Saving while shopping and shipping
POSTED: Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Retailers and e-tailers are offering deals and discounts as they worry that tomorrow may not put them into the black - and as forecasts predict Cyber Monday may also be down.
On the Net:
Shipping gifts from (your favorite e-tailer here) to mainland loved ones is often free, but to get it over the ocean and through the hood to auntie's house on Maui can be costly.
Some e-commerce sites flat-out will not ship to Hawaii or Alaska.
You may have read about Hawaii-based Shiptohawaii.com and Shiptoalaska.com here before, but now a Missouri-based company also hopes to save 808-state and Alaska residents some coin.
Ship & Save was started by Shelly Bansberg, with help from Rev. Terry Lesnett, the camp director at Camp Mekokiko, on the Big Island.
Bansberg and her parents visited the camp which is how she, the pastor and the idea got connected.
Lesnett told Bansberg of the high cost of shipping to Hawaii and she learned the same was true for Alaska.
Ship & Save has a different business model than Shiptohawaii.com and its sister biz, which do freight forwarding for paying members.
Ship & Save is transaction-based and doesn't do heavy shipping.
"I only do up to 70 pounds ... and I don't have a membership fee," Bansberg told TheBuzz.
Lesnett and Bansberg found that a 15-ounce package sent directly to Hawaii cost $26, just for shipping. The same package sent through Ship & Save cost $4.80.
Adding Ship & Save's flat fee of $5.50 to the $4.80 still represents a savings of $15.70 off the $26 rate.
National companies that ship for e-tailers often offer only two-day-air service to Hawaii, which can be costly.
A lady who heard about Ship & Save e-mailed Bansberg, saying she wished she'd known about them when she ordered four sets of dishes two months ago.
"I can't imagine what she paid for it," Bansberg said.
A Hawaii woman wanted to send a $45 cookie bouquet to her daughter-in-law in Alaska. Shipping would have cost $40.
Shoppers start by arranging for purchases to be sent to Ship & Save.
Shoppers go to the Ship & Save Web site, choose the mailing method, get an invoice number and once payment is received via PayPal, Bansberg ships out the order via the U.S. Postal Service.
"It does take two extra days, but it saves you a lot of money," she said.
She is building customer trust through word of mouth, since, as a stay-at-home-mom she has no advertising budget. She understands people might be leery of sending a package to a stranger, which is one reason she uses PayPal, she said.
"I'm not just going to take their package and run off with it. That's not a good way to do business," she laughed.