Just our 2 cents…
Wow very nice post and pretty direct too. We understand your point and know about taking the loose too. In some cases you get the shipping included on a high value purchase or sale or large quantity order. Some times we get lucky on orders we do when purchasing for our collection. And in doing sales we try and organize with the buyers to be on same shipping date. It’s not much but we rather do 3 - whatever shipments on 1 day, that way we save expenses you mentioned. Being our drive to the airport is almost 3 hours and driving in this great gas economy we have at 93 cents a liter we figure more to airport better than 1 a week, and we have had great co-operation with our customers because of this.
As for packaging and handling these prices are pretty much the same. And yes once you factor in all the things you mentioned like box to labels and ink it can get pricey but there are few things that can be done about that. But we like to make sure the animal gets the best possible shipping method we can provide and the means that the airline can visually see and care for the package. I mean both Air Canada or West Jet are good at times, but we let the customer choose if both are options and that flight price is always additional to the buyer. After they decide on what airline and they accept shipping dates then it becomes the additional cost of protection like flight insurance from Air Canada only. But this is more of a factor of expensive orders or a particular animal but the buyer needs to decide if this is needed.
As for the animal cost, we try and stay market value - only a few have an added value due to the care put into them over time because we feel if the buyer can see that taking an adult animal did have much care put into it and they most likely see it as a breeder and the most part of the work is done with then they should realize there is additional costs included in the animal value.
It’s hard to sell an animal when the buyer is trying to low ball you even after the best you can try is break even, but we feel the animals speak for themselves and after communicating that with the customers we try our best to make the deal work out for both parties. But even then you still will find buyers willing to low ball you its part of business in this hobby and a few others. But with competition comes bargaining and it comes down to the buyer wanting to pay on quality or budget.
Being we are in Manitoba, I and few others here that ship and receive have no choice but to deal with the expenses you mentioned on shipping. Not saying it is not the same in each province, but selection is fewer here…lol.
I guess the best way to save some expense is to ask the airline does it mind if we can we just tape the animals to the wheels and tell the buyers to get them on the runway, lol – joking of course. But I bet the cost would be 0.07 cents, lol.
But great post and comments by all that shared.