Thursday, August 30, 2012

Handle With Care

I have a peeve with online merchants. I won't even go into a lot of detail, but consider the following:

With a $15 gift certificate from NewEgg.com (please, don't get me started on their asses & why I have this chintzy gift cert), I have been trying to order some earbuds. I just want to use the 15 bucks before the gift cert expires.  I found 2 pairs to add to the Shopping Cart:


--JVC HA-F10C 3 3.5mm Connector Earbud Headphone.
Price: $4.25 Shipping* $2.99

and

--Maxwell 190560 3.5mm L-plug Connector Earbud Dynamic Earbuds (Black)
Price: $2.99 Shipping* Free

(The descriptions are straight from NewEgg. *Shipping is noted on item detail pages as "restricted"; a note on the Shopping Cart page warns, "Additional fees may apply to shipments to AK, HI and PR.")

No problem. Just about dang anybody that has something online to sell online tries to charge more to those outside the Lover 48. Whatever.

I'm thinking that, surely, 15 bucks will cover a both pair of such cheaply priced earbuds - even with the "additional fees". (The weight of the JVC buds Googled out at 0.46oz. I've probably swallowed a greater weight of spiders in my sleep.)

I enter in my zip code (so that S&H can be calculated) and...

The subtotal/products less S&H (even though, for whatever reason, the JVC's priced at $5.99):
$8.99

The total of Shipping (my zip code gets one choice of "NewEgg 2 Day"):
$19.17

Yeah.

So, the total I'd have to pay for a couple pairs of cheap earbuds that weigh practically nothing is $28.15

What the happy hell?

Now, back when getting things to Alaska (or almost anywhere else) was pretty troublesome, ridiculous shipping and handling charges were just a part of our lives. Every time my family here sent gifts to my Lower 48 fam, we longer saving up for the mailing charges than we had for any gifts. That was just life. Then. These days, people in the Lower 48 can have groceries delivered cheaper than some other folks can drive back and forth to the store. Global supply chain management goes on every day. What the hell is it about merchants having a problem shipping between the Lower 48 and Alaska (or Hawaii and Puerto Rico)? 

I was so irritated that when a buddy called to chat, all I did was complain until they decided to just help me look up some stuff while we were on the phone. Probably only to shut up my harping ass! LOL

He told me to go over to http://postcalc.usps.com/

Guess what?

If someone in Miami (which is about as far away from Anchorage Alaska as you can get without leaving the U.S.) sent me a 10" x 5" PRIORITY Flat Rate Envelope, it would cost them a whopping 5 bucks at the Post Office - or $4.90 online. FIVE DOLLARS. Five.

So where the hell are the sellers at NewEgg shipping this spaceship-sized package from? Mars? Hell, I could skate my happy ass down and get the package for cheaper than they want to charge.

This whole rip-off of shipping prices when it comes to merchants selling to Alaskans is insane. I know that some merchants do the right thing. One of the most fabulous places to shop online is The Fragrance Shop. They manage to send bubble-wrapped, fragile bottles of oil fragrances for a super-fair price (around 4 bucks, if I remember right). If you want to talk handling charges, TFS also wraps each order in beautiful paper inside a nice box and they include a free sample of fragrance in every single order. I'm pretty sure the last item I got from them weighed more than 6 pairs of earbuds.

Seriously, you merchants out there, you have to start thinking better of your customers. You probably are losing some good business. Plenty of Alaskans make great money. We are stuck up here in snow for months and always looking for ways to keep from succumbing to Cabin Fever. Do you know how many folks practice "retail therapy?" It's not even that regular working people can't afford the S&H; sometimes, it's just an attitude of not wanting to be screwed over.

Now my friend is writing NewEgg a complaint letter since I am starting to feel a little too Sarc-y too focus. I told him how nice he is to do that. He said it's only because I can worry the stink out of shit and he doesn't want to hear me bitching about this every time we talk. Heh heh.

Peace
--Free

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