I have been trying to figure out how to change shipping so that it is easier on myself as well as customers, and I have decided to go back to flat rate shipping that includes insulation and anything needed to keep live insects safe in transit.
I can’t bring myself to ship nymphs without insulation when I know it is needed so I often include it anyway. I also often see many responsible buyers choosing the insulated option when it isn’t necessary (still the safer choice though!). I have not worried too much about it in the past as my shipping prices normally allowed for a little wiggle room to cover those that did not purchase the insulated option when it was necessary. However, I am noticing far too many customers simply going with the cheapest option even with the increase in temperatures. This, coupled with the extra time in shipping due to USPS delays, is causing an increase in dead critters and hatched flies, and it’s taking a toll. Contacting dozens of customers weekly to suggest they pay extra for insulated is far too time consuming.
Rather than having to start enforcing my replacement policy and denying replacements where weather was extreme and no insulation was purchased (I have yet to ever enforce it), I will be buying the insulation and ice packs in bulk and charging a flat fee when live insects are purchased. The safety of the critters must come first. It is a larger cost for me up front, but it will allow me to include insulation on all orders when necessary and extra ice packs if needed as well (especially when feeders are ordered).
I know it sucks to have to pay a little more in shipping, but I assure you it is better than you receiving dead nymphs and paying shipping again for the replacements, which costs you twice the shipping amount and me twice the nymphs.