I can't stand Cabela's shipping policy. If I buy one pack of hooks, they charge $6 for shipping; 10 packs $9; 25 packs $13. Being cheap, I have to either buy
one pack and pay only $6 for shipping, or play the long game and buy 25 packs. I don't know if Cabelas is hoping I take the latter choice, but the truth is I stopped buying little things mail order a long time ago. Big items that get free shipping are another matter, but only if they aren't available locally, or I want an item from a specific dealer.
I also factor shipping costs into my final decisions. I tend to buy only when I have large orders, and then add small items to get me close to (but not over) the next break point. At times I consider the difference in shipping vs driving 30 miles each way. It sometimes takes a pretty high shipping cost to offset the time & cost of driving there.
With regard to free shipping. It is a matter of how much the retailer is willing to lose, because the shipping is not free to him. He may be working the business as a hobby? Or he may not be a smart business person? Some think the key to success is to sell low and make it up in volume. Additionally, UPS does not just charge based on weight, but also package size. So if you have a 6ft tall box of air it will cost you more than shipping 2 lbs of fly gear. Also, boxes, packing material,shipping labels and someone to do it is not free. Try this, sell a pair of boots on eBay, buy the box at staples and go to the UPS store and ship it about to another state. I would guarantee you would see things differently
Try this, sell a pair of boots on eBay, buy the box at staples and go to the UPS store and ship it about to another state. I would guarantee you would see things differently
I actually sell on Ebay quite regularly...however something I have not mentioned on this public forum is I used to sell on Ebay fulltime and was a Powerseller. I purchased items at wholesale and sold them at a profit with a reasonable flat rate shipping charge, actual shipping, or built into to the price. I sold an average of $5k gross per month and was deginated a Powerseller and hand packaged everything myself for 3 years. I had to stop for personal reasons.
That experience is what makes unreasonable shipping charges grate on me so much! I did everthing I could to charge the least possible or to build them into the price when I could do so and keep the items at competitive price while recieving an acceptable profit margin. My opinion is that high shipping well above what it actually costs to ship an item are totally unexcusable and a lazy man's way of doing business, because they do not want to be bothered with making the effort to know what reasonable shipping is on an item.
__________________ -Tom Wilson Attention New Fly Fishers and those just wanting to improve- Join a Fly Fishing Club. They have classes on every aspect of fly fishing for beginners to advanced for free or cheaper than offered elsewhere. Some offer mentor programs. You will make friends with other fly fishers. Clubs often have outings in which members pay special group rates for guides or to fish prime private access areas.
I sell on ebay, and always charge actual shipping. It grinds my gears to see someone offer a decent BIN price, but then want $25 to ship a reel!
I used to be a partner in a bike shop. This wasn't my first retail experience, and I know people want a deal. Customers often asked if I could knock $150 off a $700 bike. Since we were lucky to make $150 off a $700 bike, I couldn't do it. What I did do was tell them I'd give them a couple of free water bottles. The bottles cost us $0.69, and we sold them for $5-$6. My two partners saw that as a $10 loss, but I saw that as the cost of making a sale. This was back in the early to mid 1990's, and Trek bikes were the red hot brand. We didn't carry Trek, but there was a Trek dealer two blocks away, so I did what it took to make people happy. If a store wants to make exactly the same profit on a pack of mailorder hooks as they would a retail sale, then they might loose some potential customers. Leland Outfitters is a sponsor of this forum, and they don't charge for shipping, even for a pack of hooks. If I had ten rods, and 11 customers ready to pay full ride, it would be full retail and full shipping. If I had 10 rods and a handful of customers that were looking for the best deal, I'd make my best play for their business. Actually, we were a Schwinn dealer (along with other brands), and Schwinn made sure that their bikes sold for full retail. If another Schwinn dealer had the slightest idea that a shop was knocking $25 off, they were on the phone with the local rep. You could loose your dealership over that! That's where free shipping (or a free water bottle) comes into play..........
So Frank and Tom you can kinda of see what I am talking about. Tom, you sold on Ebay and had no store, no electric bill, heat, phone, employees, insurance? and you had no MAP pricing so you could add the shipping into the price. So in other words you tricked the customer into thinking they were not paying a high shipping charge. But what was the actual cost of shipping? See what I mean. The cost of shipping is so high that you could not show your customers. Just trying to make a point that shipping is very expensive. Now take Franks example of shipping a Schwinn with MAP pricing making $150 and paying about $80 to ship on the other side of the country. You cannot stay in business by selling at a low profit margin and think you will make it up in volume. And if you don't have many customers for those 10 rods you have, that means you cant afford to lose more money on the product. With companies like Simms and Sage you have to sell at their price. If you add shipping into your price then you are simply deducting from your profit margin.
We didn't ship much in retail sales (with the exception of NOS Campagnolo parts), but were located in a university town. We shipped a LOT of students'
bikes back home, and charged around $45 for dis-assembly and UPS. We were asked to ship a bike to Alaska, and one of us failed to take the distance into account. We called UPS, and they said it would cost around $165 for shipping, so we scrambled to locate the student. This was before cellphones were commonplace, and we had to leave a message with her parents in Alaska. She called us from New York the following day, and gave us approval to add the additional charge to her credit card.
Our biggest problem as a small retailer was the customer that came to us to try on shoes and clothing, and then mailorder the items for considerably less.
There was one MAJOR cycling mailorder company that sold gear for less than wholesale in some cases, and close to wholesale in many others. While we couldn't compete with their prices, we did offer 10% off our prices to regular customers that told us they wanted to buy from us, but couldn't get past the crazy mailorder prices. We had a huge number of customers, so it all worked out. We didn't operate online back then (I didn't even own a computer until 1996 ), so I can't say what we would have done regarding shipping on a regular basis, but we wouldn't have shipped a bike for free. Actually, we sold Cinelli bikes with a healthy profit margin, but those customers wouldn't have been bothered by a shipping charge.
Yes shipping was not all that much just a few years ago. Now, UPS charges the retailer when you put in a request for pick up. So you are asking them to come by so you can use their service and pay them for that and get charged for it when they do. I am sure big box places have more bargining power. But the small guy is getting killed. In 2009 Sage had 350 US retailers, and to qualifiy to be a retailer you had to do a good volume of business. At the end of 2010 they had 225
I dont like paying shipping charges. The flat rate offered by us postal is very cheap. If i need something from cabelas ill wait till they run a free shipping promotion. One time i tried to be all sneaky and googled a free shipping code and tried to use it.lol. It didnt work. Some site though you can find the free shipping promo code. The patagonia site uses the same code. Ill also hold off purchase till i can get couple friends that will also get something so we can split the shipping cost.
I gues I got lucky when Cabela's opened here. I've used the free shipping to the store a lot and it's quite a bit cheaper, even paying tax. That difference lost the sale for another outlet where I'd priced the item online.
I often see people asking for Cabela's sale codes on other forums but never on here.
I may be late with my .02 on this but it never makes sense to me to buy something from Cabelas (or other big company) .. lets say some feathers and hooks for tying flies... get charged for shipping .. and when the item comes in the mail it is in an 8"x 10" x 4" box that has two bags of air stuffed in it to "protect" the feathers and hooks..
I feel like Im getting ripped off so I do a lot more looking around for best deals on the internet .. especially the free shipping part ... it just makes more financial sense to me...