Sunday, February 12, 2012

Ship Free or not Ship Free - that is the Shipping question

"Free Shipping" - eBay pushes it - many sites like Amazon offer it, but the question is, just how important is it??  how can it effect the bottom line??  Can the smaller sellers offer it without cutting their own throats?

Shipping items sold online costs - pure and simple.  And the cost is not just the postage - it is packing material, boxes, tape, ink, paper or labels, gas to the post office and - oh - your TIME.  Now, in order to offer "Free Shipping" this cost ends up in the overall cost of the item, and if it doesn't, then you are losing money on every sale.  Sadly, many forget to do so and wonder why their profit is little if nothing at all.  Also, sadly, for those items shipping is separate charge, consumers knee jerk at the cost, even when it is just the postage.  

According to Retail's Big Blog "Consumers now expect free shipping. Fifty-five percent of consumers expect free shipping on all orders. Also, shipping clubs such as Amazon Prime and ShopRunner are growing. "

 Granted - that is mostly the "Big Boys" - but how can this trend impact the smaller merchants? 

That is the BIG question.  What are your thoughts?  Are shoppers more inclined to buy with "Free Shipping"?  When you shop online do you look for "Free Shipping"?   Are you one who offers "Free Shipping", if so - your input is gratefully appreciated.

The Funny thing is a $7 item with $3 shipping costs the buyer $10 - that same item a $10 with "Free Shipping" also costs $10.   People - "Free Shipping" isn't "Free" ( hence the " " marks)

1 comment:

Dede said...

Susan you are right, free shipping isn't free. However, when you are shopping and you don't have to add in the shipping on every item it does make a difference to me. At the same time I also know that when the shipping is included in the price when you buy a few small things, you are really paying high dollar for that shipping. To be honest I like the flat rate shipping for one or ten things. This in no way answers the question for you but it does give you my two cents.