Calculating That “Free” Shipping

It seems that every day more and more of our competitors advertise that ordering from them will get you free shipping. Amazon Prime started it, and now it is hard to avoid.

Hard to avoid? Why would I want to avoid something that is free?

Avoid it, because you are paying for it. There is no way that an online merchant can offer free shipping unless the cost of that shipping is baked into the product price.

That might be ok, but it means that customers that are close to a supplier are subsidizing that “free” shipping for the customers who are further away.

The shipping cost of a case of gaffers tape, sent from our North Carolina warehouse, can vary as much as $30, depending on where it is going. If we offered free shipping, a customer close to us who only pays $12.00 for shipping would be subsidizing a customer on the other side of the country whose shipping would cost $40 or more. You’d both get the same product at the same price, but the supplier would be able to pocket the difference between the two shipping costs.

A company that offers free shipping on a case of gaffers tape and charges $17 a roll for the tape, is actually charging you a lot more than we do. Gaffers tape in case lots is only $13.62 if you purchase from us and pay UPS published shipping rates based on your zip code.

The merchant who is charging $17 a roll with free shipping actually has over $80 to work with. Ground shipping to any location in the country from North Carolina is way less than $80.

The math is easy to do ((17.99-13.626)x 24), and if you take a minute to do that, your savings will be obvious. is your “go to” site for gaffers tape, ProCell batteries, tie line, extension cords and lots more “satisfaction guaranteed” production expendables.
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Fax 800-327-6651

Harrison Bros. Inc.
47 North Chatham Pkwy.
Chapel Hill, NC 27517