Fixing a quick item with the new Sketch Fest logins, I am thinking about the perennial sticky issue of international shipping. Prices have recently gone up pretty steeply between most countries; I know I was caught flat-footed when I was expecting to send a card for .85 and was stuck with a several dollar bill. With Sketch Fest, right now there is one price option, and no shipping addition. This caused some squawks at first, but I explained the ridiculous disaster it would try to be to charge shipping when people are from all over the world buying things from all over the world, often together with things from elsewhere in the world. The policy right now is that you include shipping - taking into account the possibility of international shipping. This does make pricing particularly difficult. Is my $3.50 ACEO print going to cost me .45 to ship or $2.55? Will I be shipping this 11 x 14 sketch overseas??
So... I'm thinking about giving each product options. I was actually thinking about this idea a while ago in terms of originals - making the option of buying a sketch as-is, OR buying a to-be-finished version. That functionality would also let an artist give the option of 'shipped within the UK' for a lower price. (Assuming they were shipping from within the UK, in this example.)
Problems with this idea: it might not be clear enough to buyers which option they should choose. Customers can be easy to confuse, and that can decrease the overall number of sales. We don't really want to do that. It also might not be clear to artists who are posting their work for sale how to use the options. The product-adding forms are already pretty complex, and I can EASILY see an artist adding an option but forgetting to mention something critical, like which country this price applies to. The more complex a system is, the more that tends to go wrong, and the more I have to change it manually, which we REALLY don't want. Also, does it trump the prompter's price? Does the prompter's price get options, TOO? That could get dizzying pretty quickly.
What pluses and minuses do YOU see with this idea? Got another clever idea? Please feel free to discuss!