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'[OT] Attn: Glitchbuster'
2007\01\07@170803 by Herbert Graf

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On Sun, 2007-01-07 at 13:30 -0500, Carey Fisher wrote:
> Herbert Graf wrote:
>
> A great recent example was a set of fog lights for my car (why aren't
> > fog lights standard on cars these days?).
> Global Warming??? ;)
>
> > The "local" price was the
> > price at my dealership, very expensive (I wanted OEM, no third party for
> > me).
> You likely didn't get OEM parts if you bought them online.  I bought a
> replacement taillight assembly
> for my Chevrolet Silverado online.  It was advertised as OEM and was a
> very, very, very good
> attempt to duplicate the OEM part.  But, you can clearly see the
> difference when the lights are on and you compare the
> diffusion patterns of the new and old assemblies.

I think they're absolutely OEM. Even came in the subaru box. They fit
perfectly, had all the "standard" subaru markings and look exactly the
same as the ones I was considering buying from the dealership. If they
are duplicates I gave them credit.

{Quote hidden}

Unfortunately I have been ripped off online, so whether you're a big
business or not, if you hide your shipping rates I will very likely pass
you by. It's NOT rocket science, I've done it on my own small volume
stuff. Yes, sometimes the shipping is a little more then you're
charging, sometimes it's less, on average it evens out, and if you are
play THAT close to your margins to begin with, well, good luck.

Just my personal opinion. TTYL

2007\01\07@171238 by Herbert Graf

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On Sun, 2007-01-07 at 20:37 +0100, Wouter van Ooijen wrote:
> > When I received the package it had a post mark price of $12,
> > and it was
> > clear the postage label was printed in house, so at most it took them
> > probably 5 minutes to package it, and then it was put in a
> > truck. So, I
> > ended up paying $28 for a box and 5 minutes of a person's
> > time, THAT is
> > a rip off.
>
> I don't see why. You got a quote, you freely decided that you wanted
> that offer (price+shipping), and that is what you paid. If they quoted
> $10 shipping and charged you $15, *that* would have been a ripoff!

You consider a labour rate of $336/hour for putting stuff in a box,
printing a label and putting it on a truck NOT a rip off?

Remember, this has NOTHING to do with what the real costs end up being,
this simply has to do with the PERCEPTION of your customers. If a
customer sees a price of $100 with shipping included, you don't think
that customer's PERCEPTION of the sale is better then a second customer
buying an item for $60, being charged $40 for s/h and then receiving the
item with a $12 postmark?

Both company A and company B are making the SAME amount of money on the
sale, the difference is customer B is likely to be a little ticked off
that the $40 quote for s/h they received actually looked like it only
cost the company $12 (it doesn't matter if it actually cost the company
more, the PERCEPTION of customer B is that they were ripped off).

Again, I guess I'm the ONLY one who sees things this way.

TTYL

2007\01\07@172053 by Herbert Graf

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On Sun, 2007-01-07 at 18:41 -0200, Gerhard Fiedler wrote:
> Herbert Graf wrote:
> In the end, it doesn't matter. What you pay is what matters. To go with a
> variation of Olin's earlier example (adapted to your situation), why do
> call a total of $100 ($60 item price + $40 per-order price) insane and a
> rip-off, but a total of $150 (the dealership) not?

Because with the dealership there is no surprise. These online retailers
wheel you in with super low prices, only to later discover that the
price isn't so super anymore when you through the hidden s/h charge in.

In my case, the difference was more then twice, so even though I find
the online retailer sneaky in advertising an artificially low price
because they over-inflate their s/h charge, I still went with them,
despite the bitter taste in my mouth.

> You said it yourself: you bought from the one who charged you $100, but you
> complain. Just because you don't like their way of reaching their price.
> Now if you /really/ liked it better the way the others reached their price
> of $150, you definitely should have voted with your dollars and bought from
> them.

If it had been only $50 I would have, without hesitation gone with the
dealership. The difference in price was over $200 though, would you have
"voted with your dollars" and spent the extra $200??

I did tell the retailer what my concerns were, they understood and now
advertise the price of shipping, so they CLEARLY understood my point.

> > Well, when you have no other choice but online due to price,
>
> Come on... "have no other choice"? Gimme a break. I have seen situations
> where one could say "no choice", but choosing a vendor for a fog light is
> not among these. You can always buy somewhere else. You also can not buy
> one at all.

I couldn't find ANY other place online that was willing to tell me the
shipping cost (they didn't respond to emails and didn't supply a phone
number). So, my choice was $200 online, or ~$416 at the dealership.
Sure, I technically had a choice, but to me >$200 is ALOT of money, I
basically had to go with the online seller.

I don't understand WHY people are SO defensive about online retailers
HIDING THEIR S/H prices? Can you give me ONE good reason that justifies
why I can't know the S/H price until the company already has my credit
card number? Please, I'd like to know.


2007\01\07@172317 by Herbert Graf

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On Sun, 2007-01-07 at 12:04 -0500, Olin Lathrop wrote:
> > I guess this is an issue that only bugs me, which is why online
> > retailers on the whole are STILL doing things the way they are doing
> > them.
>
> It's a supply and demand world, get over it.  If you really want to see a
> change you have to stop buying from places that don't do what you like, and
> get a few million of your closest friends to do the same.

Olin, I'm not going to convince you, that is obvious, you simply aren't
willing to consider my view, that's fine.

Answer me one thing though please: How can you convince me that the
regular practice of HIDING the S/H charge for an order until AFTER the
order has already been submitted is fair and reasonable?

I'm curious what your answer is, because that IS the position you are
supporting, in a roundabout way.

2007\01\07@172917 by Bob Axtell

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Herbert Graf wrote:
{Quote hidden}

No you are NOT the only one. The "hide the profit in the shipping" ploy
is obnoxious to me. Whenever
I see it, I simply pass on by.

The attempt to deceive bothers me more than anything. I usually block
that vendor in "MyEbay" permanently.

--Bob
> TTYL
>
>  

2007\01\07@182524 by William Chops Westfield

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On Jan 7, 2007, at 2:23 PM, Herbert Graf wrote:

> How can you convince me that the regular practice of HIDING
> the S/H charge for an order until AFTER the order has already
> been submitted is fair and reasonable?
>
How about the fact that in the general case, a company won't know
exactly what the shipping charges are until the order is actually
packed into a shipping box and weighed?

Yeah, this doesn't at all apply to the "single item" example that
you're complaining about, but it certainly applies to electronics
parts like we were talking about originally.

BillW

2007\01\07@204744 by Carey Fisher

face picon face
Herbert Graf wrote:
> I don't understand WHY people are SO defensive about online retailers
> HIDING THEIR S/H prices? Can you give me ONE good reason that justifies
> why I can't know the S/H price until the company already has my credit
> card number? Please, I'd like to know.
>  
The answer, in our case, is that we don't know what the shipping cost is
until we pack and weigh
the order.  We're not "HIDING" anything.  We do have a fixed $4.00 per
box "handling" charge
that basically covers *our* cost of the box, packing material & labor
but it's sometimes hard to
predict how many boxes we will need.  Maybe we're just not smart enough...

Carey

2007\01\07@213651 by Brian B.Riley

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I don't know haw many of you are familiar with "Battery Bob", I have  
been doing business wit him for several years, good service, good  
prices ... when I went looking for some CR2032 coin batteries a few  
years ago I did some searches and came up with at least three sites  
that had the CR2032s at prices well below Bob's. BUT every one of  
them came up $3-5 more (on an about $20 order) than Battery Bob when  
they got done adding S&H. Plus, anytime you order 10-20 of anything  
he often throws 1-2 freebees on top of the order.

I will say that I had the option to bail on the other orders before I  
put in the Credit Card number and I did.



---
cheers ... 73 de brian  riley,  n1bq , underhill center, vermont
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On Jan 7, 2007, at 5:28 PM, Bob Axtell wrote:

> No you are NOT the only one. The "hide the profit in the shipping"  
> ploy
> is obnoxious to me. Whenever I see it, I simply pass on by.
>
> The attempt to deceive bothers me more than anything. I usually block
> that vendor in "MyEbay" permanently.

2007\01\07@231024 by Herbert Graf

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On Sun, 2007-01-07 at 15:25 -0800, William Chops Westfield wrote:
> On Jan 7, 2007, at 2:23 PM, Herbert Graf wrote:
>
> > How can you convince me that the regular practice of HIDING
> > the S/H charge for an order until AFTER the order has already
> > been submitted is fair and reasonable?
> >
> How about the fact that in the general case, a company won't know
> exactly what the shipping charges are until the order is actually
> packed into a shipping box and weighed?

Sorry, but I don't see that as an excuse.

Please understand, I'm not asking that the s/h charge is down to the
cent exactly what it costs the company. I have no problem with a company
adding a reasonable amount to s/h in order to deal with the fluctuations
different order sizes to different locations (within a region). With
some orders they'll have estimated a little low, with others they'll
have estimated a little high, on average, if they do things right, it
will even out.

A company will know how much each item weighs and what size it is, it is
trivial to take this information, plus the location of the customer to
come up with a REASONABLE estimate of how much s/h will total to.

I can't believe you expect a customer to be "ok" with you telling them
how much s/h is after you've shipped the item? Where is the chance for
the customer to say "no way"?  

Also, you've completed eliminated my ability to compare prices.

Just my thoughts. Do it the way you want, I'm just reporting what at
least one customer feels about the online sales industry.

TTYL

2007\01\08@015300 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> You consider a labour rate of $336/hour for putting stuff in a box,
> printing a label and putting it on a truck NOT a rip off?

NO. I don't consider anything a rip off that is fixed price, and
definitely noy when it is cheaper than elsewhere.

> Again, I guess I'm the ONLY one who sees things this way.

seems so.

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu


2007\01\08@064915 by Gerhard Fiedler

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Herbert Graf wrote:

> I don't understand WHY people are SO defensive about online retailers
> HIDING THEIR S/H prices? Can you give me ONE good reason that justifies
> why I can't know the S/H price until the company already has my credit
> card number? Please, I'd like to know.

I don't know about "people". I know about me... I'm not defensive. I just
think that you move and shake your arguments around...

You say you're pissed about companies that hide their shipping cost. I
would be, too, but my life is too short, so I just skip them right away, if
I feel they are not honest about it.

You cite this fog light episode as an example. But apparently they did not
hide their final price; they gave it to you on request. So it's an example
for what exactly?

You still call it a rip-off. I don't see any rip-off here (they told you
how much they would charge you up front -- on request, but still up front),
and you didn't either: you bought from them. Calling the least expensive
vendor you found of an item a ripper-offer? Sounds odd to me, and
apparently not only to me.

They cost half the price of another retailer, which you do /not/ call a
ripper-offer, which you're fine with -- yet you didn't buy from them.
Sounds again strange to me.

You call it a rip-off when the price structure of an order is closer to the
actual cost structure (with a per-order price plus item prices), but don't
call it a rip-off when you're charged a fixed per-item price, as usual with
normal retailers. There are many good reasons why one could call /this/ a
rip-off, using your same arguments.

Then you turn around and say it's all about the perception customers have
of them. That's nice of you to be so concerned about the well-being of a
ripper-offer :), but that's then not about ripping off, that's about
marketing. A whole different story.

OTOH, you didn't feel "ripped off" enough to not buy from them. Apparently
their business model (which includes the pricing strategy) suits you better
than their competitors' models. Still you classify them as "ripper-offers".
Maybe you have a "ripper-offer" mind set? :)

You told them about your perception, and they agreed with you. They didn't
change their price structure, but they published it better, improved their
customer service. Another good reason for me not to classify them as
"ripper-offers".



The main reason probably why "people" don't understand your complaints is
in this question (cited from a previous post of mine, not yet answered by
you):

{Quote hidden}

Your position as stated in this quote is what most people think. This seems
to include you. But WRT this one online seller, you seem to think
differently. It seems that nobody can really follow why exactly you think
differently about this one and call them a rip-off.

Gerhard

2007\01\08@090356 by Herbert Graf

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On Mon, 2007-01-08 at 09:48 -0200, Gerhard Fiedler wrote:

Unfortunately I don't always express myself perfectly, sorry about that,
I'll try to clear up some of that now (although I'll probably just
muddle the waters more).

> You cite this fog light episode as an example. But apparently they did not
> hide their final price; they gave it to you on request. So it's an example
> for what exactly?

I had to beg them for the s/h price, that is what I consider "hiding".
The s/h price should have been presented (without special request)
before I gave them my credit card number. This is so a customer can
quickly and easily compare prices.

> You still call it a rip-off. I don't see any rip-off here (they told you
> how much they would charge you up front -- on request, but still up front),
> and you didn't either: you bought from them. Calling the least expensive
> vendor you found of an item a ripper-offer? Sounds odd to me, and
> apparently not only to me.

My problem is they are dishonest about the s/h charge. I (and here I'm
not alone) have a problem with vendors padding their profits by
artificially inflating s/h charges.

When a customer pays a certain amount of s/h, and then discovers it
APPEARS the company only paid less then a third of that in actually s/h
charges it gives the impression the company is inflating their s/h
charges to pad the bottom line.

The reason this annoys me again is because it makes it very difficult to
compare retailers, retailer B may have a higher item price, but their
s/h price is more realistic resulting in a lower total price then
retailer A, even though retailer A had a lower advertised price for the
item.

> They cost half the price of another retailer, which you do /not/ call a
> ripper-offer, which you're fine with -- yet you didn't buy from them.
> Sounds again strange to me.

Hehe, oh, I consider the dealer price a "rip off", trust me. However I
give them props because they don't play any games (like the online
retailers), they present one price with no surprises, letting the
consumer directly compare.

> You call it a rip-off when the price structure of an order is closer to the
> actual cost structure (with a per-order price plus item prices), but don't
> call it a rip-off when you're charged a fixed per-item price, as usual with
> normal retailers. There are many good reasons why one could call /this/ a
> rip-off, using your same arguments.

Well, I guess that explains the confusion a little. There's two "rip
offs" in my mind, the first is a large price. The second, and more
insidious is padding a profit margin by doubling or tripling s/h
charges.

Hopefully that clears things up a little.


2007\01\08@095646 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> I had to beg them for the s/h price, that is what I consider "hiding".

If this is a company that makes most of its money by sending single
things in a way similar to your order then is is indeed a bit strange.
But as said, you used your money to vote for this practice!

> The s/h price should have been presented (without special request)
> before I gave them my credit card number. This is so a customer can
> quickly and easily compare prices.

I don't think there is a low that requires that. The is of course the
law of demand and supply...

> My problem is they are dishonest about the s/h charge.

Now I am lost. The s/h is as they stated (on request), so how are they
dishonest?

> When a customer pays a certain amount of s/h, and then discovers it
> APPEARS the company only paid less then a third of that in
> actually s/h charges it gives the impression the company is inflating
their s/h
> charges to pad the bottom line.

the 's' might have been a third, but who are you to know and decide what
the 'h' part of their fee should be?

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu


2007\01\08@103920 by Herbert Graf

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On Mon, 2007-01-08 at 15:56 +0100, Wouter van Ooijen wrote:
> > The s/h price should have been presented (without special request)
> > before I gave them my credit card number. This is so a customer can
> > quickly and easily compare prices.
>
> I don't think there is a low that requires that. The is of course the
> law of demand and supply...

Is it? Why is s/h something that is dictate my supply and demand?

I guess the crux of what I'm saying is some retailers are using s/h for
purposes beyond paying for s/h.

I've shipped alot of items, I know roughly an item costs to ship per
carrier. The prices for shipping items don't fluctuate very much. I
don't see why supply and demand should increase or decrease a s/h
charge, the s part doesn't change much in my experience, and the h
charge will change basically at the rate of inflation (to an
approximation, there will be variation between vendors, but for one
vendor it's not something that should be going up and down like mood
swings, in my experience in being a shipper).

> > My problem is they are dishonest about the s/h charge.
>
> Now I am lost. The s/h is as they stated (on request), so how are they
> dishonest?

Because the s/h charge is padding their profit margin, something s/h is
NOT presented as doing. s/h should cover s/h, it's not called s/h/profit
(I guess if they CALLED it that then I wouldn't have a reason to
complain).

I suppose this is similar to the practice of most car dealers adding a
crap load of "fees" on top of the price. They SAY these fees cover
things like pre delivery inspection, and "cloth protector". Yet if you
look at the fees it's obvious they are WAY overcharging.

Another really annoying example is the wireless phone industry in
Canada. Every carrier charges a "system access fee" (typically ~
$7/month) for monthly plans. For the LONGEST time they all claimed that
fee was collected on the government's behalf. It wasn't until some legal
action started to be threatened that they all took the "government" word
out of their descriptions, and now it's just a fee for no real reason,
OBVIOUSLY padding their profit margins to allow them to advertise lower
prices. Since they ALL charge it consumers have no choice. The problem
is it's a fee that's rarely mentioned until you get your bill, so unless
a person looks VERY carefully, they think they are signing up for a
$30/month plan, only to realize it actually costs them $38/month. At
least there the "fee", once you know it exists, is pretty much the same
across carriers, but still, it's annoying to see those artificially low
prices being advertised.

> > When a customer pays a certain amount of s/h, and then discovers it
> > APPEARS the company only paid less then a third of that in
> > actually s/h charges it gives the impression the company is inflating
> their s/h
> > charges to pad the bottom line.
>
> the 's' might have been a third, but who are you to know and decide what
> the 'h' part of their fee should be?

Simple, competitors and personal experience in the industry.

I know roughly how much s/h SHOULD cost, both based on my own experience
deriving those costs, and from what competitors charge for the same
services.

I guess it boils down to dishonesty, in my book, if you're going to call
a fee s/h, that's ALL it should be covering.

TTYL

2007\01\08@114559 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> > I don't think there is a low that requires that. The is of
> course the
> > law of demand and supply...
>
> Is it? Why is s/h something that is dictate my supply and demand?

In some sense. But what I meant was: there is no law that requires any
amount for S/H, neither an upper nor a lower limit. There is only the
laws of the free market that will weed out the suppliers that do bad
things. That is: "bad things" as far as customers identify those by
voting with their money.

{Quote hidden}

But they might using a different calculation scheme, and anyway: every
supplier is free to set his prices, including the price for shipping and
(especially?) handling. If someone asks me to ship FedEx I should (and
maybe will add) ~ $100 on top of the FedEx fee, because I must drive to
their office, fill in a load of papers, etc. If I could predict that I
was at home that full day I could let the FedEx driver pick the parcel
up at my place, but I can't be sure of that. So in my case that extra $
100 is reasonable. But if I already had to drive to FedEx, or if I could
arrange pickup, it would be much less reasonbale. How would you know?

I recall Olin's laments about sending a package to 'the rest of the
world'. For me that's easy: I have to go to the post office anyway, and
there I just drop the package in the big bag. Again: how can you know
which special circumstances apply?

> I guess it boils down to dishonesty, in my book, if you're
> going to call a fee s/h, that's ALL it should be covering.

Agreed, but the 'h' is the tricky part. Although me driving to FedEx
could reasonably be included in the 's'.

I totally agree that
- a quoted s/h fee (or any other price) should be honoured
- it would be wise (but not required!) to let an on-line customer
determine the total amount (including s/h) online

But I definitely disagree with you about a known s/h (or any other
price!) being a 'rip off', except maybe in a monopoly situation.

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu


2007\01\08@115522 by Rolf

face picon face
Hi Herbert, I see this is a high-emotion subject... ;-)

Let me relate a little of my past... I did a temp job when I was
studying (about a decade ago in South Africa) at a "warehouse". What
Digikey is to people in the electronics field, this warehouse was to
people who run pharmacies. They bought bulk merchandise of everything
you would expect in a pharmacy (from Coke (the pop) to chocolate, to  
shampoo, to tweezers to OTC drugs and prescription drugs).

Their model was: The customer is quoted the raw cost (from the bulk
supplier) of the goods + markup + s&h. The markup depended on the
"loyalty" of the customer with bigger customers having a lower markup.
The markup is essentially the profit the warehouse makes.

S&H consisted of a complex formula. It was a statistical/analytical
composite based on the combination of the cost of shipping from the
supplier to the warehouse, as well as the shipping from the warehouse to
the customer. The cost of the warehouse facility (rent, inventory
management (conveyors, forklifts, etc), wages, depreciation, *loss* and
*damages* and other overheads (advertising, catalogs, etc.)) was also
incorporated in to the "handling" part of S&H. This S&H component was
expressed to the customer as a delivery charge plus a non-negotiable
percentage of the invoice total, with some exceptions (bulky but
low-value items like toilet paper - where shipping  and storage are the
main costs associated with the distribution...). One other cost to
mention is the cost of invoicing and invoice tracking. It is not free to
maintain a customer.

For tracking purposes, the "preferred" clients were able to get itemized
billing where the item cost (raw + margin) and s&h fees were reported
separately, together with a delivery charge that depended on the
mechanism and volume of the delivery.

The warehouse set it's handling fees such that in aggregate, the
handling fees covered the business operations each year. The accounting
thus was quite simple... Shipping covers incoming and outgoing
shipments, handling covers  all the capital and operational expenses,
and the "markup" is *profit*.

Most customers were unaware that this is how the warehouse operated,
instead, they placed an order, and were quoted a price + S&H. The price
was always really good, but the S&H sometimes came as a shock. A little
explanation went a long way though.

This is not to say that the target of your complaint operates in the
same way as the warehouse I worked at, but, from a business perspective,
the breakdown of where your money goes is substantial.

A place like Digikey must have considerable warehouse overheads. It's
handling costs must be substantial. I don't believe for a moment that $8
Canadian covers the actual cost of  managing and maintaining the
inventories that they must do in order to get next-business-day
turnaround on most of their stock.

So, the bottom line is that the real costs of handling products are
considerable. How the supplier/distributor wants to charge you for that
handling is their choice, but, at some point the final customer (you)
has to absorb that cost.

You have to understand that the costs are real, the profits are
mandatory, and that different distributors will present their costs in
different ways.

One thing is certain, the distributor has to cover *all* their costs,
how they do it is what changes though.

You need to go with the distributor that meets your expectations though,
whatever those may be.

Rolf

Herbert Graf wrote:
> On Mon, 2007-01-08 at 15:56 +0100, Wouter van Ooijen wrote:
>  
[snipped]
{Quote hidden}

2007\01\08@132425 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Herbert Graf wrote:

> Because the s/h charge is padding their profit margin, something s/h is
> NOT presented as doing. s/h should cover s/h, it's not called s/h/profit

Now why is this? With the same right someone could say that the item price
should cover only the item cost (otherwise it should be called
item/profit), and the handling is where they should make their profit
(because it's where they add value to the product), and anything else is
dishonest.

Just because most traditional stores do it one way doesn't mean that other
ways are dishonest.

You yourself said (in another message) that you only care about the final
price, and don't care about /how/ it got calculated. Which I wholeheartedly
agree with.


(Of course I agree that it is very desirable to know the final price
online. I almost never shop with companies that don't show their final
price, so maybe that's why I don't have many complaints here. But that's a
different question.)

Gerhard

2007\01\08@171905 by James Newton, Host

face picon face
> Rolf said:

<snip>

> Let me relate a little of my past... I did a temp job when I
> was studying (about a decade ago in South Africa) at a
> "warehouse". What Digikey is to people in the electronics
> field, this warehouse was to people who run pharmacies. They
> bought bulk merchandise of everything you would expect in a
> pharmacy (from Coke (the pop) to chocolate, to shampoo, to
> tweezers to OTC drugs and prescription drugs).

<snip>

That was a very interesting and well written example of one business model.

Let me relate how I set prices on the few small items that I resell in the
USA for PIClisters who have chosen to use me as a distributor for their
homemade items. E.g. Roman Black's Linistepper, Ashley Rolls RS232-TTL
converter in a DB 9 backshell, and Jan Eric's LCD control panel.

In any internet sale, there are different shipping options based on
distance, speed and security. I set a base price for the item that excludes
all the costs associated with shipping, but includes profit, shipping cost
TO me from the supplier, storage, repackaging, documentation, etc... This
base price is what I would charge to sell one to my next door neighbor,
where there is effectively no delivery cost.

Then I add options for each shipping method. For the USA, which is the bulk
of my business, I simply offer USPS priority mail and a couple of bucks for
my time in printing the labels, sticking them on the box, stuffing it and
folding it up. My mail carrier picks the boxes up from the front porch and
all is well. US customers get excellent, fast, and very low cost service.

For international shipping (which I try to avoid) I am required to take the
packages to the post office if I want registered mail. I have found that
with certain countries (which I shall not name here) this method is required
unless I want the packages to get "lost" in customs. For some other
countries, global priority mail seems to work just fine and does not require
a trip to the post office. Obviously, the costs are very different,
especially since my time in going to the post office has value and must be
compensated.

Now, I would love to have two different international rates. One for
countries that I trust, and a higher rate for ones that I don't. But showing
that on the web page would (has) lead to some very nasty confrontations.
I've actually been threatened with legal action for "defaming" the proud
name of a middle eastern country.

So I could refuse to publish my shipping rate and only include it after the
order is placed, but I don't think that would work well, and, in fact,
PayPal specifically doesn't allow it.

My solution? Right now, the "good" countries are paying extra to make up for
the "bad" ones. On the average, it works out. One of these years, I need to
install a shopping cart program that will allow me to quote shipping
separately based on the country it is going to. So far, I haven't seen one
that will A) run on a windows server B) provide that sort of function C)
cost something I can afford, and I haven't had the time to write one myself
and test it to the point where I am comfortable using it for money issues.
But honestly, I don't do enough international shipping to make it worth the
extra effort.

Anyway, I just wanted to share another reason why s&h sometimes doesn't make
sense.

---
James Newton: PICList webmaster/Admin
spam_OUTjamesnewtonTakeThisOuTspampiclist.com  1-619-652-0593 phone
http://www.piclist.com/member/JMN-EFP-786
PIC/PICList FAQ: http://www.piclist.com


2007\01\08@185636 by Brian B. Riley

picon face
On this matter I had a discussion the other day with a Digikey  
person. Something that you might not think about. Digikey's (in  
Minnesota) overall warehousing cost has  major factor that Mouser (in  
Texas) never has to consider ... 3-5 months per year they have a  
significant cost to heat their warehouse, there are certain parts  
that don't take kindly to -30F and warehousemen work far more  
efficiently at even +30F and higher.


---
cheers ... 73 de brian  riley,  n1bq , underhill center, vermont
  <http://web.mac.com/brianbr/>  Tech Blog
  <http://www.wulfden.org/DiskShop.shtml>
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On Jan 8, 2007, at 11:58 AM, Rolf wrote:

> A place like Digikey must have considerable warehouse overheads. It's
> handling costs must be substantial. I don't believe for a moment  
> that $8
> Canadian covers the actual cost of  managing and maintaining the
> inventories that they must do in order to get next-business-day
> turnaround on most of their stock.

2007\01\08@190230 by Brian B. Riley

picon face
Well I suppose it splitting hairs ... but ... I wonder ... if I  
factor in $1 to cover my time to take the package to the Post Office,  
is that "handling" or "profit" ????

Just for the sake of the discussion. Part of what I call 'handling'  
in my small business is the PayPal fee which of course slides up as  
the dollar value goes up. How do yu stand on the PayPal fees ???


---
cheers ... 73 de brian  riley,  n1bq , underhill center, vermont
  <http://web.mac.com/brianbr/>  Tech Blog
  <http://www.wulfden.org/DiskShop.shtml>
   Home of the
      K107 Serial LCD Controller Kit   FT817 Power Conditioner Kit
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On Jan 8, 2007, at 1:23 PM, Gerhard Fiedler wrote:

{Quote hidden}

> --

2007\01\08@190620 by Vitaliy

picon face
James Newton, Host wrote:

[snip]
>For some other
> countries, global priority mail seems to work just fine and does not
> require
> a trip to the post office.

How do you print the labels & pay for international packages? Do you use a
third-party online service?

{Quote hidden}

Have you looked at osCommerce?

http://www.oscommerce.com

It's free, written in PHP, and I'm sure you can easily modify it to do what
you want.

> But honestly, I don't do enough international shipping to make it worth
> the
> extra effort.

It could be that it's not worth it because the extra effort hasn't been put
in. ;)

Best regards,

Vitaliy

2007\01\08@190943 by David VanHorn

picon face
On 1/8/07, Brian B. Riley <.....brianbrKILLspamspam@spam@mac.com> wrote:
>
> On this matter I had a discussion the other day with a Digikey
> person. Something that you might not think about. Digikey's (in
> Minnesota) overall warehousing cost has  major factor that Mouser (in
> Texas) never has to consider ... 3-5 months per year they have a
> significant cost to heat their warehouse, there are certain parts
> that don't take kindly to -30F and warehousemen work far more
> efficiently at even +30F and higher.


Then again, +100F and 90%+ humidity isn't too wonderful either.

2007\01\08@191227 by Brian B. Riley

picon face
My handling of overseas shipping so far has been to have a 'foreign  
shipping surcharge' for countries outside North America. I initially  
set it at $2 flat surcharge per order. After about 6 months I looked  
over the numbers and raised it to $3. It works for the general volume  
and average size or orders with one exception. Postage to  
Australia ... once I get above a couple of ounces it is beating my  
margin hard. I would say that $0.15 to 0.20 of that $1.00 raise in  
the foreign shipping surcharge is balancing the extra postage to  
Australia.

---
cheers ... 73 de brian  riley,  n1bq , underhill center, vermont
  <http://web.mac.com/brianbr/>  Tech Blog
  <http://www.wulfden.org/DiskShop.shtml>
   Home of the
      K107 Serial LCD Controller Kit   FT817 Power Conditioner Kit
      Tab Robot Laser Tag Kit            MSP430 Chips and Connectors
      Propeller Robot Controller         SX48 "Tech Board" Kit



On Jan 8, 2007, at 5:18 PM, James Newton, Host wrote:

{Quote hidden}

2007\01\08@220025 by Herbert Graf

flavicon
face
On Mon, 2007-01-08 at 19:02 -0500, Brian B. Riley wrote:
> Well I suppose it splitting hairs ... but ... I wonder ... if I  
> factor in $1 to cover my time to take the package to the Post Office,  
> is that "handling" or "profit" ????

$1 for handling in my experience is a little to little for pretty much
anything IMHO! :)

> Just for the sake of the discussion. Part of what I call 'handling'  
> in my small business is the PayPal fee which of course slides up as  
> the dollar value goes up. How do yu stand on the PayPal fees ???

Hehe, don't get me started...

PayPal is basically a near monopoly in the online "wallet" type
business. Their tie in with eBay makes them very powerful. I am hoping
that's google's product takes off and finally gives PayPal some
competition.

Still, for very low volume sellers, there isn't a much easier way to
except credit card payments then with paypal. They are quite good
"easiness" wise, but their customer service has had issues in the past.
Personally, I do use paypal without reservation, however I do not give
them access to my back account, only my VISA card (this has been
discussed before).

TTYL

2007\01\08@232139 by Jinx

face picon face

> $1 for handling in my experience is a little to little for pretty much
> anything IMHO! :)

The girls on Times Square might disagree with you there .......


2007\01\09@045307 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> Just for the sake of the discussion. Part of what I call 'handling'  
> in my small business is the PayPal fee which of course slides up as  
> the dollar value goes up. How do yu stand on the PayPal fees ???

The PP fee is not linear, but I approximate it with a 'basic fee' which
is calculated into my S/H, and a precentage, which is calculated into my
PP prices (which are a few % higher than the bank-transfer or cash
prices). This of course requires that prices (including S/H) can be
adapted to the payment method.

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu


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