Shipping charges

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Don Hendrix
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Shipping charges

Postby Don Hendrix » February 5th, 2010, 12:22 pm

Can anyone explain why some magic shops still charge for shipping based on the cost of the item to be shipped? The cost of the item usually has little or no effect on the actual shipping cost. I was just about to order The Best of All Worlds from a shop in CA until I discovered that I would be charged considerably more for shipping than the actual cost. I can often order an item from Martin Breese and have it shipped from the UK for less than I am charged for shipping from California. I always buy from my local shop when they are able to get something that I want, but sometimes have to order from someone else. I tend to avoid ordering from shops that charge based on the cost of the item, rather than the actual shipping cost, and am wondering if anyone else does this, and if it results in loss of sales for shops that have this policy. Maybe no one else cares about this, but I am curious.

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Re: Shipping charges

Postby Raleigh » February 5th, 2010, 12:31 pm

It could be that they are including insurance on the item and of course that would make the price change. The more the item bought costs , the fee is higher for the seller to insure!

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Gary Kosnitzky
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Re: Shipping charges

Postby Gary Kosnitzky » February 5th, 2010, 4:24 pm

How much was shipping?
Is that for First Class Media Mail or USPS Priority mail/Insured with Delivery Confirmation?

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Dustin Stinett
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Re: Shipping charges

Postby Dustin Stinett » February 5th, 2010, 5:03 pm

Dick and Charlie at H&R had the book in their email ad this week. Give 'em a call: http://www.magicbookshop.com/

Dustin

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Don Hendrix
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Re: Shipping charges

Postby Don Hendrix » February 5th, 2010, 6:06 pm

My issue is not the shipping method. It is basing the shipping costs on the cost of the item, where shipping costs are based on the shipping method, weight, size, etc. A Himber ring, weighing only a few ounces might cost more to ship than a much less expensive but heavier book, for example. This just seems crazy to me, so I would rather buy from someone with a more sensible policy. I have suspected, for years,that some dealers pad their profits by overcharging for shipping. On the other extreme, Williams Magic, here in Tucson, does not charge for shipping. And, whenever I cannot get to the shop to pick something up, it is always shipped first class. The result is that, sometimes, the shipping cost to them is more than their profit. Realizing this, however, they continue to offer free shipping. I have talked to them about this, and they seem to think that this is just part of the cost of doing business. They also have a very large inventory, competitive pricing, and may be found at williamsmagic.com.

Bye the way, about the book I mentioned earlier: I found it at a humble magic dealer in Texas, and saved $7.95 on the shipping. For $5, I had the choice of priority flat rate shipping, or media mail with more substantial packaging. This is the kind of dealer I would rather spend my money with: one that bases shipping costs on actual costs.

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Re: Shipping charges

Postby Richard Hatch » February 5th, 2010, 7:42 pm

I can't speak for other dealers, but in our case, our website estimates domestic shipping cost based on the purchase price as follows: 10% of the purchase price, with a minimum of $5 and a maximum of $10. This does not include insurance, which adds an estimate of $2 to this total. We use this method of estimating because it is simple and surprisingly accurate. In most cases we can ship via one of the USPS flat rate envelopes for just $5 (actual postal cost to us of $4.75) or medium priority boxes for $10 (actually $10.20). These flat rate mailers are independent of the weight, so the real factor involved in the shipping is the size (does the order fit in the envelope or box). For large heavy objects, media mail has proven surprising fast of late, and comparatively inexpensive. Our non-domestic shipments are estimated based on $13.50 per $50 ordered. This is, again, just an estimate, based on the expectation that we can fit less than $50 of product in one the of flat rate envelopes, which cost that much to everywhere except Mexico and Canada (just $11.50 to those two). We don't view the shipping and handling as a "profit center" and in fact we lose a few thousand dollars annually on the shipping (mostly because we sometimes advertise "free shipping" on some of our own publications), but we haven't found a better way to estimate the shipping, though we have started to enter the weight of our inventory, anticipating that might prove useful, even though 95% of our shipments are flat rate, independent of the weight. I don't know of a good way to enter the size of the products, in relation to the shipping options, especially with regard to how the shipment size scales with orders for more than one product. So the estimate based on pricing is the best scale we have. If an order is placed using a credit card, we charge a close approximation of the actual shipping cost. If paypal is used, we generally refund an overcharge and communicate regarding the options in the case of an undercharge. I hope this clarifies our method. We are open to suggestions on better methods of estimating the costs automatically! (And our "minimum" of $5 is not an absolute. We often ship something light, like Phil Goldstein's VERBAL CONTROL, for just $1, if a customer indicates such a preference)

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Richard Kaufman
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Re: Shipping charges

Postby Richard Kaufman » February 5th, 2010, 8:30 pm

The flat rate USPS shipping is not available for me to use: the fulfillment facility where my books are stored and shipped from does not offer the service to its customers.
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Don Hendrix
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Re: Shipping charges

Postby Don Hendrix » February 5th, 2010, 10:48 pm

Richard,
But you do offer free shipping via media mail in the US, right? Seems like that has been the case whenever I have ordered from you.
I also try to order from the author or publisher whenever possible. I also like to order from Richard Hatch because he is always fair with his shipping costs. He also very often has things that I can't find elsewhere. I would not have known about the recent Racherbaumer Annemann book if I didn't get his mailing list and frequently check out his website. Today I ordered a book about 30 minutes before the post office closed and he still got the book in the mail. Now that is the kind of service that keeps customers coming back.

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Richard Kaufman
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Re: Shipping charges

Postby Richard Kaufman » February 6th, 2010, 12:52 am

Yes, I offer free shipping within the US on all my books.
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000
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Re: Shipping charges

Postby 000 » February 6th, 2010, 7:21 am

H and R can be recommended for fair price shipping internationally.

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Rennie
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Re: Shipping charges

Postby Rennie » February 6th, 2010, 10:05 pm

I do have to agree with Don on this one. The cost of the item has absolutely nothing to do with the shipping cost. When shipping (excluding flat rate)the weight is what determines the cost.
So what is the problem?
Rennie
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Re: Shipping charges

Postby TAR » February 6th, 2010, 10:39 pm

Weight is not the only factor when determining shipping charges. You have things like over size and odd shapes parcels. I lost money on shipping some large posters because I mistakenly went on weight instead of length.

I know there are exceptions but I believe in general the more something cost the more it's going to cost to ship simply because it's going to either weigh more or it will need special attention to properly package the item. DVD's, Books, coins, and cards excluded.

There has to be a better system and anyone serious about dealing with mail orders will need to adjust and work on their postal pricing.

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Re: Shipping charges

Postby Raleigh » February 6th, 2010, 10:53 pm

Shipping can be confusing to the customer and seller . example to ship a mak magic square circle from vegas to virgina cost around 32.00 priority mail . to send the same item to california from vegas it would be around 14.00 .
so alot of sellers list a shipping fee at a set amount because ...... well for one they have no clue who will buy it and where it will be going. at least that's how i do it on ebay , but on my website RaleighVintageMagic.com i have a flat 2.00 shipping cost on any item no matter how large or small and no matter which state it is being sent .
seems to work out well on the site , no complaints ever there!

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Don Hendrix
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Re: Shipping charges

Postby Don Hendrix » February 7th, 2010, 12:30 am

Maybe I don't know what I am talking about, but I believe that priority mail shipping for the same size and weight package from Vegas to Virginia, California, or any other state will be the same. If I wrap up a brick and take it to the PO and ask for the priority shipping price, it will be the same from AZ to NM as from AZ to GA or NY. If this is not true throughout the country, then I am fortunate indeed to be sending packages from Tucson, AZ.

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Re: Shipping charges

Postby Richard Hatch » February 7th, 2010, 12:46 am

Don Hendrix wrote:Maybe I don't know what I am talking about, but I believe that priority mail shipping for the same size and weight package from Vegas to Virginia, California, or any other state will be the same. If I wrap up a brick and take it to the PO and ask for the priority shipping price, it will be the same from AZ to NM as from AZ to GA or NY. If this is not true throughout the country, then I am fortunate indeed to be sending packages from Tucson, AZ.

Don, non-flat rate priority rates do depend on both weight and destination. I often use non-flat rate boxes for shipments in Texas and surrounding states for parcels under 5 and 6 lbs because it costs less than the medium flat rate. But it would cost more than the medium flat rate to more distant states, so I rarely use it unless the parcels are quite light (2-3 pounds). Since there is not flat rate box that would hold the Mak Magic Square Circle referenced earlier, destination distance would be a factor leading to increased cost, as claimed.

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Kevin Connolly
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Re: Shipping charges

Postby Kevin Connolly » February 7th, 2010, 1:11 am

Don...It used to be that way. They introduced zones a few years back and screwed it up. IMHO
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Don Hendrix
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Re: Shipping charges

Postby Don Hendrix » February 7th, 2010, 1:18 am

OK. I don't know what I am talking about. I guess that I mostly use flat rate boxes and envelopes. Or, maybe I just don't use mail enough to keep up with what it costs. If I have something that won't fit into a flat rate box, I use UPS. But I still think that some non-humble tx dealers make a profit on shipping.

000
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Re: Shipping charges

Postby 000 » February 9th, 2010, 12:51 pm

International shipping is where some dealers make a mint.
First Kilogram to my country is $32. Some dealers charge the full kilogram ( rate) even where the weight is far less.

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Re: Shipping charges

Postby Raleigh » February 9th, 2010, 1:04 pm

OR LOSE OUT ......Last week i sent a set of 8" Rings 'n' Things Linking Rings to France. I only charged 19.00 but the cost was 27.00 plus change and that cost was for 1st class , priority would have been 50 + dollars ! international rates are extremely high for sellers.

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Kevin Connolly
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Re: Shipping charges

Postby Kevin Connolly » February 9th, 2010, 1:33 pm

Wait till you send something to Italy! That's much more. Why? You got me hanging. No clue.
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Don Hendrix
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Re: Shipping charges

Postby Don Hendrix » February 9th, 2010, 6:01 pm

I just purchased a book, "The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest" by Steig Larsson, which won't be released in the US until May, from Amazon UK. It was shipped from Germany at a charge of 6.98 pounds, $10.90 American, and arrived in Tucson, AZ in 10 days. I don't know why Amazon UK ships from Germany, but I thought that both the shipping charge and time of arrival were reasonable. The total price for the book and shipping was $27.68, or about what the book plus tax will cost if I wait until May to buy it here.

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Richard Kaufman
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Re: Shipping charges

Postby Richard Kaufman » February 9th, 2010, 9:01 pm

amazon gets huge discounts from the companies it ships with because of the enormous volume of their business.
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Doc
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Re: Shipping charges

Postby Doc » February 9th, 2010, 10:00 pm

Kevin Connolly wrote:Wait till you send something to Italy! That's much more. Why? You got me hanging. No clue.


Atsa because we losa so much mail! :D

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Re: Shipping charges

Postby Raleigh » February 9th, 2010, 10:45 pm

Yes Italy is the worst for package claims !!!!! I personally have an amount limit that i will send there .

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Kevin Connolly
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Re: Shipping charges

Postby Kevin Connolly » February 9th, 2010, 10:52 pm

I noticed that too from sellers on Ebay. Many state that they will only send an item to Italy by registered/signed mail.
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http://houdinihimself.com/

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Marco Pusterla
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Re: Shipping charges

Postby Marco Pusterla » February 10th, 2010, 3:38 am

Raleigh wrote:Yes Italy is the worst for package claims !!!!! I personally have an amount limit that i will send there .


When I lived in Italy, I never received the copy of "Annotated Erdnase" I bought directly from Mr. Ortiz...

My postman, however, could demonstrate some great bottom dealing, though! :D
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000
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Re: Shipping charges

Postby 000 » February 10th, 2010, 3:58 am

Bad luck Marco. Luckily literacy is not high on the African agenda so books and dvdees largely make it safely through. Not so lucky for gifts or items of clothing though............

On another note, Amazon has reportedly resumed shipping for MacMillan. The article I read reported a 70/30% profit split in favour of the publishers, as opposed to the traditional 50/50 split. I wonder of other publishers will reach similar deals?


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