Calculating Shipping for an Online Store

Have you struggled to try to figure out a successful formula to use to calculate shipping without having to actually pack the item so you’ll have an idea of what to charge a buyer?

Have you found that even the best shipping calculator doesn’t get it right or the packing materials to keep the item safe weighs more than you had thought they would?

Over the years, I have developed a very simple formula that has been extremely successful. Very rarely, it will undercharge slightly and occasionally it will overcharge, but it usually gets within a few cents of the actual domestic shipping for the U.S. Postal Service.

If there is an overcharge of more than a couple of dollars, I do refund the buyer. Most don’t notice the refund, but it feels better to me to give it.

So the formula is this:
Take the weight of the item, round upward to the nearest pound, and then multiply by 2.

The only thing that I have had this formula fail on when using the U.S. Post Office, is very large packages that the post office uses dimensional weight rates. Also, it will overcharge for media mail pieces, which I just simply list the weight rounded up to the nearest pound to get accurate shipping to put in the listing of the items.


Photo by chuttersnap

What is Amethyst Glass?

Amethyst glass is a dark purple glass that looks black until held up to a bright light, revealing its deep purple color.

This wonderful glass comes in varying depths of purple and a variety of pieces that were produced in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Black amethyst glass is such a dark purple that it takes a very intense light to bring out the purple color. One excellent example of black amethyst can be found at

Be wary of pieces that have been subjected to radiation and forced to turn purple or glass that has been exposed to sunlight. The color is not as rich and simply looks wrong. You can see some excellent examples of false-purple glass at

The first time I saw amethyst glass, I was entranced as I had never even heard of this remarkable glass. I was introduced to it by my mentor who delightedly (although, admittedly, he is usually delighted over every item he is selling) showed me a beautiful piece of glass that looked black, but when held up to the light showed it actually was not black but a rich, beautiful purple. He was enjoying the little joke that it was such a nice example of amethyst glass but everyone at the flea market was passing it by as an uninteresting black vase. Of course, I bought it and added it to my personal collection as a reminder to always look beyond the obvious.

Amethyst glass is a favorite of mine because it has a hidden second beauty that is not readily apparent unless someone is willing to take the time to discover it.

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