Please Note - some of the following information has now changed. More info on current prices can be found on the Postage Info Page
[The following information was correct in 2011 when this blog was published, some of the pp charges have since changed - we will post an update as soon as we can].
We do occasionally get asked if we can combine orders from the three CPU Enterprises websites. This is not possible and one of the reasons for this is because each one has different P+P rates. So we thought we would give an explanation on here as to why each site has a different UK P+P system.
DKY has a flat standard UK P+P rate of £2.50. That rate stays the same whether you order one crochet hook or a ton of yarn. When DKY first went online we felt very strongly that all costs should be up front and simple to understand - one of the reasons we chose to include VAT in all our prices. A good side effects of having a flat standard P+P rate is that it works like a discount for larger orders. We do occasionally get asked to discount larger orders - although one persons large is another persons average. As the P+P costs already work like a discount, we are not able to give further price reductions. We also pride ourselves on always giving the best price we can on all our stock.
Why did DKY chose £2.50?
When we first went online in 2000 the P+P was £1.95, but we had to raise that to £2.50 in 2007. That is just one rise so far in the 11 years we have been online, and that was only because Royal Mail hiked their prices a lot in that year. We obviously can't rule out any future rises but will always think hard before we do that.
The original price was worked out by how much it would cost someone to go into our town centre to buy yarn by bus or by car (parking costs & petrol). We thought that was a fair way to do it. - shops
What does that £2.50 cover for DKY?
One of the other reasons DKY has a standard rate for all orders is that there are some costs that all orders have - large or small. Printing costs, Visa Charges (can be as much as 2.6% or 40p - whichever is higher), paper, labels, mail bags, envelopes, office staff time, etc. The rest goes towards the Royal Mail Postage costs.
Craft Bits has a different way of charging for P+P. For UK orders over £10 the P+P is free. Orders under £10 has a P+P cost of £1.50 per order.
As with all 'free' P+P sites, the prices charged on the website include a small mark up to cover P+P costs. Most other 'free' P+P sites have a minimum order, CB doesn't, you can buy as little as just one pair of eyes from CB. But CB do have costs that are incurred in all orders (like DKY above) and the profit on one pair of eyes would not cover those :-)
Why did CB chose £1.50?
Same reasons as DKY but as CB already have a small markup for P+P in the prices it can be lower than DKY's. However that P+P cost really should be increased as CB do still make a loss on some small orders which go over the Large Parcel Royal Mail size into Packet Size :-(
Craft Kits is again completely different.
It was our third site and a bit of an experiment in both design, layout and P+P.
Kits are obviously a standard weight per kit so it was easy to use the Shopping Cart to work out the P+P price. We couldn't use this for DKY as they have many thousands of goods with many different weights. CB couldn't use it as they again have many different weights. For CB there are also many different types of packaging (which all have a different weights) which differ for different pack sizes, even for the same goods.
The price of each kit on the CK site is usually cheaper than on sites which have free P+P and are usually cheaper than the RRP. When the P+P is added the prices usually come up the same or less than those on the 'free' P+P sites.
There is a minimum P+P price of £1.50 for the same reason as CB, but you can get up to 100g of kits for that price, which is quite a few Mouseloft kits for instance. We have also made the cart work out the P+P prices so that the more kits you buy, the cost of the P+P actually gives a bit of a discount too.
Therefore, because of the different P+P charges and the adjustment of prices, it is impossible to combine orders.
There are other reasons they can't be combined, such as different booking systems, staff and warehouses, these may be subjects of a future blog.
Hope this helps clarify things.