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Do you 'explain' shipping costs?

ie- mention if item is oversize, shipped in two boxes, etc

     
1:42 am on Aug 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Just curious if anyone has done any testing on explaining their shipping charges?

Some of our widgets are shipped in two boxes, and many widgets (depending on size) are shipped in boxes that UPS automatically tacks on 6.50 for handling due to size.

Was curious if that is something I should mention either in the item description or on the shipping calculation page in order to control / manage customer expectations.

Thoughts?

8:41 am on Aug 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

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In printed mail order catalogues it is common to see a "special shipping charges" note on the item description of large items.

I have never had a need to deal with this myself but I would feel there was something unreliable about a business that hid that information until later in th checkout process.

6:59 pm on Aug 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

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We have to ship a lot of long stuff, which they sometimes add the excess size fees onto. I've sometimes made a note by the products that this will happen on. It's not a bad idea, because a matter of just a few inches can change the shipping cost significantly. Many customers are either living in the 80's when it comes to shipping fees or they are simply paranoid about a higher fee being a scam. It can't hurt to explain what the deal is. I personally wouldn't try and justify every single thing though, because after it while it just makes you sound like your making excuses for everything.
4:03 am on Aug 12, 2008 (gmt 0)

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If something requires extra "handling" then I like to see it as a separate line item charge in the shopping cart. I don't like to add it to the sale price since that makes me less competitive when I submit to shopping comparison engines.
1:38 pm on Aug 12, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I would say my level of explanation depends on the product and my description. Items which are necessarily large i.e. washing machines, should require no explanation. Some widgets are available in a variety of sizes; if properly differentiated in the product description, I don't think customers need to be told that a larger/heavier item may cost more to ship as a direct line item.

Personally, I think 98% of people have some point of reference for shipping costs -- nearly everyone has sent some sort of birthday or holiday gift box. The biggest bit of input people might lack is the origination of the shipment; they'll expect higher shipping costs if they know they live 3,000 miles away!

5:59 am on Aug 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

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a lot of time it depends what your competition is doing. I ship items with the $45 UPS oversize charge, but the standard in my niche is free shipping..... so that is what we do. In testing it converted higher.
11:58 pm on Aug 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

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..."In testing it converted higher"

What converted higher? Explaining it or not explaining it?

6:07 am on Aug 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

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free with high price vs actual shipping with lower price