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illini

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Here's a question for vendors: Is there any chance that any of you would implement a lower shipping cost for very small (in terms of size) orders? There have been several times when I've needed just a pack of centering rings, kevlar, or screw eyes (for example), but I'm basically forced to either order much more than I need or pay double or triple the cost of the part in shipping (or simply not order at all).

I understand that on a whole your shipping charges are more than justified. I also understand that you don't want to get into the practice of charging actual costs since that would just be too hard to implement. But what I'm wondering is whether there isn't a class of shipping that could be added. Take Tower Hobbies as an example. A few years ago Tower introduced their Parts Express system. Items that fall in the Parts Express category (clearly marked) ship for $4 (as long as they are ordered alone); half the regular shipping rate of $8. Items like I listed above could fit in a small envelope and be mailed first class (as long as they're purchased alone). Howsabout a Parts Express level of shipping that charges $1-2 for such orders? I can't speak for anyone else, but any vendor that offered such a service would be likely to see a lot of such orders from me. Such a vendor would also be likely to attract larger orders from me as well (nudge nudge).
 

sandman

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That's a good point!

I ship from a fairly rural area and UPS is expensive for me (the local drug store charges me an additional $3 to use their services) So I try to ship U.S. Postal Service.

Here is what I do, with a few changes to implement some recent shipping "proplems.

On small items the box is usually much bigger than the item so I don't worry too much about shipping damage so I send them "Parcel Post" which for a very small item is usuall only about $1.50 to $2.00 I charge $2.00

I larger items I have to go with "Priority Mail" simply because I have to insure the item against damage. You cannot insure "parcel Post you can only insure "Priority Mail".

I recently had a 2.6" by 15" balsa nose cone "CRUSHED" by the Post Office and it was not insured! BUMMER!

Priority Mail shipping is fast. Usually less than 3 days transit across the country. I know you guys are usually in a hurrry to get this stuff.

Priority mail Charges are only $3.85 to about $5 for the average part so I just round up my charges to the nearest dollar.

For a $3.85 Priority Mail package plus about $1 for insurance. I charge $5.00.

sandman
 

flying_silverad

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I have a range of shipping costs depending on where and what folks purchase. I try to keep shipping an handling as low as possible but there are times when it's really a matter what "we" are charged. Basic USPS Priority mail is 3.85. That's the flat rate. depending on weight, confirmation etc, the price just goes up rom there.
If I ship first class, say a chute or two in a padded envelope, the cost is about 1.50. These are the shipping costs, not handling. Handling can be viewed 2 ways. As a part of doing business (absorbing the cost from the item) or charging it directly at the time of the transaction. I prefer the later. The reason is it's more accurate for me and the customer, and you can adjust it depending on the number of items sold. Having said all that, I might ship the same chute as mentioned above for a charge of 2.25, adding .75 to the actual charge. For a larger item that I need to ship USPS pri/mail, I would charge 5.85, with confirmation. These "extras" cover costs in addtion to actual shipping.

No matter which venue i sell through, the customer can always combine items for cheaper shipping and email me for a quote first!!

illini868891 - I would invite you to browse the store, if you have any questions regarding shipping, feel free to e-mail.


THRUSTLINE AEROSPACE
 

jflis

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For ease of operation, FlisKits charges a fix rate shipping based on value of order. We ship USPS Priority Mail for domestic and Air Letter or Air Pacel for international.

In those cases where someone needs just kevlar or a pack of launch lugs, we will work with them and ship it first class and only charge the $0.50 or so it costs. In those rare cases where someone actually places an order for such an item, we refund the postage and send it first class.

Shipping costs vary based on item weight, distance from NH and other services requests (tracking, insurance, etc) and it is very hard to customize shipping such that the customer knows up front what they are going to pay. In some cases you may pay a little bit more for shipping than you see on the postage stamp, in other cases you may pay less (and we eat the ballance)

FlisKits does not charge a handling fee.

jim
 

powderburner

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I ordered some centering rings from a vendor a year or so back, and asked him ahead of time if he could use a lower shipping rate for my order if it would fit inside a plain envelope.

I am not going to identify the vendor, because I don't think that would be fair to put him on the spot (everyone else would expect to receive the same kind of favors). But he stepped right up and agreed to ship my CRs for less than a buck ( I think we had to put double postage on the envelope)

It doesn't hurt to ask.
 

arthur dent

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I recently ordered some laser cut center rings from "physics of flight" and was pleasantly surprised when the postage and packing was only £1:) great can't go wrong at that.
 

illini

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Yup, from the vendor responses here so far it sounds like they all do it to some degree. I guess the only thing I would suggest is to formalize it. If you already do it, why not market it?

One of the first things I do before dealing with a vendor is check their shipping costs. I tend to do a lot more business with vendors who facilitate the way I shop with their shipping costs (talking about all mail/phone/internet vendors here, not just rocketry). I like Amazon.com because I know that once I reach that $25 point, shipping is free. This fact is burned in my head and has resulted in a pattern of behavior that results in my shopping there by default...without even checking whether the other guy has a lower price *WITH* shipping. Even though shipping may be cheaper at other vendors, I tend to like shopping with those that have firm fixed brackets for shipping (e.g., $10-$25 = $5). I know exactly what to expect there. I don't have to calculate anything or e-mail anyone. No surprises.

I like to deal with vendors that facilitate the way I build and fly. For me, that inevitably means that I have almost everything I need for that new design, except for a pair of centering rings. Given the choice of e-mailing a vendor and asking for a lowered shipping cost, and having a vendor where I already know that it will cost $1 (because its burned in my head), I'll order from the latter vendor without even thinking. They made it easy for me. The first vendor may have shipped for 50 cents, but the second guy got my business and will continue to get my business. When I need a parts assortment or a few kits for my son for his birthday, I'm likely to return to that same vendor. Maybe I'm the only one who builds that way and so it makes no sense. But my guess is that since Tower Hobbies Parts Express seems to be successful, it would probably work well here also.
 

SecretSquirrel

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Squirrel Works does not sell parts at this time, but we may in the near future. We would probably base the cost of a single part shipment along the same lines as our current shipping costs for kits.

We like the idea of a flat shipping rate. For instance we charge $5 shipping for any order in the U. S. and Canada. 1 kit or 20 kits, it's $5. International customers pay $10.

All our domestic orders are shipped USPS Priority Mail with Delivery Confirmation.
 

illini

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Originally posted by SecretSquirrel

We like the idea of a flat shipping rate. For instance we charge $5 shipping for any order in the U. S. and Canada. 1 kit or 20 kits, it's $5. International customers pay $10.
I respect that. Means I won't be going to you for a single pack of centering rings, but I respect having a flat rate that's easy to remember.
 

SecretSquirrel

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I think you misunderstand, we would have a flat rate for a single part. Since we don't sell parts, I don't know what that rate would be yet.

The $5 flat rate we charge now only applies to kits.
 

illini

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You're right, I did misunderstand. Sorry. I like your shipping policy. Hope that translates well for parts in the future.
 

rocket trike

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We here at rockethead Rockets charge a rate that is based on your dollor amount. We are offering to send our Mylar parachutes First class for only $.90. We are also looking into adding some parts here in the very near future and will be doing the same on them. What the custmer needs to relize is that if they pay the higher shipping rate for prioity they get the package in about 2 days. If they pay for first class it take a few days more. Tis is also a touch and go thing. I have always looked at the shipping to when I was on the other end. Because of this we are looking at changing our shipping rates here in th near future. Right now we only take payments from our web site using paypal. By doing this I can only find out one way to add the shipping in. So if you would like to order parachutes by first class you need to e-mail us for the total price and how to pay on e-bay.
 

eugenefl

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illini868891, what a great thread. I too pass up vendors quite frequently for wanting to charge excessive shipping for small/featherweight items. What's worse is when you pay $5.95 (because of claimed S/H fees) for shipping and when you receive the item they've paid $1.05 and stuffed your item in a reused package. Pffft...those thieves!

It would be incredibly easy for me to shop online if you paid near to actual shipping for smaller items such as centering rings, single nosecones (BT60 or smaller), engine hooks, or other misc. odds and ends.
 

sandman

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and stuffed your item in a reused package.
Hey!...it's called "recycling"!

If I didn't recycle old boxes I'd have 'em all over the house...I do anyway.

New boxes are between $.18 and $.55 each plus the darn tape goes everywhere but where you want it!

Now Priority mail boxes are FREE!

But I do have to buy boxes for my kits...but i double wrap them in old grocery bags.

Nobody that's purchased any of my kits has ever commented about my wrapping them in grocery bags...how do you guys like that or do would you rather I double box them?

sandman

P.S. I HATE packing popcorn! That's why i have gone to using baggys filled with dog barf insulation. At least you'll get something you can use!
 

SecretSquirrel

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Originally posted by sandman


Nobody that's purchased any of my kits has ever commented about my wrapping them in grocery bags...how do you guys like that or do would you rather I double box them?


You do take the groceries out first, right?

If not, I'll buy a kit. But could I also get a frozen pizza with that?:D
 

flying_silverad

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Originally posted by eugenefl
illini868891, what a great thread. I too pass up vendors quite frequently for wanting to charge excessive shipping for small/featherweight items. What's worse is when you pay $5.95 (because of claimed S/H fees) for shipping and when you receive the item they've paid $1.05 and stuffed your item in a reused package. Pffft...those thieves!

It would be incredibly easy for me to shop online if you paid near to actual shipping for smaller items such as centering rings, single nosecones (BT60 or smaller), engine hooks, or other misc. odds and ends.
Well, I recieved a certain piece of software recently from someone and i was charged 7.00 dollars for S/h and it was shipped in an envelope that had a 70 cent postal charge on it! No priority mail box, no UPS ground shipping, nothing but first class! If your are reading this, I hope you take note of it....not to point any fingers.:mad:
 

eugenefl

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Originally posted by sandman
Hey!...it's called "recycling"!
I don't mind the recycling part, but sheesh, pass the savings to the customer instead of charging them more for shipping and "handling." (Not saying "you" ie - sandman per se, but the vendor in general.)
 

sandman

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Oh I never charge for handling...but I should charge for extra celophane packing tape!

My wife says I am "tape challenged".

sandman
 

illini

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Originally posted by eugenefl
It would be incredibly easy for me to shop online if you paid near to actual shipping for smaller items such as centering rings, single nosecones (BT60 or smaller), engine hooks, or other misc. odds and ends.
Yup, that's what I'm looking for. What better way for a vendor to position themselves as scratchbuilder friendly?
 
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