General Question

dalton's avatar

Do you think shipping is ever free?

Asked by dalton (190 points ) March 24th, 2009

When you buy a widget via internet and you’re told that the shipping is free, don’t you think you are really paying for the “free” shipping in the price of said widget?

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10 Answers

miasmom's avatar

I buy diapers all the time online and get free shipping, I have done numerous price checks and it is cheaper to buy them on amazon with free shipping, so yeah, I think it is possible.

swimswimswim's avatar

I’ve bought two items on ebay for under a nickle that had free shipping. One of them was in the U.S. and the other came from Hong Kong. Don’t know how they make a profit but somehow they manage.

Mamradpivo's avatar

It’s not uncommon for a seller (at wholesale or retail) to offer to pay the shipping costs in orderto drive more sales. Their profit declines, but revenue is better than no revenue.

A lot of sellers also get a discount on freight due to the volume of stuff they ship. This isn’t often passed along to a buyer, who will pay the book price. So, your invoice may suggest that you saved $9 on shipping, but the buyer is only really out $7. This typically comes in the form of a rebate from the shipping agent (UPS, etc), so it’s not quite this simple, but I think it’s worth keeping in mind.

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katybuck's avatar

There’s an up and coming site called couponpenny that I think is really going to take off in the next 12–18 months. There are two main things that make them different from traditional deal sites. 1. It is absolutely free for businesses. couponpenny is trying to level the playing field for businesses large and small. If there is no cost, then there is no risk to your advertising. It’s a no-brainier. 2. When shoppers or businesses refer their friends, customers, email databases, etc. to the site with their personal invitation link, they earn a commission on whatever that person ever buys or sells on couponpenny for life. http://couponpenny.com/

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