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SHIPPING and Your customer...


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Well, Kiddos It's time again for another RANT from Sponie... 

(children screaming) YAY!!!

WARNING! I'm FIDDNA GO OFF on some "common BIDNES practices"! If that's gonna upset you, skip ahead and look for this guy---->*deadhorse* He'll be guarding the end of the rant... 

So the topic I have selected for today's diatribe is "Automatic Shipping Calculations" or "How to Lose a Customer In the Time it Takes to Open a Drop Menu". 

So here's an idea if any of our online suppliers are reading... (GOOD GAWD WHAT CAN IT HURT to try?) 

PLEASE guys... PLEASE try and figure out what the cheapest rate for your customers would be. OR Even BETTER... Put a drop down list of the usual suspects for shipping:

USPS (ALWAYS put USPS on the list please... NO! No excuses! PUT THEM ON THE LIST!) 

I can't tell you how many dozens of orders I have just simply never placed with a company because the shipping for a 4 ounce item was $11.95 USPS Priority mail when a frigging $3.20 large envelope could have been charged for First Class...  SOME customers can't or WON'T "just give you a call"... In my case, placing phone calls during normal business hours means I get less sleep, and frankly I'd rather pay less, but wait a week longer, and place an order NOW with China than have to forgo yet another 45 minutes of sleep from my already scant tween-ish weekly hours of sleep just to CALL someone to ask them to place an ORDER for me because USPS first class shipping wasn't available for a 4 ounce non liquid, perishable, or fragile PACKAGE OF SHRINK WRAP BANDS to a PO BOX! (Worse yet would be the endless email swap about shipping options...) 




Not all of the customers will opt for your company's choice of shippers but most, if not ALL of your customers WILL know what carriers work best for them in their particular situation...

And for you suppliers out there that carry and ship fragrance oils or hazmat, might I make a suggestion to CLEARLY mark with some sort of (BOLD ITALIC ALL CAPITAL LETTERED UNDERLINED WARNING mentioning how this PARTICULAR item can't be shipped via USPS, or at least SOME explanation of WHY YOU HAVE to charge 1/3 of a person's eternal soul in order for them obtain the bottle of "unobtainium" from your company?) 

Finally suppliers I might STRONGLY SUGGEST that YOU NEVER offer in word or letter the popular glib patent answer of "weeeeeeeeell, SO many of our products have to be shipped via ground that we just don't offer USPS as an option..."

Don't be the poor unfortunate soul that makes that comment... 
Oh gentle readers, the above rant is really only applicable to a very small group of MAJOR online suppliers, (THEY KNOW WHO THEY ARE). That would lure you into believing some tripe about a "sale" in which they turn around and violate your soul to death over shipping sticker shock AND then have the chutzpah to go for your wallet with LIMITED payment options.

I have absolutely no problem with anyone else doing what they gotta do for their shipping options, because frankly EVERYONE else is our future source of suppliers. 

Rant over...  

Well, I hope that clarifies at least one point of view regarding some of this shipping confusion...

Hope all y'all have a blessed Thanksgiving Day! 


The "HOW *******K**** MUCH DID YOU SAY FOR SHIPPING!?*CLICK*" executor of Bad Ideas and all that jazz...  



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Shipping calculations are the absolute WORST part of setting up a web shopping cart. 


I use ZenCart, which does have usps, but can't possibly know which items will ship well in a padded envelope versus a regional rate versus a giant box. It's crazy. I have to program the average shipping carton weight, then add weight of every single item in the catalog and hope it works out to be close enough. Shipping is where I tend to lose the most money. 


Etsy gave a little hope with its assisted calculations based on dimensions and weight, but it's usually off because of the packaging dimensions of various combinations of items. I had to state in my policies that I refund shipping overages automatically if over by$1 or more. What a time consuming pain that is. 


Really it sucks. It does. I feel you. Where I get the most cheesed is when suppliers use shipping intentionally to offset low, low prices to appear competitive on purpose. One ceramic supplier I will never use again charged me $29 for shipping and the items arrived in a $7 mailer. 

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Thought of one I hate more than inflated shipping: mystery shipping. The Herbarie does not show their shipping rates when you order. They pack the order, then change shipping later. You don't know what you will pay until the charge shows up on your card. They ship ups, so you just know it starts at $10 and goes up from there. 

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I remember years ago when C&S had mystery shipping. It was a super pain in the patootie!! But then they finally fixed it and now their shipping prices are listed and they are very competitive with other suppliers so I am happy at least about that. But no matter where you go shipping is high everywhere.


One of the reasons I like my Amazon Prime account is the free shipping on all my orders.


I don't know how many times I have dropped a sale due to shipping rates. Shipping rates have gotten so bad that I have to order bulk supplies in just about everything to keep costs down. Mainly this is a good thing as it can save me money but what about those times when I only need an item or two and the shipping is double the price of the item?!!! Argh!!!!! I hate that.


Edited by Candybee
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I tried having the Regional Rate A on my drop down and customers always select that so I had to take it off.  It ended up costing me to much.  Over the years I offered different rates and it just didn't work out.  I do offer USPS and UPS on my drop down.  My shipping charge is based on the weight of each product.  If they are over charged I always refund anything 1.00 over.  If they are offered cheaper rates they alway select the cheapest no matter how much they have ordered.

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Regional rates only works for those shipments in closer regions. If you ship in state it works great. But across the country regular priority flat rates work best.


Personally I always pick the cheapest rate when I shop. I can't imagine why anyone else wouldn't unless they had special shipping requirements like overnight or wanted to use a specific carrier or something.

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