View Full Version : what is "Handling"?
12-28-2002, 02:52 PM
When you buy something off of the Internet and you see "Shipping and Handling", what do you think the handling part means?
I would think that the costs of boxing an item, taking it to the USPS or FedEx or whatever would be a routine line item expense of business for Internet sales.
It just always amazes me when I see something like a CD having a $2.00 or $3.00 shipping and handling fee.
12-28-2002, 11:36 PM
i'm sure there are much more qualified ppl to answer this... but i think that they charge s/h because they want to recoup some cost of selling said item. s/h is a variable cost which goes into the general account of Selling and Administrations. It pads their books back so the account doesn't drain out their EBITDA... anyone else have a crack at this?
12-28-2002, 11:38 PM
"Shipping" is cost of postage
"Handling" is some fat man putting a cd into a cardboard box and then that package into the mail.
12-29-2002, 12:48 AM
when we sell stuff on ebay at work, i always charge a set "shipping" fee. Hard Drives are $7 no matter what.
see, i have to low-level format the drive, jot down teh serial number, boc it up, transfer the money from paypal, and start writing up an invoice through the AS400. Then i have to take it to the shipping counter, weigh it, punch in the info and ticket number, then print out the mailing label (UPS). Then i go back, finish writing up the ticket, add a bunch of crap like no tax, shipped out of state... or Sold below cost on ebay etc...
Then i print out the ticket, initial it a few places, and run it up to a manager in the front office who puts it in the cash drawer.
Then, it goes to 2 or three of the girls up in the front office to get processed and checked etc like all the other tickets that get written. Later on someone has to check that the funds actually did get transfered to the bank account like paypal said it did.
Thats a lot of work to ship out a little box, and seeing as how ebay takes a cut of the final price, then paypal takes a cut, and shipping on average is around $5 - $6.50, then that leaves $0.50 - $1.50 to pay for my time and everyone elses time and paperwork.
Sure doesnt go very far now does it?
remember those old samsonite comm'ls where the gorilla throws the luggage around a bit? handling is verrry similar ;)
12-29-2002, 10:47 AM
What I can't stand are those sites that advertize free shipping but impose a handling charge. I love ecost and have probably bought from them a 6-8 times (big ticket stuff) but they've recently been doing this and it may cost them a customer.
12-29-2002, 11:29 AM
It makes you think doesn't it? Well, how much of it is the actual shipping cost and how much of it is a handling cost, it would suggest that the handling cost is going into the vendors pocket. I think this is a job for Dateline.
12-30-2002, 10:11 PM
My first job out of school was with a (then) well-known computer supply company that sold out of a catalog.
Every order we sold had an automatic $8.00 handling fee added. This was on top of the standard UPS shipping charge.
"Handling" was defined as the shipping materials and labor associated with picking the items out of the warehouse and getting the thing ready for the UPS dude to take it to its happy recipient.
Needless to say, I dealt with many customers who bought $25 cables and saw the UPS charges *and* the handling charge on their invoice. Whenever we were challenged, we reversed the charge.
Odd thing was, if someone paid by check with their order (using the catalog order form) there was no shipping or handling fee. If they used their credit card, there was a "processing fee" added to the cost of the order.
That company's business model fell apart once floppy disks became a commodity item at K-Mart for $10 a box. Now they exist in name only.
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