Full access to Entrepreneur for $5

Who Pays to Get It There?

Your site's shipping and handling charges can make or break an online sale.

This story appears in the February 2002 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

One of the most delicate issues facing online merchants today is how much to charge customers for shipping and handling. Charge too much, and an online customer may decide that buying that bag of kitty litter at the local pet emporium is a much better bargain--why pay to ship gravel? Charge too little, and an online merchant may soon find itself the subject of its own business obituary at F***edCompany.com.

Online marketing analysts offer several suggestions on how to handle shipping and handling fees. Because the majority of consumers review these costs prior to making a purchase, it's advisable to consider these charges as a break-even proposition instead of a way to make more money. That tactic serves to minimize both the customers' distrust and a merchant's risk.

Continue reading this article -- and everything on Entrepreneur!

Become a member to get unlimited access and support the voices you want to hear more from. Get full access to Entrepreneur for just $5!