Retail Detail. Look For Free Shipping This Upcoming Holiday Season

July 18, 2008 • Shopping


The bad news is that the US economy is in the crapper, as we are all by now well aware. The good news? It’s going to translate into cheaper and/or free shipping on Internet orders come holiday time! According to Reuters, online retailers cannot afford to raise shipping prices.The high
cost of fuel is hurting the wallets of American consumers and
businesses alike, but online retailers like Amazon will
likely not increase shipping prices this
upcoming holiday shopping season for fear of alienating hard-pressed
shoppers in the weak economy.

Margins might suffer more as time goes on, but the biggest companies could watch smaller rivals fade away as the move to online shopping continues to accelerate. The cost of diesel fuel has risen 154% in the last year. Yet companies such as Amazon and Overstock rely on low or free
shipping to stoke business in good times — so any rise in bad times
could be a major problem.

U.S. consumers have pared back spending in the weak economy and many have headed online, welcoming free shipping as they avoid unnecessary, gas-guzzling trips to the mall.
Overstock will not raise its blanket $2.95 shipping price on a full order, and fuel increases have not affected the company’s profit margins, Chief Executive Patrick Byrne said.

Large online shippers have bargaining leverage over transport carriers when it comes to contracts, Amazon and Overstock said.

Read "Amazon, others to suck up holiday shipping costs" here.

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