Should free shipping be illegal? (1 Jun, 2021)

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Should free shipping be illegal? (1 Jun, 2021)

Postby aardvark_admin » Tue Jun 01, 2021 8:08 am

This column is archived at: https://aardvark.co.nz/daily/2021/0601.shtml

Should free shipping be banned?

Does it really give some companies (ie: Sino-etailers and large corporations like Amazon) an unfair advantage over other players?

Could Amazon be abusing its market dominance in the way claimed by the US Attorney General?

How do we address this issue, if it really is an issue?

Have you noticed a dramatic increase in the cost of shipping from overseas sources? Has it affected where/how you buy stuff?
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Re: Should free shipping be illegal? (1 Jun, 2021)

Postby hagfish » Tue Jun 01, 2021 8:31 am

A 'local' drop-shipper might add a modicum of value - a guarantee, an attractive website - but if they're just going to kick the order along to their Sino-supplier, I prefer to go direct. Paying $30 to get support for a $5 item makes no sense - just order three of them. Either way, the manual will be the same sheaf of photocopied nonsense.

The recent rise in shipping cost is due to the turmoil caused by Covid, and exacerbated by the Evergiven. Container supply means it's just not worthwhile sending a shipment down under. And that's if you can source lumber for pallets in the first place.

<wetblanket>Alas, I think the real answer is 'I don't really need that $5 plastic widget and all its packaging after all'. If the western world cut our consumption levels by 25%, we'd be back to where we were... 10 years ago. The 'end of cheap' didn't come soon enough.</wetblanket>

EDIT: and, 'no' I don't think 'free' shipping should be banned. If a handful of companies are distorting the market to that extent, you're fiddling with the deck chairs by that point. And if one of the companies you're trying to rein in is 'The PRC', good luck.
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Re: Should free shipping be illegal? (1 Jun, 2021)

Postby phill » Tue Jun 01, 2021 11:22 am

i would have to figure out the motives for banning free delivery
is it an anti monopoly stand to support the local retailers
or
is to stop the tax dodges by hiking the delivery fee and lowering the product cost to almost cost level or even below and hence making no profit for tax on it ( gst in nz covers both so that component remains unchanged )

and yup delivery cost has risen on my sino purchases
usually a small increase to the free delivery to cover the nz delivery .. changing countries shows slightly different rates to the base line standard

i get emails from a few nz wine companies that advertise $1-5 per crate for delivery
kmart has free delivery for most items if the order is over $60 .. so its not just china or amazon

i dont shop at the 2 big nz etail organisations because the delivery cost is to much
( ,,,,,,,, ....... A E I O U use em sparingly theres probably not enough )

i might live and eat in a sewer .. but hey look how many of these shiny things i have got
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Re: Should free shipping be illegal? (1 Jun, 2021)

Postby Perry » Tue Jun 01, 2021 12:37 pm

Bruce wrote:There's no point in buying a $5 widget from China if it's going to cost $50 to have it shipped to New Zealand is there? Far better to simply buy the same widget for $30 from a local supplier. With this in mind, I think local retailers are going to benefit (at least for the time being) from the paucity of free shipping offers.

Whether or not your local supplier has stock is quite another matter.

Supposedly, the cost of moving containers globally has trebled, given the reduced volume. Once that increased cost is spread over the contents, the picture may look quite different.
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Re: Should free shipping be illegal? (1 Jun, 2021)

Postby paulw » Tue Jun 01, 2021 1:12 pm

I'm all; for free shipping but I see very little of it in NZ. Just because the French want it to be illegal why should it be. The French don't like lots of things but should we follow them..
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Re: Should free shipping be illegal? (1 Jun, 2021)

Postby Perry » Tue Jun 01, 2021 1:43 pm

I suppose if companies can collude, so can nations.
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Re: Should free shipping be illegal? (1 Jun, 2021)

Postby goosemoose » Tue Jun 01, 2021 2:21 pm

I assumed that free delivery meant "delivery included in price" or "what you're buying, at 20 times our cost price, is such cheap and utter rubbish so we can afford to flick you a couple of bucks dressed up as free shipping making you think you've got a deal"
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