2019 shipping rates plus a chicken mailing story
Back when I first started WS, in 2005, I sent most packages with a 63 cent stamp on them.
(I also used to send my assistant to the post office IN PERSON to buy stamps, because printing postage at home wasn't really a thing then. One time she came back without any stamps because someone was trying to mail live chickens IN MANHATTAN and the line was ridiculous, but that's another story.)
Alas, those days are long over, and honestly, I probably should have raised my shipping rates quite some time ago, because I think the last time I adjusted them was, uh... 2010, maybe? Unless you count the time I temporarily lowered the free shipping threshold from $50 to $25, but I kept forgetting to put it back up to $50 because brain damage and OH LOOK A SQUIRREL and also that's kind of the opposite of adjusting to follow inflation USPS rate hikes.
(I could've sworn it used to be $40 but my shipping page says it used to be $50 so maybe I raised it from $40 to $50 at some point? I DON'T KNOW I JUST WORK HERE.)
ANYWAY. New rates went into effect a few days ago, and it's all horrendously complicated and based on weight and zones and moon phases and numerology and stuff, and while I COULD switch to a $299/month (no I didn't misplace a decimal) plan that would calculate exact shipping rates, I'm going to opt for "charge everybody a flat rate of $3.50" because that's easy and doesn't penalize anyone for the fact that I live almost as far east as it's possible to get without being IN the Atlantic Ocean, which isn't a good idea this time of year.
(Also I am finally adjusting the free shipping threshold, but only up to $35 instead of $40 $50, and I'll plan to lower it back to $25 a few times a year during sales because I can.)
AND OKAY, FINE, THE CHICKEN MAILING STORY:
When I first started WS, I lived in Inwood, which is technically in Manhattan, for the definition of "my apartment was 13 blocks from the Bronx" but STILL, it was in Manhattan. And one day I asked my assistant to go to the nearby post office to buy stamps, and she was gone a very long time considering the fact that the post office was four blocks away, and then she came back and apologized for not being able to get stamps because someone was mailing live adult chickens and nobody working at the post office knew HOW to mail a live chicken and apparently there was a line out the door and chickens running around pecking at people while the chicken farmer kept saying "THEY WON'T HURT NOBODY" and if your order was inexplicably delayed for a day back in 2006 NOW YOU FINALLY KNOW WHY.
(Also I just looked up how to mail adult chickens and if you're interested you can find all the relevant details in USPS Publication 526.4, which is immediately followed by the rules for mailing live scorpions WHICH JUST SEEMS LIKE A REALLY REALLY BAD IDEA WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT.)