Etsy, Amazon and Ebay are getting fat on free shipping

Why We Boycott Free Shipping? The Value of Things, and Our Values.

In this article, we share why we are against free shipping and what are the values we stand for. 

While it would sound weird to pay an extra fee for the rent and the physical costs of a shop when we buy groceries at the local store, paying for the shipping of goods turns off most online buyers nowadays. However, both things have a cost and a definite impact on the price of any product.

Shoppers tend to forget the hidden costs that weigh on the shoulders of sellers, hoping that FREE SHIPPING could be a reality - as if it was a GIFT that they could take for granted.

There are several reasons why we decided to opt out of the free-shipping trend, despite the pressure of our marketplace such as Etsy plus the studies that are saying that shops offering free shipping would drive much more sales and increase their visibility online.

 

Reason No 1:
Shipping Is NEVER Free. It’s a T
rick!

Truth is, nothing is free… especially when it comes to shipping. Have you ever been offered to send a letter for free by the post office? No. Would you, if you were asked, deliver a parcel from one place to another, “just for nothing”, even if it was only 3 kilometers to do by bicycle? I doubt. But we do gladly click on the BUY button when we are being said “FREE SHIPPING” across the whole country or the whole world, as if we won something! And if we did not win the lucky free shipping and realized at checkout that there is a shipping fee of 10, 15, 20 dollars, or more, many would just abandon the whole basket! According to a report by ComScore, 61% of respondents said they would cancel an online purchase if not offered free shipping.

Shipping involves heavy logistics, the coordination of an incredible number of men and women handling every package, and the transportation of the parcel by car, train, plane, boat, bike, etc. It necessarily means a great amount of energy and petrol, all these having their own maintenance cost and so on…

To me, when I just take a few minutes to think about it, it sounds like a miracle that a package can travel from my office to a remote and precise location anywhere in the world for only 20$. Could I expect anything less?

Free shipping is a lie because shops and makers offering free shipping are necessarily adding it to the cost of their items.

 

Reason No2:
We Want People to Know the Value of Things!

The issue is that people are used to buying a pair of shoes for $20. Again, let’s think for a moment: considering the cost of material, the time and cost of labor, the hidden cost of the business, the shipping of the shoes from Asia to your local store, the local’s store living fees, etc.… a pair of shoes costing 20 dollars is only be possible in a world where somewhere in the chain, things are not being paid for their true value. In other words, slavery is used.

We, as makers and sellers, know exactly the value of what we hold in our hands. We know the cost of the leather, what it means to tan it, what it takes to turn it into a finished product, and what it costs in time, money, and energy to hold our online shop or hold a presence on a local market. Furthermore, we know what it costs to run our car to the local post office, what it cost for shipping, and what taxes we pay, without talking about the goodwill and sweat when things are not going the way they should… When
 all these costs are laid on the table, would we still be considered “expensive”?

Every month, despite the effort we have put to clarify what ourDo-It-Yourself tutorials are, we get people buying digital items for 9$ or 29$ thinking they would get a pair of custom-made shoes or a leather and tool kit for that price. When 19$ is our average shipping cost! Obviously, people have lost track of the real value of things…

 

Reason No 3:
Marketplaces Such as Amazon, EBAY, and Etsy Are Getting Fat on Free Shipping While Doing Nothing More Than Pushing Their Sellers and Makers to Lie to Their Customers!

See, shop owners on marketplaces such as Etsy and Amazon are paying fees on each of their sales in exchange for the service that their hosts are providing (an online boutique with visibility and traffic). When the shipping cost is counted in the item’s price to compensate for the “fake free-shipping”, these platforms are benefiting from a higher revenue since the commission they earn is a percentage based on the price of each item.
It is easy to understand the tremendous benefit it represents for them to push shop owners to offer free shipping. While presenting studies that are saying that buyers favor free shipping and promising more visibility from the search algorithm - as if they cared about us, shop owners - they mostly think about themselves. Of course, when shipping costs are added to one’s purchase, simply and transparently, they cannot justify taking any commission on it, since they have nothing to do with it.

 

Reason No 4:
Revealing an unfair search algorithm

What reveals the wicked intention of Etsy and other marketplaces is that they are trying to manipulate shop owners into free shipping by giving more visibility to shops that do so

As mentioned previously, their interest in doing so is clear. It just shows that they care more for themselves than for shoppers and shop-owners. Since the beginning, their duty should simply be to enable buyers and makers to meet, without such discrimination. 

Because really, what difference does it make for buyers if the cost of shipping is included in the item’s price or added afterward? Either way, they must pay for it.

 

Reason No 5:
We Want Our Buyers to Pay the True Cost of Shipping, Not More.

Oftentimes, buyers, when they accumulate several items from the same store, are likely to pay more with free-shipping than they would do if the shipping was truly calculated on the weight of their total purchase. Moreover, we don’t want local or European customers to pay the same amount of shipping costs as Americans and Australians… How would we do that if it was included in the definite price of each item, as they encourage us to do?!

When opting out of free shipping, our shipping costs are true, transparent, and accurate. The total shipping cost is automatically calculated on the total weight of the purchase, and we can easily see if our customers paid too much. In such a case, we would naturally offer a partial refund according to the true cost of shipping.

 

Reason No 6:
Name We Stand for Honesty, Transparency, and Truth.

We refuse to compromise and take corrupted decisions “for our self-profit”.

When we decided to stop working for the industry to become craftsmen, it was because we were sick of working for a corrupted system, slavery, meaningless things, and so on.
Praise the Lord, Jesus-Christ, who has straightened us to do our best in representing the truth and refusing any kind of corruption in our life and work. In everything we do, we try our best to please Him and God by being, honest, and transparent.

Therefore, contributing to “the lie of free shipping” isn’t even a temptation or an option to us anymore. Yes, we might make fewer sales, lose customers at check-out, etc., but would we participate in making a change in the world if we didn’t stand up for our values and the truth, no matter the costs?

 

Conclusion:

We hope that this article will inspire other small businesses like ours to resist the temptation and the pressure put by these ogres. Hopefully, it will also lead customers to take a few minutes to think about the value of things and to stop taking everything for granted.

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