A common myth on the internet is free shipping.
The bottom line is that nothing is free in life!
With respect to espresso machines, free shipping
occurs on most home model and office model espresso machines because
the shipping cost can be built into the selling price of the machine.
However, it is common industry practice that as soon as you return
the machine, the shipping cost is deducted from the credit. Shipping
costs usually are 5-10% of the cost of the machine at a vendor's
discounted shipping rate. If you ship an espresso machine back to
the vendor using a UPS store, Fed Ex store, or USPS, you probably
will pay a higher rate. Therefore, we find it always best to go
to a UPS Depot to get the lowest rates.
With respect to small items, there are three
methodologies for shipping items.
First, our methodology is to not
build shipping costs into every small item we market. For example,
we sell many spare parts and accessories. Specifically, we sell
CleanCaf at $7.99 (price at the time of this writing) for two boxes.
The shipping cost for 1 unit (2 boxes) at the time of this writing is as follows:
New Jersey - $7.57
California - $8.61
If we now increase the quantity to 2 units
(4 boxes), the shipping cost incrementally increases.
New Jersey - $7.67
California - $9.56
If we now increase the quantity to 4 units
(8 boxes), the shipping cost is again incrementally increases.
New Jersey - $7.71
California - $10.34
As you can see, there is an incremental increased
cost in shipping a greater number of units - multiple of the same
or even adding different items.
Second, there are places on the internet that
will offer free shipping, but it is really not free shipping. The
shipping cost is actually built into the price of the one unit that
offers free shipping. For example, the same Cleancaf may be offered
for $11.00 to $14.00 for one box including shipping in the 48 states.
So, if only one box is ordered, you could pay $7.99 plus shipping
for 2 boxes at 1st-line, or get one box between $11 and $14 with
shipping included. This can be a close call, but our methodology
we believe allows us to offer a lower total cost fair to all customers. Let us explain...
The problem when purchasing from our
competitor is when you order 2 or more items. The order for two
boxes can cost between $22 and $28. In other words, the shipping
cost built into the price of the product actually costs you twice
as it is built into each unit of the item whereas in our first example,
your shipping cost increase is incremental. Therefore, what happens when a custoemr orders 8 units at a competitor? The total cost is $88 (8 times $11) for the product and shipping. If a custoemr orders 4 unit (8 boxes with us), the total cost is 4 times $7.99 plus shipping of $10.34 - which equals $42.30. Therefore, when the small item includes shipping, it does not always necessarily offer the best value. This is why it is better to order more than 1 small unit or 1 small item from us.
Finally, some competitors offer free shipping
when a minimum dollar amount is spent. For example, if a customer
spends $49, all the items receive free shipping. In this case, the
shipping cost is averaged into the price of the product similar to the
entire shipping cost in the previous example. This methodology has
- It may entice you to buy more than what
you really need, and/or
- When you start to exceed the minimum dollar amount to achieve
free shipping, the average shipping cost built in the product's
price in most cases will still exceed the incremental cost we showed
using our first methodology.
The second and third example also unfairly
overcharges customers who select upgraded shipping service (i.e.
next day or second day delivery) because the ground shipping cost
is built into the product's price. For espresso machines with free
shipping, in most cases, these are usually individually boxed which
forces an independent shipping cost for each box.
At 1st-line, our philosophy is to try to offer
the lowest prices with the best service possible while not profiting
from built in shipping costs in the pricing of the item. We do have
some small items with free shipping, and of these items, most customers
only buy one unit. We thank you for reading and understanding our
chosen shipping methodology, and we certainly appreciate the opportunity
you afford us.