable shipping to foreign destinations. Do let us have your feedback and any suggestions via the usual channels. Please also bear in mind the new US policy (Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act or CPSIA) on imports for children’s products which require you to prove that levels of lead in the materials you use are acceptable. There’s more information on KitschyCoo’s blog about this ruling which is won’t be actually policed until early 2010 but which is law now. (more on CPSIA on the US Govt site and on this Etsy thread.)

Next steps: perhaps we should start Folksy trade missions? I’m sure the Bahamas needs a visit :)

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Anne King March 21, 2009 - 9:35 am

Is there any scheduled maintenance today? I can’t get onto Folksy, either the home page or my account, at all.

robl March 21, 2009 - 9:35 am

One of the servers in the cluster looked like it hadn’t come round properly from last nights maintenance, try now and it should all be fine

Sally March 21, 2009 - 9:35 am

Instead of entering like 7 individual shipping destinations and prices for each item, it would be easier to be able to apply one shipping price to all your items. Or even better make up several shipping profiles for small or larger items and be able to apply them to the goods you’d like to send. Its awesome you’ve got international shipping on the go, well done for all your hard work!

nickyp March 21, 2009 - 9:35 am

Please can we have the option of choosing “Europe”? On other sites I tend to group it by UK, Europe, USA&Canada, Rest of World. Europe seems to be a sensible grouping to have, and unless you add it it’s going to be ridiculously time-consuming to select so many different options.

RubySpiritDesigns March 21, 2009 - 9:35 am

I agree with nickyp, finding the prospect of sepcifying lots of different options daunting and offputting. But well done so far…;)

JamesB March 21, 2009 - 9:35 am


Yes, regional groupings in the drop down will be implemented shortly.

We *may* introduce ‘shipping profiles’ at a later date depending on the success of the existing model.

you could simply choose the option to “sell to other destinations”, this is a catch-all shipping option. If you choose this your item will appear for sale in all countries. However, the shipping price will be fixed to one price.

nickyp March 21, 2009 - 9:35 am

Thanks James. Good to know you’re listening! Would I be wise to wait until the implementation of regional groupings is done? What’s the timescale?

JamesB March 21, 2009 - 9:35 am


I think I misunderstood. We weren’t going to implement shipping to ‘regions’ just to group countries by regions. We could offer shipping prices to regions but when we looked at this there were two issues – the cost of shipping an item to different countries within a region can vary wildly (depending on the size of the item) and peoples’ mental models of say, Asia and Europe also differ. Who’s in Europe? Who’s in Asia?

One to think about. I wouldn’t wait though, the next round of development on this is around 5 weeks time.

Rach March 21, 2009 - 9:35 am

Sellers are still only allowed from the UK though, right?
Just want to make sure I didn’t miss that.


nickyp March 21, 2009 - 9:35 am

But are you seriously thinking that people will select each of the countries individually? Would someone really ship to Spain and not Portugal? If I choose the “ship to all other destinations” then I have to pick one postage cost, which would cost a lot more to say Australasia and Asia than to Europe (and surely all destinations in the EU at least are standard at the post office?) and therefore all European buyers would end up paying more than they should and I would then have to reimburse them through PayPal. Or I choose the lower (European) cost of shipping and have to absorb the cost if I sell to USA or Australia for example. All I’m saying is that it would help us to have the option of choosing to block Europe together given that postage costs to those countries are fairly standard and cheaper than to the rest of the world. Worth considering? It doesn’t impact on Folksy’s eventual commission, just makes things easier for sellers.

nickyp March 21, 2009 - 9:35 am

Just to add that I appreciate it can be a logistical nightmare as per your earlier post on international shipping, and thank you at least for opening Folksy up to international buyers. It’s just that given the current options I can’t work out which is the best way to go and the thought of editing all listings makes me feel weak.

JamesB March 21, 2009 - 9:35 am

@nickyp thanks for your comment. I understand that it may seem like an odd decision on our part. let me explain why we designed it the way we did (to back up the previous blog post on shipping): Fundamentally the design of International Shipping was premised on:

1. fact that shipping costs vary from country to country and regional ‘mapping’ was too inaccurate for buyers. As an example of shipping in Europe, the cost of shipping to different countries in ‘Europe’ does vary e.g. a 1kg package costs

heather niftyknits March 21, 2009 - 9:35 am

What I’m doing (slowly) is working through each listing adding the postage charge for the countries that the GPO call “rest of the world” Australia,Canada,China,Japan,NZ,S Africa,Asustralia, listing the price for them (which is all the same) and then a Europe price for “everywhere else”. It’s still a lot of work, but I think it covers everywhere???

Lupin March 21, 2009 - 9:35 am

Just a small thing, but could the appearance of the “all other destinations” bit be changed? At the moment it looks like I only ship to the UK unless you read the small print underneath…
If the other option could appear in the same format it would be much clearer/user friendly.

JamesB March 21, 2009 - 9:35 am

@Lupin, yes. the presentation of shipping needs improving and this is one of the things we’ll do.

Lupin March 21, 2009 - 9:35 am

Thanks James! Much appreciated :)

Glamglass March 21, 2009 - 9:35 am

Hi James,

I think it took me about 2 hours to change my listings to include International shipping and that was doing a flat rate for everywhere!!
I have 4 pages of listings and I am uncertain as to how many listings there are as it does not seem to say anywhere (sorry seperate issue)
If I wanted to try and be accurate, then I have a feeling I would be still here next Christmas!!

I just feel that to bunch Europe, America + Cananda, Asia, Australia would have made it far easier for sellers to decide an amount that would be fair to the majority and it would be easier to Exclude areas that you do NOT want to ship to!!

Please can you try to get that up and running next time you change the settings.
The example you gave
” As an example of shipping in Europe, the cost of shipping to different countries in ‘Europe’ does vary e.g. a 1kg package costs

Glamglass March 21, 2009 - 9:35 am

Sorry I should have also added that it could be a sub catagory as in you can have a flat rate to Europe or choose the pull down menu to add P+P rate for the invidual Countries.
Some People may only tick for Europe and not want to post elsewhere!!
Some May tick for Europe and America/Cananda Only but not want to post to Africa, Asia, etc
I have now realised that I have opened myself up to scammers by ticking the post everywhere box as Africans(Nigerians in particular) could now try and scam people!
Hope you can cancel Sales you do not want to complete??

francesca March 21, 2009 - 9:35 am

I’m also daunted by the prospect of going through all my listings and adding international shipping. However, I agree with heather niftyknits that the easiest way to do it is to group the countries yourself and make a flat rate for each region. Sometimes I lose a quid or 2, sometimes it costs a bit less than i thought it would, but it all evens out in the end. This is what I’ve done with my other shops.

However, I think I will wait the extra 5 weeks and see if the new ‘regions’ selection makes it easier.

Comments are closed.