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In order to get the consumer to buy in our store, we have to make them feel comfortable and offer things the "big" etailers do. That consumers would rather spend the $5-10 bucks on a ticket price item of $100+ on a store that they know is reputable, ie. Amazon.com. He said that probably people will buy a item and people will return it for free, and have their funds sucked out of our bank.
Can anybody help me out with what we should do, can you PM your store URL so I can see what things that have worked for you, and what has not. Thank You.
Free shipping over $75
I would not recommend an online store to offer free shipping, especially when you are just starting out. This will be an extreme money loss and after all, shipping vacuums are not the cheapest thing to do.
If you still want to offer free shipping, why don't you try it out for a couple of weeks/months? This way, you will be able to tell if this plan will work financialy.
Free return shipping
I would not recommend you advertise "Free Return Shipping" on your homepage, because buyers may think that you offer this because your vacuums get returned/broken a lot. You should only state "Free Return Shipping", in an FAQ, or your return policy page.
In my own experience:
If a customer needs to return a product, and ask you how to go about doing it, they may feel surprised and relieved that they do not have to pay for shipping. This may encourage the customer to purchase from you again, or tell their friends about the great service.
I hope this helps, and have a happy holidays! :)
Can you compete on price? If not, what is the value proposition for your store? Selection? Customer service? Quick shipping? It's a lot easier to compete locally where you're one of only a few stores that sells vacuums, but on the internet, it's a little bit different.
The free shipping offer on orders is a good idea - make sure your price point is such that anything you ship "for free" doesn't rob you of all your profit. My web site offers free shipping on everything, but we also limit our products to those which are cheap to ship and have enough markup that the shipping doesn't hurt too bad.
I wouldn't offer free return shipping on anything. Especially if you offered free outbound shipping in the first place. It's a policy that will almost certainly get abused. Most web stores have return shipping at customers expense, no returns without an RMA and a 10 to 15% restocking fee on all returns if the original packaging has been opened. Amazon is different - they make enough money on everything else they sell that they can offer free return shipping and take the loss without a huge impact. I wouldn't try to compete with Amazon.