Pricing Your ShippingWritten by Chris Malta
"Pricing Your Shipping" When you're selling on Internet, shipping costs can create problems. You're charging your customer UP FRONT for cost of shipping their product. That is really best way to do it, for one very good reason: Customers don't like to be charged twice. I've seen sites that tell customer that they may be charged an additional amount later to cover unexpected shipping costs. Yikes! If I saw that when placing an Internet order, I'd be headed for hills. I would definitely go somewhere else. Who wants to give someone they don't know a license to charge their credit card an unspecified amount at a later date? Not me. That's a great way to lose sales. Unfortunately, when dealing with distributors who drop ship, you really never know how much a shipping charge is going to be on any given order. Most of them ship UPS Ground as a matter of course. Some of them will ship US Postal Service if they feel it's more expedient. Well, alright, you say, UPS and USPS have rate charts, don't they? Just figure it out! Not as easily done as said, unfortunately. Some distributors have contracts with UPS that change their rates. Some don't always use UPS, as I've said. But real killer is that you can't set one shipping price on your site for an item, because item may be shipping anywhere in country! Many kinds of eCommerce store software allow your site to directly access UPS Online Shipping Tables to calculate our shipping. You would think you'd be covered, right? Nope. You see, in Shipping manager of store software that I've worked with, you have to enter a Zip Code of Origin for entire site. ONE zip code of origin, for ALL your products. There's no way to enter more than one. The software wants to know where all of your products are shipping FROM, so it can go to UPS tables and calculate how much it will cost to ship TO address on order. The problem is that not everything on your site will ship FROM that one zip code. Your products can ship from distributors all over country, as I said. Say I entered my zip code, 34711, which is just outside of Orlando, Florida, US, as Zip of Origin for a site. I get an order for a product to be shipped to 32818, which is IN Orlando, near Disney World. The site is going to calculate a very small shipping charge for that order, since distance is very small. But what if product that was ordered actually ships from a distributor of mine in California? The actual shipping I have to pay distributor is going to be a good deal higher than site has charged customer for shipping, and that cuts into my profit. That's a BAD thing.
'Set' Your Products to SellWritten by Chris Malta
"'Set' your Products to Sell" If you spend any length of time selling products on Internet, you’re going to find out that it’s very hard to sell “very low priced” products.
What? Why is that? You’d think that people would LOVE to pay Very Low Prices for products! Well, that’s true, when they’re getting value for their money. But there is one thing that will make your customer back up so fast, they’ll have to make a “beeping” noise, like a big truck in reverse: Shipping charges. Ah, yes. Shipping Charges. The bane of Internet Retailer. Ground shipping, air, motor freight. Residential delivery surcharge. Shipping insurance charge. Signature release charge. They get you coming and going. (Literally!). We sell brand name products on Internet using Drop Shipping method. We have genuine wholesale distributors who will fill our single-item orders by wending products we sell DIRECTLY to our customers from warehouse, with our business name on package. Very low cost and effective. BUT…they still have to charge us shipping, which means we still have to charge our CUSTOMERS shipping. Normally, that’s just fine. Internet customers understand shipping charges, and with most products, it’s not even an issue. However, what happens when you have a site that sells an “accessory” type product that goes along with your general product line, but only costs about $5 retail? A customer comes along and wants to buy that inexpensive accessory, but during process of completing order, they realize they are going to have to pay about $7 in shipping. Ouch! $12 for a $5 accessory? Don’t think so. So what do you do? Are you going to deprive your customers of “accessories” that go along with your general product line, and possible lose that customer’s attention for good? Not your first choice, is it? There’s a way around this problem for many types of products. Suppose your site sells those cool Velcro-type dart boards that parents love to give their kids, because Velcro tips won’t put holes in walls, or in other kids either, for that matter. The dart boards come with a supply of plastic darts. However, we’re talking about KIDS here. Plastic darts break. They disappear. They go running off down road taped to tail of neighbor’s cat. Someday, little Johnny is going to want to play darts with a Dart Set that has no darts. There will be crying involved; I have three kids and a grandson, and I know that sound.