Shipping your silk dress, silk scarves, mens silk shirts or dupioni silk fabric is a significant expense. What is in the package, the quantity and it's value are irrelevant — only weight or dimension is of interest to shippers.
When we buy books from Amazon, often the cost of delivery is almost as much as the books themselves despite the fact that Amazon has a cost-efficient, extremely advanced, efficient and fast shipping and delivery system to Bangkok. It's still a substantial amount.
The oil industry demands we remain dependent on fossil fuels and charges every person on the planet an arm and a leg daily to use it. Couriers all have a 17% "Fuel Surcharge" they tack onto at the end of their shipping cost calculation.
Despite very dynamic fluctuations in the US dollar and Thai Baht exchange rate and continually increasing delivery costs, we try to periodically update our published insured airmail rates to give customers some idea what to expect by showing the trend by weight of shipping costs so they can extrapolate and connect the dots: 1 kg $40 … 2 kg $54 … 3 kg $72 … so 15-16 kg …
Shipping costs are subject to change without notice (always UP↑) due to currency exchange rate fluctuations and increases in the price of oil.
The cost of shipping your silk fabric or silk clothing depends on various factors:
- your location
- yards of silk fabric bought;
- ply of silk fabric;
- silk fabric texture, such as twill or smooth;
- insured or uninsured delivery;
- courier or airmail delivery; and
- bulk (dimensions) in the case of value-added silk products.
Those factors affect total weight and packed dimensions. Read below about the dreaded "dimension weight" formula of the courier companies.
We work, buy and sell in Thai Baht and which can impact on the cost to buyer's in other countries using other currencies. Silk has increased in cost 25% in the past couple of years. Many pages and many prices on our web page show very old prices. If you order something at an old price, we'll take the loss if we can. If it's too much, we'll refund your payment with an apology and an explanation. And we'll try to update prices on our large site as soon as we can.
However, the US dollar is currently the weakest we can remember since the Vietnam War — and still going down in value. Last night alone it dropped 0.6%! That really hurts exporters like us. Sometimes, the amount a customer pays for silk products has lost a couple of percent in value between the time an order is paid for and we can ship the goods.
Shipping is quoted at cost, not marked up. So when we quote shipping cost to you, we cross our fingers and hope that the currency exchange rate does not further erode much before we receive your payment.
Insured airmail costs about 30% less than courier delivery with insurance.
Airmail takes 5-10 days.
Shipping by courier supposedly takes "three days" but more and more often we've seen it take much, much longer.
And we've experienced a long list of shenanigans by FedEx, DHL, UPS, DPX and other couriers that are quite unbelievable but true. That's why we now always advise insuring shipments to avoid theft, pilfering, loss or damage. Uninsured shipments are targetted. Insuring a courier delivery will cost an additional 2% of total product value.
Sometimes airmail is FASTER than courier. Choose airmail unless you really truly cannot wait 2-7 days longer (maybe) and shipping cost is not an issue.
If you want the best value for money, here are some tips that can cut your costs up to 35%:
- plan ahead & order ahead;
- use insured airmail for delivery;
- avoid split shipments as much as possible if using courier delivery;
- if using a courier, the closer your shipment weighs to the 25 kg maximum the better the deal;
- pay by bank-to-bank wire transfer rather than PayPal.
Courier rates follow a parabolic curve. The more you ship the lower the cost per kilogram. That is why you should consolidate shipments as much as possible. Courier companies prevent customers getting maximum benefit from their lowest rates by refusing to accept any package over 25 kg but you should aim for 25 kg to get the best value.
Thai post will accept packages up to 30 kg to the North America and up to 20 kg to most other countries but only 15 kg per package to some and only 5 kg to others. Their rates are the same per kilogram regardless of total weight. Some countries' postal systems do not accept insured packages.
PayPal is convenient but expensive.
To get US dollars or Euros or Pounds Sterling from a customer and into the hands of the people doing the weaving and sewing and cutting costs 5.6% in fees charged by PayPal and it's associated banks like Wells Fargo and the local bank whose ATM we must use to withdraw the cash in Bangkok.
On the contrary, an incoming money transfer costs us about 4-5% LESS than PayPal and we are willing to pass that savings on to YOU. That can mean a savings of nearly US$100 on an order of US$2,000.
Our shipping agent appreciates that courier delivery costs are the most expensive ever and they try to keep costs down. They are particularly skilled at carefully packing silk and silk products which tend to be relatively light and bulky. They do their very best to avoid the use of "volumetric weight", also called "dimension weight", which is an arbitrary math formula the courier companies have created to artifically convert volume and dimensions into kilograms of weight. If a shipment isn't heavy and costly enough, they will try to claim it is bulky so they can use it's "volumetric weight" which is going to be a LOT more than its actual weight.
Thai Post does not use "dimension weight" so using airmail also avoids the possibility you will get hit by this bizarre method of charging you as much as possible for delivery.
Smooth, 2-ply silk weighs approximately 120-210 grams per yard packed.
Our 4-ply twill silk or dupioni weighs approximately 250 grams/yard packed.
Pure silk neckties weigh approximately 45-70 grams depending on whether single-ply Thai silk is used. We include the plastic hanger, clear plastic wrapper and the gold ink on black paper label in the weight since they come with each one ready for hanging immediately to sell. Packed, single-ply neckties weigh about 57 grams each.
Unpacked men's silk shirts or silk blouses weigh approximately 300 grams each.