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  • #145320
    nigel Tullett
    Participant

    Is anyone else getting taken aback by the postage\Shipping cost being charged by some very well known figure companies and the actual postage cost.

    I had had a couple recently.
    charged £14.22, on £95.o0 order, order received sent 2nd class Royal Mail for £2.95, I except there is a cost for someone packing and the box but this seems well over the top.
    charged £12.00 postage £4.20 again understand someone has to be paid but…

    why can certain companies offer a max shipping cost or even free over a certain level and others seem to p customers off …..

    #145322
    Les Hammond
    Participant

    Name & shame…

    6mm France 1940

    http://les1940.blogspot.co.uk/
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/386297688467965/

    #145331
    deephorse
    Participant

    For £14.22 I’d expect the seller to turn up on my doorstep, in person, the next day.  P&p can never really be free, can it?  It is surely subsumed into the price you’re paying for the product, but I get your point.  You must have really wanted that product because if I’d seen £14.22 at checkout I’d have walked away.  And yes, tell us who it was?

    Trust science, not the scientists.

    #145333
    willz
    Participant

    postage price is subjective.  Packing and postage are a subject close to my heart, I sell unwanted but not unloved wargame items on ebay (down sizing my wargame collection).  I charge packing and postage of £4. 50p for a small / medium parcel 2nd class tracked and signed for, up to a weight of 2 kilo’s and combine postage cost’s at 50p an extra item, this is all dependent on size and weight.  Parcels up to 5 kilo’s again up to a certain size can be posted for £9.99 2nd class tracked and signed for.  I have had potential none buyers on ebay e-mail moaning that £4.50p is too expensive and don’t want to pay for tracking or signature, .  Though I believe 10% packing and postage from a commercial business is a reasonable amount to ask.  In your case the company is being unfair and I would not use them again.

    I sold a large terrain item last week on ebay with a quoted packing and postage price of £10, he was happy and won the auction, when I posted it at the Post Office the price was £7 so I refunded the buyer £3.  The buyer was very happy and is keen to buy further terrain items from me, it all about good and fair relationships between seller and buyer.  When I buy an item and have to pay postage I want it to be a fair price and the same rules apply when selling items.

    I just would not use the firm again, very poor buyer / seller relationship.  Ditto with Les name and shame.

    #145334
    Guy Farrish
    Participant

    I don’t blame you venting your legitimate anger on here.

    And I am all in favour of freely available information – rational choice in a free market requires perfect information about alternatives – but before I named and shamed, I’d contact the seller and ask what happened and how about a refund of the difference between price charged and service delivered.

    If you get a reasonable explanation (and even better the money back!) you will feel better and you can let us know. If you get short shrift, you will feel a little bit more annoyed but also morally justified when you share the reply here and tell us who it was.

    As for why  some companies offer max limit or free postage is a business choice and they may have higher volume which allows them to negotiate a deal with the carrier or they may absorb some of the cost to get volume sales or simply add the cost into their production cost when working out unit price.

    I don’t mind paying postage cost plus a small extra for wrapping material if it us up front and clearly reflects the cost. £14.22 for a £2.95 service suggests  gold plated packaging or something odd. I’d ask them.

    #145336
    irishserb
    Participant

    I can see why that would be upsetting, that is a pretty dramatic overcharge.  Have you contacted the company, maybe it is an artifact of an error in the shopping cart, and nobody is aware.

    I’ve not really encountered this on domestic purchases in the US.  I have had some overseas orders from the UK and Spain that were kind of high, but that was’t enough to upset me at more like 1.5 times that actual shipping cost, not by orders of magnitude.

    I don’t understand why some shopping carts can calculate actual shipping cost, and others produce numbers that are wildly off the mark.

    As far as handling and packing charges go, I’m not charged for construction, and shelving fees at the retail storefront, so I really don’t “buy” into the handling costs thing.  That should be covered in the mark up of the product.  The profit margin on the retail sale is the handling and packing fee.

    I understand that buying a single $5 item is probably a net loss for a lot of companies, so I understand the idea of a minimum shipping charge or minimum order requirement.  I don’t expect the owner to ship out bunches of tiny orders, earning half minimum wage to for the effort.  But packing fees on “normal” orders is just tacky as far as I’m concerned, as is overtly excessive shipping fees.

    #145338
    vexillia
    Participant

    Charged £14.22, on £95.00 order, order received sent 2nd class Royal Mail for £2.95, I except there is a cost for someone packing and the box but this seems well over the top.

    This is unreasonable.  To me it looks like the costs are calculated on low value, heavier items (was your item especially light/small) or someone has set up their shopping cart very badly.

    I can’t believe people intentionally set out to overcharge on large orders: it just doesn’t make commercial sense.  Setting up a shopping cart can be really hard see the homework below.

    I really don’t “buy” into the handling costs thing. That should be covered in the mark up of the product. The profit margin on the retail sale is the handling and packing fee.

    If only life were that simple.  Very high delivery charges are a no-no but …

    [1] Not all costs are directly related to the product.  They are incurred once per order and so are better in the delivery charges.  Things like a fixed transaction costs, boxes, labels, padding and overheads.  This last item can be staff costs if the business is large enough.

    [2] Retail margins are not that great that everything can be lumped into the retail price and remain competitive.  Direct retailer (read manufacturers) have much larger margins and therefore can afford “free packaging” offers for larger orders.  This option is not available to stockists etc.

    [3] Competition online is such that a truly competitive retail price is vital if the item is generally available.  Hence there is real commercial pressure to keep the retail price and delivery charges separate (see first two points).

    Finally, here’s some homework for you to ponder:

    Packs retail at £2.00 each.  They cost £1.30 to buy at trade.  Each order has transaction costs of £0.30 plus 5%.  Packaging costs £0.50 for up to 5 items and £0.75 for 6-10 items.  UK postage costs £0.90 for one item, £1.50 for 2-5 items & £2.40 for 6-10 items.

    What delivery do you charge for ordering 1, 5 and 10 items?  Don’t forget to add 5% to the delivery cost to cover the online transaction charge.

    Hint: a 10% on-cost for delivery costs you money.

    Have fun.

    Martin Stephenson :: Work | Blog | Auctions

    #145342
    Tony Hughes
    Participant

    The only service from Royal Mail that is (officially) both tracked and signed for is Special Delivery and the price for that starts at £6.70 for a 100g packet – for 2kg you’d pay £11. No 2nd class rates cover full tracking and signature BUT, if you send a parcel, you do get a tracking number – even though the service isn’t specifically mentioned and often gets updated some time after the arrival of the package.

    At one time charging postage & packing as a %age of order value was the norm, now it isn’t really acceptable without some upper limit (and probably a lower one too).

    Royal Mail is still my carrier of choice except for larger, heavier items.

     

     

     

    #145343
    nigel Tullett
    Participant

    Thanks all for comments on this.

    The company in question is as very very well know and charge 12% with NO cap, looking back all the orders have Placed have been like this and for fear of raising I am sure many customers just put up. After all we are a captive customer and want figures to finish collections or buy into the new goodies.

    The order in question was shipped with a postage cost of £2.95. Order value £118.50 shipping £14.22. The company in question charge £7.50 for 6 foot which on the low side compared to others however my mind set is that high shipping shouldn’t offset that. I think the issue is the lack of cap – the average cost of say a small army of 300 figures would be £375 plus shipping on that £45!

    I am mailing the company to suggest they look at a cap on postage.

    #145344
    nigel Tullett
    Participant

    Thanks – your reference to tracking etc is important, the cost of buying into a new period etc often means a large outlay not uncommon for a £500 plus order to be placed, various companies send tracked, special delivery DHL etc. From previous experience the company I am referring to just send Royal Mail or parcel force. So if the order goes missing where does the liability sit?

    #145345
    Mike
    Keymaster

    So if the order goes missing where does the liability sit?

    In the UK, with the seller.
    They are legally responsible for making sure the goods are delivered.

    Consumer Rights Act 2015

    29 Passing of risk
    (1) A sales contract is to be treated as including the following provisions as terms.
    (2) The goods remain at the trader’s risk until they come into the physical
    possession of—
    (a) the consumer, or
    (b) a person identified by the consumer to take possession of the goods.

    There are exceptions but they do not apply in this case.

    #145347
    Ampersand Andy
    Participant

    I think the company in question does offer post free.  Orders over £200 are automatically post free. The 12% is clearly more than the cost of stamps. Could be worse, could be US postage.

    Hope this helps.

    Andy

    #145351
    Not Connard Sage
    Participant

    Thanks all for comments on this. The company in question is as very very well know and charge 12% with NO cap, looking back all the orders have Placed have been like this and for fear of raising I am sure many customers just put up. After all we are a captive customer and want figures to finish collections or buy into the new goodies. The order in question was shipped with a postage cost of £2.95. Order value £118.50 shipping £14.22. The company in question charge £7.50 for 6 foot which on the low side compared to others however my mind set is that high shipping shouldn’t offset that. I think the issue is the lack of cap – the average cost of say a small army of 300 figures would be £375 plus shipping on that £45! I am mailing the company to suggest they look at a cap on postage.

    I’m confused, was it an order value of £95 (per your first post), or £118.50?

     

    And I’m assuming Front Rank. They used to have a post free order value IIRC, but it was around £300.

     

    "I go online sometimes, but everyone's spelling is really bad. It's... depressing."

    #145354
    irishserb
    Participant

    I just want to offer that my views here are based on my experience in a traditional retail hobby shop, mail order sales, and manufacturer to direct sales.  They are my expectations of myself, from the vantage point as the seller, not as the consumer.

    Independent of my opinions about business models, I think that a consumer should never be surprised about fees that they have paid, and would be annoyed, if I shared the experience of the OP.

     

    #145377
    John D Salt
    Participant

    postage price is subjective.

    It’s a specific amount of money. How can that be regarded as “subjective”?

    All the best,

    John.

    #145378
    Not Connard Sage
    Participant

    postage price is subjective.

    It’s a specific amount of money. How can that be regarded as “subjective”? All the best, John.

     

    Subjective yo your personal wealth/penury? 🙂

    "I go online sometimes, but everyone's spelling is really bad. It's... depressing."

    #145380
    Guy Farrish
    Participant

    That’s your perception of its value, the actual price is objective.

    (Unless you are some kind of Post Modern Philosopher)

     

    #145396
    Darkest Star Games
    Participant

    I tried using “live postage rates” on my shop and they were never right.  I had a LOT of packages returned as “not enough postage”, so I went to flat rates.  I always do my best to refund any shipping not used, as in the case of a small $3 order of a few strips of 6mm troops does not require an $8.35 priority box, so a padded envelope that totals $2.50 in cost and shipping has the rest refunded.

    I do tend to eat the cost on overseas shipping quite often, as the rates are totally diverse and seem to fluctuate daily, even to different places within England itself from the US.  It blows my mind that I can send a package of the same size and weight to Durham, Plymouth and London as well as to Australia and the one to London will cost more than any of the other 3, consistently.

    "I saw this in a cartoon once, but I'm pretty sure I can do it..."

    #145403
    willz
    Participant

    postage price is subjective.

    It’s a specific amount of money. How can that be regarded as “subjective”? All the best, John.

    Subjective = based on or influenced by personal feelings, tastes, or opinions.  Postage can be at different prices thus its all about personal feelings or tastes.

    #145405
    nigel Tullett
    Participant

    The point I was trying to share was paying £14.22 and the actual cost of postage (yes I do accept there are material and labour costs) being £2.95. 12% is the default shipping charge and there is no mention of free or max postage.

    I don’t get this being anything to with personal taste other than my decision to purchase from this company and having to accept the shipping cost if I want their figures which I do.

    A sum added to an order which you are charged is fact,  it’s not my view, has nothing to do with feelings etc, so it’s not subjective.

    Maybe it’s is the varying business models that figure manufacturers have that allow some to cap shipping – rewarding with a saving on large orders for their customers or some that feel they don’t need to due to their dominant postion. I do often add to an order to get free shipping when offered.

    I get the feeling from responses here that most gamers are willing to accept Such charges and maybe I should just put up – captive audience etc.

    Just to protect an excellent companies reputation this has NOTHING to do with Front rank who from past experience with shipping and customer service has been excellent.

    #145408
    Guy Farrish
    Participant

    Well I’m with you – being charged £14.22 for £2.95 postage plus the box/package etc seems excessive.

    As I said, I’d ask them why and if they would do something about it.

     

     

    #145411
    Andrew Beasley
    Participant

    And in contrast I’ve just had a 70p refund from Second City Games on eBay as they can post the order for less than eBay discount table allows for.

    #145428
    MartinR
    Participant

    Tbh, if the shipping charges are clearly laid out, then it is just part of the product price. Yes, some pricing schemes penalise smaller orders, but you always have the choice to shop elsewhere.  That is how capitalist economies work, they aren’t “fair”.

    "Mistakes in the initial deployment cannot be rectified" - Helmuth von Moltke

    #145432
    deephorse
    Participant

    postage price is subjective.

    It’s a specific amount of money. How can that be regarded as “subjective”? All the best, John.

    Subjective = based on or influenced by personal feelings, tastes, or opinions. Postage can be at different prices thus its all about personal feelings or tastes.

     

    Ah, now I understand.  At first I was with Mr. Salt on this, how can a postage price be subjective?  It’s actually your opinion of the postage price that is subjective, and not the postage price itself.  Thanks for clearing that up.

    Trust science, not the scientists.

    #145446
    willz
    Participant

    In the not to distant future “postage rates” will be a thing of the past, we will be getting our wargame items (and other household items) via 3D colour printing.  Just like Star trek, imagine a 28mm medieval army printed and coloured overnight or probably in minutes as technology advances.

    #145451

    I would expect those rates if they were shipping to the east coast, USA.  You, I presume, are in the UK.  Often, here, you get about double the actual postage rate to cover packaging and handling for domestic service.  I would expect the same over there.  Personally, I just wouldn’t order from that business anymore.

    John

    "Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power."

    --Abraham Lincoln

    #145452
    Truscott Trotter
    Participant

    I only deal with companies that charge postage at actual cost or have free / fixed rate postage.

    #145453
    ian pillay
    Participant

    That’s extortionate P&P. I tend to find company’s with free P&P or at least sensible ones. I have often put a items in the shopping cart then realised that the P&P was worth the items I wanted so cancelled the order and shopped elsewhere.
    I think you are within your rights to question this seller on this point.

    Tally-Ho!

    #145992
    Leon Pengilley
    Participant

    Just to put another business perspective in to echo Vexilia, the price of packaging can’t always be factored in to the product pricing so it does need to be covered somewhere.  We charge £3 minimum and £6 maximum on UK orders, which is enough to cover almost everything we send out.  Anything under 2kg goes for somewhere around £3 through Royal Mail, anything over 2kg goes through a courier for around £6-£7 normally.

    We do similar with international orders as well, with a £15 max on Europe and £25 max on Rest of the World.  Those tend to be where we lose money though as a 3kg package to Australia can easily be £40-£50 to ship these days, so we just absorb those costs when they come up.

    As an extra point, packaging staff adds a significant labour cost which isn’t always accounted for.  Our packaging team will check/package/process 40-50 orders in a 5 hour shift, so that averages out at roughly £1 labour per order packaged.

     

    Retail margins are not that great that everything can be lumped into the retail price and remain competitive. Direct retailer (read manufacturers) have much larger margins and therefore can afford “free packaging” offers for larger orders. This option is not available to stockists etc.

    Not always the case, we have higher margins on a lot of our stocked items than we do on some of our own products!  The smaller scales have much lower margins and some of our products are as low as 20% margins.  We should charge more for them but the market wouldn’t support it and we’d lose sales to competitors with lower overheads.

    www.pendraken.co.uk - Home to over 3500 products of shiny 10mm goodness!
    www.minibits.net - MDF bases, Vallejo paints, I-94 decals, Red Vectors MDF buildings, Crossover Miniatures, Militia Miniatures and more!

    #146032
    TerrainShed
    Participant

    I do flat rate for simplicity with refunds for smaller orders (or if the item is a book which is large letter rather than small parcel).
    Trouble is due to the Paypal refund policy, fees aren’t refunded anymore

    Enjoy your gardening

    Les & Alison

    #146050
    jeffers
    Participant

    Leon – I hope my recent order clock-up didn’t cost you too much on the packing front… 😬

    On the upside you know I’ll be back… 😉

    More nonsense on my blog: http://battle77.blogspot.com/

    #146063
    Leon Pengilley
    Participant

    Leon – I hope my recent order clock-up didn’t cost you too much on the packing front… 😬 On the upside you know I’ll be back… 😉

     

    No worries, never a problem!

    www.pendraken.co.uk - Home to over 3500 products of shiny 10mm goodness!
    www.minibits.net - MDF bases, Vallejo paints, I-94 decals, Red Vectors MDF buildings, Crossover Miniatures, Militia Miniatures and more!

    #146079
    Ian Marsh
    Participant

    Delivery costs aren’t even easy if you use actual weight rather than percentages, because weight doesn’t take into account bulk and some shopping carts are not sophisticated enough to figure bulk into the equation, which means a shop may be forced to settle on, say, small parcel rates for shipping rather than allow for large letter.

    I will briefly comment that since moving to Woocommerce, I have at last been able to differentiate between definitely bulky items (paints, larger figures) and items that will go into large letter packaging, but I still have to decide the break point on weight that triggers an order going by large letter or small parcel if it is not a bulky item (items with the shipping class “bulky” automatically trigger small parcel rate regardless of weight). Getting it right is worse for international orders.

    As Martin of Vexillia says above, there are all sorts of hidden costs to take into account. It costs me £2 to drive to a post office, plus vehicle servicing costs for the year, so what’s the add-on for that for just one parcel or 20 parcels? Nowadays, of course, I can just book collect and fix extra costs at 72p per parcel.

    I note that Perry charges typically £7.50 per pack and 12% UK postage, so assume it must be them (12% is an unusual amount to add because it’s not as easy to work out as 10%). So you can just accept you’re being lured in with cheap figure prices and that there’s a cost for that. Or that Perry Miniatures has calculated that its average UK delivery costs work out at 12% and so that’s what it charges for everything.

    Ian
    Fighting 15s
    www.fighting15s.com

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