Now You Don't Have to Pay for Shipping!
Jameco's Free Shipping ClubBy Greg Harris
Jameco proactively prices its products below our largest competitors' prices. That typically doesn't leave a ton of room for extra discounts or promotional offers, yet that hasn't slowed down the steady drumbeat of emails asking for free shipping. When a customer asks me why we don't offer free shipping, I think it's fair to say that I typically mutter to myself, "We don't want to go out of business."
It's not like we were deaf to this request. We've tested free shipping programs a number of times and always concluded that it costs more than what is generated in sales. We have researched our competitors’ shipping rates and concluded that our rates are generally lower. We were able to find a couple of free shipping programs for electronic components out there, but they required a huge minimum order value to qualify, and that didn't seem to solve the problem we were hearing.
Yet the emails kept coming. I must admit that it seemed like I was reading the same email over and over again, and I stopped listening as hard as I should have. That changed when one customer wrote, "While I prefer to shop with Jameco and you carry most of what I need, it's not uncommon for you to be missing one or two components." He went on to say that he feels forced to then shop with a competitor who carries everything in order to avoid paying for shipping twice.
It's true that while Jameco carries 50,000 of the industry's most popular electronic components, we don't carry everything. While our products are stocked and ready to ship, we do have competitors that list as many as five million different products.
I was now reading with a renewed interest. This was followed by another email that said, "I would gladly pay an annual fee like Amazon Prime for the ability to get free shipping from Jameco all year long." I wasn't convinced that we could find too many people who would agree, but these two emails triggered a series of discussions that lead to us finding a way to make free shipping work.
We've created Jameco's Free Shipping Club and the best part is that enrollment is automatic. All you need to do is place an order and pay regular shipping charges once. After that, we'll cover shipping on your future orders. Sound good? Think there might be a catch? Not really. There is some fine print you should be aware of, but I think you'll find it to be reasonable.
There are three primary conditions:
1) To qualify for the Free Shipping Club and to receive free shipping, your orders must be over $25 before taxes or other fees.
- 2) After you place your qualifying order, we'll email you a coupon good for free shipping in the continental United States on your next order of $25 or more, and we'll continue to email you coupons after every subsequent order that uses a free shipping coupon. Each coupon is good for 90 days from your order date. If the coupon expires unused, simply place another qualifying order of $25 or more and you're automatically entered back into Jameco's Free Shipping Club.
- 3) You can only use your coupon on our website, and you must pay with a credit card or PayPal. No phone, fax, or email orders are allowed.
How can we afford to offer this? It’s really quite simple. As a member of Jameco’s Free Shipping Club we think that you’ll check Jameco first. You know our prices are great and we ship fast. You know our team is accountable and responsive. You know we stand behind everything we sell. You know we love electronics as much as you do. If we can become your first choice and the first site you visit when shopping for electronic components, then we both win.