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Old 01-19-2011, 12:12 PM
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Default Buying Fly Fishing Gear Online Shipping Charges

This might be petty...but why is it that a relatively small shop in my area can afford to a website and charge No Sales Tax or Shipping regardless where you live and regardless the dollar amount of your order on web site purchases.

However, others give free shipping on orders over a certain dolar amount the average in my experience being $100, some over $50 and one that I know off you have to spend over $3.

Yet still others including huge companies like Cabelas charge shipping on everything except for special promotions and even then you usually have to spend $100 to get free shipping.

Sometimes I don't mind reasonable shipping charges, but other times they are like finger nails on a chalk board. Like paying parking fees in a facilites parking lot that I also have to pay to get into the facility as well. I'll park a ways away and walk in or not go.

Now I also feel the need to say when the gear you are buying is already heavily discounted or of much higher value then what is being charged such as in the case of Allen & Co I do mind paying reasonable shipping charges.
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Old 01-19-2011, 04:11 PM
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Default Re: Buying Fly Fishing Gear Online Shipping Charges

Trust me, whether you know it or not, you're paying for shipping. If they're not adding it on, then it's included in the purchase price. Shipping is not cheap, especially if it's by air.

As a freight pilot, I don't necessarily know all the details of how any one company pays for ther shipping, but I do know that most of your shipping cost as the consumer goes towards fuel and maintenance of the aircraft. I get a few pennies, the company gets a few more, but most of it goes to the plane. Regulations require that my aircraft go in for maintenance 4 times a year, not including things like flat tires, hydraulic leaks, etc. This is a relatively fixed cost, as is insurance on the aircraft.

Fuel is different. As we all know the price of oil fluctuates widely. I won't go in to particulars, but jetfuel, known as Jet A, is slightly cheaper most of the time than the stuff you put in your car. But we burn a lot of it bringing everyone their new toys, and there is not a lot we can do about that.

So, when you buy something on line and have it shipped, pretty much what you are paying for is gas. And a few pennies towards my retirement fund/beer money.

So, I guess, thanks. Now buy more stuff and have it shipped please, I want a new Allen Nano rod next month.

Peace.
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Old 01-19-2011, 11:46 PM
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Default Re: Buying Fly Fishing Gear Online Shipping Charges

All true, but it still doesn't explain why Cabela's shipping is so expensive while Fishwest can send you the same gear priced the same or less for NO shipping, no minimum purchase. I've bought a bunch from both places, but now spend my money where I don't get hit for shipping (assuming the gear price is competitive). No tax is another incentive.
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Old 01-19-2011, 11:57 PM
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Default Re: Buying Fly Fishing Gear Online Shipping Charges

Whether a company charges taxes is not in their control. Current tax regulations basically state that if the company has a physical presence in your state (e.g. a retail or warehouse location) then they are required to collect taxes. Thus Cabelas has to collect taxes if there is a store located in some city in your state.

Online companies that do not have a physical presence are not "required" to collect taxes, thus Amazon does not collect taxes anywhere except where they have shipping locations or warehouses.

Now that all being said, many states have their own rules and some states require you to estimate the tx due on all purchases on the web where taxes are not collected and then you are supposed to submit that "un-collected tax" to the state voluntarily. Of course, I have yet to meet anyone who does that!

With every division of the government looking for every penny they can grab in taxes, I am sure it will only be a short time before they pass a law requiring all web stores to collect taxes - so enjoy the "no taxes" while it lasts!
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Old 01-20-2011, 12:08 AM
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Default Re: Buying Fly Fishing Gear Online Shipping Charges

I am based in London, England yet 90% of my customers come for the USA. To be able to attract these customers I have to compete with the US tackle shops that offer free postage.

I have to absorb this cost in the prices I charge. On some small orders I loose money. They are normally test purchases from new customers. Hopefully these customers like what they get and will order more.


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Old 01-21-2011, 09:13 AM
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Default Re: Buying Fly Fishing Gear Online Shipping Charges

I see it as a way to both attract customers and contain costs. Joe's Fly Shop may only sell 10% of their items online, so to offer free shipping might not be that large of a cost, but they attract a lot of customers. So they can easily roll that cost into the price of their items and ship it "free."

Cabela's has only a dozen brick and mortar stores, give or take. Most of their sales are either online or through their catalog. So 90% of their sales are shipped out, and I think it's safe to say that Cabela's has a larger customer base that Joe's, so shipping then becomes a huge cost for them. To much to role into their prices (plus it probably fluctuates to much to) so they charge you shipping.

I agree that their shipping can be a bit pricey. I have a Cabela's near me and they will ship for free to the store, but then I have to pay tax. Tax can be more than the shipping charges, so sometimes it's cheaper to pay their crazy shipping, if it's something I can only get at Cabela's.
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Old 01-21-2011, 12:39 PM
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Default Re: Buying Fly Fishing Gear Online Shipping Charges

Actually in California businesses are not required to collect sales tax from the consumer, but are allowed too, however if the consumer does not pay them the business has to. In the case of the Local Shop I mentioned they do have a physical presence right in the same county I live in. When they do not charge the consumer sales taxes that means they pay them out of what they collect.

Yes in a certain respect, because of mark up taxes and shipping are payed. However the prices are the same as or less than the 2 other shops in this area so buying from them online is advantages if you know what you want. I do not have to use gas to drive into town, pay shipping, or sales tax and the prices are the same as in the store.

You are correct often these brick and mortar shops that have an online presence will only have a portion of what they sell on line and/or they are items they are willing to take a loss on to attract people to their brick and mortar store. When shops purposely sell things at a loss to attract buyers, Car Dealers are notorious for this, those items are called "Loss Leaders." Car dealers then try to draw you away from that vehicle. Often a very good money savings strategy for vehicle purchases if you know the exact make and model you are looking for is to look online at the major dealers websites for low mileage vehicles that match being offered for sale well below what they normal market value. Then go to that dealer and insist on buying that vehicle. That is how I have made my last few vehicle purchases and I've done so well below the going market rate.
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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.

Last edited by FlyBum; 01-21-2011 at 09:40 PM.
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Old 01-21-2011, 07:37 PM
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Default Re: Buying Fly Fishing Gear Online Shipping Charges

Cabela's shipping charges are insane. It takes the good out of buying anything from them.
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Old 01-21-2011, 08:18 PM
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Default Re: Buying Fly Fishing Gear Online Shipping Charges

What I usually do is shop around and compare the TOTAL PRICE (item cost, taxes,shipping) for an item I'm shopping for.
Cabela's shipping charges based on total price is a bit outrageous at times. A heavy/bulky item for a low price ships cheaper than an expensive small/lightweight item.
I have one online vendor for fly tying supplies I deal with frequently that charges a flat rate $3 per order. I think that's reasonable. Most of those items are small/lightweight and postage is about the same for a 1oz or 15oz package.
Here in Ohio the income tax form has a section to declare untaxed (sales tax) items on. I don't know of anyone that claims many items, but the state is looking close at some items. I know they went after some people who were buying cigarettes from out of state sellers. I don't worry too much about small purchases, but if I bought an expensive item I believe I'd claim it and pay the sales tax.
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Old 01-21-2011, 08:30 PM
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Default Re: Buying Fly Fishing Gear Online Shipping Charges

Quote:
Originally Posted by stoneyclove View Post
Cabela's shipping charges are insane. It takes the good out of buying anything from them.
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.

Taxes Schmaxes. My favorite mail order guitar string dealer was located in New York, and only charged $4 regardless of order size. He moved to my home state a few years ago, and now I have to pay taxes. My son gets paid by the US military, so.....
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