Shearing day 2009: Bob Schroth of Strasburg, Colorado shears Arturus ...
The US Postal Service (and also UPS and FedEx) have started using Dimensional Weight, where any shipping box that is 1 cubic foot (nominally 12"x12"x12" in size) or larger in size will be charged either by its actual weight or a calculated weight based on size, WHICHEVER IS LARGER.
The formula for calculating dimensional weight is (L x W x H)/166, where the box dimensions are in inches and the result is in pounds of weight. Doing the math, you'll discover that a 1-cubic-foot box will be treated AS IF it weighs (12x12x12)/166 = 10.4 pounds! ... or really a whopping 11 pounds since the USPS always rounds up to the next whole pound. And if you use a bigger box, the dimensional weight goes up proportionately ... you will ALWAYS pay as if your box contained something weighing at least 10.4 pounds per cubic foot.)
Now as you know, wool is light and fluffy. Placed in a nice loose bag, it generally weighs about 0.6 pounds per cubic foot, and nobody in their right mind would ship wool like that! To save shipping costs, we've always resorted to sucking as much air out of the wool bag as we can and then tying it off and quickly packaging it, so as to compress it as much as possible. (Don't worry, it regains its fluff upon opening and airing.) But with experimentation, we've found that the VERY BEST we can do is to vacuum-compact the wool to 4.3 pounds per cubic foot. In short, if we ship over a cubic foot of compressed wool, you'll have to pay for 2.5 times more weight than it really is.
The solution: never ship wool in a box equal to or larger than one cubic foot in volume ... that way you pay for its ACTUAL WEIGHT rather than the inflated "dimensional weight". But of course that limits the amount of wool we can ship at one time.
We've found a box size that works best to maximize your bang for a shipping buck: 14"x14"x8" (0.91 cu ft box weighting 0.9 lb). Thus, we can manage to compress and ship 4.0 pounds of wool ... no more ... and the USPS will charge shipping for 5 pounds (wool + box weight). Of course, we can always ship less than four pounds and you'll pay only for the actual weight (always rounded up to the next whole pound by USPS) ... but the best economy is to try to get as close to 4 pounds of wool as possible.
Once the weight is established, it depends on how far the box is to be shipped, from us to you. The USPS uses Zones to set the rates, as shown in the color-coded map below. You can figure your zone and then use the shipping charges for the wool weight ordered (up to 4 pounds max) to see the cost (the weight of the shipping container has already been included).
For example: You're in Atlanta, Zone 6, and you order a fleece weighing 3.5 pounds. The shipping charges come to $17.05.
It is our suggestion that if you want to order fleece, it be in a quantity of 3.5 to 4 pounds or less.
Please say what colour you would like: white, medium silver, or a medium to light shade of brown, and staple length if this is important.
Please e-mail your questions about fleeces, wool, sheep, or our other items, payment and shipping to Joanna & Keith Gleason at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 303.823.0837
or by using PayPal