It is no longer possible to offer free shipping, which is the same lately for many small creative businesses. The work is labour intensive, and prices must reflect this in order to survive. I try to be as fair as possible in pricing - in fact, myself and others like me, often give a lower value to our work than we should. There is always very little room for profit. For eg…on occasion, shipping costs for a pair of Sketches earrings amounted to 1/2 of the price I was charging for the earrings. Definitely not sustainable. I do use a company with the most competitive prices and yet, provides very reliable service.
A suggestion, especially if ordering a pair of Sketches earrings or a small pendant, many of which sell for under $100, is to order with a friend. Because the weight of 1 vs. 2 pair of these earrings is negligible, the cost of shipping ( with tracking and insurance ) would be the same, but you would both share the cost.
If you have a deadline by which to receive your purchase and require faster shipping, I would let you know the amount at the time of ordering. The same would apply to custom orders - the shipping cost would be included in the original quote for the work.