Fair Trade Prices and the costs involved in importing. We sometimes get messages from buyers complaining that when they were in holiday in Vietnam, Cambodia et al that they bought the item we are selling for a lower price or similar questions.
I thought it might be a good idea to explain the costs involved in sourcing and sending a product.
- We pay fair trade prices. We shop around to get an idea of the value of an item taking into acocunt the cost of materials, the time it takes to make. We do not strive to get the lowest price but a fair price which both parties are happy with and that we think can lead to future orders. We follow the WTO definition of fair trade and follow best practice as defined by them.
- Shipping items home.This is usually the largest or 2nd largest cost included in the price. We send via couriers who who calculate things volumetrically meaning although your beautiful lantern might weigh only 300g its volume is much larger. Its costs about $30 USD to ship a large lantern to the UK from Vietnam in these covid times.
- Import duty and tax.When our shipments reach the UK they are assessed for customs and we have to pay duty on the shipment. Once an item sells we are also liable to pay VAT in the UK at 20%.
- Platform fees. Ebay, amazon & Etsy charge about 20%+ in fees on the selling price. Even on our website we still have fees of 5% from the payments processor, usually paypal.
- Postage & packaging costs. These are not insignificant. we pay our packers above the living wage to pack your item well and we package the items very well using quality materials, boxes and bags.
- Shipping the item to you. This is another big cost. Postage is free on the website you think. It is to you but we obviously still have to pay postage. even the smallest items will still cost in the region of £4 to post in the UK and international shipping much more.
- Taxes. Even after all this we pay taxes on our profits. In the UK this is known as corporation tax. The rate of this is currently 19%.
- Other costs. not included in the above are costs for renting premises, wages of non-packing staff, fuel, electricity, insurance, returns services, amazon subscription fees, web hosting and currency exchange costs. Not to mention that when first buying an item we do so personally and in the country.
You can see how these costs mount up and its the same for all businesses. You may find your carrom powder in India for £2 but by the time all these costs are calculated the price we charge is a fair reflection of the true costs to get it to you in great condition.