I get occasional mail about shiping costs. As I hope you all know, postage is almost totally beyond my control and I pick the cheapest means possible consistent with rapid delivery. I have been very disappointed to see the steady increase in postal rates over the relatively few years I’ve been in business.
The situation has been helped by the US Post Office coming out with a series of flat rate boxes. If I can fit your order into one of those boxes (the size of an old VHS cassette is the small size) then you get that rate; otherwise the rates are much higher. So for me it is really a balancing act of matching weight, volume and price to get you the best deal possible.
Between postage and customs charges–anything over a certain amount, depending on the country but typically $100 US, gets extra attention from customs–there are in effect two markets (domestic and international) where there should be only one. Yes, I am a free market economist and I’d much prefer to compete with other figure manufacturers on price, selection and quality alone.
People sometimes ask about re-sellers in their own country. They imagine that if the the figures were available locally, they could buy them at the same price and save the shipping and customs charges. Problem is, re-sellers must pay shipping and customs charges, too. Plus, they invest in inventory and must strive to keep the price low enough to tempt you to buy from them instead of from me via the internet–all the while earning enough profit to keep them in business. Trust me on this: you’ll pay shipping and customs either way. Imported Artizan and Foundry figures in the US go for above $3 per figure; Mine average around $2.
My recommendation for you the customer is to consider the total cost of the figure in your calculations, as well as such unquantifiable factors as quality and availability.