Shipping and handling fees are calculated on the weight of the item inside the box/container it will ship in, including the weight of the packaging supplies. A small amount is allotted to help pay for the bubble wrap, peanuts, etc. and now insurance rates are built into that amount as well.
I don't know how to stress enough that WE do NOT have any control over USPS rates! Our shipping prices are not just pulled out of the air - you have read what they are based on and what they include. It is not just an arbitrary amount that we can change at whim. I am always willing to consider parcel post as opposed to Priority mail if you live far enough away to make a significant difference in cost. To use parcel post, we can not use the post office's boxes and must find or purchase other boxes instead. We will not do that for the person who lives in the next town and who will only save 30 cents by using parcel post as it costs us more money than it saves you; however, the savings can be quite substantial to you if you live halfway across the country, so please request a parcel post price quote if that is the case.
We are always glad to combine shipping for multiple purchases, but please request a shipping total and wait until you receive a combined invoice from me before attempting to check out or pay - it is much easier to figure it prior to payment than to un-do payments already made and make refunds for overpayment.
We ship once or twice a week, more often in busy seasons. If your payment comes in right after a shipment goes out, then your item will most likely have a 3-4 day wait until the next shipment. You should receive an email from Paypal when your shipping label has been printed and that label does include the estimated day of the shipment going out. It also gives you the tracking number so you can keep track of your package. Please do not request that we send you a tracking number since this will automatically come to you anyway. If you have a spam filter that will not allow the message from Paypal to come through to you, you need to change that, since that will be the only notification you get.
Please remember that when Priority mail says it takes 2-3 days, the Post Office does not include weekends or holidays in their estimates. I have been finding that many packages are not arriving nearly that quickly - sometimes 5 or 6 days from the date we print on the label. We cannot be held responsible for the transit time once a package leaves our warehouse. Likewise, we have no control (unfortunately!) over the rising USPS costs, as already mentioned here, which are particularly bad when going across the country or in an oversized box.
If a shipping calculator in an ad is not working for some reason, please request a shipping quote for an item by emailing me with your zip code - I will be more than glad to let you know exactly what to expect. Thank you!