An Immediate Change to our Shipping Policy

LAP_logoEffective immediately, we are now charging shipping on all orders. The cost is about $7 per book and goes up based on weight.

Why are we making this change? For the last 32 months we offered free shipping on all orders. And after a detailed financial analysis, we determined that “free shipping” was costing us much more than anticipated. It was simply unsustainable.

We considered raising retail prices to cover this shortfall, but that wouldn’t be fair to people who buy our books through our retailers, such as Lee Valley Tools and Highland Woodworking, or at our storefront in Covington, Ky.

We wish we didn’t have to do this, but it is truly necessary.

Lost Art Press is a small business. The only people working on it full time are John and me. Kara, Meghan and Megan are all part-time contractors.

Yes we ship out 25,000 books each year, but we also split all profits with our authors 50/50. This is an unheard-of royalty in the publishing business, but we think it’s the only fair way to operate. As a result of this 50/50 split, Lost Art Press has slim margins, and it’s the reason why John and I also work other jobs to make ends meet in our households.

So this isn’t a ploy to squeeze more money out of customers. This shipping charge is a way to ensure that Lost Art Press will be around for a long time and continue to keep high-quality woodworking books that are printed in the USA in print.

As always, we thank you for your support. And if you have any questions, let us know at help@lostartpress.com.

— Christopher Schwarz

About Lost Art Press

Publisher of woodworking books and videos specializing in hand tool techniques.
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47 Responses to An Immediate Change to our Shipping Policy

  1. hgordon4 says:

    Works for me. Your books are all a great value anyway. And when you look at the percentage of the price that had to go to cover the shipping costs… I figured it was only a matter of time until you had to do this. Personally, I want quality – but only at a price that make it worth doing for you.

  2. johncashman73 says:

    TANSTAAFL.

  3. I bet all those who procrastinated rather than buying each book as it came out (or each one they wanted) are kicking themselves right now. Looking at my shelf, it looks like I saved at least $200 in shipping costs over the last couple years 🙂

  4. Tom Blamey says:

    Still a bargain for such fine products.

  5. Alex A. says:

    Your books are worth it.

  6. Patrick Harrington says:

    Honestly, I could never understand why you weren’t charging shipping from the beginning.

  7. brian black says:

    No explanation needed. No one should have a problem with this.

  8. Rick says:

    Sounds reasonable to me

  9. Richard says:

    I have no problem paying for shipping. Have wondered why this change hasn’t happened earlier.

  10. Smart move – you are more than entitled to a fair compensation for the very valuable benefit readers receive from your many efforts. The other day I saw silver 25 cent quarters being sold for $25 each and as a kid we sold a dozen ears of sweet corn from our farm along side the road for 25 cents a dozen. Tomorrow is not yesterday. Leonard Lee, a very good friend and genius said to me one day as we had lunch: :Richard there is something called a fair profit.” Take his advice and you’ll do fine..
    Richard O. Byrne

  11. Tommy Reese says:

    It is truly understandable my guess is that your shipping cost was between $150.000 and $200,000. That is a big chunk of money and it is best and fair to charge a shipping fee. Keep up the great work.

  12. Daniel Williamson says:

    As a business owner who ships products all the time, I definitely see shipping costs add up! We do free shipping on orders over a certain dollar amount because I looked at my cost of goods and was comfortable with setting a limit there. With margins as slim as those you have, it’s a no-brained to charge shipping. You’re not amazon, after all. And kuddos to you all for maintaining your integrity to profit share. Great business (and personal life) model.

    Cheers!

  13. Tom Bittner says:

    No problem here!
    Guess your not AMAZON.

  14. Richard Mahler says:

    I have long wondered how LAP could offer free shipping on books of such quality, after all it is not an Amazon who also charges a yearly fee for its Prime 2-day free shipping membership. Paying authors an attractive 50/50 on profits is something everyone should support and it is a long way from American capitalism’s operational theory that profits are maximized by cutting corners, beating up suppliers and paying employees as little as it is possible to get away with. I will gladly pay for LAP integrity!

  15. therealdanh says:

    I would much rather pay for shipping than have Lost Art Press go out of business. Count me in.

  16. Dennis Heyza says:

    Completely understandable and probably long overdue. Does this apply to orders already placed but not yet shipped?

  17. Armand says:

    Is that ends meet?

    Or is it meet your ends?

    Or did you mean “ends meat”?

    I love it when auto-correct misses the syntax error.

  18. Jacque Wells says:

    Sounds exceeding reasonable to me.

  19. Ben Strano says:

    Very reasonable ask.

  20. Jim O'Dell says:

    I am more than happy paying shipping and I will. I’m not sure about $7 and up per book considering commercial media mail through USPS is $1.74 and up plus the cost of shipping materials and the cost to process them. I’m not shipping 25,000 books per year so I don’t really know anything about it. So no complaints here I just wish I would have completed the purchase of the three books I had in my shopping cart the other day. So goes life.

    • None of our books ship for $1.74 … I wouldn’t want to bore readers with details of our shipping scheme, but this is break even.

      • Jim O'Dell says:

        I believe you. Like I said, there are other costs (package and and paying someone to package them) that I don’t claim to know. I will continue to buy books and I will be happy to pay the shipping costs. For the record, the $1.74 I quoted was just the base cost for commercial media mail. It goes up based on weight. I wasn’t claiming it should only cost $1.74.

  21. Matthew Holbrook says:

    Sounds good and smart to me.

    Your per unit shipping cost is very small compared to the great value and service each of your books (and all the instruction contained within) has contributed to each of your customer”s growth in the woodworking craft.

    Keep up the fine work. Never stop.

  22. Mitch Wilson says:

    Good for you. It’s about time that you wised up for the need to do so. Your packaging is exceptionally good and it takes more than 35 seconds to pack up each and every book.

  23. Quite understandable. And for the quality of the books, warranted.

    Respectfully,

    Elliott Driscoll 609 647 6779

    Call me if I can help someone who has a substance use or mental health disorder.

    >

  24. I would easily pay at least $20 shipping for the books you publish…if you still shipped to Canada.

  25. Another reason to come to Cincy for the weekend, drink some beer, catch a game and visit your storefront in Covington to buy a bunch of books.

  26. Paul Gundrum says:

    Are you kidding? Who could complain? Books available nowhere else, highest quality, and now you finally realize that you can’t give them away. Thank you. Please stay in business.

  27. rons54 says:

    Works for me, more incentive to come sample different eateries; and if I can’t the cost is reasonable and you are up front about it. I can’t think of any other business that I order from who absorbs the shipping cost.

  28. Garybergeron says:

    I have never regretted buying anything from lap and don’t imagine shipping costs would change that

  29. mike says:

    Why don’t you launch a $1/month patreon campaign that gives LAPatrons lifetime unlimited shipping, exclusive content and a CS beard grease fingerprint in every book, lol.

  30. jjongsma says:

    Whoa, you seriously share 50/50 with the author? That’s unbelievable. Good for you.

  31. This is totally understandable. I didn’t know how LAP was able to swing free shipping in the first place being such a small business. Keep up the good work.

    • tsstahl says:

      “I didn’t know how LAP was able to swing free shipping in the first place being such a small business.”

      Impressed shoe gnomes. They can’t resist a gaze from a hirsute face.

  32. KEVIN HEDIN says:

    Still a good value.

  33. Jefc says:

    No worries. I’ll give you $10.

  34. pahern1947 says:

    Chris and John

    I have no problem with change. I have purchased many of your books never to be disappointed. Just a suggestion on packaging.

    I have recently been receiving my book s with damaged corners. I believe better protection of the outside edges may help this issue.

    I live in two places both with rural carriers and they both are very considerate postal workers that bring packages to my door rather than leaving them at the mail box on road

    Thank you for your wonderful products.

    Patric J Ahern

  35. Klaus N. Skrudland says:

    I’ve ordered both books and other stuff from you, and always paid for shipping as I live across the pond (Norway). The shipping price is usually higher than the price of the book itself. It’s worth every penny to me. I love your books and some of them have literally changed my life. I will support everything you do to keep LAP going.

  36. John Malloy says:

    No complaints here as to the shipping, costs are costs, and need to be addressed. BTW, I’m amazed at your 50/50 policy, Well done!

  37. Joe says:

    Honestly, at the prices you charge for books, I was surprised you offered free shipping. I want LAP to stay in business and am happy to pay shipping. now if we can just find a way to keep Arriou rasps afloat.

  38. Michail Sarigiannidis says:

    Any chance of adding international shipping now?

  39. kaunfried says:

    I never thought it would be a ploy. Still buy your books when I can.

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