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    18 Replies Latest reply on Oct 19, 2007 12:12 PM by NatOnline

    Free Shipping on minimum $50 order

    NatOnline Tracker



      I am Jean-Luc and run an e-commerce with my wife at, we are selling some Hawaiian bath and body products and are in business for 2 years now.

      I've got a question for you all: I am wondering if Free Shipping on $60 minimun order would work the same as Free Shipping on minimum $50 order.
      Our main problem is the cost of shipping via USPS priority mail to NY, aroud 3Lbs our cost is $15 so when people spend $50 it is kind of harsh to make a profit, so we increased from $50 to $60 but seems like customers don't like it.

      What is your recommendation?
        • Re: Free Shipping on minimum $50 order
          buybigtires Wayfarer
          When you go over $50, you have passed a mental barrier. You could probably say "Free Shipping on a minimum order of 51" and get the same result.

          I would say, add a gift item for any order with a minimum of $50, and say it is a "$30 retail value".

          In this way, you can still charge for shipping, but they will be able to justify the purchase in their minds.

          Or, say $5 shipping on any order over $50, this still seems like you are giving them a deal, and allows you to recover some of the shipping costs.

          Experiment, and see what works.

          Good Luck.
          1 of 1 people found this helpful
            • Re: Free Shipping on minimum $50 order
              WEBillions Adventurer
              I totally agree with buybigtires. I might be able to find a 50 dollar bill in my pocket, so that feels like small change, but above that and it seems like a lot. Though, you are right, you can't let shipping prices ruin you.

              As buybigtires said, everyone likes a gift. That's what your free shipping is, a gift. Changing the terms of the gift might feel like a let down to your customers. However, if you give them something else (another free gift), they might even feel like they are getting a better deal! You may even be able to increase your minimum from 50 to 100 as long as you offer another gift at $50.

              Always give your customers something for free. It just makes them want to buy more. If you've ever been to Africa, this is the exact strategy the street vendors use and they make a killing. By the way, never except anything for free from street vendors unless you are willing to buy a lot in exchange. I learned this the hard way.
                • Re: Free Shipping on minimum $50 order
                  NatOnline Tracker

                  Well, I think shipping free on $50 minimun order is a basic. The problem is you cannot please the customers under $50 and give away a discount, because if someone buy for $51, the customer have free shipping (it can cost your $16) plus the discount, in this case if there are more customers buying for more than $50 you dont make any benefice. Finding a good balance is pretty hard.

                  Please note, we are retailer and we need to buy the products from Hawaii. when we buy our products from the manufacturers, the shipping cost is not free, so each time it is less benefice, + shipping free for our customers + gifts, will not give much. Basically when a customer buy $50 or products we make $10 of profit. We make more money when a customer buy under $50. The only way we can make it is on high quantity of orders.

                  Retail is hard, I had a photographer/graphic design/broker printing business before, and I made more money. I cannot work in this field because I am taking care of my son at home and I don't have a lot time. This is why I started this business online, more flexible. My wife help me a lot but she has a better and more stable job than the graphic design business I had.

                  I will go back in the graphic business when my son will go to school :-)
              • Re: Free Shipping on minimum $50 order
                NatOnline Tracker

                I just made a change, will see if it works. But shipping cost strangle us.
                • Re: Free Shipping on minimum $50 order
                  BeadBuddies Newbie

                  I am not sure if you are able to use these or not but I do all the time for my business, With USPS Priority Mail you can use the flat rate box for $8.95 anywhere is the United States or US Territories. The box can fit a lot of goods in it and the rate is great! That along with the flat rate envelopes save my business a lot of money. I also have free shipping on orders over $50.00 in the United States and Canada. Believe it or not you can ship to Canada via USPS Air Mail for about the same rate as shipping in the US.

                  If you are shipping heavier items that will not fit in the flat rate box, try FedEx Ground. The prices are really cheap and the service is pretty fast. Not as fast as Priority Mail but still pretty good.

                  Hope this helps!


                  Rod Connors
                    • Re: Free Shipping on minimum $50 order
                      NatOnline Tracker

                      Well we use USPS and UPS for shipping. We use sometime the flat box priority mail, but our products dont' fit well in these boxes.


                      I could use Fedex on my template, but we don't have a Fedex account, perhaps I should check and compare with UPS.


                      Thank you for your advises. :-)
                        • Re: Free Shipping on minimum $50 order
                          Faerie Wayfarer
                          We've had success with flat rate shipping. Same price for shiping no matter how much you order. Yes, there are people that buy just one item. There are some who go in with friends for a huge order. Most do take advantage of it to order several items.

                          We use USPS. Between the flat rate envelope and the flat rate box it is a workable system. Keep in mind there are two flat rate boxes with different shapes. My shipping manager often finds that what doesn't fit in one will fit in the other.

                          We do get a lot of orders from Alaska, Hawaii, US territories and military addresses because using the flat rate shipping makes us a much better deal than companies that only ship UPS or FedEx.

                          Figuring out how to price shipping in a way that is a good deal for customers but at the same time is not a drain on the business was a challenge. It's continued to be a challenge as we've grown but this solution has proven a good fit for us.
                            • Re: Free Shipping on minimum $50 order
                              NatOnline Tracker
                              I use flat box sometime. For example if a person order a lip balm tin, a flat box will cost $8.95 instead of a regular small box or envelop with bubbles the shipping cost will be $4.60, so the decision is pretty simple and the customer will be happy to spend less in shipping. For some big orders I cannot fit our products in a flat box. We are selling around 100 differents products, so the shape are different.

                              I have a friend who run an e-commerce of tee shirts, caps, he is using flat boxes, most items are the same.

                              We try to secure and protect the contents as much as we can, sometime we spend more money on shipping that we get from our site/customers. We are seeking 100% satifaction from our customers.

                              We also give the choose between USPS and UPS, people can take the provider they want.
                        • Re: Free Shipping on minimum $50 order
                          maxamillion Wayfarer
                          Have you tried other shipping companies including rail and bus. Increasing the price is not a good marketing method. Customers dont like the idea of free shipping if they feel the price is high.

                          Do you manufacture the product at your Nevada location or purchase the product from the continental U.S. If you do purchase and the orders are large enough, try drop shipping
                            • Re: Free Shipping on minimum $50 order
                              NatOnline Tracker
                              No, we are just retailer. All our products come from Hawaii, and main manufacturers ship in 3 days air, if we want surface ( by boat it will take 2 or 3 months the get the order from manufacturer)


                              Drop shipping is another concept, not all our manufacturer do the drop shipping. Drop shipping cost more money because most of the time the manufacturer charge $5 fees per order. These manufacturers are also online, one do drop shipping, but you make peanuts benefice, so it is not worth it :-)

                              Also with drop shipping you don't master the order, it takes time to process. There is more manipulations and you make less money that way. Advertisers will consider you as a Affiliate, and they will not list you on most directories, or else, this will penalize you pretty bad.

                              The problem is, if you don't make enough benefice, you can't advertise, you can't buy sponsor links, etc...

                              We process speedy orders. In general we process the orders the same day, and drop off same day or next day, customers are in general very happy to receive their orders very quick.
                            • Re: Free Shipping on minimum $50 order
                              LUCKIEST Guide
                              Good question. Time will tell. On October 8, The New York Times ran a story
                              NOTHING SAYS "BUY" LIKE 'FREE SHIPPING. L L Bean's free shipping order
                              comes with no minimum purchase requirement.
                              You can see the story if you Google "free shipping".
                              Hope this helps. LUCKIEST
                              1 of 1 people found this helpful
                                • Re: Free Shipping on minimum $50 order
                                  NatOnline Tracker
                                  Yes but look at the prices lol You cannot compare but it is a well made marketing.

                                  Can I do that? No because if a customer order a $2.50 lip balm stick from New York, it will cost more to ship, as you can see.

                                  Of course sometime I give free shipping under $50 but only specific occasions, and when customers don't ask for that.

                         start doing a shipping free from $25 orders but on specific products, but I bet they've got a special shipping discount deals.
                                • Re: Free Shipping on minimum $50 order
                                  fabulousitee Newbie
                                  I also have an online store and I offer free shipping on orders over $50. My flat shipping rate is $10, which at first seemed a little high to me. But looking at the competition its only about a dollar or two more than what they charge and the clothing I sell is very affordable. So if someone orders a top at $15 bucks and pays the $10 shipping fee, they are still only spending $25 on a top that's really worth $40.
                                  I guess this is easier for me because I'm not selling the same type of products as you. I also sell accessories and the shipping on those are just $5.
                                  • Re: Free Shipping on minimum $50 order
                                    dazzler Wayfarer
                                    I don't offer FREE shipping on my web site. I sell 1-of-a-kind handcrafted necklaces and when someone purchases one, they get paperwork including a signed certificate with their individual necklace, a beautiful satin-lined velvet necklace folder, tissue-paper, a Tiffany-style box with lid and satin imprinted ribbon all FREE. I usually send everything out Priority Mail with Delivery Confirmation. My clients tell me not to have SALES and not to ship for FREE. They are classy and say that offering FREE shipping is bringing your business down to an average level. Customers should know that to even send a letter first class will cost 41 cents, and just because people are buying something, they should not expect to receive FREE shipping as the norm.
                                    • Re: Free Shipping on minimum $50 order
                                      Biz Online Adventurer
                                      Fun question!

                                      NatOnline, do you have competitors that sell the exact same product? If yes, what do they do? If no, then create the alure of the Hawaiin Island products you sell, the find-know-where-else appeal, and increase your product pricing. Set a minimum of $75 for free shipping or calculate a flat rate, and do holiday specials with free shipping. Use a flat rate amount of $15 up to $74.99, then give an incentive for the client in the checkout to by this accompanying product to get free shipping!

                                      One of my clients has three web stores. One offers flat rate shipping, one is minimum purchase of $75 for free shipping, and the other free shipping. The flat rate website sells more products at the same pricing than does the free shipping site. We spend $500,000 a year in advertising, so we do know what works for my clients industry.

                                      To determine your flat rate, just review your past six months billing for each package, add roughly 5-10% for your time of boxing up items, and there's your flat rate. People looking online just want to know what the shipping costs will be, ESPECIALLY if they are already SOLD on the product.
                                      Good luck,
                                        • Re: Free Shipping on minimum $50 order
                                          NatOnline Tracker
                                          Hello Cliff,

                                          Yes we have competitors that sell the exact products, but not the same line of products. We don't us flat shipping because we don't have a minimum order so people can test us and buy little. If we go with a flat shipping it will cost us much more: For example if a customer buy a few lip balms with a total order of $7 the shipping will cost more than the products themself.

                                          Like Buybigtires said: "When you go over $50, you have passed a mental barrier" he is right, for our market field.