Shipping costs

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I have always preferred to order things I need and have them delivered rather than have to go shopping.

Early in my career, I lived in a fairly remote area and going to get a small bit of hardware or a cutter could eat up a whole day. But even before the internet, I could use the Yellow Pages (remember phone books?) to find a supplier, call them, order what I needed and have it delivered to my door, often the next day. Once everyone had websites, this became even easier and it was possible to fine suppliers that would be too far away to drive to anyway.

The cost of shipping these ordered items was typically less than the cost of the gas and wear and tear on my truck, not to mention the value of the time it took to go get them. But that is changing. Shipping costs have been steadily escalating and have now reached a point where the shipping cost can easily equal or exceed the cost of the merchandise.

Can’t count the number of times I have aborted an online order once I got to the shipping cost page. On one recent item, the cheapest shipping option was only slightly less than the cost of the item and that was by slow mule. Two-day shipping doubled that.

Many times the best option is second-day shipping. But the second-day shipping guarantee only kicks in after the order is processed which means that you get it two days after it is shipped. And that might take several days to a week. You always have to read the fine print.

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