Here at Quarky Science there are several things we are especially passionate about, including: the outstanding products we sell, fantastic customer experiences, and creating a company based on sustainable living and environmental stewardship. As we are getting very close to launching our business, we have been looking at our many shipping options. Obviously, shipping and shipping well is going to be a big part of offering an exceptional customer experience.
One of the many things to take into consideration when running an e-store is that as a company you may be shipping product’s across town, across the country, or even across the continent. As a result, shipping products has the distinct potential to eat up valuable resources as well as costing you – the customer – more money. We have decided to make a deliberate choice to minimize these extra costs to you while being considerate to the environment – which we feel is essential. From the beginning – when the idea of starting up a science and natures store was still just a gleam in our eyes – the four of us drew up a partnership agreement and our number one statement was “Do no evil”. Now we all know that Google was in there first with that goal (and look where it’s gotten them!) but we intend to follow through. We want to make our mark, but we want to do it by doing good.
So, the details! After seemingly endless research, we have decided to go with Canada Post and the US Postal Service. Sounds a bit staid and predictable, I know, but there are a lot of reasons:
1. Canada Post and USPS ship to every postal station everywhere. This is not a little thing. The private package services (who will remain unnamed, because we do not wish to receive angrymail) only deliver to larger centers. The Internet tells us a story of a man in Red Deer, Alta, who waited for his parcel to arrive via one of them. Thanks to parcel tracking, he was able to watch his package go from Calgary to Edmonton to Calgary to Edmonton over and over and over, all because the delivery driver (apparently!) couldn’t find the exit to Red Deer on Highway 2. Imagine if he lived in Drumheller!
2. Canada Post and USPS don’t add outrageous extra fees if a parcel crosses the border. They don’t hold your purchase hostage until you either cough up the cash or spend hours on the phone sorting out their cruel scam. Google “ebay brokerage fee lawsuit” if you want to know more about this nasty con.
3. Canada Post offers us a shipping charge module that allows our store to automatically calculate the exact cost to ship your items. No more high default shipping costs where you end up paying more for shipping an item than it cost in the first place!
There are other things we plan to do to save you money and reduce our impact on the environment:
- Reduce the amount of packaging with your shipment. No more giant boxes with a ton of packing materials around a small object. Instead, we’ll use appropriately sized boxes and brown paper wrapping to cut down on the size and weight of your package.
- Re-use packing materials where ever appropriate. We collect clean boxes and packing material in good condition and use it to package your purchase. We have agreements with several local companies to re-direct their used packaging from the waste stream and keep it in circulation for longer. That means 1ess packing material at the local landfill and lower impact on the environment for all of us. Best of all, this lowers our costs and we pass our savings on to you!
- Offer bicycle shipping for local deliveries. Live in Victoria? Want to cut down on your carbon footprint? Ask for our free cycle shipping option!
We’re always looking for more ideas on how to reduce costs in a sustainable, ethical way. While we do look for best practices from other on-line retailers, we’d love to hear your thoughts about what else we can do – or what we can do better. Comment here or send us a message to share your ideas!