In today’s cut-throat business environment the lure of free shipping can be enticing.
Having the ability to see bottom-line pricing without additional fees like shipping and delivery is, let’s face it, satisfying!
The reality is that there is really no such thing as “free” shipping.
- With ever increasing fuel and transportation costs, shipping has become a financial obstacle for all retailers trying to earn business by winning the price war.
- Power-house sellers like Amazon have the buying muscle to force their suppliers down to bare-bones margins creating a win for Amazon but a low-profit situation for the supplier. Amazon then factors in their shipping costs, adds some cost averaging and voiles, free shipping! Of course none of that takes away their shipping costs; the costs are just hidden in other ways. In much the same way, non-behemoth retailer who understand the appeal of “free” shipping often price items to hide their actual shipping costs.
- Another common method of pricing items to include “free” shipping is to value engineer products – a process that reduces the quality of the components.
- The product looks like the original but with far lower manufacturing costs because the product is of overall lower quality.
- What you think may be apples to apples may really be apples to pears – similar, but not the same.
- In the furniture industry, for example, a sofa can be value engineered by using lower density foam, lesser quality fabric and non-hardwood frames. Sure it may look high end but the reality is it became a different animal when it was value engineered.
- So, if you take a lower quality product, add shipping costs onto it you can advertise the sofa, delivered for free, that looks like its higher-end cousin.
When shopping, beware of anything free.
If logic tells you that it is too good to be true, it probably is. Everything has a cost.
Look for sellers that offer adequate product details, wholesale pricing and a separate line for shipping.Then and only then can you really be sure what you have paid for.
Topics: Shipping Furniture