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  #11  
Old 12-21-2011, 06:55 AM
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Janekom Janekom is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
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Default Also the problem here in South Africa

Imagine getting stuff from Vans to South Africa! Recently on one of my orders FedEx costs almost overtook the goods cost. This was for a set of RV10 main wheel spats.

With my little business (www.rvbits.com) shipping is a big percentage of the cost as most of my parcels goes international. At this stage I am only using Insured Air Mail and I am charging a few percent less than what I actually pay.
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  #12  
Old 12-21-2011, 10:40 AM
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clevtool clevtool is offline
 
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Default

As Jan can attest, we try and ship the most economical way possible. Instead of using UPS or FedEx regardless of the cost. There is often a tradeoff in trackability, time, or insurance, but as long as the customer understands the risk you can save a lot.

We have an algorithm that allows us to charge based on the actual charge and still cover boxing, labels, weekly pickup charges...

Companies that offer free freight build it in to the cost of the products. Companies that offer low ball prices make their profit on freight. Flat rate shipping gouges one customer and donates to another. Just different business models. You can't expect to get something for nothing, take out the profit and the doors will close.

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  #13  
Old 12-21-2011, 11:41 AM
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swisseagle swisseagle is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: 20km outside of Zurich, Switzerland
Posts: 495
Default They removed the USPS option ...

Hello,

As a non US builder, I live in europe, it is very expensive to order parts from the USA.

A half year ago, one of the very big experimental builder, parts supplyer, removed the shipping option USPS.

This means, I have to pay for a few screws or rivets, just stuff that I can not get from Vans, up to 100.-$ for shipping, instead around 30.-$. If you have bigger stuff, then quickly you pay up to 250.-$!
Even with the lowest rate of DHL, Fedex or UPS this is the case. Ok I get the parts by the overnext day, but I could wait a week or too, but this you can not select.

There is a rumor, that the big stores gets a better deal (or direct money) from the shipping companies, if they do not offer a shipping option via USPS?

I know, the USPS has its limitation, you can not track it, and the max. value 250$ or so. It will take a week or two until it arrive it europe, but for all the small stuff, this is ok.

So, now I let ship all to Vans via ground services and then they put everything into a big box, so I have only once to pay a big amount. Vans still offer to ship via USPS.

Only once they lost a package for a month, they unloaded it in Paris (France) instead Zurich (Switzerland), let them laying around for a month, put it into the plane back to the US again. There they got the mistake and throw them into the correct plane and it arrived at my place ... late but ok. This was a 1 out of 20 shippings that endet like this.

How this will end up? If a small box cost so much to ship around? The value of shipping and the tax calculations are ofthen much more than the value itself

Dominik
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  #14  
Old 12-21-2011, 02:15 PM
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vfrazier vfrazier is offline
 
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I'm glad that several other of the RV parts vendors chimed in here. This is a huge issue for any vendor. IMHO, this thread should stay a PERMANENT part of the archives. The customers need to hear this side of the story.

I wish that everyone would understand that there is no free lunch. As others have said, beware the "free shipping" or unrealistically low prices. You WILL pay somehow. I much prefer open, honest prices and shipping charges. (Yes, we do offer "free shipping" on a few general public type items... and it's a pain in the backside.)

After 6 years of vending to the RVers, we've tried every shipping combination we could think of and have come up with the following opinions:

1) FedEx is not optimal for us. They haven't delivered to us reliably, so why should I expect them to do any better with my customers. And pricey too. To be fair, the local drivers may be the issue. They seem to be much too rushed to take time to pickup or deliver correctly.

2) UPS does a fair job domestically, but nickels and dimes us to death with pick up fees. And they are crooks, absolute thieves, to our foreign customers.

3) The USPS may be on the verge of bankruptcy, but they still give the best bang for the buck. We do nearly all of our shipping with them. They are hands down the least expensive option for foreign shipments.

4) DHL charged me $200 shipping on a $50 item. Never again. They're off the charts.

We have always tried to charge only the true cost of shipping. FWIW, it is much easier to do this by using USPS since they offer free boxes and free pickup.

We even refund any shipping charges in excess of the real postage ( + or - a buck or so). If that makes me a bad businessman, oh well. I'd rather be able to sleep peacefully at night anyway! I lose a few bucks here and there doing this, but it's my preferred SOP.

In summary: Our 2 largest costs every year are shipping and credit card fees. Materials and other inventory costs are so far down the list that it's tough to formulate prices for some items! That's something to consider if you're about to open your own RV based trinket store.

*****************************

Part 2:

Now, if you want to get a real conversation started, let's discuss how every vendor on this forum gets completely $crewed by the credit card companies who take about 3% of every sale just so they can market the "cash back" ponzi scheme to the consumers. There ought to be a law....

3% doesn't sound like much until you realize that profit on any given item might only be 10%. Do the math, 10% - 3% = 7%. The credit card companies eat 1/3 of your profit. All in all, I'd rather own a credit card company! They are the real thieves. 'nuf said.
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Last edited by vfrazier : 12-21-2011 at 03:06 PM.
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  #15  
Old 12-21-2011, 02:22 PM
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Mike S Mike S is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vfrazier View Post
I'm glad that several other of the RV parts vendors chimed in here. This is a huge issue for any vendor. IMHO, this thread should stay a PERMANENT part of the archives. The customers need to hear this side of the story.
O.K., I get the message.

It was moved to "test" because I felt it didnt belong in "Reviews". and I had no idea it would generate so much interest-----figured it would die a natural death pretty fast.

Moved to general discussion.
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  #16  
Old 12-21-2011, 03:08 PM
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vfrazier vfrazier is offline
 
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Thanks Mike.

I felt it should be kept because if most vendors are like us, then the number 1 complaint they hear is about shipping costs.... something that we are nearly powerless to control.
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RV and Rocket Accessories, Tailwheels, Tools, & More
1-888-8FLYBOY (1-888-835-9269)

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  #17  
Old 12-21-2011, 03:35 PM
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Mark12A Mark12A is offline
 
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Vince shipped me a couple of things I ordered (one had to be made) and it made it to my house much faster than I anticipated using USPS. They may be bloated, cumbersome, and a drain on taxpayer resources, but they came through and did what they claim in their commercials...they delivered.
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  #18  
Old 12-21-2011, 04:25 PM
rjtjrt rjtjrt is offline
 
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Default

Mike, thanks for moving this back out of Test Section.

As to shipping method overseas, in my experience, USPS is far and away the best - very reliable and fast.

John
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  #19  
Old 12-21-2011, 04:26 PM
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John, you are welcome.
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  #20  
Old 12-21-2011, 05:29 PM
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Ironflight Ironflight is offline
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Great summary from the shipper's side of things Vince - thanks!

I personally have decided that I am not going to choose USPS anymore, unless I know the package will fit in my mailbox (little $1.70 envelope shipping from ACS - a GREAT deal for hardware!). Our local (Friendswood, TX)post office will no longer leave a package at the door - I have even sen the mail truck stop and put mail in my box, then drive away - I later went out and found a "pink slip" in the box - they didn't even knock on the door to see if I was there. That means a drive to the post office, and a long wait in line to retrieve my package.

Nope, not gonna' put up with it! There are other shippers to use....

Paul
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