Free shipping is not free

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussions' started by Ian Anderson, Jun 17, 2018.

  1. Ian Anderson

    Ian Anderson Active Member

    I just bought my first item from Wayfair. Their TV adds emphasize free shipping. But shipping is not free, it is included in the price you pay. Also I noted I paid state sales tax on the full price of my purchase; if I had paid for shipping separately it would not be taxable.

    I notice stuff for "free" is included by lots of companies; at least one travel company includes "free" airfare in it travel package cost.
  2. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

    Of course it's not free. But we've been seeing that "free shipping" offer from many companies for many years. It's not like Wayfair invented the idea. But despite the not-free free shipping I've used Wayfair at times and here's why. I live in a rural location with no good furniture stores around. Wayfair has a huge selection and it would take me forever to drive from store to store to find what I need. I figure that whatever I actually pay in shipping I save in time and gas. I have similar thoughts about Amazon that I also use for similar reasons. I know the free shipping thing is a scam. But it's just so convenient to shop on my phone while I'm sitting waiting for something/someone, at lunch, in my car, or whatever. So maybe that takes the sting out of your experience Ian, maybe not.
  3. fourdegrees11

    fourdegrees11 New Member

    I will frequently browse Amazon on my phone when I happen to be in a store to "price check" whether something is actually a good deal or not. For many things Amazon's prices are hard to beat, even with shipping costs factored into the price. When the store wins I feel pretty good about getting a decent deal.
  4. Phdtobe

    Phdtobe Well-Known Member

    What about truth in advertising, the law? Free shipping should mean free free shipping. The base price should be the same for everyone.
  5. cofflehack

    cofflehack Member

    Companies seldom give free shipping. Most of the time, they ask for a fee.
  6. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Robert A. Heinlein covered this over fifty years ago in The Moon is a Harsh Mistress:

    "Gospodin," he said presently, "you used an odd word earlier--odd to me, I mean..."

    "Oh, 'tanstaafl.' Means 'There ain't no such thing as a free lunch.' And isn't," I added, pointing to a FREE LUNCH sign across room, "or these drinks would cost half as much. Was reminding her that anything free costs twice as much in long run or turns out worthless."

    "An interesting philosophy."

    "Not philosophy, fact. One way or other, what you get, you pay for."
    Abner likes this.

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