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View Full Version : Postage & Handling


Patty O'Furniture
01-17-2000, 09:19 PM
Why, oh why is the p&h charge determined by the total cost of the shipment rather than the weight/size? When I take a box to the post office, they weigh it and gauge its general bulkiness to figure out how much to stick me for; but for mail order items you have to look at a chart to see how much you'll pay for s&h.

I was going to order a very small but semi-expensive item by mail until I saw that the s&h chart required me to pay almost $25 for regular mail. I am sure that if I took that same item to my local post office it wouldn't cost more than a couple of dollars to mail.

BobT
01-17-2000, 09:24 PM
My WAG is that "handling" includes matters like: having to take extra care in packing an expensive item and paying more to insure the package in the mail (or whatever delivery service is used.)

Ursa Major
01-17-2000, 09:26 PM
1. It takes a very complicated step out of the ordering process. (calculating the postage). This makes it easier for you, the customer, and the people who handle accounts at the vendor's end.

2. S&H is calculated to cover postage on the heaviest possible item. Surplus S&H charges on smaller items goes straight into the profit side of the ledger for the vendor.

It's a win-win system for the vendor. A win-lose system for the customer.

01-17-2000, 09:44 PM
Depends on who you do business with. Some companies charge by the item, others lower the per-item charges if you order more than one item, and occasionally you'll run across one that figures the charges into the cost of the items, saving you the extra calculation.

I like dealing with a remainder house called Hamilton Books. They charge a flat $3 s&h fee, no matter how many books I order. My last order cost them $7.47 to mail, plus the cost of the box, and paying someone to find the books and put them in the box, yet I still paid just $3 of that.

RealityChuck
01-18-2000, 12:25 PM
Some mail order houses (or internet e-commerce site, which are essentially the same thing) give the weight of the item so you can calculate postage accurately. But it's easier for them and the consumer to charge according to the value of the item.

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"East is east and west is west and if you take cranberries and stew them like applesauce they taste much more like prunes than rhubarb does." -- Marx

Read "Sundials" in the new issue of Aboriginal Science Fiction. www.sff.net/people/rothman (http://www.sff.net/people/rothman)

handy
01-18-2000, 08:24 PM
try iship.com or ups.com & find the REAL cost of mailing your package before going to the store. Our local store my to my chagrin, has been adding about 100% to the shipping charge. I found it out when I went to ups.com to get the actual shipping charge.

Some stuff on the net is cheap & then they make up for that by adding $$$$$ for shipping. Rip offs. Although you can ask for less.

BugZap
01-18-2000, 09:18 PM
I was going to order a very small but semi-expensive item by mail until I saw that the s&h chart required me to pay almost $25 for regular mail. I am sure that if I took that same item to my local post office it wouldn't cost more than a couple of dollars to mail.
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I'm going to presume;
The item was diamond and gold.
The shipping method was to be 'registered', and for full declared value.
In this case, safety is being purchased, not weight.

If the item is somehow lost or stolen, during transmission, they (the insurer) pay for 100% of the declared loss.
You pay, the actual postage, and a registry fee, plus the one time insurance amount, based on the value.

Kinda like a flight insurance policy.
Good for one time, and however much you think your worth.

Anyway, sounds like the extra high price, is based on secure travel.
You could really get get that kind of 'courier' service from pretty much any of the major shippers.
Shop around.

Jois
01-19-2000, 12:58 AM
This used to be a running arguement in "direct mail" or "direct marketing" circles. Should we be making money on shipping and handling?

Some companies said absolutely yes and did so. Others thought it was tacky. Almost every one of the "direct mail/marketing" companies now make money on shipping.

Getting a real price for shipping and handling is pretty easy and some of the gift companies did this (You know, walk out to the warehouse with the item and get it pre-packaged, packaged and packed, check the time and there it is.)- listed the S&H under the item price.

But I think all of the "biggies" have changed over to S&H based on cost of the item.

Many of the companies that pride themselves on customer service will adjust the S&H if you call your order in to customer service instead of the ordering department and tell them the S&H is unreasonable and could they adjust it? And often they will.

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Oh, I'm gonna keep using these #%@&* codes 'til I get 'em right.