FAQ50: How do you figure "Shipping Charges"?
by Jim Lauder
At our company, we ONLY use USPS Priority Mail and Federal Express. For orders over $50.00 we charge $5.50 and ship predominantly USPS and for orders over $50.00 we ship predominantly Fed Ex and charge $7.50 (for either Ground Service or 3 day service). There are exceptions, but for the majority of orders this is OUR preferred method.
By no means is the shipping department a "profit center" although from a consumers viewpoint, it may seem so. Added services from the post office, such as Delivery confirmation (which we ALWAYS use) and insurance are costly. Shipping and Handling are a cost of doing business. Any company (who plans on staying in business) either charges for the shipping and handling or the shipping and handling is built into the cost of the merchandise.
When we get a call from a customer stating that merchandise ordered was not received, the first thing we do is trace the shipment. If the trace shows that the package was not delivered, we try to find out where the item is and if it is lost, we immediately send a replacement. If the trace shows that the package WAS delivered, we try to find out if it was delivered to a front office, or a back or side door. If the package is not found, we will send another out. Accidents do happen and we like to give the customer the benefit of a doubt, but one thing is for sure, we keep records and we flag lost shipments, and if it gets to be a habit (which it has not), future orders to that customer will go out COD (secured payment). All of these processes cost time, and time is money in the business world.
Inhealth and Luminaud are two names in this business that in my opinion are "above reproach". They do things the right way and I have modeled many of our company practices (especially shipping and handling) on the way they do it.
Nobody likes to be "nickeled and dimed" to death, but reasonable shipping and handling charges are legitimate costs of doing business.
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