Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Why is shipping to the US so expensive?

As the Sales Director here at E-Stim Systems I deal with customers on a day to day basis, and one of the areas that often pops up for discussion is shipping costs to the USA. So I thought I would have a little look at what a number of key online retailers in the US would charge to send me some products here in the UK and how much they would charge to send stuff across the USA.

Shipping across the US

Looking at shipping across the US, I first went to the following sites:- The Stockroom, 665 Leather, Mr S Leather, Extreme Restraints and Pleasure Chest.

I then selected a similar product to ours for a cost of about $300, and roughly the same weight and volume (in case that made a difference), and then asked to have it shipped to New York. The results I got were quite consistent.
For a 2-3 day service I was paying as little as $17.38 from 665 up to $31.95 from Extreme Restraints - strangely enough when I looked into Extreme Restraints shipping tariff it would appear the more you spent the higher the cost of shipping became

Overall across the sites the average cost was about $21. If however I went for the cheapest route the shipping times were up to 14 working days and ranged from Free to $14.95.

This gives a flavour of the costs internally within the USA. But what if I wanted it shipped to me here in the UK? So I am doing exactly what our US Customers do when they purchase from us here in the UK, but in the opposite direction.

Shipping from US to the UK

Using the exact same sites and exactly the same product the costs changed quite dramatically as did the services offered. Some of the companies offered a 2 to 4 days service and others gave no choice but shipping times up to 14 days. The costs ranged from $22.95 From Mr S for an 8 to 12 day service to a huge $66.75 from Pleasure Chest via USPS and they do not even state how long that is going to take! The average was around $48.

What do we charge?

How does this compare with us here at E-Stim Systems? Well we offer several bands of shipping and two options on higher value orders.

  • For orders under $45 we charge $15 which is via USPS and is a 7-14 day quoted service. 
  • For orders above that and up to $200 the shipping rate is $29 by USPS or $49 by UPS on a 2-3 day service. 
  • Spend over $200 and we offer free shipping via USPS and we only charge $35 to ship via UPS on a 2-3 day service.

So what did we learn? 

Basically yes it is more expensive to order something in the UK and have it shipped to the US than it is to order it in the US and have it shipped across the country, (not a surprise!!) but shipping into the US from the UK is not massively more expensive than shipping across the US, and our prices are comparable to those charged by the other big US based companies. You also have the benefit of purchasing direct from the manufacturer.

So does this answer the original question? Yes!!! Why is your shipping to the US so expensive? the answer? Its not!!!