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Thread: Shipping Costs

  1. #1
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    Question Shipping Costs

    I know I'm going to be seen as an old grouch and a cheapskate, I won't argue with that, but It drives me nuts when I order $16 worth of stuff from Lee Valley or anybody else,and the shipping is $8 or half the cost of the items I purchased.
    Am I alone here?
    Dennis

  2. #2
    No, you are not alone here. Your angst is what makes Amazon what it is, the shipping.

    I have the same issue with fishing supplies. I try to wait till I need enough stuff to make the minimum amount for free shipping.

    Big box stores often ship to stores free, but as a high risk individual I am trying to keep my store shopping to a minimum. If I can grab something off the shelf and do quick checkout I will, but want to avoid the customer service desk.

    Many times for hobbies you can't get what you need locally and have to just pay the freight!

    Having sent some packages myself lately, I know shipping isn't cheap!

  3. #3
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    It costs real money to ship stuff. $8 is maybe a little high, but not outrageous. Lee Valley doesn't have their own shipping system like Amazon does. Amazon shipping may be "free" for Prime members, but remember that Prime members pay $119 per year. I also notice that small commodity items are often more expensive at Amazon than going to the store for the same item. They gotta cover shipping somehow.

    One company I buy from has two websites. One has free shipping for everything and the other website you pay shipping on everything. Same products on both websites. Guess what, the website with the free shipping everything costs more. For small orders under $10 or $20 it is cheaper to get the free shipping. For larger orders the website where you pay shipping is less expensive overall.

  4. #4
    Even a 1lb Priority Mail package is ~$7.50...

  5. #5
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    While I can sympathize, I can also be jealous. Being in Canada, it is routine for me to have to pay more for shipping than for the merchandise when it originates in the US. Then, there are all the companies that simply refuse to ship to Canada, and the couriers that charge Canadians a "brokerage fee", which is generally in the $40 range regardless of the cost of the shipment. Shipping within Canada is also much higher than shipping within the US and Canadian businesses don't seem to offer free shipping as often as US suppliers do.

    So, with all that whining out of the way, I sulk away now.
    Grant
    Ottawa ON

  6. #6
    What I don't like about the way shipping is done, is the "price of the Item", shipping rates. The more an item costs , the more the shipping rates are for that item. People can say "Well , there is insurance involved," or some other such thing. If you have 2 identical size and shape items that both cost the same to make, the only difference being that because something is a hot seller, the company decides to charge more for it, why is the shipping higher on the more expensive item ? Seems to me that in that instance, the Company is making a profit on the extra shipping cost; when the shipping cost is actually the same as for the lower priced item

  7. #7
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    Successful retailers have working models for their shipping charges so that overall they do not negatively impact their business. Retailers that ship enough, and consistently enough, can use contracts that are not single transaction specific. Since nothing is free, we all pay shipping whether it is a line item or not. Some suppliers use a price-of-the-sale sort of math. It may mathematically be correct but, it just feel wrong ;-)

    For retailers that allow "free" shipping when you purchase a specific amount, a bit of planning will take care of that. I have 'wish lists' most places I shop and can round out an order to hit the "free" shipping price point by adding something I would buy anyway. For source comparisons, I always go through the motions to get the total cost of getting the item in my hands. Sometimes the more expensive price yields a lower cost when all is said and done.
    Last edited by glenn bradley; 06-23-2020 at 9:36 AM.
    "What kind of chump do you take me for?"
    "First class."

  8. #8
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    Most small order shipping today uses "flat rates" from the carriers for whatever method is being used for the size and weight of the package. A USPS small, flat rate priority mail package costs just under eight bucks...a hair less for volume shippers. And vendors do have overhead costs, too, which are not much different for small orders than they are for large orders, despite the much lower profit. Even in my ETSY store where I offer "free shipping", you can bet that the cost is calculated into the price of the goods.

    As to Lee Valley, you're not doing your duty and buying enough. $30 order gets you free shipping. Who cannot spend thirty bucks at Lee Valley quite easily? Huh?
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  9. #9
    I can't drive to mcmaster car and back for the 10 bucks the shipping always seems to cost me.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    Most small order shipping today uses "flat rates" from the carriers for whatever method is being used for the size and weight of the package. A USPS small, flat rate priority mail package costs just under eight bucks...a hair less for volume shippers. And vendors do have overhead costs, too, which are not much different for small orders than they are for large orders, despite the much lower profit. Even in my ETSY store where I offer "free shipping", you can bet that the cost is calculated into the price of the goods.

    As to Lee Valley, you're not doing your duty and buying enough. $30 order gets you free shipping. Who cannot spend thirty bucks at Lee Valley quite easily? Huh?
    I think that if shipping were built into the price of the items so that my $16 order was $24, with " free shipping", I'd be more likely to buy the items. I don't have research to support that but just feel that way.
    Now your idea of buying more to get to the free shipping level is an excellent one!
    Dennis

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by dennis thompson View Post
    I know I'm going to be seen as an old grouch and a cheapskate, I won't argue with that, but It drives me nuts when I order $16 worth of stuff from Lee Valley or anybody else,and the shipping is $8 or half the cost of the items I purchased.
    Am I alone here?
    You're not alone. Try living in Alaska, where our own country often treats us like another country entirely. I've actually had CS reps tell me, "We don't ship outside the United States." I usually hold my smaller wish list items at Woodcraft and Rockler until a visit to Seattle. The former isn't so bad on shipping but the latter charges pretty dearly. I haven't placed an order with Lee Valley since the website overhaul but it used to be that it couldn't compute my shipping charges in the shopping cart. They'd promptly e-mail me afterward with shipping options which weren't really all that bad considering distance and borders.

    Amazon Prime usually works out pretty well but it's a real mixed bag. I can sometimes shop directly with the manufacturer/retailer, pay shipping and get the product cheaper and/or quicker than Prime. Other times, I'm greeted with angry red text in the item listing:

    This item cannot be shipped to
    your selected delivery location.
    Please choose a different delivery
    location.

    Shipping for non-Prime items can vary from free, to reasonable, to the sublimely ridiculous:
    Last edited by Brett Luna; 06-23-2020 at 12:18 PM.
    Brett
    Peters Creek, Alaska

    Man is a tool-using animal. Nowhere do you find him without tools; without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all. Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881)

  12. #12
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    The smaller the company the closer to retail they pay for shipping. I know the few times I have to ship something I'm always surprised by retail non-volume shipping rates. (The quoted ~$8 priority mail rate is a bargain for shipping with tracking based on my last UPS attempt at a retail counter!)

    Also remember picking something up isn't free, we just cover that cost in our daily living budget mentally and don't charge it to the product. (E,g, I figured a trip to our local Woodcraft costs me ~$4 in gas if I can take the 50+ mpg actual Prius and closer to $12 if I have to break out the van. Whether or not my item(s) are in stock.)

  13. #13
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    Customers are funny. We have in our minds that shipping should be free, but it does cost the seller something.
    We often will drive to a store to pick up an item to save the shipping cost. But fact is gas cost us something.
    We will look at a $1,000 tool but cringe at a $30 shipping fee. But if the tool cost $1,100 and free shipping we would not think twice and be all over it.


    I think shipping charges based on cost of the item is the only simple way a retailer can do it. If they charged actual shipping cost could you imagine all the emails asking "How much shipping to my zip code" Would you be willing to let them ship an item without first knowing the cost? I would not.

    Like others have said. I keep a list of things I want and order once I reach free shipping amount.
    Last edited by Dave Lehnert; 06-23-2020 at 2:14 PM.
    "Remember back in the day, when things were made by hand, and people took pride in their work?"
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Bassett View Post
    The smaller the company the closer to retail they pay for shipping. I know the few times I have to ship something I'm always surprised by retail non-volume shipping rates. (The quoted ~$8 priority mail rate is a bargain for shipping with tracking based on my last UPS attempt at a retail counter!)

    Also remember picking something up isn't free, we just cover that cost in our daily living budget mentally and don't charge it to the product. (E,g, I figured a trip to our local Woodcraft costs me ~$4 in gas if I can take the 50+ mpg actual Prius and closer to $12 if I have to break out the van. Whether or not my item(s) are in stock.)
    Don't forget that the gas is just a small cost of running a vehicle. Some costs are there whether you drive or not, but the non-fuel operating costs & wear are very substantial.

    One thing that really bugs me is calling it "free shipping". It's not. There's no such thing as a free lunch or free shipping.

  15. #15
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    I wouldn’t be surprised that by the time a company like LV processes a $16 order, picks the product and packs it in a box or envelope and creates a shipping label, they have lost money. That’s before they actually ship it. In any case, I’ve looked at my LV wish list and there is nothing on it remotely close to costing $16 so kudos for finding the stuff I might actually be able to afford lol!

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