Wednesday, November 16, 2011

New Shoes and Free Shipping


I recently tried on these shoes at The Walking Company and really liked them.  But before buying them at $115, I decided to look online and sure enough I found them for $76 with free shipping.  
When the shoes arrived 2 days later, I realized the Chinese quality control on shoes may not be so good because the very same 9-1/2 M was way too tight.  Thinking perhaps I had actually tried on a 9-1/2 W, I ordered a second pair at the same $76 with free shipping, which arrived the next day.  That pair slipped right off my feet.  
So I bit the bullet and bought the shoes that fit, leaving me with 2 pairs of shoes to return.  That’s when I realized return shipping wasn’t covered.  I boxed them up and prepared to go to the USPS, knowing the shipping would probably be $20 or more.
Then I had the idea of calling Amazon to find out if there was a cheaper way to return them.  Miraculously I talked to a guy in India who figured out how to get prepaid shipping for both pairs of shoes.
Which brings me to my real question du jour about all the free shipping that is out there luring us to make purchases online.  I often get the item the next day or the day after that and pay nothing for the many people responsible for the delivery to my door.  
The free shipping seems to apply to items large and small.  Last week we bought a refurbished Kitchenaid stand mixer online weighing at least 30 pounds.  Free shipping.  Yesterday I bought a jar of shoe polish online for $2.50.  Free shipping.  Both items already had rock-bottom prices, leaving me to wonder how these companies are actually paying for shipping.
All I know is at the cost of shipping these days, I mostly buy items which advertise free shipping. 
How about you?  

5 Comments:

Blogger Kellyann Brown said...

I read somewhere that consumer prefer free shipping rather than a higher percentage off, go figure!

With Amazon, if you are a PRIME member, you pretty much pay for your shipping up front with a surcharge every year. I don't mind, I buy way more than I should from Amazon and the surcharge pretty much pays for itself. I'm sure that there is a percentage that we buy with the price that is tacked on... and I'm sure that the big internet stores have a deal worked out with the shipping companies that make the shipping cost NO WHERE NEAR what it would cost to ship privately... just like junk mail!

4:46 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Kelly -- We also have Amazon PRIME and it is well worth the fee to have free shipping on many items. When I learned in this experience is you don't necessarily have free return shipping. I can still usually get the best deal on Amazon with free shipping thrown in. They must have negotiated incredible contracts with UPS.

10:15 PM  
Blogger Steve Reed said...

I almost never buy things online (other than books) for the reasons you describe. I like to try the shoes and see them before I buy them!

2:05 AM  
Blogger Kellyann Brown said...

I'm like you about shoes, I like to try them on, but since I've admitted that my feet are both long AND wide, I've had a harder time finding shoes to try on.... so when I wanted some Teva-like sandals this summer, I resorted to Amazon's search engine which found me some very comfortable Columbia action sandals. I bought them through Amazon and they fit perfectly the moment I tried them on... I have found it is incredibly hard to return anything to Amazon. Once they even sent me the wrong book, but it was such an incredibly intricate process, I just chalked up to the price of doing business...

5:27 PM  
Blogger Cyndy said...

Zappos is great for shoes!

3:22 PM  

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