"FREE" International Delivery

Discussion in 'Ecommerce Forum' started by JPMiddleton, Aug 16, 2019.

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  1. JPMiddleton

    JPMiddleton UKBF Regular Free Member

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    So for some time we have offered "free" international delivery (orders over a certain value) but we're finding of late that it's probably not as effective a marketing tool as it used to be for us.

    As a lot of our products are bought in from the US, or paid for in USD, we'd need to considerably raise our prices to continue subsidising delivery AND ensure the same margin with the weaker pound. Assuming the weaker pound is here to stay for the foreseeable future we're most likely going to charge for overseas shipping once again in an effort to try and keep the product price down going forward.

    My question is this:

    We've always been VERY transparent with our customers (we have many regular overseas buyers) but should I:

    a) Change the delivery prices and website details 'quietly' (we don't have big FREE delivery banners anyway) and see if it causes a drop in sales?
    b) Email our customers in the newsletter and tell them it's going to be free until X date?
    c) Other, suggestions welcome.

    We sell very niche products, that can be bought elsewhere but the competition (nor the industry) is not massive. Any thoughts welcome!
     
    Posted: Aug 16, 2019 By: JPMiddleton Member since: Aug 18, 2011
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  2. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

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    Any particular reason to subsidise delivery rather than have customers pay for the delivery?
    What do your competitors all do?
     
    Posted: Aug 16, 2019 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
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  3. JPMiddleton

    JPMiddleton UKBF Regular Free Member

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    Good question, back in the early days when the product range was much more limited I needed to gain traction (US and European websites were my competition at that point really).

    Our main competitors for some of the items (about 30% of the range) are in France & Germany, and one does a similar thing but for much larger orders, another charges for delivery.
     
    Posted: Aug 16, 2019 By: JPMiddleton Member since: Aug 18, 2011
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  4. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

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    Its usually a good idea unless as you say trying to get traction to get the buyer to pay the postage one way or another.
    Build more into the price to charge less as a separate charge. Build it all into price so free postage.
    Both of those increase your item price.

    Don't worry too much about your competitors - keep an eye on them but no need to treat the bigger ones any different than smaller ones.
     
    Posted: Aug 16, 2019 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
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  5. Bronco78th

    Bronco78th UKBF Contributor Free Member

    97 3
    Interesting thread.

    Just out of curiosity what is the weight of the items you send and how much charge do you add to the item to make sure your not losing money?

    Do you have any issues of things going missing with international post?

    I sell on Etsy and they are really really pushing Free Delivery to US Customers. I offer Free 2nd class for UK Customers but Etsy is still very America first and they have stated they will promote all listings more , international sellers or not if they offer FREE PnP to the US shoppers.....and suggest simply raising item prices to make up the shortfall.

    So far I've resisted offering this as I feel id lose my UK customers due to the price increase on the item, but as a result of this my sales have shrunk as about 60% of my Etsy orders were from the US.

    My items weigh under 1kg but are all personalised and so im abit anxious to send my items international with no tracking at all due to work involved in creating them....but thats where the costs goes....about £10 per item with signed and tracking inc VAT under 1kg....or £15 at 1.5kg if they order more than one.

    Would it be worth a try doing Free PnP to the US but sending economy international delivery?....what are the lost item rates?

    Many Thanks,
    John
     
    Posted: Aug 16, 2019 By: Bronco78th Member since: Sep 1, 2017
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  6. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

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    Which are the best to focus on? Your US customers or your UK customers?

    In past several years I haven't had many items not arrive with the customer in the US. I have had a few instances of customs holding things up by a month / USPS taking over a month to deliver.
    The stuff I tend to sell to US now is either fairly low cost to ship and not a major problem if lost or delayed, or else higher price and sent by UPS and delivered in around 4 days.
     
    Posted: Aug 16, 2019 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
    #6
  7. KevinRockett

    KevinRockett UKBF Regular Full Member

    128 12
    Costs of sending to USA tracked should be more like £4 - £6 for items under 1KG. That is what my Clients are used to paying at specialist carriers, not RM.

    This allows them to offer FREE P&P and they tell me this gets them more sales, especially at etsy.

    PM me for the carrier details of a UK to USA tracked service at rates starting from £2.99
     
    Posted: Aug 19, 2019 By: KevinRockett Member since: Jul 7, 2013
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  8. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

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    We use free international shipping. Sales went up quite a bit when we stopped charging a separate fee for shipping.
    Only 74 percent increase in sales for international orders. Enough to keep doing it.
     
    Posted: Aug 23, 2019 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
    #8
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