Wouldn’t it be great to know exactly what your shipping costs are going to be, no matter how big or small your order? I’ve only seen two of our vendors offering a flat rate on wholesale orders, but I hope it’s a trend that is going to spread. 

Compendium, a forward-thinking supplier of stationary, cards and gifts, recently introduced $5 flat-rate shipping on all orders so that stores can protect their margins while keeping best-selling products in stock. They quote one of their retailers as saying “With other companies I will wait to hit a free shipping promotion and because of that I end up being out of products for like a month. But if I am out of Tickle Monster, it’s only going to cost me $5 to get restocked. I am not missing out on sales. It gives me the ability to order more frequently and that increases my sales like gangbusters!”

Another one of our suppliers, US Box, offers $15 flat rate shipping on most (but not all) products.  When we are out of just one box size, we are not penalized for the small order with a high freight cost. But the flat rate also works to the advantage of the company, because we might add on to the order because we know we won’t pay anything additional for freight.

Online retailers have discovered the appeal of free or reduced freight on orders, and savvy consumers realize that these costs are in many cases passed along in the retail price.  Vendors who want to offer flat rate shipping must be able to absorb the expense while remaining profitable.  This concept probably also only works with products that are not prohibitively costly to shop.  But Compendium is definitely gaining a competitive edge with this creative way to encourage its wholesale customers to reorder often.

Happy Retailing,

Carol “Orange” Schroeder 

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