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VP-ASP Super User

254 Posts

Posted - June 08 2005 :  15:26:49  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Running a web site is like...er...fishing. You try one thing, then another.

I use flat-rate shipping for all products. Customer can select either $4.95 for surface delivery, $7.95 for Priority Air, regardless of order size. Works fine for my site, I rarely go negative on any shipping charge compared to actual shipping costs.

But, it's a slow time of year, beginning of Summer and all that (U.S.). So, yesterday I changed to "Free Ground Shipping - Orders Over $25.00." Don't know yet if there will be a considerable change in orders, although a few people have used this option today.

Question: Any comments from anyone regarding what shipping method you currently use, what you have used in the past, and whether you think customers are really affected (to buy) because of free or lower cost shipping? Or. . . have you found it's better to lower the price of your products instead of giving a deal on shipping rates.

I think sometimes it's hard to get into the mind of the buyer, when you're the seller.

Starting Member

8 Posts

Posted - June 16 2005 :  11:59:09  Show Profile  Visit PhilWilliams's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hi rvaga,
I've spent a lot of time over the past 6/7 years trying to figure this out...

I currently have two services...US Postal, and DHL. I use the plug-in for the postal service, and the nice folks at VP-ASP put some code together that allows me to "tack on" the rates for DHL as well, all in one page...I have lookups in my shipping methods for 264 countries, as well as a number of service options for US shipments.

Probably the biggest breakthrough, shipping-wise, was the inclusion of USPS First Class shipping, which is generaly MUCH cheaper than the other services, particularly for smaller, lighter products. This made a huge difference to my customers who've actually fed back to me their concerns about shipping costs.

For others, they'll pay $20 for overnight shipping on $30 parts. It really depends on the audience.

I actually implemented a couple of coupons for my mailing list folks and that's drawn in sales. Instead of the free shipping side of it...

Hope this helps.

Phil Williams

Edited by - PhilWilliams on June 17 2005 08:42:27
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VP-ASP Super User

254 Posts

Posted - June 18 2005 :  16:55:58  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Phil,

Yeah, I know what you mean. I have found that a fairly high percentage of people seem to miss what I consider obvious. For example, ordering something with "surface" delivery from Florida, we are in Oregon, and then emailing me in 3-4 days wondering why their order has not arrived (and of course, NOT reading the expected delivery date on their confirmation). Overall, I have found that the 'ol Internet addage is true: people don't like to read, they like to click.

The coupon idea you mention is undoubtedly a good one, I'll need to follow up on that: a bonus for repeat customers.

As for my "free shipping" offer, I noticed a drop in sales when I removed it, so I put it back up. Sales have increased, and my guess - it's only a guess - is that stating "ends June 20" seems to have increase sales, as people realize it's a short-term offer and not a gimmick.

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