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Thread: Shipping Advice from one of our customers...

  1. #1
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Shipping Advice from one of our customers...

    I tend to think it works both ways. Here's an email I got today...

    "Hello, With regards to my order # 3032 for a 5 watt Luxeon Star, I must say your shipping charges are a little outrageous. $8 to ship a 2 ounce package seems a bit much. I can understand that this must be where you make your money. Being in business myself I would never dream of doing this to my customers and expect them to come back. (name omitted to protect his identity)"

    And my reply...

    "Hello (omitted). You are right, we did over charge you on this particular package. The FedEx Signature shipping cost us $7.33. The special padded envelope is $0.14 and Merri's time at $8/hr was about $0.30 (I figure since she is getting pretty good at shipping, it took her about 2 minutes to process your web order, key in your address, affix the label, load the package with the correct item, seal it and place it in the shipping container. 2 minutes was 26 cents plus 4 cents for HR overhead), computer time, tape, electricity and shipping facility costs (~70 cents/Sqft/month) are about 3 cents (the shipping labels are free from FedEx so I didn't include that) for a total of $7.80. I can issue you a store credit for the 20 cents.

    Some of the orders will cost us more than $8 and some will cost us less than $8 to ship. We try to shoot for an average (it saves time by not requiring us to micro calculate each order) so that we neither loose money nor make money on shipping. We have calculated an average for each shipping level (domestic, 2-day, international, etc).

    You have my apologies. If you do not plan on using the store credit anytime soon, let us know and we will issue you a company check.

    Btw, your correct order number is #3023.

    Please understand that we strive to do everything with extreme diligence and honesty. "


    So, was I too hard on the poor guy? I was a little hurt he didn't address me by name in his email. But I was flattered that he thought we were making money on shipping and not the product. He must therefore think we don't have much a margin on the product. For the record, I do try to make money on the product. But the shipping? Absolutely not.

    But seriously, I think the real issue here is the cost of FedEx. This has already been labored here on the CPF. But for those just tuning in, we choose FedEx because of all the carriers we have tried (USPS, UPS, FedEx, Airborne and DHL), FedEx lost the least number of packages for a similiar time period. For packages that can cost upwards of $100, we certainly want to minimize lost packages. We are going to continue to use FedEx.

    Peter Gransee

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* darkgear.com's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shipping Advice from one of our customers...

    I always think you're losing money on sending stuff to me. [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

    I think your explanation was concise. Maybe offering the credit was a harsh underlining of the issue but hey... somedays we just don't have time for our Carnegie skills. [img]images/icons/tongue.gif[/img]

    Best regards,
    Randy

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Shipping Advice from one of our customers...

    Peter, that was awsome! I don't think you were too hard on the guy, after all he was (in less words) trying to say that you were ripping him off on the shipping.
    I can find alot of words to discribe you Peter but dishonest is definately "NOT" one. [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

  4. #4
    *Flashaholic* Rothrandir's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shipping Advice from one of our customers...

    you did just fine peter. shipping is frustrating for both parties. however, there isn't really any way around it. i don't think anyone expects you to lose money on the deal.

  5. #5
    *Flashaholic* Darell's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shipping Advice from one of our customers...

    Damn! You sound more like me every day, Peter. [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

  6. #6
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: Shipping Advice from one of our customers...

    Peter, you might have lost that customer but I think it was worth it. Writing that letter was a cheap form of therapy and I suspect that you benefited from it. It is not easy being a small business person, but he11, you already know that.

  7. #7
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: Shipping Advice from one of our customers...

    If you take into account the time it took you to write that reply...you should debit the guy for a few more $$ [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img] [img]graemlins/yellowlaugh.gif[/img] [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Shipping Advice from one of our customers...

    Hello Peter,

    I see you let him off pretty easy. I like FedEx because they deliver the goods, usually without a problem (and the shipping boxes don't look like they have been dragged behind the truck). Are they cheap? No!!!

    I do think you are being a little hard on Merri. She must be worth more than what you are paying her, considering all of the crap she goes through every day.

    Tom

  9. #9

    Default Re: Shipping Advice from one of our customers...

    Your case was presented well, demonstrating that the customer had been excessive in his accusations of "this must be where you make your money". The "being too hard on the poor guy" would be the parading of his comments to others, even by withholding his name. Complaints are the entitlement of a customer when they envision themselves wronged. They deserve respect, even if they're wrong. The most severe reaction I know that could be administered toward a customer that is excessive in their accusations of bad business practices would be to exercise the right to refuse to sell to them. Offering their comments for others to see their error is even more excessive.

    An example: Watch as your other customers ridicule and lambaste him/her. You may even see some of them turn loose on me (or anyone that thinks the customer has a right to complain)

    Well..... you did ask.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Shipping Advice from one of our customers...

    Originally posted by SilverFox:
    Hello Peter,

    I see you let him off pretty easy. I like FedEx because they deliver the goods, usually without a problem (and the shipping boxes don't look like they have been dragged behind the truck). Are they cheap? No!!!

    Tom
    <font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">I'm guessing there's no way to choose alternate shipping methods for packages?

    Either way, it could be a lot worse... $8 is average shipping these days. The best you can do is $6 or so if you want a package that can be tracked. (UPS Ground is very close to $6 for even the smallest packages)

    I've found FedEx to be much easier to deal with as a customer. With FedEx, if I miss a package, I can pick it up at the local facility same-day. With UPS, I must call UPS and make arrangements to pick up the package, and can't get it until the next day.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Shipping Advice from one of our customers...

    Hi Peter,

    I agree with Empath.

    It is very hard to please everyone but customer satisfaction in today's economy is a number one priority.

    I too, sometimes do not give the best responses I can in all situations but believe that the customer deserves the best I have to offer.

    Aloha

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Shipping Advice from one of our customers...

    (sigh) Your right. And I agree with what Empath wrote so well. I realize I was venting. I will lock the thread to show that I have relented and to insure none lambast the gentleman.

    I do get frustrated when people make assumptions about what our business involves. This is because I feel that the business is difficult and the above perspective discounts our effort.

    Also, I have had people threaten me in email before. They have complained about the shipping and threatened to, "reveal my money grubbing ways on the CPF or to other various media outlets". I see my post above as a preimptive and preventive measure.

    SilverFox, I agree that Merri is not paid what she is worth. I don't think any of us here are. For what it is worth, Merri is an owner and she collects the same salary as what I do.

    Peter Gransee

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Shipping Advice from one of our customers...

    I appreciate being able to track the package and count on them delivering it when they say they will. No problems yet on this end!

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