Friday, May 1, 2009

Shopping Shipping

Know this about me: I abhor shipping fees. Utterly despise them. I understand that it costs the shipper to send an item, but it seems more and more I come across shipping charges that blatantly rip me off. At this, I feel insulted and abused.

I'm a lover of Target. It draws me in and makes me spend money I didn't know I had. I go in for toothpaste and canned soup and leave with a dress, two pairs of earrings, a DVD, new stationary, a throw pillow, a spatula, and a storage bin to carry it all in. I likely forget the toothpaste and soup, have to make another trip, and the madness is repeated. I love Target.

I wish I could say I loved Sometimes, one bad experience leaves me exasperated and it takes many many months to get over it. Perhaps I'm still not over it. I hate shipping fees.

So, I'm doing some home organization last spring and I want a very specific item: a small, one or two drawer file cabinet in maple or pine. I find the perfect one on clearance at for $45. I'm thrilled. That is until I go to check out and find my total bill is about $90. What?! That can't be right! So, I start over and go through all of my selections again. Same result. How can the shipping costs be as much as the item? It doesn't even come assembled! I'm sure there must be a mistake, so I call their help desk. The person also seems surprised at the shipping fee. Perhaps I selected 'Next Day' Shipping? No, I did not. "Well then that must be the cost, sorry." I kindly tell the representative that this was not acceptable and Target would be losing my sale. I also send a kind but firm e-mail to explaining my trouble. A cold, blanket response was all I received. I haven't attempted purchasing anything from since.

This past January I attended a home (network marketing) jewelry party with a friend. We each order a pair of earrings. We put both items on the same bill so we could split the shipping cost. Naturally, if I pay for shipping, I expect it to be sent to ME. This was not the case. I never see the friend who hosted the party but maybe once or twice a year. The jewelry was sent to her, not me, and I have yet to see my order. It's...uhm...May, people.

In March I attend another home (network marketing) party. The item that I purchase is $18. I fill out the information and hand it to the representative. She fills out the rest and points me to my total charge: $28. REALLY!? I'm sorry there is no flippin' way it costs nearly $10 to send a bottle of shampoo. NO. WAY. I express this to the rep and she acts surprised. "Well, that's just what it costs." This item was also sent to the party host, not me. Needless to say, the next time I placed an order with this company, I pooled with a friend who had a discount, who I see often. I'm not stupid.

Here's the good news: There are companies who cater to anti-shipping fee shoppers such as myself. You can have your order shipped to your nearest Walmart store at NO COST. They send an email when your stuff has arrived, you drive a few short blocks/miles, you pick it up. Easy as pie. No shipping fees EVER. No return shipping fees EVER.

There are numerous other companies that either run Free Shipping promotions, have reasonable shipping costs, or both. Amazon, Half, and J.Crew come to mind. And to like companies who put the customer before greedy shipping costs...thank you. You have my business.


Lydia said...

You've given me some pondering to do, because I adore, but I can't tell you how many sales they've missed out on from me because I've gotten to the checkout button and the total of my $5.67 skirt has come to $12.00, and I could buy two of them in the store for that much!! I appreciate this post and your insight.

AND I did not know that Wal-Mart offers that option for anything online--that's great news! :) Thanks!

LaNae said...

I keep you stuff in my car, I work in Woodbury now so I can drop it off any time.