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Thread: Shipping * Feedback please

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    Shipping * Feedback please

    As many of you know I run a small internet base business and 99.9% of my sales are shipped. As the commercial says "Shipping is a hassle". I love my stores software but the shipping calculations are lacking. Bottom line is there isn't a good way to list shipping costs so that sometimes I don't loose money or I overcharge my clients.

    I have had a couple of orders lately that ended up costing a lot more to ship than I allowed for, just because they bought a combination of things I didn't expect and they wouldn't fit in the flat rates boxes. So I am taking a serious look at the subject.

    I am considering different options and just wanted to hear from consumers what gripes you and what you like.

    One option is raise prices to include an allowance for shipping. Advertise free shipping, but of course it is not really free. Draw back is my price is going to look high. Total price may actually be higher this way.

    I have thought about adding some of the cost into the price so that my prices are not way above everyone else. Then charge a smaller shipping fee to make up the difference. End result is the same but it make shipping look cheaper. Not like I am trying to gouge people.

    Maybe there is something I have not thought of?


    Love to hear peoples gripe and thoughts on shipping. Even when people are unreasonable about shipping it lets me see their thinking.
    God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway,
    the good fortune to run into the ones I do,
    and the eyesight to tell the difference.


    Kudzu Craft Lightweight Skin on frame Kayaks.
    Custom built boats and Kits

  2. #2
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    Nov 2006
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    I have seen some websites where they specify that they will contact you to tell you the actual shipping rate before the purchase is completed.

    Could you keep using the flat-rate shipping for most items, but for any "large/complex" orders have it do the same sort of thing?

    That said, I do prefer knowing everything right up front.
    There's usually more than one way to do it...
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  3. #3
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    Nov 2006
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    How about flat rate shipping on "most" items that will fit into the flat rate box, and "actual" shipping on all other items. Your web site could include a shipping calculator much like the one you often see on eBay. Potential customers plug in their zip code and the calculation is done on the total weight of what is in the shopping cart. I believe the link is supplied by UPS and they are actually doing the calc. When I've used this I've always built in a small charge that gets automatically added into the shipping total to cover my packaging.
    Host of the 2017 Family Woodworking Gathering - Sunken Wood

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  4. #4
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    I've done quite a bit of ordering of parts lately. A couple of vendors took the order, but stated that my card would not be charged until they shipped the item. When the items shipped the charges were a few dollars less. I'm assuming they had estimated for individual packaging of the parts, but then combined them and charged actual shipping instead. I didn't get charged higher for any of them either, which I would have complained about.
    Darren

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Vancouver Island, Courtenay/Comox Valley, British Columbia
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    There's no doubt that people would rather buy something instantly, but when I shop online, I'm fine with them saying that they will confirm shipping costs with me before doing the transaction.

    I don't know how your software works, but can certain things be keyed to show shipping automatically, and others keyed to needing a confirmation because it's a weird shape/size or whatever?
    AKA Young Grasshopper Woodworker
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  6. #6
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    Feb 2008
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    I have never liked companies that charge based on price. Shipping deals in weight and size not cost. I prefer the flat rate box shipping for things that fit and actual cost on items that will not fit in flat rate boxes. I don't know what or how expensive software is that calculates shipping based on weight and zip code, but that would be best for non flat rate items. I also like the places that gives the buyer options and the buyer select which they want.
    "We the People ......"

  7. #7
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    Keep it coming! Good info.

    But I can tell you that Shopping Cart Software weakness is usually in shipping. If they could access USPS, FedEx, UPS, ect and pull out their current rates that would ideal!! I would probably buy it. But as it is most give you some options such as weight based or price range shipping. Not great option and they are a real pain.

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Douglass View Post
    I have never liked companies that charge based on price. Shipping deals in weight and size not cost. I prefer the flat rate box shipping for things that fit and actual cost on items that will not fit in flat rate boxes. I don't know what or how expensive software is that calculates shipping based on weight and zip code, but that would be best for non flat rate items. I also like the places that gives the buyer options and the buyer select which they want.
    Good points. From the business side all those are just not practical. As a VERY small business I ship Postal Service only (with rare exceptions). Reason being is they pick up at my shop. I don't have to drive and stand in line somewhere and 'Time and Gas' is money.

    I would prefer to use UPS but they try to charge me ... I think it is $12 to pick up my shipments because it is residential. That is on top of the shipping costs! As small as I am Postal Service is the cheapest by a long shot.
    God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway,
    the good fortune to run into the ones I do,
    and the eyesight to tell the difference.


    Kudzu Craft Lightweight Skin on frame Kayaks.
    Custom built boats and Kits

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    Amherst, New Hampshire
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    when you ship a way other than flat rate you have to consider the cost of the box and packing materials into the actual shipping costs.

    when I had my tool store I quoted my shipping as "shipping and handling" I added 20% of the estimated shipping costs to cover these expenses. Plus the time and gas to get to the PO or UPS terminal.

    I never had any complaints
    Faith, Hope & Charity

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Mountain Home, Arkansas
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    11,825
    I cancelled an order just today for a gun related item. The item was about $11.00, shipping was over $17.00. The item was small and lightweight. It would have gone in a small envelop for under $1.00 or, at worst, in a flat rate envelop for about $5.00. I e-mailed the company and told them never again will I buy from them.
    UPS is competitive and will take odd shaped items.
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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Beaverton, Oregon
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    59
    Lately I wanted to buy a limited time tool from the manufacture but when I looked into shipping it was outrageous. The next day I got an email for the same tool from a popular woodworking company when I added it to my cart and added shipping it was much cheaper. I sent an email to the president of the manufacture and got a great response telling me to purchase it where I could get it cheapest and blamed his shipping software.

    In this case I am sure the manufacture made a lot less money because he sold it wholesale to his channel vs. retail to me. On the other hand he would have gotten nothing from me because of the shipping cost.

    I know that was not an answer but it does give you a consumer perspective.

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