Some of the first geek items MMP ever offered for sale were holiday greeting cards featuring zombies celebrating as only zombies can. These cards hit the spot with certain nerd audiences (you know who you are) and we’ve been selling a widening variety of geeky greeting cards ever since.
Selling online? Impossible.
In the beginning, we planned on selling these cards at shows or in comic book stores. Online sales were mostly unplanned. We were grateful, but surprised, when people related to our particular sense of humor enough to purchase our cards online with the added shipping. As always, we were worried about getting the product safely to the purchaser. Very little time was spent thinking about our shipping process specifically in regards to cards; we just used the same bubble mailer we used for prints and other more easily damaged items.
I’m embarrassed to admit that it took a couple of years for it to sink in that the bubble mailer wasn’t necessarily the best option. While it worked in terms of getting the purchased items to you, the buyer, in good shape most of the time, there were two major drawbacks that should have been obvious:
1) We were charging too much for shipping a single card.
We had to. Bubble mailers, even bought in multiples, aren’t cheap. Also, due to the thickness of anything shipped in such a mailer, we were paying for shipping a parcel rather than a letter. As high as our shipping may have seemed, most of the time it didn’t actually cover all our shipping costs.
2) We were not behaving in an eco-friendly manner.
We aren’t hippies, but we do choose to live and work in Portland, OR. We recycle. We use the “good” light bulbs and turn the heat down as much as possible. We’ve had to come to terms with the idea that it is totally impossible for all of our business practices to be green. However, the anti-green way we shipped our cards was getting really hard to ignore.
The bubble mailers aren’t easily recyclable. The padding added bulk which meant that the greeting card we shipped was using more resources to get to its next destination and would ultimately take up more room in someone’s local landfill.
Enter our newer, leaner, better shipping method.
We now ship all of our card-only orders in a sturdy, easily-recyclable craft envelope. Testing found that this method has almost no increase in the chance for damaged goods over the use of the old bubble mailers. That isn’t to say the Post Office won’t ever damage the items we ship to you, only that the existing chance hasn’t grown much.
Inside the sturdy envelope, we’re still placing the cards in a plastic bag to ensure the best chance of your items getting to you in good condition. (We’ve received enough wet packages over the years to be worried about this.) However, if you are willing to take the risk in the name of saving the planet (my post person swears that millions of cards are delivered every year without a problem), let us know in the comments and we’ll leave off the plastic.
“A penny saved is a penny earned.”
No really. While we like to make money and pay the mortgage, MMP never planned on making money through our shipping charges. The changes to our shipping procedures will save us money – so we’re passing those savings on to you, our loyal customers. We’ve cut our shipping for cards in half. Yes, half. Right now, we’re working on making those changes to all of our listings on Etsy and Storenvy.
If you’ve bought a card in the past, you have our thanks. We appreciate your willingness to support what we do, despite our (former) strange need to send it to you in an over-sized bubble mailer. You are the reason that we can continue do what we love, and we hope that this change makes it easier for you to support us in the future.