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Hidden Shipping Charges


herbk

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I just ordered a log book from Groundspeak. The book was $2.50. The shipping and handling charges were almost $6.00. I understand that this can happen. What I don't think is fair play is that the shipping/handling and sales tax were not displayed until after I had irrevocably closed the deal. Every other site that I have ever used with a credit card gave me the opportunity to cancel the transaction after seeing what the total charges were.

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$6.00 for shipping and handling seems like it's kind of of steep for a log book. I 'm almost sure it could be sent media mail for less than a couple of dollars. I wonder how much it costs for just the "handling" charge. I don't really like merchants who charge a handling charge-they are alreay making a profit off the merchandise price, so seems like another charge is kind of socking it to the customer.

Edited by WebbyCat
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I've ordered some stuff & you have to order enough to justify s&h. You could have gotten a lot more for about the same money.

 

The logbook you got could have been dropped into a small envelope with a 37 cent stamp. :huh:

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The only thing I have purchased here with a credit card was my membership. No handling or shipping charges for that! :huh:

 

Are you sure that the shipping charges weren't shown early enough in the process to allow a cancellation? That would be unusual.

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Already answered here 2 months ago.

Our partner, Sunrise Identity, only ships packages via UPS. UPS has a minimal cost on shipping which is around $5 (I don't know exactly since it changes often). We have been pushing them to ship via USPS but they have been working on other systems and this has been deemed low priority. Which is why on some lower cost items we have a site for shipping via USPS in-house for the calendar and for travel bugs.

 

None of the shipping costs we have contain any "handling" fees, which BlueDeuce seems to be alluding to.

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I just ordered a log book from Groundspeak. The book was $2.50. The shipping and handling charges were almost $6.00. I understand that this can happen. What I don't think is fair play is that the shipping/handling and sales tax were not displayed until after I had irrevocably closed the deal. Every other site that I have ever used with a credit card gave me the opportunity to cancel the transaction after seeing what the total charges were.

My shipping and handling was displayed before I was asked to make payment.

I was also going to get charged $7.84 for shipping. :huh:

 

Qty SKU Item Price Total

1 609555921466 Micro Cache Log Book 711701 GEO - Yellow $2.50

 

Subtotal: $2.50

Shipping & Handling Cost (UPS Ground): $7.84

Sales Tax (No Tax): $0.00

Total: $10.34

 

I ended up not placing the order.

Just wanted to check things out for myself.

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I just ordered a log book from Groundspeak. The book was $2.50.  The shipping and handling charges were almost $6.00. I understand that this can happen. What I don't think is fair play is that the shipping/handling and sales tax were not displayed until after I had irrevocably closed the deal. Every other site that I have ever used with a credit card gave me the opportunity to cancel the transaction after seeing what the total charges were.

My shipping and handling was displayed before I was asked to make payment.

I was also going to get charged $7.84 for shipping. :huh:

 

Qty SKU Item Price Total

1 609555921466 Micro Cache Log Book 711701 GEO - Yellow $2.50

 

Subtotal: $2.50

Shipping & Handling Cost (UPS Ground): $7.84

Sales Tax (No Tax): $0.00

Total: $10.34

 

I ended up not placing the order.

Just wanted to check things out for myself.

Now THAT makes sense. I couldn't believe the charges would be added AFTER authorization.

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I was just placing an order as well. I had a lanyard, a compass zipper pull, some stickers, and a travel bug in my shopping basket. The shipping and tax came to about half the amount of the items. :huh:

 

I did not complete the transaction. :lol:

 

Instead, I ordered a travel bug using PayPal . . . no shipping that way. :lol:

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What I don't think is fair play is that the shipping/handling and sales tax were not displayed until after I had irrevocably closed the deal.

I just did a test order on 2 stickers. The S&H was displayed on the final page before the order was to be finalized.

 

El Diablo

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The logbook you got could have been dropped into a small envelope with a 37 cent stamp. :lol:

Big places don't have time to do things like that. ;)

 

Maybe a member would like to buy a case or two of note books then turn around and sell them at cost plus $1 to cover shipping and handling charges. :o

 

Now someone can search the forums and find a old post were my idea has been brought up before.

 

Then you they can post the link so I can feel :huh::lol::huh::huh:

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I wonder how much it costs for just the "handling" charge. I don't really like merchants who charge a handling charge-they are alreay making a profit off the merchandise price, so seems like another charge is kind of socking it to the customer.

This is not 100% correct. It takes time for an employee package an item.

First the item has to be packed, then it has to be weighed, then it has to be addresses, then it has to be entered into the UPS log book that each shipper has to use, all this takes time and time cost money. You have a product that retails for $2.50 If an employee is making $10.00 and hour and it take 15 minutes to pack the item that and get it ready for UPS, that adds $2.50 to the cost of the merchandise. If the item retails for $2.50 the whole sale price would be around $1.25 add the cost of packaging $2.50, that makes the cost to the retailer $3.75. There goes the profit, That is why there are handling charges.

Now if someone walks into a store and get a $2.50 item off a shelf and walks it up to a register to pay for it the cost to the dealer is very low.

 

I recall reading at one time the min., shiping and handleing charge was $6.00

But I did ot see it listed anywhere when I looked a few minutes ago, but I know I read a while back.

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I don't think they are gouging on the S&H, I just think the are using the wrong shipping options. I can ship a hiking staff pretty much anywhere in the US for 6.05 which is what I charge the customers. It takes me less than 10 mins to pack a staff (and I have to modify the boxes) and label it. The USPS provides me free of charge the boxes needed.

 

I just think they need to explore differrent shipping options.

 

El Diablo

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I don't think they are gouging on the S&H, I just think the are using the wrong shipping options. I can ship a hiking staff pretty much anywhere in the US for 6.05 which is what I charge the customers. It takes me less than 10 mins to pack a staff (and I have to modify the boxes) and label it. The USPS provides me free of charge the boxes needed.

 

I just think they need to explore differrent shipping options.

 

El Diablo

Our partner, Sunrise Identity, only ships packages via UPS. UPS has a minimal cost on shipping which is around $5 (I don't know exactly since it changes often). We have been pushing them to ship via USPS but they have been working on other systems and this has been deemed low priority. Which is why on some lower cost items we have a site for shipping via USPS in-house for the calendar and for travel bugs.

 

None of the shipping costs we have contain any "handling" fees

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I don't think they are gouging on the S&H, I just think the are using the wrong shipping options. I can ship a hiking staff pretty much anywhere in the US for 6.05 which is what I charge the customers. It takes me less than 10 mins to pack a staff (and I have to modify the boxes) and label it. The USPS provides me free of charge the boxes needed.

 

I just think they need to explore differrent shipping options.

 

El Diablo

Our partner, Sunrise Identity, only ships packages via UPS. UPS has a minimal cost on shipping which is around $5 (I don't know exactly since it changes often). We have been pushing them to ship via USPS but they have been working on other systems and this has been deemed low priority. Which is why on some lower cost items we have a site for shipping via USPS in-house for the calendar and for travel bugs.

 

None of the shipping costs we have contain any "handling" fees

Like I said...they need to explore different shipping options. the United States Postal Service is a better solution than UPS.

 

El Diablo

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What I suggest is to get with your local group and prepare a larger order. That spreads the shipping cost out and makes it easier to justify ordering a few smaller things. I've done that for events. I tend to buy a few extra of the little things and usually have no problems selling out. If I don't, no biggie because I'll eventually use the items.

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I could use a few ammo box stickers, but I'm waiting to order until I'm ready to buy a few tshirts and antenna balls. It wouldn't be worth it to order each item when I want it, since the shipping is so high for each order. Makes a lot more sense to combine 3 orders into one and only pay for shipping once.

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I've ordered some stuff & you have to order enough to justify s&h. You could have gotten a lot more for about the same money.

This is the best idea, given the existing system.

 

I try to plan my orders so that I am spending 30 or 40 dollars; that way S&H doesn't hurt so much.

 

Does anybody remember S&H Green Stamps? :huh::lol::lol:

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Two or more people have said that the shipping charge was displayed before the transaction was finalized. So I must conclude that I had eye/hand coordination problems. Sorry.

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I'm 36 and remember S&H Green Stamps and my parents and grandparents saving them. I also remember helping to stick them to the little books they used to give you at the grocery store and remember visiting the Green Stamp store to redeem them <_<

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What I suggest is to get with your local group and prepare a larger order. That spreads the shipping cost out and makes it easier to justify ordering a few smaller things. I've done that for events. I tend to buy a few extra of the little things and usually have no problems selling out. If I don't, no biggie because I'll eventually use the items.

There there are those of us that Drive By Sunrise Identity often enough that we can put in Will-Call orders and totally skip the shipping charges.

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First of all I'm 37 and remember helping with the stamps too.

 

Secondly, regarding the UPS shipping. It really is too bad that it is so expensive. I have ordered from the GC store in the past and paid it, however last weekend I just wanted to pick up a couple of things to drop in a new cache, stickers, tb, etc. and the shipping was going to be more than the total of merchandise. No, I didn't complete the order. I would imagine they lose a lot of "little" sales because of it.

 

Yes, It's a good idea to get together with all the geocachers in your area and place an order... <_< imagine those logistics to save a couple of bucks. :ph34r:

 

Yes, another good idea was to have one cacher buy out one single item (we can each pick one) then resell them on these forms (that'll go over well), marked up to cover shipping...makes sense and probably not very time consuming either. :unsure:

 

Or, someone could start their own website, buy all the stuff in the GC store, mark it up and charge less shipping. Don't want to mark it up too much or people will complain that it is too expensive....just enough to break even. :angry:

 

The USPS will pick up priority mail packages from your home or place of business, just like UPS (except UPS charges I believe). Why wouldn't they go to a different shipping system to encourage more sales? I don't have the answers, must not be the big money maker for them.

 

So I will wait until I need a bunch of stuff and try and offset the shipping that way I guess.

 

DC

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The USPS will pick up priority mail packages from your home or place of business, just like UPS (except UPS charges I believe). Why wouldn't they go to a different shipping system to encourage more sales? I don't have the answers, must not be the big money maker for them.

Like I said...they need to explore different shipping options. the United States Postal Service is a better solution than UPS.

 

El Diablo

The Groundspeak gear does not actually come from Groundspeak. The stuff comes from another company, that handles the orders and ships them. This company is not part of Groundspeak, and TPTB here can not control how they ship items. So basically Groundspeak's options are to ask Sunrise Identity nicely to consider adding USPS shipping options (which Jeremy already says he's done), or scrap everything and go with another vendor.

There is another choice for us though, that I haven't seen mentioned yet. There are licensed distributors listed; some even in the USA. It might be possible to get a better deal on shipping by going through one of those if they have what you want in stock.

Edited by Mopar
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Well, the local licensed distributor isn't an option for me, since he's the jerk who held my daughter's travel bug hostage for more than a year.

Do distributors get screened somehow, or can anybody do it?

Edited by The Leprechauns
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I'm 36 and remember S&H Green Stamps and my parents and grandparents saving them. I also remember helping to stick them to the little books they used to give you at the grocery store and remember visiting the Green Stamp store to redeem them :laughing:

Woah... The other day S&H greenstamps jumped into my mind for no good reason. But this make me remember when I filled up a book and sent it in for a fishing net. I kept that net until just last year. Not once did I have it when I needed it.

 

Edit:

OT: Most companies use UPS or FedEx when they only ship via one method. The price includes certain services such as insurance and tracking, that are essential if you are in the catalog biz. USPS offers similar servies but they are not as easy to use. 6 bucks sounds expensive but toss in the cost of the package, UPS minimum charge etc. and they are not making money on it. Now some people on eBay on the other hand...

Edited by Renegade Knight
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I not only remember S&H Green Stamps, I received a college scholarship from them. My mother worked in a grocery store that gave them.

 

As for the shipping charges, I understand that Sunrise Identity does all that, and Groundspeak stays with them. I also hope that TPTB understand that I will never order anything as long as the system is this way.

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There have been time where I have just not ordered anything because of the shipping so yes, I imagine they are losing sales because they (be it GC, Sunrise, whomever) can't ship things more cost effectively.

 

I just popped over to other online retailers that sell the gc.com merchandise and here's what I found:

 

GPSCity: Signal frog antenna ball: $2.95. Shipping $7.37

 

BuyMagellan.com: Signal Frog antenna ball: $2.95. Shipping: $3.06

 

Great Plains Geocaching Store: Signal antenna ball: $2.95. Shipping $2.25.

 

GeocacheStore.com: Car Window cling: $2.99. Shipping: $0.60.

 

The above stores were linked too off http://shop.Groundspeak.com/shipping.cfm so if you're looking for only 1 or 2 items where the shipping just isn't reasonable from the gc.com store, check elsewhere.

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I just think they need to explore differrent shipping options.

I think this is a BIG must :laughing:

I was charged $201.00 for a 7lbs parcel to South Africa via UPS! Need less to say I got it sent to someone in USA that was kind enough to send it via USPS ground to South Africa, only $32.00!

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I've purchased items from the Great Plains Geocaching Store on 2 different occasions and their shipping is very reasonable and my stuff got to me within a few days. Unreasonable shipping is a big deal killer for me.

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Yeah, well it does suck and I have been pushing Sunrise to add USPS to their shipping options, but I don't have much of a choice when it comes to buying decisions up there, and it is not cost effective to bring it in-house.

 

They're working on a new ERP system which will allow them to provide alternate shipping options but for now we're stuck. That's one reason why we provide Travel Bugs via USPS and hand ship them from our office 1-2 times each week. We do this because we're aware of the issue and although it is a pain we believe it to be a useful service for the geocaching community.

 

So as Mopar said, our partners can offer better options for shipping when you want to buy a sticker or antenna ball. However, keep in mind that lesser shipping options often do not provide tracking, so if you expect to pay less, expect less features.

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You know, Jeremy... Perhaps y'all would like to start a Nashville office. lol.

You ship all the merchandise to me bulk. We'll get a $50 a month rental unit, and I'll ship twice a week from my handy danndy 24 hour post office and save customers money. ;)

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Jeremy

Have you thought of leaving the selling to "other" stores! You become a wholesale distributor only. No more---

we're aware of the issue and although it is a pain
Like you do with us in the other countries! Edited by vandermerwe-family
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As a reseller we carry some of the smaller items at the usageocoins.com website.

 

Contact support at usageocoins dot com if there are some items that we don't list that you may want.

 

We mainly only carry the smaller easier to ship items.

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Jeremy

Have you thought of leaving the selling to "other" stores! You become a wholesale distributor only. No more---

we're aware of the issue and although it is a pain
Like you do with us in the other countries!

You can blame international fraud and export taxes and paperwork for that. We do work with distributors all over the world, by the way. Get someone to step up to the plate in your country and we'd be happy to work with them.

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You can blame international fraud and export taxes and paperwork for that. We do work with distributors all over the world, by the way.
But the shipping is still a bit much! :( The way that I got around the UPS shipping charges to South Africa is to get myself a "agent" in the USA! I get Groundspeak to ship the items to her. She re-addresses the parcel and then ships it to South Africa with a shipping method more affordable! I save a lot of money like this. My last parcel to South Africa via UPS direct from Groundspeak would have cost me $201.00. I got it sent via my "agent" with shipping only totalling $32.00. BIG SAVING.

I think you misunderstood my statement above, what I meant .... maybe you should also leave the selling of your products in the USA to other shops and YOU just wholesale the items to them! Like this no more hassles no more problems!

Get someone to step up to the plate in your country and we'd be happy to work with them.

Jeremy

I know,I am the one that have stepped up to the plate in our country! Thank you for Geocaching by giving me the chance to become the distributor in South Africa of your products! :(

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I think you misunderstood my statement above, what I meant .... maybe you should also leave the selling of your products in the USA to other shops and YOU just wholesale the items to them! Like this no more hassles no more problems!

I think you missed something above. He already DOES leave the selling of products to someone else, even in the USA. As I understand it, the only product Groundspeak actually handles are travel bug tags. That's why he has no control over the shipping charges; Groundspeak isn't shipping them.

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Yes, it is very deplorable that Sunrise is a subsidiary (or married or so) to UPS.

It puts a serious brake on their sales but makes good profit for UPS.

For the Dutch geocaching.nl shop I import Groundspeak goods. But the shipping cost (no ship, it goes by air) of 3.5 $cents per gram limit me to only lightweight goods like badges. Travel bugs cost 60 cents transport each with mass-import.

Inside Europe I do send all goods by national postal services.

Using private carriers like UPS is not economically sensible for parcels <5kg.

Capitalist competition should make lower prices but the tariffs only differ by about 4 % between them all.

And all those nice extras like tracking and insurance you pay for?

No value in the real world. Things still get lost, damaged and insurance never pays.

Going to court to get your 100 $ from them will cost you many times more money. And they know that.

I already do this sending business for 15 years (last 2 years also this gc. shop) and I simply calculate 'losses in the mail' into the prices for the enduser.

At the moment about 1 in 200 gets lost. what gives about one half of one percent loss in revenue.

 

So yes, if I could get the goods by sea I would be very happy. Transport time is not important. With good planning I can look ahead for 40 days. No need for for just-in-time delivery.

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Yeah, well it does suck and I have been pushing Sunrise to add USPS to their shipping options, but I don't have much of a choice when it comes to buying decisions up there, and it is not cost effective to bring it in-house.

 

They're working on a new ERP system which will allow them to provide alternate shipping options but for now we're stuck. That's one reason why we provide Travel Bugs via USPS and hand ship them from our office 1-2 times each week. We do this because we're aware of the issue and although it is a pain we believe it to be a useful service for the geocaching community.

 

So as Mopar said, our partners can offer better options for shipping when you want to buy a sticker or antenna ball. However, keep in mind that lesser shipping options often do not provide tracking, so if you expect to pay less, expect less features.

Jeremy,

 

I hate to tell you this but an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system has nothing to do with the decision of how to ship product. If anything, this ERP excuse is likely to be smoke and mirrors. (As a consultant in the field for the past 20 years in MRP II and ERP and a fellow level certified professional in Production and Inventory Management, I have some credibility in this matter.) The UPS shipping method is a Sunrise corporate policy made on economic grounds. This policy makes economic and productivity sense for Sunrise. That is the real bottom line for Sunrise.

 

Everyone needs to face the reality that Sunrise has no economic incentive to change their processing system to allow for other shipping methods which saves Groundspeak customers money. Groundspeak customers are charged for the UPS shipping and they pay it. If it costs Sunrise anything more to ship USPS, DHL, FedEX, or anyone else, they have an economic disincentive to do it. It adds complexity and requires more of employees than the present one size fits all system. Remember the early days at Ford. Henry Ford said customers could have any color they liked as long as it was black. Same concept.

 

Grounspeak has a customer service incentive to satisfy its customers at the lowest cost possible or it loses (orders) revenues. Groundspeak doesn't see enough dropped orders to justify solving the high shipping cost problem. Jeremy, you said that when you told us you could not justify bringing this in-house. I suspect that there is not enough return on investment for either Groundspeak or Sunrise to improve customer service by offering different shipping methods. So, Jeremy, shall we put the blame where it really belongs? Until there is sufficient economic incentive to reduce shipping costs to Grounspeak customers by Groundspeak and/or Sunrise, it just isn't going to happen.

 

An ERP system at Sunrise can reduce inventory costs for Sunrise and will automate some shipping paperwork but it will not justify spending more for labor to process shipments differently to save Grounspeak customers money on shipping. Grounspeak customers are being charged for the inefficiency built into the present system, so there is no incentive for Sunrise to change it. Groundspeak has an incentive if the order non-completion rate is high enough to justify providing an alternate method but only if it will increase sales enough to pay for the cost of solving this problem. The problem is economic and customer policy driven. Until enough customers bought blue, green, and or white cars (from another car company), Ford had little incentive to offer anything but black either. History gets repeated yet again.

 

MM

Edited by Marietta Moose
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I know,I am the one that have stepped up to the plate in our country! Thank you for Geocaching by giving me the chance to become the distributor in South Africa of your products! :rolleyes:

Hi

 

Curious to know if there are options for more than one distributor in a country. Simliar problems with postage charges here in Australia, plus poor service from distributor.

 

Regards

Andrew

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I hate to tell you this but an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system has nothing to do with the decision of how to ship product. If anything, this ERP excuse is likely to be smoke and mirrors. (As a consultant in the field for the past 20 years in MRP II and ERP and a fellow level certified professional in Production and Inventory Management, I have some credibility in this matter.) The UPS shipping method is a Sunrise corporate policy made on economic grounds. This policy makes economic and productivity sense for Sunrise. That is the real bottom line for Sunrise.

No it isn't. Bryan, one of the partners for Groundspeak, works full-time at Sunrise and there are no smoke & mirrors. They're currently using an application called Paragon which is outdated but it is a necessary evil until they move to a new system. I was perfectly willing to fund their purchase of a Pitney Bowes system so they could support alternate shipping methods but the point is moot until they finish their implementation.

 

Thanks for chiming in, however. I'm sure in most cases there would be some truth to your statements.

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Yes, it is very deplorable that Sunrise is a subsidiary (or married or so) to UPS.

It puts a serious brake on their sales but makes good profit for UPS.

Deplorable? That's a silly statement. UPS makes it very easy for companies to get set up with their accounts. I couldn't care less who the company is but we need tracking and a good track record to make shipping worthwhile. I'm sure Sunrise has the same feeling. UPS has WorldShip that is easy to integrate and provided free (along with a computer) to most businesses. FedEx does not (and besides, both have base costs to provide tracking).

 

If anything, companies like Amazon have duped you into believing that shipping costs are no big deal.

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Not being an American my choice of words is sometimes deplorable.

I spoke with my eyes on the situation on the European continent.

I would be mad to set up a gc goodiesshop here with UPS or another delivery service like that as the only transport channel.

Most (85%) of my sales are less then 20 dollar in value. And require for postal stamps about 1,50 $

I do not sell any large goods that require parcelling. Like T-shirts or Antenna Balls.

Let me make it less abstract.

 

I buy at Groundspeak T-shirts. Long Sleeve Serial # T-Shirt for $15.99

The weight is 270 grams. So airtransportcost USA->EU adds (3 $c a gram) $8.10

I do not count custums costs.

Then I have to pay sales tax (BTW, VAT, MwSt) of 19%. Raising the price to $27,13

Then I have to send. The box costs $1.50 and uninsured delivery with tracking costs euro 5,50 (=$6,89). Insurance adds another euro 7.50 (=$9.52)

You see that this is madness. No one will buy for those prices.

 

The same goes up for the Antenna Ball, only not so much airfreight costs. I have to box it to send it. Bringing the price of a single ball to deliver to $11.91

 

So my whole shop works without tracking, without insurance, without track recording and without UPS et all. to make shipping worthwhile.

 

And yes, I would use UPC if I only had big parcels >5 kg and a value of >$250.

But I have not.

 

I can only think that things in the USA are very different from those in Europe and that Groundspeak has a very different position concerning the value and amount of ordered goods per costumer then I have.

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