Shipping charges

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  #1  
Old 09-21-15, 07:04 PM
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Shipping charges

I wanted to buy some more parts for my riding mower project so I found a company that had what I wanted for decent prices, some of the prices were VERY good. I worked up two different orders, one for about $35 and the other I added another item to bring it up to about $98. For the first they wanted $35 and change for shipping and the second the shipping was a bit over $40. That works out to be more than 100% of the merchandise value for shipping on the first order but it drops to "only" about 40% if I add that additional item. Nowhere were any weights of the merchandise mentioned although I suspect that the total weight would be less than ten pounds including the last item.

I sent an E-mail to the company asking why the shipping charges were so high and the answer was they had no control over the charges, it was entirely up to the shipper. I had also asked why they couldn't use USPS flat rate shipping and they replied that USPS won't pick up from their location.

Maybe I'm just an idiot but whenever I have had to ship something across the country the fee was based ENTIRELY on the package weight and the distance traveled. I also know that USPS will pick up from any address they deliver to, which means that unless this company is located REALLY far out in the sticks they probably receive mail very close to their door. And if they DO have to travel to their local post office to pick up their mail why couldn't they simply make one or two trips a week bringing their outgoing packages along when they go to pick up their incoming mail?

(Today the USPS left packages for me in the parcel locker at my mailbox AND one at my door because the latter was too big to fit into the parcel locker.)

It seems clear to me that this company is padding the shipping charges to make up for the lower item costs. I sent a reply to their E-mail thanking them for the prompt response and also letting them know they lost me as a customer. Trouble is, there are very few places for me to get these particular items and most of them have higher prices.
 
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  #2  
Old 09-21-15, 07:20 PM
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They no longer strictly charge by the weight. The items that are shipped are assigned a value based on weight and size. More size than weight. They know how many packages of what size can fill the tractor, or plane's hold, or shipping container and the rate you pay is based on how much room your package takes up.

I ordered two air conditioner covers for my parents motor home. You've seen those white A/C units on the roof of an RV. They only weigh a few pounds each as they are thermoplastic but they are pretty large. It cost me $150 to have them shipped halfway across the country.

I was a little pissed so I called the company and they gave me the exact link to the UPS rates... and they charged exactly what the rate was that was posted.
 
  #3  
Old 09-21-15, 07:59 PM
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Oversize packages are a different issue. All the shipping companies have always had oversize package surcharges. I'm talking about small items that would fit in a shoe box with plenty of room to spare for padding.

Most of the "junk" catalogs charge shipping based on value rather than weight but they have made a study of what the cost vs. weight is and the charges of the seller are NOT the charges by the shipper. Most of the "better" companies I deal with are still charging according to the weight of the merchandise rather than the cost.
 
  #4  
Old 09-21-15, 08:13 PM
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Pete is right Joel I buy a great deal of things online and try when I can to get free shipping. So most of the time I buy in bulk to get the best deal. Of course at times you can't buy in bulk to get a lower cost because they don't have free shipping.

Both Fedex and UPS go by the dimensional weight meaning they require measurements and the weight of the item to get the shipping cost. As to the USPS it is true that maybe a business does get mail delivered to them by the post office but they will not deliver anything by the USPS. The main reason being is that too many things have been lost by the postal service due to their poor tracking ability. The postal service is getting better in some places but is not as good as Fedex or UPS.
 
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Old 09-21-15, 08:43 PM
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On Amazon I have actually bought a slightly more expensive version of an item to get the free shipping. Had I bought the cheaper item and paid shipping my total cost would have been more then the more expensive item with free shipping. Things like USB hubs and some hardware items have shipping that equals or exceeds the cost of the item so I buy them "shipping included" on Ebay to save money. Sometimes it is the same seller on Ebay and Amazon.
 
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Old 09-21-15, 09:08 PM
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UPS charges a premium for oversize packages, I can understand that, but the two covers I had shipped were not classified as oversized.
 
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Old 09-22-15, 04:06 AM
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Ii it says shipping cost, that's one thing. But if it says shipping and handling then you know there is a large mark up for handling fees. Shipping cost have increased tremendously over the past several years.

Furd, nowadays threatening or telling a company that they are going to loose a customer means absolutely nothing.
 
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Old 09-22-15, 04:18 AM
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Two words: Amazon Prime.

And I second Norm's comment on customer service. I'm in a battle right now with a large regional furniture retailer over a warranty issue that SHOULD be covered; they're offering $300 store credit (item new in December 2012 and "guaranteed for life"). I'm not optimistic of the outcome.

If I treated my towing customers like some of these retailers, I would be out of business.
 
  #9  
Old 09-22-15, 05:18 AM
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Whenever I buy something online I figure the shipping cost along with the price of the item. As Ray stated, the cheapest item price doesn't always equate to the best deal. What I don't like is some vendors make it difficult for you to assess the shipping charge making you almost completely fill out the order before you can get that price

Last week I ordered cable bushing for my jeep. I declined becoming a member because I didn't want all the emails that come with it ..... well they are sending me emails daily anyway and because I didn't become a member I can't track the package or even verify if it's been sent
 

Last edited by marksr; 09-22-15 at 06:42 AM. Reason: fix typo
  #10  
Old 09-22-15, 06:12 AM
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I'm with you on that, Mark. When I'm price surfing and I get to where I can't find out the bottom line without inputting personal info, I bail.
 
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Old 09-22-15, 09:46 AM
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Hi: PJ

Read your post with absolute amazement. $150.00 for shipping? Seriously?

Thinking outside the box:....

In some instances it pays to buy from a big box retailer then directly from a manufacturer or distributer. In the case of RV roof top A/C covers, likely be far less expensive for shipping or free if enough product(s) are purchased.

Spend enough and shipping usually free with some big box sporting goods online retailers. Might add another RV commonly used product to the list just to get the free shipping. Bundling goods sometimes a wise idea then ordering one specific item.

For the price of shipping if a big box sporting goods retail is close enough or even some reasonable distance away, a road trip might save some bucks. On the way could be a good time to relax and take in the sights, etc...

Often the time spent traveling to and being in a big box store or nearby retailer is better then the conveniences of paying far more online buying. Paying cash avoids credit card bills and at times problems associated with there use!

$150.00 BUCKS!!!??? That's an expensive convenience by any means!!! Travel to parents, buy retail on the way there and visit them with the surprise. A WIN - WIN! Learned word to the wise. Visit them soon and often if at all possible. You only have NOW. Might not have it later!...

My Two Cents...
 
  #12  
Old 09-22-15, 03:21 PM
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Generally, I DO consider the total cost when I buy mail-order and I check as many places as possible before deciding on where I will buy something. A few months back I bought a "3/4 horsepower" eight-inch bench grinder from Harbor Freight. I was going to use it with a wire wheel and a buffing wheel to augment my Jet eight-inch bench grinder which is also rated at 3/4 horsepower. I think I wrote in the tools forum about what a joke that HF grinder turned out to be. Anyway, I decided to get a second Jet grinder and looking all over the Internet the best price I found was at the Amazon warehouse. For those that don't know, the Amazon warehouse has items that for one reason or another have been returned and they sell for significantly less than brand new in factory packaging. Anyway, since it was over $35 dollars the shipping was free although I did have to pay sales tax. I still saved anywhere from $30 to $70 (depending on where I looked) over the cost of one in a factory carton. An excellent buy in my opinion.

Last night I bought a DC-DC voltage booster off of Ebay. I could have got it for about $14 from China but I wanted sooner than three-six weeks so I bought the exact same thing for about $17 and will get it next week. It will be worth the extra three bucks to get it sooner.

As for the items in my original post...I did my Google and Ebay searches and found very few places that had what I wanted. As I stated, this is for my electric riding lawnmower project and there are very few places that sell the parts I need. I found one here in Washington state but that would mean I have to pay sales tax in addition to shipping which makes it more expensive than the company in Georgia that I'm griping about. I found some on Ebay that would work but none with free shipping and with the additional shipping charges it makes it the same cost or more than the original company.

This company also has a number of items on close out that are selling for VERY good prices, not counting the shipping costs. By being picky about what I get I can get what I need and maybe some of what I want for an acceptable cost including shipping so I will likely have to eat my words and go ahead and buy from her anyway.

Oh, speaking about determining shipping charges and having to "register" before being able to ascertain the charges...I found one company that had what I wanted for a good price, $49. and nothing on the entire site about shipping charges UNTIL I registered and found out they wanted an additional $22 for shipping this one single item that weighs less than two pounds and is maybe four inches on each dimension. They didn't even state where it would be shipped from, the US or China.
 
  #13  
Old 09-22-15, 03:31 PM
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Shipping can be a two way street. I accidentally bought the wrong size item (dang mm). They were willing to refund my payment if I shipped it back on my dime. Cheapest shipping I could find was more than I would have gotten as a refund. No sense shipping it back.
 
  #14  
Old 09-22-15, 04:16 PM
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Very true, Ray. I have bought several items over the years that weren't quite what I wanted but the cost to return was so high as to not make it worth the time and trouble to return for a refund.
 
  #15  
Old 09-23-15, 07:12 AM
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Can someone explain how it's possible that stuff shipped directly from China can be shipped for a fraction of the cost to ship from a neighboring state? I notice this time & time again when buying cheap commodity items like cables, connectors, tech gadgets & such--but not limited to just small items. Direct from China takes much longer but the TOTAL cost is often less than just the shipping from a US warehouse.

It's not like I live on the dock and they toss the package off the container ship as it passes by. Once in-country these things take the same route to my door that the US-sourced items do.

Preferential rates??
 
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Old 09-23-15, 09:18 AM
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I notice this time & time again when buying cheap commodity items like cables, connectors, tech gadgets & such
So have I. Buying things on Ebay I have bought items where the price with shipping seems less than the cost just to make it. I just bought a USB hub. From Hong Kong $1.00 shipping included. Identical item from New Jersey $4.00 including shipping.
 
  #17  
Old 09-24-15, 12:57 AM
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The rest of the story.

I had to eat my words and made the order. A total of 14 discrete items, some of them multiples of a single item, total weight of three pounds and the package size is 9 x 9 x 5 inches. Shipping cost from Clarkesville, Georgia to Bothell, Washington is $23.00. US Postal Service Flat Rate would have been $12.65. Supposed to be delivered next Monday. I also found out that FedEx charges an additional $3.00 for residential delivery.

Compare that to the DC-DC boost module that I should be receiving on Monday as well. If I bought the module with (free) shipping from Hong Kong I would pay $11.66 and receive it in about three weeks. Buying the exact same module (same vendor as well) but (free) shipping from Chino, California the cost is $13.97 and I get it in less than a week. The additional $2.31 is worth it for the much quicker shipping time.
 
  #18  
Old 09-24-15, 03:28 AM
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What determines how they will ship? I ordered 3 plastic bushings, the invoice says 5 oz total weight and it came by FedEx although instead of delivering it to the house they just hung it on the mailbox I got a deal on a metric tap and die set but it came thru USPS ... currently sitting at the post office waiting on me to pic it up. I would have thought the lighter item would have come thru the mail and the heavier one thru UPS or FedEx.
 
  #19  
Old 09-24-15, 05:23 AM
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There's a lot of shared shipping. USPS actually moves a lot of stuff via Fedex and/or UPS from what I understand.
 
  #20  
Old 09-24-15, 05:32 AM
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Buying the exact same module (same vendor as well) but (free) shipping from Chino, California the cost is $13.97 and I get it in less than a week. The additional $2.31 is worth it for the much quicker shipping time.
Same here on my previous reference to buying a USB hub. Went with New Jersey instead of Hong Kong just for the faster shipping speed. Getting old and impatient I guess.
 
  #21  
Old 09-24-15, 01:48 PM
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I used to work for Fedex ground unloading tractor trailers. Items that weighed more than 100 pounds or were not shaped like boxes such as barrels, fence posts, tires and hazmats were not put on the conveyor belt and put aside. They probably were given extra handling. I loved that job but 20 hours a week and a 50 mile commute each way made it rather unpractical.
 
  #22  
Old 09-24-15, 02:16 PM
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I went to the post office this afternoon to pick up my package and noticed their hours posted on the door 9AM - 4:30PM, monday - friday, closed on saturday/sunday. I no longer work for a living but if I did and for those that still do - how are they supposed to get their packages?
 
  #23  
Old 09-24-15, 04:55 PM
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Most Post Offices are unofficially open very early in the morning. In the box lobby there is usually a Dutch door. Sometimes there is a door bell sometimes you just have to knock. They are not counter clerks but back room employes who also hand out mail to box holders who have over size packages.
 
  #24  
Old 09-24-15, 05:20 PM
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USPS hours vary from location to location.

For instance at the West Seneca Post office:

WEST SENECA
4300 SENECA ST
BUFFALO, NY 14224-9998
Lot Parking Available

(4300 SENECA ST BUFFALO, NY 14224)
800-ASK-USPSŪ (800-275-8777)

Phone 716-675-3672
TTY 877-889-2457

Retail Hours

Mon-Fri 8:30am - 5:00pm
Sat 8:30am - 3:00pm
Sun Closed

Last Collection Hours

Mon-Fri 5:00pm
Sat-Sun Closed

And at the Orchard Park Post office, next town over:

Orchard Park Post Office

60 School St, Orchard Park, NY 14127
Contact Numbers:

Phone: 716-662-4110
Fax: 716-662-3547
TTY: 877-889-2457
Toll-Free: 1-800-Ask-USPSŪ (275-8777)
Retail Hours

Monday-Friday 8:30am - 5:00pm
Saturday 8:30am - 1:00pm
Sunday Closed

It all depends on the type of traffic they get for that area.
 
  #25  
Old 09-25-15, 03:30 AM
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No dutch doors at our local post office. I know they get there early but I'm not sure you'd get them to come to the locked glass door. The thing is, even if the next post office has longer hours if your package is at the office with the short hours ......
 
  #26  
Old 09-25-15, 06:49 AM
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Originally Posted by BigGuytinytown
Items that...were not shaped like boxes... probably were given extra handling.
A few years back I shipped about 50 items packed in cardboard carpet cores using various vendors, over several months. Ever try to crush a short length of 3/8" wall cardboard tube? These tough packages did receive "extra handling"--but it looked to me like they considered them a challenge to see how much abuse it would take to destroy them.
 
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