Are you a Google Analytics enthusiast?
More SEO Content
Posted 12 June 2008 - 06:44 PM
Posted 12 June 2008 - 06:48 PM
That's true! Without the exact weight, dimensions, etc., the rest of us are just sort of guessing at what it should cost.
Posted 13 June 2008 - 12:25 PM
Posted 13 June 2008 - 02:36 PM
For my own sanity and to keep the shipping snippet of my pages nice and short I limit the number of choices available. It depends upon what you're shipping, but for the limited number of things I ship I've found I can actually make enough to cover a handling charge without having to charge one (especially for small orders) and provide a better shipping choice with the USPS. The First Class and Parcel Post rates get to where they're more than the Priority Mail Flat Rates pretty quickly. So lots of times I can "upgrade" shipments to Priority Mail and actually pay less for shipping than was built into the order. My mailman hates me, because I print the postage from here and he gets to come back to pick up packages to save me a trip. He spends all day emptying his truck, then I fill it back up at the end of the day.
Of course this all depends upon what you're shipping, how much it weighs and (mainly) how big of a box you need. The largest Priority Mail Flat Rate box is like 12" x 12" x 5-1/2". But you can make some hay if your stuff weighs much. In any Flat Rate box or envelope you can have up to 70 lbs without any additional charges.
Something I've also thought of doing but haven't yet is to quote the non-flat rate pricing in the cart, but then ship via flat rate when possible. In every case where someone chose Priority or Express mail I'd end up with shipping charges being a small profit center even though they're real rates, because the flat rates are always less than the normal rates.
I do hear ya on the $6 orders where shipping is as much as the actual order. I see that all the time myself. Of course it helps when you sell something that is unique enough that they can't run down to their local Wal-mart to pick up something similar.
Posted 13 June 2008 - 03:18 PM
I currently use UPS for the 48 contiguous states, USPS for the remote 2 states, PO Boxes & what little international shipping I do. There are really only 2 options available to the customer, USA Shipping & Canadian Shipping, and the amount adjusts as they cross set order totals. Took awhile to find a balance that worked, but it's ok. It does keep me from offering true international shipping though as I'm not going to guess charges to every country (had an Australian Affiliate complain about that just this week). I don't specifically state it, but I also occasionally ship overnight / 2nd day / 3rd day upon request, but those are labor intensive as I have to get an estimate. It will be nice to have that happen in the cart eventually.
USPS costs are pretty high on the international stuff, however UPS has a sneaky little "Brokerage Charge" they charge the recipient for ushering shipments through customs which has exceeded shipping the few times I allowed it to happen.
I ran some early tests w/ USPS which can lower my shipping costs / charges, but my calls & inquiries concerning delivery time were really high ... w/ UPS I provide a tracking number and can even tell the customer when they will receive their order. USPS even mis-routed a few shipments delaying delivery by more than a week back when I offered it as an option. Almost nothing I sell other than small accessories will fit in USPS flat rate boxes, so that's out.
I'm planning on addressing this again & incorporating the APIs once the new system is fully operational .. whenever in the hell I get that done, ugh ....
Oh, and on the $6 order ... my minimum shipping is $10 which feels high to me, but I lost money when it was $8. Tthat covers average actual charges + the cost of the box, and does amount to a handling fee for small orders, so it's really odd to me that they'd complete an order like that. I could certainly ship those small orders for much less via USPS, but it gets messy quick defining what qualifies and what doesn't. The $10 minimum shipping charge minimizes the small orders which take just as long to fill as the large orders, and is much friendlier than forcing a minimum order size in my opinion. I suppose I would sell more small accessory orders to shoppers like Karon if my minimum was lower, but I honestly don't want to spend 6 hours a day filling $6 orders to barely eek out a living. They're just as important as large ones from a customer service point of view, but I don't necessarily want to encourage them. As long as I'm completely up front about my charges, my customers don't appear put off, though it could be a factor in cart abandonment
This actually adds up to a lesson learned. If I were to consider another inventory based site, I'd take consistent & small item size into account.
Edited by arlen, 13 June 2008 - 04:56 PM.
0 user(s) are reading this topic
0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users