Thursday, March 06, 2008

Thursday Which is Hump Day As Monday Was Vacation

Coffee in the San Francisco skyline mug "Ada" by The National on iTunes. California dreaming indeed. We are obviously still on California time here in Casa Griffith as we didn't wake till almost 8:00 this morning. It was a rush to get everyone out the door on time. Now I sit at the kitchen table (my later-life desk) laptop in front of me, papers and files arranged fan-like around it. I post, I make calls, I post some more, I buy a song on iTunes, the day continues.

The kiln load went in so late yesterday it won't be ready to take out till late this morning or early this afternoon so I have a couple of hours to get through line items on the List. The BMAC is still a fresh memory and now it's time to start gearing up for ACRE in Las Vegas. I have already shipped my booth and work in the Hargrove (exhibition services) caravan from Philly, but I didn't send my pedestals--I don't want to store them in Vegas as I need them for the gallery and shows here. Now I need to find a replacement for them. Do I go to the cardboard pedestals? Or do I try for shelves that hang off the grid walls? Maybe a combination of both?

But the display conundrum can wait. A more pressing issue is shipping. (This is a true stream-of-consciousness post...) Yesterday I spent four hours packing and shipping pieces. I am pretty sure the cost of my time was not figured into the work, nor was a complete and accurate accounting for the supplies used for shipping (Styrofoam peanuts, boxes, tape, bubble wrap, and fragile stickers--it all adds up). But how to charge for shipping? It doesn't make sense to try to make it a percentage of the piece cost because the actual shipping costs vary wildly depending on how many pieces are in a box, the box size, etc.

Another artist told me yesterday that he charges $5 per box for packing materials, etc. I haven't done anything like that yet as I have felt bad about adding anything onto my shipments--shipping charges are already so high--and that's still just materials and not labor. But maybe the labor charge could go into the piece cost as a fixed percentage--it doesn't vary from shipment to shipment like materials do. If I had Quickbooks for Mac right now I could just whip over and look up how much I spent on shipping materials last year to see how much of a hit I'm taking (the bubble wrap flowed like water yesterday), but since I have it for Windows I would need to launch Parallels, start Windows, then wait for Quickbooks to open. Too much time. So I'll fret instead.

No, I'll not fret, I'll get on with my day. Good luck with your surgery today, little Allie. Good Speed to everyone else.


Bill said...

Such complexity!

I think most folks recognize that there's a charge to having things shipped to them.

maria said...

You'll be DISMAYED when you figure out your shipping materials cost! Check to see if there's a custom-made drapery business in your area...they will love to find someone to recycle their bubble wrap...that's what I did....saved a bundle! Now for the storage....

Dee said...

when you get quicken up and running and can see how much you spent on packing materials and then figure how many shipments/pieces you made that should give you a starting point as to how much to add into your price for shipping materials/time. you might ask some of our warm glass peers/ceramic artists who create larger/heavier items how they handle this in their pricing. i do know that it needs to be built into the price or it pisses off the customer if it's added as a line item to the invoice from what i've seen on the wsc discussion boards.