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  • Two Shipping Myths Big Business Doesn’t Want You to Know

    Two Shipping Myths Big Business Doesn’t Want You to Know

    Who doesn’t like saving money? How many times have you left a website because they didn’t offer free shipping? As a small family-operated online retail company, we get hundreds of questions a day. However, the most popular questions we get are about shipping prices. Almost everyone wants free shipping.  Today we are going to share the top two myths big business doesn’t want you to know.

    Myth 1: Free Shipping Always Saves Me Money!

    The other guy offers free shipping, why don’t you?  We get this question every day, and every day we tell our customers the same thing. “Shipping isn’t Free.” In all our years of business, we haven't found a single carrier who is willing to ship our orders for free. In fact, every week, our shipping carrier sends us that pesky little invoice requesting payment for service. 

    Shipping CostSo how does that other guy get away with calling it free shipping then? Here is what they don’t tell you. Let’s say you order a recessed trim for $21.41 with free shipping, and live in a state with 10% sales tax. The cost of the trim is $2.41 and the shipping cost is $19.00. However, you are getting free shipping so these two costs are combined into 1 line item. The 10% sales tax on the $21.41 trim is $2.14, making your total order $23.55. It is only $2.14.”I can’t get a cup of coffee for that much.” “I am getting free shipping, so I don’t mind giving away my money.”

    What if the other guy decided to charge you shipping?  Let’s find out. Back to our favorite $2.41 recessed trim. Because they charge you shipping, the $19.00 is a separate line item. This means the 10% sales tax is only being applied to the $2.41 trim, making the order total $21.62 instead of $23.55. You just saved $1.93!! Still not a cup of coffee, but savings is savings.

    Now that we know sometimes free shipping isn’t always the best deal. I bet you are wondering “Why does it cost $19.00 to ship that $2.41 trim.” You are not alone. Let’s see why.

    Myth 2: The Cost Of Shipping Depends On The Cost Of The Order.  

    How could something so inexpensive, cost so much to ship? This recessed lighting trim has to go into a box so it gets to you undamaged. No one wants to delay their DIY project due to a cracked or dented trim. To prevent this mishap, the warehouse puts bubble wrap, air cushions, or paper inside the box to prevent movement. Then they tape, and label the box. We want to focus on the shipping cost, not the handling costs, right?  We use UPS to ship this trim; however, all the common carriers are about the same. 

    How are shipping costs determined? All the popular shipping carriers have a shipping calculator on their website. This calculator asks for the delivery location, the dimensions of the box ( Length, Width, and Height), and the weight of the box. With that information, they will tell you how long and how much it cost depending on when you want the package. We use ground service as it is the least expensive. In our $2.41 trim example, we enter the following information: Miami, Florida, 11” x 8” x 8”, and 1 pound. Why Miami? We have been shipping a lot of boxes there right now, but you can go to UPS.com to test this for your location. 

    UPS Billable WeightIf the box weighs 1 lb, why is the billable weight 5 lbs? All shipping carriers combine the weight and the size of the box to determine the actual cost to transport your package from us to you. The industry calls this “dimensional weight.” After plugging all this information in the shipping calculator, the cost to ship this trim ground from New Mexico to Miami, Florida is $19.00.

    What if I put a $5,000 diamond ring into the same box, would it cost more? The delivery location is the same, the box dimensions are the same, and it weighs less than a pound. Using the handy shipping calculator, we find that it still costs $19.00 to ship UPS ground from New Mexico to Miami, Florida. 

    If shipping isn’t free, why do we offer free shipping? First, we know that is what people want. Many times that is the first thing consumers seek out when buying online  Second, we need to stay competitive, and offering “free shipping” on some of our products helps us do that.  We are a small family business and we have to try to compete.  If you run a small business you know how hard this can be.

    Same Box Size

    Why do we still charge shipping on some items, if people want free shipping? Well, we want to give our customers the opportunity to find the best deal for their project. Many times a customer can save money having shipping as a separate line item, especially when buying larger quantities or heavier items.

    We know you have choices out there, and hopefully, after reading this you are a more informed consumer that will choose Total Lighting Supply for your next lighting project.

     

     

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    Tags: Free Shipping, Big Business, Savvy Shopper, Getting a Deal, Saving Money, Dimensional Weight, Small Business, Shop Local, Family Operated Business, DIY Projects, Myths

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