I remember once upon a time, when Sears was in the mail-order
business, they used to include a shipping weight for each item in
their catalog. When you filled out your order, added up all the
shipping weights, and consulted a table in the (paper!) catalog based
on where you lived to compute the shipping charges. And the numbers
were not nice round things like $5.00 or $7.50. They were numbers
like $4.23 or something, reflecting (or at least seeming to reflect)
the actual cost of shipping your merchandise to you.
I always thought that was fair and reasonable.
The current practice -- charging you in proportion to what you spend
-- has always struck me as counterproductive. Why not have a policy
that the more you spend, the _less_ you pay? (Amazon has picked up on
this idea with its free shipping if you spend at least X dollars, but
they seem to be in the minority)
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