Shipping Prices Killing Merch Sales?

Discussion in 'General Music Discussion' started by Vyn, Mar 21, 2019.

  1. GunpointMetal

    GunpointMetal SS.org Regular

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    Yeah, it kinda sucks when you wanna buy something and the shipping is more than the disc/shirt.
     
  2. Ordacleaphobia

    Ordacleaphobia Shameless Contrarian

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    It's funny to me that you say that, because I've had great luck with Reverb. In my example cited earlier, those guitars that I had shipped across the country for the same shipping rate a distributor was going to charge to ship me a hoodie- were sold and shipped through Reverb's UPS partnership.

    Although, most of my experience with them is with guitars. I don't know if they get less realistic with other labels.

    Right? All these people talking about international, but I'm sitting here twiddling my thumbs wondering why domestic shipping on merch is still so ridiculous.
    I've ordered a T-shirt from the UK that shipped to me for ~$14, but when I try to order a T-shirt from a merch vendor located in California, mere hours away, shipping is the same or close enough to it. Does not compute to me.
     
  3. wankerness

    wankerness SS.org Regular

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    Exactly what Max said. To be specific with a full-time seller I know in the US, he would CONSTANTLY get people freaking the f out that they hadn't seen the item within 30 days or something, and then they'd do a chargeback if he didn't send another one or give them a full refund, and they'd usually end up receiving the item anyway, just after they'd already gotten the refund or had the second item shipped. Or they'd throw the same fit even if they HAD received the item cause the seller had absolutely no recourse if they lied about it, since there was no tracking information to prove anything. He eventually just disallowed all international sales cause he was losing so much money.

    Tracking info for international shipping is at least as much protection for the seller as it is the buyer - that's why they often don't offer a cheaper option for "those who want to risk it." Again, most buyers are honest, but the scumbags can ruin it for everyone, especially when they're often placing big orders with hundreds of dollars worth of merch.
     
  4. Avedas

    Avedas SS.org Regular

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    Importing anything from the US is prohibitively expensive and it always will be. Whoever solves that problem effectively will probably be a billionaire. I try to source everything domestically or at least within Asia because shipping costs will be reasonable. Every once in a while I can convince a local dealer to stock some US items and eat the import+shipping costs for me.

    Unfortunately in the guitar world basically everything comes from America.
     
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  5. Rosal76

    Rosal76 SS.org Regular

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    Funny enough, I placed a order from Sheet Happens a week ago. Even more coincident, I also ordered a bundle which is the Cynic bundle with the book, poster and pick tin.

    When it comes to guitar tablature books, especially guitar tablature books, I normally swallow my pride and order. When it comes to C.D.'s and t-shirts, even if the C.D. has exclusive/bonus tracks and/or the shirt is only available at that site, I can live without those and/or order somewhere else cheaper but I can't with guitar tab books. Reason why is 1, I'm a guitar tab book freak and 2, guitar tab books are items I use for a very, very long time. I agree with you that the Merrow book bundle's shipping/handling is freaking expensive but imagine how much guitar time/experience/joy you'll get from the book. :agreed:
     
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  6. lewis

    lewis SS.org Regular

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    Its completely dried up my band merch game. I just simply cannot afford to justify these prices just getting a few T Shirts. Obviously its shit for the band but my family and money is priority.

    its a disgrace on all honesty. Also, I presume that wouldnt include any IMport tax either so its even MORE money than that....

    absolute joke
     
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  7. Decapitated

    Decapitated Loser

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    Totally agree. I recently started looking at brutal death metal band shirts. Most of the good sellers are overseas. One place charges $17.50 shipping for the first shirt and $9.00 for EACH additional shirt. That’s about $35.00 shipping for 3 shirts that are about $20 a piece.
     
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  8. lewis

    lewis SS.org Regular

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    jesus. Most unsubtle scam Ive seen for some time haha
     
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  9. Decapitated

    Decapitated Loser

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    From what I can gather, around the beginning of the year, shipping prices from Indonesia increased drastically. I think they are just as unhappy about it as we are. It has to be impacting their sales.
     
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  10. Blasphemer

    Blasphemer Bird Law expert

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    Shipping cost was the reason I didn't pick up Plini's first EP on vinyl from Sheethappens. I'm just not really willing to pay almost as much in shipping as I am for the actual product, especially when I've had vinyl shipped for a much more reasonable price in the past.
     
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  11. Vyn

    Vyn Not a Sparkly Vampire

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    Couple of idiots to ruin everything for the rest of us :(

    Exchange rates is the answer - $118USD (total of bundle plus shipping) translates to $160+AUD which is not an insignificant amount of money here. In the space of two years the exchange rate has fallen dramatically and in addition shipping prices in USD have gone up. Two years ago something like that would have been around $100AUD shipped.
     
  12. AdamMaz

    AdamMaz SS.org Regular

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    As someone that works as a shipper for a private company, trucking costs make plenty of sense. The high variation in costs for parcels still baffles me.

    All of the LPs I buy lately are brand new releases by seldom-known artists on Bandcamp, no choice most times but to bite the bullet $50 CND on average :barf:
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2019
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  13. feraledge

    feraledge Heard the Good News about Maple Fretboards?

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    Didn't read the other comments, but if it's over 1 lb and bigger than a padded mailer, then the cheapest it's going to be is a medium flat rate box. It sucks, but the best way to handle it is to find someone who can wholesale a bunch in Oz and split them from there, or see about combined shipping.
    I print and mail books all over the world. I can send one book to Oz for $16, 4-5 for about $30, but then 12-20 for about $55-60 and upwards of 30 or more for around $75-80. It sucks, but you aren't getting scammed or anything.
     
  14. ascl

    ascl SS.org Regular

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    I did pretty much the same thing. Added the nice merrow bundle to my cart, clicked checkout, saw shipping doubled the cost of the bundle (nearly), and said forget it. No merch for me. At least there was the option to buy and download the music. Bands not putting stuff up for download and forcing me to buy physical copies bugs me to the point where I often don't buy it.
     
  15. Oneirokritikos

    Oneirokritikos SS.org Regular

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    I wonder how many orders/money US businesses in general ended up losing due to those crazy fees increases... It had to impact export somehow.
    And by the way, does anyone have experience with USA->Europe freight forwarders? There’s so many of them, dunno who to trust ! Or if they’re even worth it in terms of cost saving...
     
  16. Descent

    Descent SS.org Regular

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    Lets not forget that a lot of private sellers and small co's are usually offering full refund for the product but then they try to fleece you on shipping as that is not refundable. There's all kinds of gimmick in online sales now.
     
  17. Jonathan20022

    Jonathan20022 Engineer

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    That's actually a fair practice unless you're buying products advertised as $0.25 + $299.75 Shipping! Pretty easy to avoid clear situations like that.

    They do their job just fine, but if you're going that route for savings I wouldn't recommend it. It's typically a business solution for products being shipped in massive quantities.
     
  18. MerlinTKD

    MerlinTKD ERG Drummer! Contributor

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    I used to work for a local store where we did a decent business in online pickup sales; we had an Amazon store and could mostly set prices how we wanted, but the charge to us for shipping US domestic was what it was... we had the choice of eating it or passing it along... or padding it, which is what the owner would do, one reason I left. When I was in charge of it, one thing I found was there was no way to guarantee what the shipping cost would be ahead of time. Depending on what they ordered, the smallest useable box I had available, the kind of packing material I had available, the actual shipping cost ended up different every time. One thing I was surprised to learn was how much more expensive for me to ship west of the Mississippi River, and then how much more again into/past the Rockies. Shipping to the upper Northeast was cheaper than shipping to a closer destination in the South. Obviously, my situation was a lot less organized than a bigger company, but even if I had it completely perfect, there was no way to predict actual shipping cost until the order was placed. No customer is going to commit cash with the shipping price unknown, so I picked what felt like a good fair average; somedays we made a small profit in shipping, some days we lost money on the whole transaction. It usually ended up balancing out, but it meant that some customers were subsidizing shipping costs for others. I can easily see how a business that does 100% of their business online would feel like they can't afford to lose money on ANY transaction, so have to charge the upper range for all shipping, just to stay in business.

    It sucks, but (like the international shipping mentioned above) retailers are at the mercy of an unhelpful system still based on 20th century processes and models. And then there's greedy assholes like my former boss... :lol:
     
  19. drmosh

    drmosh Sir Paul of the Mosh Contributor

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    yup, inflated shipping adding to profit. fuck that
     
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