Something you may not be aware of is that UPS and FedEx both offer services
where they actually maintain the parts inventory at one of _their_
warehouses and deliver from that stock.
If Delta is doing enough volume on parts they might be using one of those
services. If they are it pretty well rules out using USPS.
I'm curious as to what 1-oz part shuts the jointer down dead?
But, as a side note, while I don't disagree w/ assessment that S/H
charge of $8 is really out of line, a USPS first class envelope would
be less than $1 actual shipping cost--of course, the labor and
ancillary support costs still make it probably a break-even deal at
best for Delta.
Someone has to take your order, someone else has to pick the item and
put the item in a box. _Then_ it has to be passed to a shipping company.
Employees and shippers don't work for free, and boxes don't grow on a
tree behind the warehouse.
Think about the alternative, which is where the MBA's close the spare
parts warehouse because it costs to much to run and to maintain an
inventory. Every inventory, in every situation, is somebody's money
Why didn't you go and pick it up? <G>
But really, how is your scenario (take order, pick up item, put in box, then
send to shipper) that much difference than if you walked into the parts
place and picked it up (take order, jaw with customer for awhile, go get
part, ring up sale, bag item, hand bag to customer), which the exception of
the actual shipping cost? Or even worse, a retail location, where they need
to stock shelves, maintain a large storefront as well as stockroom, have
The handling costs, which is probably why they don't offer that service.
If they do offer the service to locals, they're eating the costs of a
small number of folks who can actually take advantage of it.
The part wouldn't be $3, it would be $9-10. <G>
Do you think if Woodcraft ordered that part for you it would have been
the same price? I'll bet it would have cost more. If it was $3, at the
minimum you'd have to wait weeks, possibly months, until it was grouped
with other spares and picked, packed, and shipped as a single order.
Maybe you'd get lucky and get it fast, if an order was ready to ship and
your part got in the same box.
You're dealing with fixed vs. variable costs. The bare bones cost of
the operation is the same, regardless if the part is $3 or $300.
If you bought (3) of the parts, the shipping probably still would have
been $8, but for $9 worth of parts.
Remember, be happy you GOT the part. MBA's look at spares operations
every day and close them as cash holes. 8^(
With my company, we operate two retail stores with a warehouse in the back
of one of the retail stores for shipping internet orders. When shipping an
order, our shipper must first make sure the address verification passed with
the credit card issuer, if it didn't, he must manually verify it with a
phone call to the credit card issuer. Next, he must pull the order, for a
larger order, this can take some time, as sometimes some of the product is
in the warehouse and some of it is in the retail store. Next we must pack
the order in the smallest box possible while still having enough room to
properly protect the products. Sometimes this might require partially
packing an order until you realize that it's not really the best box
(especially with new shippers). Then the box is sealed and weighed. The
weight is entered into the shipping software, shipping method is selected,
and a label is printed. The package is placed on a cart to be taken to the
"outgoing shipment" rack.
It definitely is more work than standing out front at the register ringing
customers out. We mark up our shipments $2-$3 to cover the price of the box,
peanuts, packing tape, and labor. The rest of the shipping fee goes to UPS.
And this doesn't even account for the times when our website under quotes
shipping because the item is larger than the weight would imply.
Companies are not getting rich off of shipping fees... well, except for the
shipping company ;)
<why shipping is expensive>
I've never owned a retail or mail order business, but I know that as a
consumer, I'm totally irrational when it comes to shipping charges. I
hate to pay shipping. I totally empathize with the original poster.
If they said the part was $11 and the shipping was free, then I would
feel like I'm getting a good deal -- a fixed jointer for $11! Instead,
the part is $3 and the shipping is $8, so I feel like I'm getting
ripped off. Like I said, this is not rational and I have tried over
and over again to remove this irrational thought pattern, but it is
very difficult (at least for me). I think it is akin to human's
inability to evaluate risk in certain situations.
It might be that Amazon has trained me this way.
I have often wondered what would happen to my Lee Valley habit if they
lowered their shipping charges substantially. For example, a medium
shoulder plane is $159. Shipping, if you just order the plane, is
$12.50, bringing the total to $171.50. More than once, I have gotten
to the checkout page, seen $12.50 and said, "$12.50 for shipping! Oh
nevermind." So what if the plane cost $169 and the shipping was $3?
That seems like a much better deal, even though the total ($172) is
Like I said, I am totally irrational about this. Does anybody else
have a similar reaction?
I agree, to a limit. To me, shipping seems like a license to steal.
Shipping charges do appear to be out of line. I've heard the defense
- the cost of picking the item, the box, packing materials, etc, etc,
but IMO, that's the cost of doing business. That it's not reflected
in the item cost makes that item actually too cheap. You can't
*really* get the blurfl for $20, it's actually $30.
As a point of reference, I ordered a pair of gloves from
www.moosejaw.com They didn't fit right, so I returned them. I had a
choice here. They include a return shipping label with the
merchandise they sell you. All you have to do is put the stuff in a
box, slap the label on the box and put it in the mail. Easy. 'Cept
that using their label would reduce my refund by $8. $8 to use their
An option was available to send it on my nickel. That's what I did.
I cost about $3.50 at my local post office.
It's going to take them just as much effort on their end to open the
box and restock with either option. It just cost me less to pay the
postage up front.
BTW, I was credited the full amount of my purchase. Moosejaw is a
class organization. I'll be happy to do business with them at some
This is what the shipping apologists miss - giving the appearance of
using shipping as a profit center just turns the customer off. But I
suppose those organizations have more business than they need so they
can afford to make some percentage of their customers look elsewhere
the next time they need something.
Companies like Delta might actually WANT you to try an "authorized
repair depot" before you go directly to them. They are using B2B type
policies simply because they aren't interested in setting up a true
retail operation. Try calling them to buy a complete tool.
I went through this just yesterday with a Bosch router part. I was able
to walk into a busy tool repair shop in Hartford, CT and buy the $15
part, saving the $10 that Bosch wants to ship it from the Norwood, MA
The same shop also repairs and stocks spare parts for Makita, DeWalt,
Porter Cable, Delta, toasters, vacuum cleaners, etc...
I'm sure you understand Delta's point of view that the other posters
reminded you of.
Yeah, I know, just on principle, it doesn't seem right when shipping is
double the cost of the item.
Got to have something to complain about, I understand. LOL
Hey, you got a bargin!
I'm still more than pissed off at Ford. Spent $15k on a new Focus,
and the antenna got clipped off by the garage door when it was 6
months old. My fault, sure- but all it needs is a little sheet metal
mount that a new antenna will screw onto. They wanted $8 for that,
$40 for a new antenna (I was told I had to buy it if I wanted the
clip), $25 for them to recieve it at the dealership from the
warehouse, and I'd have to pay in advance and go back two weeks later
to pick it up in person.
So that's $73 for an $8 part- and I'd still have to drive 30 miles to
pick it up. Good thing the car has a cd player, I guess.
(Of course I'm just going to make a new mount at work on my lunch
break one of these days and save that $$$, but it's worth getting
really irritated about- an $8 part has guaranteed them that I will
never buy another Ford.)
Yes, I am. It's a low door (in an old house), and I was removing the
antenna every time I backed out for six months, and forgot one day.
So I take some of the responsibility for it- but I still don't
understand why it was designed like the barb of a fishhook sticking
out of the top of the roof in the first place.
Either way, it seems like the sort of thing they could keep one or two
of at the dealership, and sell them for the $8 they wanted for the
part- instead of trying to cash in on it.
Because you think a lot of people do this? :)
They should also keep one or two of every other misc part then as well...
for every make and model they sell. And the variations for each model
year... before you know it they are sitting on thousands of dollars worth
of inventory that has very little demand. Not a good business decision.
Seems fairly likely, given the design. Wouldn't have to be a garage
door- backing out of anywhere that had an overhead obstruction of any
sort would clip the thing off.
Perhaps not- but this is a tiny part that would easily fit into a
drawer on the mechanic's desk- with room left over for about 1000
other tiny parts as well.
Ah well, now I'm just bitching. I see your point- there was just more
to the story with that particular dealership messing up the paperwork
on the initial sale, requiring two additional trips back to the place,
and endless irritiating phone calls (about three a week) for a month
where they all but demanded I give them a good review on a survey they
were sending out.
After all that, it would have been nice if *something* could have gone
smoothly and in my favor.
My buddy's bicycle shop, where I work part-time, is a big Thule and
Yakima rack dealer.
At least once a month, we have a customer who forgets about the loaded
roof rack or Rocket Box, and attempts to drive into the garage.
Sometimes, they're even driving quite fast! 8^(
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