I think this was brought up before, but I wanted to put my spin on it.
I've given up on being able to automate my shipping. For the kind of orders we have, it's just too complicated. It's big long stuff mixed with little tiny stuff. So it's one of those things where only a human can figure it out and be truly efficient. Otherwise in most cases... I'll lose out, or the customer will. The importance of this was brought home to me last night, when I was looking through a few people's sites, while trying to buy some little hobby items for myself. I was shocked to see that most sites were trying to charge me $7-9 to ship me two tiny things that literally could have been put in an envelope. Guess what... I abandon my order on all of them.
I'm sure some programming genius could come up with something for my site to automate it, but I just don't have the time or money to deal with it. So I thought of this today... How about just adjusting the prices and offering free shipping for everything. The problem is... The prices would have to be raised to cover it. These items are mostly not small... Many exceed dimensional weight, and I just can't absorb that on my own. It has to be made up in the price.
So here's the big question... How many people are going to look at the price and go: 'Nope... Too high, no thanks'... and how many are going to go: 'Well, but I do get free shipping, so that price is OK'.
We mainly sell products that we make ourselves and they are not retailed anywhere else... So it's not like I'm competing with a million other people for the same exact items. However... There is somewhat of a generic acceptance of price for certain items that other people do sell. Not the same exact product, but similar. So there's a chance I could bust that price a little in some instances.
So I'm curious what people think... Obviously, making it known that people are going to get free shipping would be paramount.