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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-29-2011, 11:38 AM
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It makes sense that you would need the defective one back. I would require the same thing if it were me running the business. The problem is (and its a growing one) is that UPS and FedEx are giving the on-line vendors deep shipping discounts but they make up for it by overcharging folks who do occasional shipping. Example: the defective pipe I received arrived drop shipped from MA to Long Island at a cost to them of $7.00. When I returned it to the vendor who I bought it from in CT (half the original shipping distance) I had to pay $22.00 to get it back to them. It was the same part and I shipped it the same way, UPS Ground, yet I paid $22.00 for what they paid $7.00 for.

As long as the customer has to pay for some aspect of the shipping with a warranty claim the cost benefit of on-line purchasing becomes erroded by the customer's exposure to return shipping fees. In my example I ended up paying $22.00 for shipping and the vendor subtracted his $7.00 shipping from my refund. It cost me $29.00 on top of my time and labor because the on line parts house shipped me a defective item; ouch!

It would be more attractive if all of the shipping on warranty claims was handled by the vendor. They could incrementally increase their prices to offset the warranty shipping expenses. You (or whoever else adopts this process) would have a differentiator - "no hassle - no cost returns for defective items".

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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-31-2011, 07:19 AM
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Our UPS discount is not that large as your example. We have a 30% lower shipping than the UPS published rates on UPS.com. Maybe its time our business dev team gave UPS a call.

In any event, since we do have that 30% discount, we offer free shipping on every order with us that is over $75. Sometimes if you are just under the $75 mark we encourage you to get an oil filter, since you always end up needing those, just so you don't pay shipping. And if your order is under $75 we charge you $6 or $7 flat fee for the shipping, which is on average what we end up paying to UPS.

The only time we don't have shipping rates that are lower than published is for international orders, since we use USPS for those and that's very expensive and no discounts are ever given to merchants for USPS international shipping.
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