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« I'm totally over my stats problem... | Main | The 80:1 Freakonomics Paradox »

Shipping and handling

Here's a product sold by a merchant via Amazon that costs about $2.50. Except that the shipping and handling are more than $8. And the item weighs about two ounces.

Shipping and handling charges have always been deceitful. Storefront merchants rarely charge "for the little hangtags" or add a "mannikin surcharge". When direct mail was new, sellers tried to persuade buyers that the prices were just as good as at the local store--and they segmented S&H as a way of comparing it to the hassle of driving over. When the shipping and handling for an order was $1 or 2, this wasn't such a big deal.

Two things have changed. First, Amazon has taught millions that free shipping is the way the world should work. As a result, anything more than free just feels wrong. Second, other merchants have realized (like the squeeze bottle example above) that you can make 100% of your profit from shipping and handling and do quite well.

For a while.

How many people who get that product are going to buy from the store again?

Online, the economics are clear. Repeat business is what matters, and that happens when you surprise people (for the better). Not when you rip them off.

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Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Shipping and handling:

» Pricing to gain new (and repeat) customers from thinks
Great post by Seth Godin today about how to benefit your customer to gain repeat business. One point Seth skipped thats worth repeating is how online business has created price transparency. Not only do people expect free shipping, as Seth poin... [Read More]

» Seth Godin on Shipping Handling from the Virtual Assistant's Assistant
While I was scrolling through my feedreader and I noticed this article by Seth Godin: Heres a product sold by a merchant via Amazon that costs about $2.50. Except that the shipping and handling are more than $8. And the item weighs about ... [Read More]

» Negative shipping from AdPuppet
From the earliest mail-order catalogs, to the introduction of infomercials, to shopping on eBay and Amazon, shipping and handling charges have become just as ubiquitous as sales tax. There is of course a very tangible cost associated with transporting ... [Read More]

» Shipping and HandlingWhat It Costs you? from Blogging for the Public - B4P - By Urban Grafix
Seth Godin points out the dos and do-nots on shipping and handling! Shipping and Handling ... [Read More]

» How to Create Value for Customers by Counting Your Pennies from The Messaging Times
Recently, Seth Godin illustrated how value can easily be degraded by illogical processes. As an example, he shared a link to a $2.50 product that costs more than $8 to ship. As a taxpayer, you might find it interesting that one US cent currently costs ... [Read More]

» Sensitivity to small fees from The Cart Blog
I saw this article on Valleywag that quoted a New York Times analysis of the effect of small fees on e-commerce transaction size and volume. It seems that reducing small fees can greatly increase revenue. Money quote: Overstock.com has found other, ... [Read More]

» Shipping and "handling"...indeed. from Behind the Button
I just read (another) blog post from Seth Godin about shipping and handling -- woohoo -- but it got me thinking about you my customers. Are you? should you be? OK with (like Seth) receiving a couple boxes of checks [Read More]

» Can you buy attention? Could you ever? from thinks
Is there an attention economy? Should you even care? I dont think so. Marketers have always exchanged money for tactics (i.e., advertising, commercials, copywriting and creative). Ideally, extremely effective tactics. TV advertising was once an... [Read More]

« I'm totally over my stats problem... | Main | The 80:1 Freakonomics Paradox »