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Shipping Kona Coffee
22 April 2007


Gargoyle Living on a Kona coffee farm in the middle of the Pacific means we're sensitive to the cost of shipping stuff through the mail.  For example, say we need something really important like a gargoyle shaped bottle opener.  If we can't find it at the local Walmart then we have no choice but to order it off the Internet and wait for it to arrive in the mail.  That's not as easy as it sounds.  After spending all day tending to the coffee trees under the hot Hawaiian sun, Kona coffee farmers can sometimes get a little cranky, especially when they're told shipping to Hawaii takes two to three weeks when any self respecting Kona coffee farmer knows it really only takes two to three days.  It's difficult to not yell when told shipping will be $35 for that $19.95 item yet it would obviously fit nicely in a USPS priority mail flat rate envelope for only $4.60.  Stuff like that can make a Kona coffee farmer wonder if a gargoyle bottle opener is really worth the effort.

Here at Kona Earth, we hate companies that do a poor job of shipping their merchandise.  We really, really hate companies that charge a "low low" price then turn around and stick it to you in the shipping and handling costs.  A little bit of padding for shipping and handling is reasonable, after all, there are materials, time and labor involved.  We admit that we pad our prices a tad.  It costs us $4.60 to ship a pound of coffee and we bump the price up to $5.  That 40 cents covers our "shipping and handling" expenses which consists of printing and attaching the label to the box then carrying it down to the mailbox.  Even considering that printer ink is more valuable than gold, and our mailbox is really far away, there's no reason to charge $35 for shipping and handling.

size Most shipping costs are determined by weight yet it is common practice to charge the customer a tiered shipping rate based on the total dollar amount of the purchase.  With this method, shipping a one ounce gold necklace can be more expensive than shipping a fifty pounds box of bolts.  The problem is that most online shopping carts don't understand that a necklace can fit in a tiny envelope while a heavy box of bolts requires more robust wrapping.  To solve this dilemma, many merchants simply overcharge for shipping in order to cover any possible scenario.

Thanks to the brilliance of our Kona Earth programming department, our custom built online shopping cart is intelligent.  Every item we ship has been entered into our database.  A complex top-secret algorithm designed by gnomes then computes the exact cost of shipping based on what items are being purchased.  For example, the website knows that two half pound bags of Kona coffee will fit in a U.S. priority mail flat-rate envelope while three bags will not.  Even better, it knows that three bags of dark roast Kona coffee and eight bags of medium roast will fit in a single box while four bags of dark and seven bags of medium will not.  This is because coffee beans expand as they are roasted so dark roast beans are slightly larger than medium roast beans and hence fewer bags of dark roast will fit in a single box.  Not many websites are smart enough to know that but ours is.  Go ahead and try it, you'll see that if you buy a gift basket and two half pound bags of Kona coffee, it will all fit in a single box ($8.50 shipping) while a gift basket and three bags of Kona coffee requires two boxes ($17 shipping).

priority mail So think of us next time you're shopping online for important stuff like replacement R/C helicopter parts or cool swag for your latest geocache (we know you'd never be shopping anywhere else for Kona coffee).  When you shop at Kona Earth, not only are you getting the best Kona coffee possible, you're also getting the fairest shipping prices possible.

Note: Prices were accurate in 2007 but may have changed since then.

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