[Shipping rules/Promotions/ Strategy question]..We sell some items FBA, and some items DropShip, but the majority of our catalog is still merchant fullfilled.
We have been offering free shipping for a while- and doing it by setting the shipping price to 0.00. We ‘could’ offer free shipping as a promotion, which would have the shipping price appear and then be deducted on the invoice. If we do it this way, we can state in our terms that shipping charges are not refunded if the item is returned. Over the course of days and months, this would be a significant amount of money. I am not sure if FREE SHIPPING shows up next to the listing in the same way if you offer it as a promotion, versus setting shipping charges to $0.00.
Do you guys and gals have an opinion on this, and if not refunding shipping charges in the refund would create customer complaints that exceed the money saved? It has been quite some time since we did this. Our margins are a bit less than in years past, so I am looking for places to recoup some of the dollars.
Long term you won’t be able to recoup your shipping in this way. Amazon is now measuring your “return dissatisfaction rate”. Now, today, that metric doesn’t count against you, but it will soon enough. If you start “yanking” away free shipping on returned product, I would guess you will find your dissatisfaction rate will rise. Customers who perceive they are getting free shipping won’t be happy with anything short of a 100% refund.
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