Bait and Switch: so-called *FREE* Shipping

hiyall

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Jan 29, 2009
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I was looking at a site that offered so-called *Free* shipping "IF" you spend $150.00 and use their card OR spend $300.00.

To me, that's NOT truly *Free* shipping--it's a ruse to me and I just thought about it and it makes me turn up my nose. Truly FREE Shipping is
just that--you don't have to do a thing, just order what you will and the shipping is FREE!

The other day I TRULY got "FREE shipping" from buying stuff from NM, spending whatever I felt like it using the now expired code BESTNM--that was free shipping.

Please don't get me wrong, I LOVE deals and free shipping (and/or getting something for "seemingly" nothing). But, I think calling it FREE Shipping but requiring you to do anything (do handstands, use their card, spend a certain amount is the old bait and switch). I think it's far more HONEST to call it something else beside FREE, and then add an ****IF***** I think TRUE *Freeshipping* is spending whatever you jolly well feel like it and the ship cost is free!

What do you think? What's a better and more HONEST term for so-called "Free-Shipping" these companies are pulling a fast one with. Maybe I'm off-- was just thinking outloud..

How about calling it and shipping BREAK or something like that:P
 
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amanda

I Bleed Georgia Red
Oct 18, 2005
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As long as they're up-front about what kind of purchases qualify for free shipping, there's nothing to complain about, IMO. You can choose to take or not take the deal. Often, in order for an offer of "free shipping" or free anything to make mathematical sense to a retailer, they have to be able to make a certain amount of profit on the purchase. If they let you get free shipping on anything, and you only buy 1 $20 item, then they lose money selling the product most likely.

Also, bait-and-switch is a legal term that refers to a specific scamming practice. There's nothing bait-and-switch about this. They're not fooling you. They're not promising one thing and delivering something else. They say in the offer how you get the deal. Free shipping is just that - not paying for shipping. There's nothing about the term that implies that it must be on all purchases.

What is it lately with people complaining about retail policies that are inherently GENEROUS? Makes me glad I left the industry when I graduated college.
 
Apr 16, 2007
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^^ I agree - it wouldn't be financially feasible for most companies to offer truly "free," no strings attached shipping unless the customer was spending a certain amount of money.

It seems like what you're angry about is the semantics of the promotion, which isn't really much to complain about at all.
 

hiyall

Member
Jan 29, 2009
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As long as they're up-front about what kind of purchases qualify for free shipping, there's nothing to complain about, IMO. You can choose to take or not take the deal. Often, in order for an offer of "free shipping" or free anything to make mathematical sense to a retailer, they have to be able to make a certain amount of profit on the purchase. If they let you get free shipping on anything, and you only buy 1 $20 item, then they lose money selling the product most likely.

Also, bait-and-switch is a legal term that refers to a specific scamming practice. There's nothing bait-and-switch about this. They're not fooling you. They're not promising one thing and delivering something else. They say in the offer how you get the deal. Free shipping is just that - not paying for shipping. There's nothing about the term that implies that it must be on all purchases.

What is it lately with people complaining about retail policies that are inherently GENEROUS? Makes me glad I left the industry when I graduated college.
I agree with ya 100% (and changed my thread title). I'm complaining because I can :P Of course I can buy or not buy--that's totally obvious to me anyway. I called it the old bait and switch before, because I've found myself buying extra stuff that I didn't necessarily want to get the free shipping on a few occasions, now if my balance doesn't meet the requirement...I just pay shipping. I was just thinking outloud and looking for what you guys think. As I said before, I think you're right and I'm right too:heart:
 

hiyall

Member
Jan 29, 2009
239
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^^ I agree - it wouldn't be financially feasible for most companies to offer truly "free," no strings attached shipping unless the customer was spending a certain amount of money.

It seems like what you're angry about is the semantics of the promotion, which isn't really much to complain about at all.
Well...I could be wrong, but I think it also isn't financially feasible to have a warehouse full of stuff that isn't selling and having to mark down those items, when truly free shipping will get it out of their inventory FASTER.

I also think it's not just a matter of semantics (necessarily), because as I've said--I have (but am more discerning now), purchased more things than I wanted to get/meet the so-called "Free" shipping requirement. Imagine how many more thousands of folk do the same--which is why I called it a ruse. Just thinking outloud to get opinions, of which I appreciate yours and others (whether they/you agree with me or not);)
 

LulaMaeBarnes

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Jul 4, 2008
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I hate that too, when they say free shipping but only if you spend so much. I realize most stuff online is already at a discount and shipping sometimes evens it out so your not getting that great of a deal in the end, so I love the free shipping ones. I think Amazon has it right, spend 25 for it. Other places that require you to spend 100 or more, sorry but I probably wouldn't spend that in the first place and surely not to just get a deal on shipping.

Try http://www.freeshipping.org to find codes or deals. I've used it quite a bit in the past.
 

hiyall

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Jan 29, 2009
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I hate that too, when they say free shipping but only if you spend so much. I realize most stuff online is already at a discount and shipping sometimes evens it out so your not getting that great of a deal in the end, so I love the free shipping ones. I think Amazon has it right, spend 25 for it. Other places that require you to spend 100 or more, sorry but I probably wouldn't spend that in the first place and surely not to just get a deal on shipping.

Try http://www.freeshipping.org to find codes or deals. I've used it quite a bit in the past.

Thanks for this link LulaMae:tup:
 

amanda

I Bleed Georgia Red
Oct 18, 2005
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New York City
www.purseblog.com
Well...I could be wrong, but I think it also isn't financially feasible to have a warehouse full of stuff that isn't selling and having to mark down those items, when truly free shipping will get it out of their inventory FASTER.

I also think it's not just a matter of semantics (necessarily), because as I've said--I have (but am more discerning now), purchased more things than I wanted to get/meet the so-called "Free" shipping requirement. Imagine how many more thousands of folk do the same--which is why I called it a ruse. Just thinking outloud to get opinions, of which I appreciate yours and others (whether they/you agree with me or not);)
It's entirely your choice to buy more to save on shipping. You're not being played, you're making a conscious choice. The company that's offering the shipping discount isn't fooling you and it's not a ruse. Only you decide how you react to special offers, discounts, and marketing. Be conscious of it and be a smart consumer.
 

hiyall

Member
Jan 29, 2009
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It's entirely your choice to buy more to save on shipping. You're not being played, you're making a conscious choice. The company that's offering the shipping discount isn't fooling you and it's not a ruse. Only you decide how you react to special offers, discounts, and marketing. Be conscious of it and be a smart consumer.

Again, I agree with ya 100%...especially your last sentence:

"Be conscious of it and be a smart consumer."

I am now being much more discerning/smart consumer (than I was when I tricked myself <*wink-wink*> and "impulsively" buying more than I actually wanted in the "offer" of FREE shipping (thinking that buying just one more thing or a couple more items to qualify for the so-called "Free" shipping). I definitely was NOT being a "smart" consumer by doing that and actually I hope this thread helps someone else who may be "playing" themselves or deceiving/tricking themselves <*wink-wink*> and buying more than they actually wanted to get "FREE-Shipping". You're RIGHT, these companies are in business to make $$$$--so it is my fault and the companies are just as innocent as the pure driven snow. I'm SURE they "probably" don't have any intentions on "fooling" anyone to buy more than they want to get the free shipping, as less savvy customers (like I WAS recently). It's NOT their fault--it's mine and others impulsive/less than smart consumers.

Now, when I intend to spend the minimum amount or more, terrific--then the FREE shipping is a huge bonus--it's just when I don't. Okay, I'm rambling now. Thanks!
 

amanda

I Bleed Georgia Red
Oct 18, 2005
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Again, I agree with ya 100%...especially your last sentence:

"Be conscious of it and be a smart consumer."

I am now being much more discerning/smart consumer (than I was when I tricked myself <*wink-wink*> and "impulsively" buying more than I actually wanted in the "offer" of FREE shipping (thinking that buying just one more thing or a couple more items to qualify for the so-called "Free" shipping). I definitely was NOT being a "smart" consumer by doing that and actually I hope this thread helps someone else who may be "playing" themselves or deceiving/tricking themselves <*wink-wink*> and buying more than they actually wanted to get "FREE-Shipping". You're RIGHT, these companies are in business to make $$$$--so it is my fault and the companies are just as innocent as the pure driven snow. I'm SURE they "probably" don't have any intentions on "fooling" anyone to buy more than they want to get the free shipping, as less savvy customers (like I WAS recently). It's NOT their fault--it's mine and others impulsive/less than smart consumers.

Now, when I intend to spend the minimum amount or more, terrific--then the FREE shipping is a huge bonus--it's just when I don't. Okay, I'm rambling now. Thanks!
no reason to get sarcastic - the assertion that consumers need to take responsibility for their own choices (particularly when all the information is plainly available) is not that far-fetched, imo. i don't think companies are all rainbows and loveliness, but this isn't exactly trickery.
 
Apr 16, 2007
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Again, I agree with ya 100%...especially your last sentence:

"Be conscious of it and be a smart consumer."

I am now being much more discerning/smart consumer (than I was when I tricked myself <*wink-wink*> and "impulsively" buying more than I actually wanted in the "offer" of FREE shipping (thinking that buying just one more thing or a couple more items to qualify for the so-called "Free" shipping). I definitely was NOT being a "smart" consumer by doing that and actually I hope this thread helps someone else who may be "playing" themselves or deceiving/tricking themselves <*wink-wink*> and buying more than they actually wanted to get "FREE-Shipping". You're RIGHT, these companies are in business to make $$$$--so it is my fault and the companies are just as innocent as the pure driven snow. I'm SURE they "probably" don't have any intentions on "fooling" anyone to buy more than they want to get the free shipping, as less savvy customers (like I WAS recently). It's NOT their fault--it's mine and others impulsive/less than smart consumers.

Now, when I intend to spend the minimum amount or more, terrific--then the FREE shipping is a huge bonus--it's just when I don't. Okay, I'm rambling now. Thanks!
I don't understand your point. Companies exist to make money, and to get you to spend as much as possible with each individual purpose. They aren't there to hold your hand and coax you into spending only what you intended to. They entice you with offers of free shipping at a certain amount, and you, as a rational human being, make the decision on whether or not to spend that much money. No one's holding a gun to your head.

I guess I'm just tired of this notion that consumers can't be responsible for their own choices. If you really have such a hard time saying no to a non-living, non-breathing WEBSITE, then how do you deal with the temptations of everyday life?
 

amanda

I Bleed Georgia Red
Oct 18, 2005
11,341
15
35
New York City
www.purseblog.com
I don't understand your point. Companies exist to make money, and to get you to spend as much as possible with each individual purpose. They aren't there to hold your hand and coax you into spending only what you intended to. They entice you with offers of free shipping at a certain amount, and you, as a rational human being, make the decision on whether or not to spend that much money. No one's holding a gun to your head.

I guess I'm just tired of this notion that consumers can't be responsible for their own choices. If you really have such a hard time saying no to a non-living, non-breathing WEBSITE, then how do you deal with the temptations of everyday life?
ITA. Stores aren't our best friends. They're not our therapists. They're businesses with their own interests to which they need to attend, just like you are responsible for your own. As long as their policies are clearly stated, it's the customer's decision to make after that. Businesses are built to make you want to buy as much as possible. Almost every retail store has some kind of incentive for customers that are willing to increase their purchases. Individuals need to take responsibility for their own choices.
 

hiyall

Member
Jan 29, 2009
239
0
I don't understand your point. Companies exist to make money, and to get you to spend as much as possible with each individual purpose. They aren't there to hold your hand and coax you into spending only what you intended to. They entice you with offers of free shipping at a certain amount, and you, as a rational human being, make the decision on whether or not to spend that much money. No one's holding a gun to your head.

I guess I'm just tired of this notion that consumers can't be responsible for their own choices. If you really have such a hard time saying no to a non-living, non-breathing WEBSITE, then how do you deal with the temptations of everyday life?
Duh...I said I agree with you. Sorry you don't understand my point. Hopefully, someone else out there will. To answer your question:

"If you really have such a hard time saying no to a non-living, non-breathing WEBSITE, then how do you deal with the temptations of everyday life?"

Here's how... by doing just what I'm doing now in this thread...living learning and sharing/passing on the info I've learned/ am learning. Ya get it now? If not, that's okay too:okay:
 
I'm okay with certain places (Sephora comes to mind) that always offer free shipping over a certain amount. What bugs me is when I get an email saying "Free shipping this week!" then I click the link and they want me to spend X amount to get it. That's annoying to me. Not a huge deal, just annoying.
 

hiyall

Member
Jan 29, 2009
239
0
I'm okay with certain places (Sephora comes to mind) that always offer free shipping over a certain amount. What bugs me is when I get an email saying "Free shipping this week!" then I click the link and they want me to spend X amount to get it. That's annoying to me. Not a huge deal, just annoying.

:tup:...I agree with you DevineMissM, annoying as all get out Before I started "becoming a smarter consumer" about this "Free" shipping recently. My being a "dumb" consumer cost me by my impulsively buying more than I wanted to get the free shipping. Of course it's MY fault and I'm hoping that this conversation will cause someone out there (those of us who aren't as "smart" as others in this regard or in which this isn't an "obvious" given) to not get...er, ummm, not "fool ourselves" another second with an offer of free shipping and buy more than they want instead of bitting the bullet and paying the ship cost themselves RATHER than buying MORE than they want to get free shipping.