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Ecommerce Forum

Customer loyalty
Is shipping and handling a factor?

 7:37 am on May 9, 2002 (gmt 0)

It seems to me that some buyers reject businesses that charge a high "handling" fee as part of the shipping and handling. Are there studies or opinions about this? I'm considering charging a flat fee at my web store to make the shopping experience more consistent. Buyers can purchase heavier items with a "shipping discount" while lighter items would be to my advantage. I figure it will balance in the end.



 7:59 am on May 9, 2002 (gmt 0)

Sun, that sounds like a good idea. Are you based in the U.S.? What I do is take advantage of the US post office as much as possible. I'll do only Fedex, or UPS if the customer requests it, or for some international shipments.

I save a lot in shipping and packaging by going with the post office. Sometime I will even ship first class for smaller orders. Believe it or not, I haven't had a single package lost.

Write them a note with the shipment and tell them that you appreciate their business.


 8:50 am on May 9, 2002 (gmt 0)

i charge a flat fee for shipping, and ship using the post office, on large value orders i record the delivery, in 2 years i've had 3 packages go missing (possibly, according to the recipient anyway)
france = 1, uk = 1, usa = 1

even at christmas the service is very good, i was shipping from the uk to usa - first class (airmail not priority) and getting 4 day delivery times.

if you are in the uk a good tip is to use "E" stamps as these don't have the price on them, so people who have "overpaid" using a flat rate system don't know.


 5:13 pm on May 9, 2002 (gmt 0)

Yes, I am in the U.S.a. Packages are primarily shipped USPS First Class or Priority, with the ocassional FedEx. Seems every buyer I talk with wants actual or discounting shipping, but that in turn could make you seem "less competitive". You still have to make profit which might require raising the item price.


 5:23 pm on May 9, 2002 (gmt 0)

As a consumer, I can tell you that s&h is a major point with me. I often postpone purchases waiting for someone to flinch and offer free freight... a practice I've followed long before the internet. I recently purchased 2 systems from Dell and 3 printers from Buy.com based on free/reduced freight promos. I calculate the bottom line, not the line-item price.

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