The Deception and Allure of Free Shipping

Free shipping – the two words everyone watch out for when shopping online. The idea sounds grand; you do not have to pay for the delivery of the product you purchased. It is basically a discount of sorts, since shipping does not add to the final price you pay. But is it as cut and dried as you think? Or are there shenanigans at work?

Zero Doubt

When buying online, free shipping is an added bonus to your purchase. However, some people see this offer as more of an incentive to buy the product in the first place. Instead of buying something you want, you buy something you were not looking for.

All of the hoopla just because it offered free shipping. This makes it an easy sell for people on the fence about a product. Think about it – people prefer a $120 item with free shipping to a $115 item with $5 shipping. The decision is easier to make in this scenario.

Zero Hassle

What they do not tell you however is the way some companies pay for your free shipping. Shipping your item requires gas money for transport, fees for handlers, and many more. These do not disappear just because of a free shipping tag. Some companies secretly add the shipping fee to the original price. A $100 item becomes a $120 piece with free shipping.

To spot the true ‘free’ ones, you have to see it from their perspective. Companies need to gain from a transaction. Giving free shipping if your total items cost over a certain amount means they sell you more. This gives them incentive to give bonuses. Providing free shipping for low priced items mean that they take a loss, which is never the case. Most of the time, these have padded prices – some even higher than the original.

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