Nobody wants to pay for shipping and handling until they see how merchandise is shipped and handled.
Our goal is to deliver your anatomy posters in pristine quality. People are addicted to free shipping. There are many economical shipping options for very small products. Most of the items we sell are fragile and over two feet (61 cm) long. An experiment was conducted to see what free shipping of posters delivered.
We Often Get What We Pay (or Don’t Pay) For
Anatomy posters were ordered from competitors who charge little to nothing for shipping. Unsurprisingly, most items did not arrive in very good condition. A box from a vendor arrived that looked as though someone wearing size-14 boots took dancing lessons on it.
One rolled poster was loosely shrink-wrapped and placed into a box with a couple of air pillows. Extra points for creativity but it did not save the contents. Other companies roll posters into tubes that arrive with end caps crushing content edges.
When the end caps remained in tact, poster edges appeared bent from forcing unprotected product into the tube. The friction from an expanded poster makes it difficult to extract from the tube without further damage. If you are not one to handle paper gingerly or don’t mind a bit of damage, discounted posters are available on a first-come-first serve basis in our Open Box category.
The Object is to Arrive Undamaged
You may have wondered, “Can’t you just send anatomy posters through standard mail?” Insurance necessitates trackable shipping methods. It takes more than a First-Class stamped envelope to ship undamaged large sheets of paper internationally.
We use a number of packing materials to protect posters during transit. This includes crush-resistant triangle tubes (tested to withstand 200 lbs), reinforced boxes, bubble wrap, Kraft paper, plastic bags, polypropylene strapping, and corner reinforcements. Often boxes are hand-constructed to specific dimensions.
Basically, anatomy posters are packed with the expectation that containers will be mishandled. Internal wrapping further reduces the possibility of damage during extraction. Hence, we have crafted methods of shipping posters with infrequent damage.*
Packing products is like scrubbing in for surgery. Layers of protection ward off foreign invaders. Combined material and labor costs plus carrier shipping and insurance fees can exceed the price of one poster. Complex orders with many SKUs or frames may take an hour or more to fulfill. Understanding what goes into safely shipping products may help you appreciate restocking fees. Returning a product does not compensate for wrapping and shipping costs.
Packing products is like scrubbing in for surgery. Layers of protection ward off foreign invaders.
As protective as our packing may be, it is not impervious to all damage. There is a cost of diminishing returns. Multi-use industrial crates cost nearly $100 each. Furthermore, carriers charge based on the higher of dimensional or actual weight. A large padded container can cost much more than one that closely matches content dimensions. We balance reasonable packing care with adequate insurance coverage.
How Do Others Offer Free Shipping?
There are a few ways to offer free shipping:
- Sell something manufactured overseas with a high markup.
- Require a minimum purchase and use inexpensive packing methods.
- Ship enough products that carriers drastically cut shipping fees.
- Pack materials well and ship products without a profit.
Lower standards or lose money are not great choices. We aren’t shipping a half million iPhones per day for significantly discounted carrier rates. And it does not appear that we will be folding posters in quarters to fit inside flat-rate postal envelopes. With a narrow profit margin for for U.S. made products, premium finishing and professional packing, our business model for anatomy posters does not support the criteria for free shipping unless it is recouped via a subscription service like Amazon does with Prime.
Rather than cutting corners, we prefer to pack posters in a way that protects them. Carefully transporting delicate proucts results in less insurance claims and more frequent satisfaction upon receipt. With a better understanding of “shipping and handling,” we would love to read what you think in the comments section below.
|Preferred Shipping Methods for Common Destinations|
|Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, other isles||USPS Priority Mail|
|Australia||USPS Priority Mail Intl|
|Canada||FedEx Ground Intl|
|Egypt, other countries outside United States||USPS Priority Mail|