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Ideas for Dealing with Shipping

bertbert subscriber Posts: 12
I have notice a lot of SUN members struggling with shipping related issues.  This is very understandable as it tends to be assumed as easy and left until last.  So I have decided to do something that I have wanted to do for years.  I have created a web site that contains free informational articles concerning shipping for Internet retailers known as http://www.BusinessShipper.com</A>.  There is only one article there right now.  This is only the beginning but I thought SUN members might find the first article to be of value, so I decided to go public early.

Comments

  • smurph05smurph05 subscriber Posts: 2
    I abandon my integrated UPS shipping calculator because shipping charges are not disclosed until the checkout process starts. I now offer free shipping on all orders over $200. The problem that I encounter with free shipping is one of the consumer who is shopping around for best price. Since shipping charges are rolled into my prices they appear to be higher at first glance. If the consumer does not spend enough time on a competing web site to figure out that with all of the shipping and handling rolled in they will actually pay more for the product then I lose the sale. I have competitors who advertise a ridiculously low price and then charge an inflated shipping and handling fee and charge for accessories and finishes that are included in their wholesale price! With fuel charges increasing at a rapid pace, my profits are diminishing but I hate to raise my prices at the risk of losing sales to the more deceptive websites. It is a real catch-22.
  • iouone2iouone2 subscriber Posts: 14

    bert
    ... I completely agree with your shipping charge comments. As a matter of fact, I think the shipping cost issue is one of the largest problems of buying through the internet. I currently offer free shipping for orders of $100 or more. At the same time, I offer free delivery to all orders in the city of my place of business.In October of `06 I created a poll discussing this very topic. "shipping: Flat Rate VS Real Time Qoute" The reason for this poll was my concern of shipping costs being the obstacle of people`s dislike for online retail purchasing. As you can tell from the poll, it`s absolutely in the minds of the shopper. Eventually, I would love to offer free shipping everywhere, but crankin out the numbers to make it happen isn`t that easy.One comment about the resources you are soon to put together... I hope you plan to create an online version instead of only PDFs. PDFs are not bad, but I think your search engine recognition would be more intense if all those keywords were search-able by the engines. I think I would also visit the pages rather then downloading the PDF too. However I did download and read your first article.
  • iouone2iouone2 subscriber Posts: 14
    CraigL... I agree. I don`t like marketing someone else`s products either. As a matter of fact, my products are 100% better than the other products on the market. You won`t even find another seller to compare directly with. On top of that, why should price be the bottom line decision maker? You (and everyone) knows quality, and selection of a products are also decision making factor when buying a particular product. And let`s not forget the quality of service you receive from any given company.To be honest, I know my product is best. My return customers know they will not find similar products elsewhere online... Even if it`s not expressed well enough on the site (that always a challenge).Have you ever wondered where the professional interior decorators get those fabulous home decoratives? That`s right! Many find there unique and talked about earthborn & handmade decoratives on ElusiveTreasures.com!
  • dougmorris35dougmorris35 subscriber Posts: 0
    A very informative conversation.I started my business offering free shipping on orders over $75.  I found that 1/2 my sales took advantage of that.  The sales that were over $75 seemed to be coming from customers trying to reach the free shipping offer.I tested a flat rate offer (4.95 then 3.95) and some moderate success.  The sales were for lower priced items (under $20 retail).  My UPS charges took away any margin I made on the product.  I`ve gone back to the free shipping offer.  I`m not averse to flat fee.  Consumers probably like knowing that shipping is either a fixed price or free. I definitely charged too little for it, though.I was in the traditional retail world for a long time and overhead is massive.  Overhead in the online business tends to be lower, but shipping costs are big part it and are only going up.  At some point, those costs have to be passed along.
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