Terms you need to know:

– Dimensional Weight – this is the ‘weight’ of the package calculated by multiplying the length x width x height. The exact calculation is based on whether using inches or centimeters and whether it is air shipping or ground. Typically your toy shipment will be lighter than it is big, so the size will determine the billable weight
Billable weight – the shipper will either bill you based on the weight in lbs or kgs or they will bill you based on the size of the shipment. Whichever is greater.
– Weight – the true weight of the whole shipment including packaging.
– Retail Packaging – normally the outer colorful packaging to convey the use and benefits of the product
Whether you handle shipping on your own or you want us to warehouse your toys and ship them out as the orders come in, thinking about the shipping method and charges is key to your financial success.
PackagingNo matter what size your toy is, the packaging can make a big difference in the cost to ship it. The cheapest method is to use a shipping poly-bag. It’s basically a plastic envelope that your toy goes in to and it’s sealed, labeled, and shipped out. This method works even if you have a book or another hard object.
Some of my clients insist on boxing their toy because the toy will look good. The extra space “bulks out” the size of the shipment making the dimensions of the order much bigger. A shipper, whether if it’s USPS, FedEx or UPS they will weigh the shipment but if the measurements of the box or bag are “bigger” than the weight of the package they will use the “dimensional weight” to bill you.
Charges to your Customer When developing your product, you should consider making it a higher priced item as opposed to a low priced item. You can add a book, temporary tattoos or other items that are child friendly and will make your product look more valuable. The reason for this is that you can then hide some or all of the shipping costs in the product. Consumers have always been resistant to high shipping costs but since sites like Amazon started offering free shipping it’s become the norm as opposed to the exception.
And example of shipping charges. Consumer A adds a $19.99 bear to their shopping cart and is ready to enter their credit card. They are reviewing their order details and see $12.99 in shipping. They hesitate, back out of your store and check elsewhere for a similar item on another website.
Consumer B adds a $27.99 bear to their shopping cart and it comes with a short story soft cover children’s book. They review their order and see that shipping is $4. That seems reasonable and although it’s not free, they are okay paying $4 rather than keep looking around the internet.