Low prices because of shipping cost?

Hi all!
I am new to the site and have not yet sold a painting; but in the hopes that I someday do make a sale I am worried my shipping costs are going to scare away customers. I am currently living in Ukraine, and it looks like shipping one small painting will cost me somewhere between $30 and $50USD.
I have set my starting action prices very low ($5) to try to compensate that high cost, but then I really will not be making any profit.
What do you all think? Or do you know any cheaper ways to ship internationally from Eastern Europe?

You have a tough one Adam. That overseas shipping will kill you every time. That’s why I don’t sell my paintings internationally. The last time I did I sold a 6x6" painting for about $25 and it the shipping ended up being about $30. Now, obviously it is up to the buyer to decide whether they want to pay that or not. But like you, it just seemed like it would be hard to ask for that kind of shipping amount and still get a reasonable amount for the painting itself. That’s why I just don’t do it.

Thanks Dave. I guess I will just keep posting them and see what happens. I return back to the US every summer, so maybe I will have a big free shipping blow-out sale every June.

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Hi Adam,
Have you tried Ukraine international postal service? It may work out cost wise. I have been shipping internationally, it is good to keep the shipping cost on par with the general value that is around 10 to 15 $ here, and work around to price your work. Only postal service works out, ordinary post may take up to 3 weeks to delivery, that is OK I guess. Good luck and all the best!

I have not be able to de-code their website yet (I don’t speak the language…horrible, I know.). Maybe you are right, and I should mark my shipping prices lower and just eat the extra cost.

Adam, have you heard about this company http://www.meest.us/index.html ?
I’ve never used their services, but somebody told me they aren’t bad, and it looks like their prices are lower than what you mentioned. You could try to check them out. English version of their site is quite terrible, but you can try to give them a call or to email them. Here are their email address and phone: http://www.meest.us/poslugi/dostavka_posilok_z_ukraini_do_ssha.html

Thanks Irinab! I will check them out.

I’d try doubling your prices first thing to help you sell more. If you don’t value the work who will. I have seen many go the low prices route and discover that it’s a losing proposition. Frustration at lack of sales caused them to raise prices dramatically. The results can be dramatic. I’ve been in this for 45+ years. If you compete on price you will give up and go out of business in frustration.

Thank you David. I took your advice and increased the prices. I do value my work, but I do not want to become my biggest collector. I have nightmares of piles and piles of unwanted paintings filling my home.
I’m an international high school art teacher and am quite nomadic. I have never had the opportunity to set up ties with local art scenes or exhibit my work in galleries since I was in college. My hope is that the DPW community and website can help me get my artwork out there, and maybe I can even find the artistic community that I miss. I am very happy and excited to be working with all of you talented artists!