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#1 of 36 Old 01-19-2006, 11:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Has anyone here made the switch to "free shipping" or "shipping included"? I'd have to raise my prices, but I've been considering offering free shipping. Curious about whether others have noticed an effect on sales.
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#2 of 36 Old 01-20-2006, 01:43 AM
 
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: anyone? i've had this suggested to me by a couple of friends, that they are put off by shipping charges, but I haven't switched either

Brenda- Blessed wahmama to Sara(7) & Alex(5) 7/10 & 9/10 Living the crazy life with dh David & Charlie on our little urban farm!
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#3 of 36 Old 01-20-2006, 02:14 AM
 
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I switched to "shipping included" so there are no surprises at checkout. People seem to really like it this way. Also wanted to include. My products are still in the same price bracket as similar products with my shipping included in the price. It doesnt make them that much more expensive. But I guess it does make a difference when you're looking at larger products vs smaller ones. $5 on a $70 product doesnt seem like much whereas on a $10-$20 it may. I guess it all depends on what you're selling?

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#4 of 36 Old 01-20-2006, 02:16 AM
 
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I've thought about it... But always decide against it because since it adds to the price of the product, it appears more expensive than products elsewhere.
I think a clearly stated shipping cost, so people know upfront what it will cost, makes people happy.
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#5 of 36 Old 01-20-2006, 10:58 AM
 
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I think Free shipping is a great idea. I used to do it but was never sure how to work it into the price. Now I charge a flat rate of $4.85, even though it costs more than that to ship my slings. I read somewhere that people won't pay more than $5. I know I have stopped at checkout before bc of high shipping. But, I am getting coupon codes soon and think that "free shipping" will be a great way to attact customers.
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#6 of 36 Old 01-20-2006, 12:31 PM
 
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I did the free shipping coupon codes when I first opened the website, and I just revamped my shipping prices a few weeks ago (before that I was often putting "change" in people's packages because I was so off on my low shipping, by $2 or so, and just felt awful for overcharging that bad!! ) I have also been put off by shipping charges when I went to check out, mmmm....

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#7 of 36 Old 01-20-2006, 01:08 PM
 
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We just added a PayPal cart to the site and the cart seemed to only allow us to charge flat shipping - either based on a set fee structure or a percentage of sales. I thought that would be a big turn-off to customers so now we have free shipping.

I can't say how it's effected sales because I haven't had a sale from the site since we made that change.

--Kari
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#8 of 36 Old 01-20-2006, 01:16 PM
 
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A while back I had a sale where I offered free shipping and it was surprisingly effective. However, it seems it will only work if you can get the word out to a large number of people. Advertising seems to be the primary motivator...
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#9 of 36 Old 01-20-2006, 09:47 PM
 
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I don't offer free shippping - I charge a flat rate and it's high I know. But I do get orders and the shipping rate is plainly listed on my terms page, so I don't think it's a surprise to people. I'm sure I lose some business b/c it's high, but the markup on diapers is so low, I can't really justify free shipping right now. I also think that there needs to be some kind of handling charge - to go pick and pack and then ship. I mean, if people are buying from me, I think they understand that I'm a WAHM and not some huge corporation.

I have refunded a couple of times tho if it was really small shipping. I don't make it a habit, but I like to feel I'm being fair to people too

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#10 of 36 Old 01-20-2006, 10:50 PM
 
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I hate to break it to you, ladies, but the intention with most conventional mail order businesses is to make money from spending money. In the case of shipping, the business has to put cash out to pay for the shipping. Even if the package goes COD, the business has to get it box it up, and get it out. This cost manpower, materials and time. s/h charges must be greater than all these combined and then a profit, or you are loosing money on every transaction. You can't stay in business that way for very long.

I think customers would rather know how much that is, than to pay higher prices for the goods. Speaking as a consumer, I would tend to purchase from companies that keep this low, have good products at fair prices, and stand by their products with a liberal return policy.
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#11 of 36 Old 01-21-2006, 12:37 PM
 
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I do free shipping over $100 with a flat rate until $100. I find 9 times out of 10 most people try to make up to the $100 to get their money's worth. I need to raise my shipping fees all around, with the recent increase in shipping charges, but it's tough to do to stay competitive with other online stores. I will be doing it, it's just a matter of time.

I'm in Canada, as well, and shipping here is much more expensive than in the US so it really eats away at *any* profit. I wouldn't even consider Free Shipping without a minimum. At least this way, generally it's less than 10% of an order, and a customer feels as though they are getting a 10% off discount (which, technically, they are!).

I really hate shipping fees. Almost as much as bank fees! :

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#12 of 36 Old 01-23-2006, 12:55 AM
 
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I don't offer free shipping at all. I keep debating about doing it for orders over a certain amount, but have so far always decided against it. I charge a flat fee, which is clearly stated on my site. I'm in Canada too, and shipping is NOT cheap ... it would almost be worth the drive to the other side of the border to ship parcels once a week (actually, I know a WAHM who does that semi-regularly).

It's a toss-up, isn't it? Customers like free shipping, and customers like lower prices. Each method attracts it's own set of customers - don't know which one attracts more though.

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#13 of 36 Old 01-24-2006, 03:15 AM
 
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i have always offered free shipping.i considered stopping that when the postal rates went up, but decided against bit. i think generally ppl like to know what the totall will be as they are shopping

Melissa- homeschooling mom to Samantha ( 9) Gabby ( 8) Emma (6) and Diesel (12 months) and Rachel Rebecca Brock Erik Joe Noah 6-25-10 5 early miscarriages
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#14 of 36 Old 01-24-2006, 10:08 AM
 
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I offer free shipping. Maybe I'm different in that I didn't really approach this in the mindset "I'm starting a business". My website was originally to make it easier for friends to see what fabrics I had at the time.

I set the prices to cover materials, shipping, and a reasonable amount to cover my time -- if something takes me a half-hour to sew, I like to make $5 on it. I'm not in this to make a fortune -- as long as I make enough to cover my expenses, I'm actually doing ok.

Obviously there are some very inexpensive items where the shipping eats up most of the price of the item. In those cases, my customers are often ordering several items (each of which has the shipping worked in, but which all together aren't heavier than a pound).

If not, if they're ordering only one inexpensive thing, where my markup is maybe only $.50, I look at it as an investment -- someone who just wants a small sample of my product, who may be back for a larger order. I have many repeat orders.

But like I said, I didn't approach this plan with 'business' in mind. I wanted to make things as easy on me and as easy on my customers as possible.

(I do charge a flat rate for Canadian/International shipping, though. It's so expensive!!)

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#15 of 36 Old 01-24-2006, 03:02 PM
 
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I charge a flat rate shipping fee of $2.50 but with the increase in postage I may be going to $3.00
I offer free shipping as a coupon like to MDC members
I was thinking of having a free shipping day - like a day of the week where shipping was free and I would post it on my Yahoo group and on the front page of my site maybe like **Free Shipping Friday** or something like that.
Thoughts?

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#16 of 36 Old 01-25-2006, 10:21 AM
 
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I have a fee scale for under $100. At $100 shipping is free. Large items I still charge shipping.

I am considering one flat fee for all except those large items. I am going to add up all shipping costs etc for this year and see. In my experience it is about 50/50 of those who buy the one extra tiny item to get the free shipping vs those who still spend $99 plus shipping.

Shipping is very expensive and time consuming. If I offered free shipping all the time I would loose a lot of money. Many people buy just a pencil or keychain. I maybe make $1 on the item and it still costs at least $4 to ship. I would be at negative $3. Then add in the cost of either getting to UPS/USPS or the cost of being a regular UPS stop.
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#17 of 36 Old 01-26-2006, 12:24 PM
 
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I decided to do a free shipping Thursday for today - I'll report back and let you know how it goes

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#18 of 36 Old 01-26-2006, 03:04 PM
 
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I offer free shipping on orders over £99.
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#19 of 36 Old 02-01-2006, 04:52 AM
 
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I offer free shipping over $75, and my average sale is $80. I sometimes wonder if I change it to free shipping over $100 if that will raise the average sale.

Other than that, I charge mostly $4 for shipping, but I am paying out an average of $5.50 for shipping and then there's the big orders where I pay $10, but since the customer gets free shipping, it is really scary how it cuts into profit.

I'm thinking of weighing all my products and charging *actual* shipping costs, where they can choose what shipping method to use, so they can see it all laid out how much it will cost and when they should get it. If I do that I'll still have free shipping on order over a certain amount.

I never give out free shipping coupons because I am still a one-person company and sometimes it takes me all day to ship. That would probably throw me over the edge!

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#20 of 36 Old 02-01-2006, 04:56 AM
 
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I thought about a little "sale:" offering free shipping to those who tell me where they heard of my site. This seems like a pretty good exchange since that sort of information seems valuable. Of course my regular customers would probably be the ones who are most likely to jump on the offer, but I feel like they deserve a little something "extra" anyway.
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#21 of 36 Old 02-01-2006, 08:40 AM
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I don't charge extra for packing supplies, or for the time I spend ordering, or for business cards. THose things are figured into my cost of doing business.

So I don't charge for shipping either. I HATE paying a seperate shipping charge. You shop for a bargian, find one and then the shiping is twice as much as at another sit. Frustrating.

So, I don't charge shipping,m ever. Even on tiny orders.

My profits are small, so's my business. But customers love it.
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#22 of 36 Old 02-01-2006, 10:49 AM
 
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I used to offer flat rate shipping amounts, and they were a bit lower then average. For the only bulk item I used to carry (BioKleen 50lbs) I would add on $10 or whatever it was to cover the extra shipping expense (same with the wooden kitchens). I would note that in the section so that the people purchasing would know that they were being charged slightly over retail so that it would not effect their flat rate shipping.

It seemed to work out well. I never had complaints and it was easy for me to manage. As a customer I appreicate stores who do actual non inflated shipping, but that can be time consuming!

If you are shipping some heavy items (like wooden toys or soaps and such) I like this scale:
up to $ 15.00$4.95
$ 15.01 to $ 25.00$5.95
$ 25.01 to $ 45.00$7.95
$ 45.01 to $ 65.00$10.95
$ 65.01 to $ 90.00$13.95
$ 90.01 to $ 125.00$16.95
$ 125.01 to $ 200.00$20.95
$ 200.01 and over10% of Order

But if you are shipping just clothing, then I would go lower on this ... something like
0-$25 $3.95
$25.01-100.00 $7.95
$100-$200 $11.95
$200+ free shipping or percentage of
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#23 of 36 Old 02-01-2006, 12:42 PM
 
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I wonder if those who don't charge for shipping, also don't charge sales tax. ??? I just couldn't see paying for both myself.
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#24 of 36 Old 02-01-2006, 12:54 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by art4babies
I wonder if those who don't charge for shipping, also don't charge sales tax. ??? I just couldn't see paying for both myself.
98+% of my orders are from out of state so sales tax is not an issue since I only pay taxes for orders from Texas.

I tried the 'free shipping thursday' last week and got 2 orders which is average for me so I think I'll try it again this week and see how it goes.

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#25 of 36 Old 02-01-2006, 01:24 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kerikadi
98+% of my orders are from out of state so sales tax is not an issue since I only pay taxes for orders from Texas.

I tried the 'free shipping thursday' last week and got 2 orders which is average for me so I think I'll try it again this week and see how it goes.

Keri
I have no intentions to hijack this thread.... but don't you have to pay taxes on all orders, whether or not you charge tax?
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#26 of 36 Old 02-01-2006, 08:21 PM
 
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I try to keep my shipping prices low because I know that high shipping can be a deal breaker for me. I've abandoned many shopping carts when I felt the shipping costs were out of line.

I charge $3.85 for up to $24.99 and $6 for up to $49.99, free shipping for orders $50 and over. Canada is an extra $4.

Some customers just don't care about shipping I think. I got an order today for $44, $50 including shipping. She paid the $6 postage instead of adding a $6 item and getting free shipping.

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#27 of 36 Old 02-01-2006, 09:34 PM
 
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Well, I dont pay sales tax...but, I live in Montana and there is no sales tax.

My assumption is everywhere is different...but It seems like most states you only have to pay sales tax on instate sold items (like you see infomercials and they say if you live in Texas add 8.5% sales tax ) Next time you see an infomercial check it out!

Back to topic. I include shipping in my prices. I dont want to have to worry about shipping charges. Most of the time I might eat .50 cents shipping (like if I charged 1.50 and it ende dup being 2.00) but, I agree...I have abandoned many shopping carts because shipping was just crazy. (except ONCE it was something I needed and I emailed the wahm and asked for her to reduce it saying $9 shipping was REALLY high on 4 yds of PUL. She agreed and refunded most of my $$)
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#28 of 36 Old 02-02-2006, 05:24 PM
 
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I thought of doing free shipping on my site but have decided against it. My miniature dolls and accessories are very inexpensive to ship but my Twig Pavilions can run as much as $12 depending on shipping zone. I could increase the prices of my items to cover shipping but I know that to see those higher prices on the items would turn me off as a customer.

I really love to see shipping based on weight alone for several reasons... I don't like paying more than I have to or should and to not see a padded shipping fee makes me have more trust in the store owner. It's like with ebay. I've been looking for a certain PBS special on dvd and the majority of the sellers are charging at least $9 to ship it media rate. The cost is padded to cover their ebay fees PLUS they get to pocket a few more dollars. I won't buy from those sellers even if the cost of the dvd is less. Not sure I can explain it but when i see exorbitant shipping fees I feel like the seller (or shop owner) is trying to fool me into believing that shipping actually costs that much. I'm no fool so it personally offends me. Maybe I'm just weird lol

My shipping will be based on weight alone. Cost of packing supplies, business cards, etc will be included in product price.


edited because I'm no fool but I can't spell lol
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#29 of 36 Old 02-02-2006, 05:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freespiritmom
Not sure I can explain it but when i see exorbitant shipping fees I feel like the seller (or shop owner) is trying to fool me into believing that shipping actually costs that much. I'm no fool so it's personally offends me. Maybe I'm just weird lol.
Oh, I couldn't agree with you more! It makes me angry when they do that.
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#30 of 36 Old 02-02-2006, 07:44 PM
 
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I charge a minimum of $4.50CAD, 6 pads and under and I can ship it lettermail which is cheaper but most of the time I can't and it is over $6CAD for shipping. If they purchase the pads individually then the shipping goes up a bit after the first 2 and the next 2. I have a max amount shipping will be. they can always choose to purchase through a package if they'd like and get more pads for cheaper shipping but there aren't as many options for packages.

I have a special thing coming up where I plan on offering free shipping.
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