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Thoughts on shipping....


Di_in_AZ
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I am a bit miffed and I would like some of your thoughts on shipping. I ordered from a company who told me shipping would be $18.70 priority shipping with confirmation. I got the package today and it was shipped flat rate shipping with no confirmation--a difference of $10.00. I just don't get it, is this supposed to be normal and acceptable? As far as I am concerned this is a rip-off. What do you think?

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Just emailed them asking if it was an error--I will give them the benefit of the doubt, I think it is terrible. Every ten customers, cha-ching--another $100 in the pocket. Sheesh! I know this happens on Ebay, never had it happen with a supplier.

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Yep sounds like a rip off! I'd definitely take it up with them to see what they have to say..then if they don't credit you, I'd take it to every public message board and let others know who they are, and what their business practices are! Seems to be the only way to get these companies to make things right with customers nowadays!

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It looks like the shopping cart calculated based on weight, and of course the shopping cart isn't smart enough to know if what you ordered could fit in the flat rate box. But they really should have refunded you the difference when they found they could ship it for only $8.10 instead of the initial quote of $18.70. Let us know if they respond to your email and whether they are able to refund you the difference.

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That is complete crap, and poor business.

I am sure you are not eager to order from this company again, with things like this going on. I would contact them and let them know they either made a mistake or need to pad the shipping a little less obviously. Ten dollars is a little too much to be considered a handling charge, IMO.

Suppliers that do this never get another order from me, ever.

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We have been seeing more and more of this garbage over the past two years or so. Now, when we place an order, we ask if there is a handling charge and how much. We ordered from a large company with "great" prices only to find when the order arrived they had tacked on 25% to cover shipping and handling! That was the last time we ordered from them. When we check we find more and more instances of this. Sometimes the cs rep says they charge only what USPS or UPS or the freight company charges; sometimes they have a flat percentage 4-10%. At any rate, we always find out how they charge for shipping and handling before placing an order. And don't even get me started on freight companies!!!! Things were different years ago. I guess companies are trying everything to cut costs. Pity.

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that is crap, I would file a complaint too. My shopping cart goes based on weight, but what ends up happening on my end when I ship out the shipping ends up being more than what the cart says. I never charge the difference I just eat it. Am I loosing money,well yeah, but it's better than po'd customers IMO. Its on my end, it shouldn't affect the original sale. They should reimburse you the difference at least 5 bucks anyway.

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Call them on it. I emailed yesterday for mine and if I don't hear by tomorrow noon, I will personally call them. If they don't resolve it, then I will take further action. I would rather give them the opportunity to do the right thing.

And don't accept any nonsense about the extra being handling if it isn't listed separately. These are the types of things that should be calculated into the retail price of your items. They are the cost of doing business and that is supposed to be added in. I think they do add it in and then add extra. It has become a huge rip-off in this country, but only but the unreputable businesses in my opinion that conduct business like this.

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Ohhh...who is it? Gotta add them to my black list. :laugh2:

It seems that more and more suppliers are padding their shipping costs. The last 3 flat rate boxes I received from various sources cost me $10 each, claiming the extra is "insurance" and "packaging". Ummm...they weren't insured and 2 strips of tape and shredded newspaper sure is pricey. I haven't checked this weeks shipments yet, but I suspect the total overage this week is around $20...so far it averages $1000/year of my hard-earned money lining their pockets!

I'm just a little (alot!) obsessive about shipping!

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I think I will call them on it. That is just crazy, I know I got bilked last time as well. I didn't order nearly as much (the box was smaller and weighed less) but I still paid 39 bucks for shipping. I bet that they took an extra 10-15 bucks from me then too.

Oooooo.....I am so finding another supplier.

There should be a general thread in here somewhere about suppliers. :undecided

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Handling fees should really be stipulated in their "shipping info" section on the website - I always check that because I order international. Whether national or international, dishonesty with regards to shipping is simply unacceptable. As far as I am concerned if the company did their costings properly handling charges should come off their gross profit margin and not be the customers problem.

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Well, I e-mailed the company I recently purchased from, and am just waiting for the customer service to investigate and get back to me.

I'd like to think that this is simply an oversight on their end. Although, having it happen both times I've ordered from them seems a bit weird. I went back and checked my other suppliers and they have all been within a few dollars, or bang on what I paid for shipping. I don't mind it being out a few bucks, it's an estimate after all.

I think I will be more diligent in the future.

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An update on my end in case anyone is interested.

They claim that the additional money they charged me (which was not broken down in their pricing, but was apparently outlined in their shipping policies) is due to handling fees. 12 bucks for handling fees. For printing an invoice, filling a box, taping it up, labelling it and taking it to the post office. Woo.

Hm. If they took 9 other orders to the post office that day, thats what...$120 bucks in supplies and time? Doesn't figure to me.

Strangely enough, none of the other companies I deal with in the US have these extra costs figured into their shipping prices. Perhaps like me they look at them as being part of the general overhead.

I would advise everyone to check out the shipping policies of every company that you spend your money at very carefully. And also remember to compare your way bills to the invoice to make sure the numbers match.

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Well here is how it ended for me....I will just post the verbage. They offered to refund the excess, but quoting priority and shipping flat rate is the way they do it--although I highly disagree and let them know it. Seeing as they offered the refund, I will not post names, but if anyone wants to pm me, you are welcome.

My email:

I just received my order from you and I am a little surprised. You quoted me the shipping as $18.70--priority with delivery confirmation. What you shipped was flat rate with no confirmation. That is quite a bit of extra shipping? I see you add a $1.50 shipping fee, but this is $10.00, very excessive and it looks as if you quote one way, ship the other and then you have just made $10 off of me. Can you please explain this? I hope there is some error as this is a very nasty way to get more money off your customers.

Their first response:

Thank you for contacting us.

The way it works is that a website can not calculate with flat rate boxes since it can not know what product will fit into a flatrate box.

We used to add a flatrate shipping to a product directly and then specify free shipping (or better wight =0 since the weight is the shipping cost) but then in your case, it would have been 2 x 9.60 (8.10+1.50) + the rest would have been a firstclass envelope.

So what we did is we set the prices on the high weight items way lower so that at the end, products and shipping together are at a good price. The only other way we would have is to not use flatrate boxes and add the difference back to the products, but this wouldn’t make sense since at the end, our customers basically would pay more for shipping and this would make the product pricing higher.

So yes, we do use flatrate boxes in order to provide best possible prices on the total purchase.

Hope this helps to understand how to use a website technology together with postage calculation. If you have any further questions or concerns, please feel free to write me.

My response:

I am a candlemaker who has supplies shipped frequently for over five years now. It is deceptive to do anything other than to quote actual costs for shipping. Your costs of business should be factored in the product, shipping is entirely different. If you are unsure if items can go in a flat rate box, then it would be appropriate to have your shopping cart calculate the priority shipping, then if it can go flat rate--return the excess shipping to your customer.

What you are basically telling me is that you keep the excess shipping (in my case) so that you can sell the products cheaper, which is no way to conduct a business. So you break even if the items do not fit in a flat-rate box, and make out if they do. Shipping is NOT a money maker and should never be mixed in with the cost of products. The customer pays that and it is separate period.

I had hoped you would have made good on this. I am disappointed and will not be ordering from you again and will make others know this is how you conduct business. If you check many other suppliers of scents, candle supplies and B&B, you will see they charge the customer the actual shipping and if they can get a cheaper rate of shipping, it is for the customer as the customer is the one responsible for the shipping, they should be getting the benefits of cheaper shipping, not the supplier.

Their final response:

>>then if it can go flat rate--return the excess shipping to your customer.

Every refund would cost us the transaction fee + we would have to manually enter the customer address and credit card information in a virtual terminal.

We did try this before and the cost of doing this is just not covering the margin. On top of there are just too many shipments we have to even being able to handle this way.

>> items do not fit in a flat-rate box, and make out if they do

We only changed the prices of the high weight products because we know that it will even out with the shipping cost. This way we can make our customers being able to pay less for shipping because we take a flat rate box.

>> Shipping is NOT a money maker and should never be mixed in with the cost of products.

I agree - partly. If you can tell me any other way to be able to trick the system without having to refund every order for shipping, I will gladly do it. Our Goal is to give our customers the possibility to buy the products for a great price overall, including shipping. This is not eBay where they charge 1 cent for an item and $ 20.00 for shipping. This is a technical workaround for making Flatrate Boxes work for our customers.

>> they should be getting the benefits of cheaper shipping, not the supplier

Once again, we really feel bad that you do not agree to split up the pricing of heavy weight products that we know can fit in a flatrate box with the shipping that can not be calculated correct due to the nature of the products. We are more then happy to change this if you have a way that works without having to refund thousands of order.

I see your point, and so far we did not get any complaints due to at the end, all that counts is what you pay for the whole purchase. If you still feel that we owe you the difference of shipping, I will refund you for the difference and we leave it at this. We do not have and do not want any unhappy customers (edited out their name here).

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