Free Shipping, But On Your Dime

Shipping is an absolute nightmare for any company and especially for us in that in any order there could be a range of heights and quantities from 12″ up to 72″ and from 1 to infinity.  I get a lot of inquiries asking why shipping is so much for a particular order in that it may only weigh 27 lbs, but it costs a fair share of money to ship. The simple equation is space x distance = costs.

I always try to respectfully explain that we are charged based upon dimensional weight and not the actual weight of the shipment as long as it is under 72 lbs.  This is because, Fedex in our case, charges based upon how much room the package takes up on its trucks and planes.  For instance, a 50 count order of 5 ft tubes will ship in a box of 60″x19″x10″.  That is 6.6 cubic feet of space.  Our website can only calculate based upon weight with a height layer matrix so we have to quantify a wt to dim pricing.  It’s all very complex and brain melting when you pull back the curtain on the inner workings, but we strive to nail the shipping as close to our total cost to get it to you as possible.  We agree it already costs enough to ship so we don’t need to make a mark up on it as well.

So why can some companies offer free shipping??  In the case of huge retail outlets such as LL Bean, they do so much volume, they can actually absorb the cost of shipping without marking up the price of the items to account for shipping so in their case you really are getting free shipping.  In smaller business, they have to either mark up the price to account for shipping or they already have such a high margin involved that they can offer free shipping over a certain amount because they have already made all the money they need to make. This means they are already charging too much in my opinion.

We spent a great deal of time examining if we should or could offer free shipping.  In the end we felt that it went against our original mission of offering the most competitive pricing in the market.  We already operate at very low margins so we would either have to go up in pricing (there goes your true free shipping) or offer free shipping after such a high order amount that most of our customers would never benefit from such an offer.

So at the end of the day, please know that we agree that shipping is expensive, but you can’t put a 4 ft tube in a mailbox and when you open the box just know that you got some clean humid air from Georgia on the house.

We look forward to the frenzy of the upcoming season and hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season and end of the year.

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