Thank goodness I have awesome neighbors and on nice Friday or Saturday evenings we like to “Sit Out.” This usually involves a few drinks and everyone discussing their week (all different professions represented; healthcare, legal, accounting, education, software development etc.) A few weeks ago our friend Steve started moaning and complaining about a shipment he was waiting on. He said, “You live and breathe this stuff look at this and tell me what you make of it.”
I viewed his IPhone and saw very clearly the points that this product has passed were tracked precisely and that a major carrier passed it along to the local Post Office. I explained to Steve that they were using a service that uses a word similar to Intelligent (2 Major Carriers offer this service.) He said this doesn’t seem too intelligent to me.
So after speaking with him a little more on the topic I found out the following.
1.) Win/Win with a Great Price
He was ordering some obscure part to repair something in his home. Not only did he find this part but it was offered at a very good price because a smart supplier was unloading their excess inventory as fast as they could. So basically rather than spending allot of money on replacing this entire unit, he was saving hundreds because of this item.
2.) Estimated Shipping Delivery Information was Explained Clearly and Tracked Perfectly
After further investigation I found out that he was offered several choices for shipping. (The supplier was using a multi-carrier shipping software similar to what we offer.) These included several carriers, several promised delivery dates and of course a free option that simply provided an estimated date of 5 to 7 days. I asked Steve, “Did you need this any sooner?” He replied, “Well I was hoping to start working on this a few days ago.” To which I replied, “Then why did you not pay for the shipping that offered a speedier delivery?” To which he replied, “That would have cost about the same amount as I paid for the part.”
3.) You Get What You Pay For
At this point in time I quoted one of my favorite quotes from John Ruskin, “The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot – it can’t be done. If you deal with the lowest bidder, it is well to add something for the risk you run, and if you do that you will have enough to pay for something better.”
I also mentioned by the looks of the accurate tracking information he should have this by the next day and he did.
The Moral of the Story
So we have come to a time wherein free shipping is expected. However, suppliers and consumers need to be realistic. There is no free shipping; someone is picking up the costs. We live in a world where supplier direct to consumer is growing rapidly and eCommerce is changing the entire world. So if shippers are getting more creative in their delivery techniques in order to remain profitable and solvent then consumers should be thankful and use common sense. In other words, if you need it quickly cough up the dough.
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