PDA

View Full Version : Why is your shipping so expensive?


Pike614
03/30/2009, 03:51 PM
I have ordered from LA several times, and have always been pleased with the quality and customer service. I am concerned though thet the shipping charges are a little high. I have started to look for other online retailers such as Saltwaterfissh dot com, who have 19.99 shipping and FREE overnight shipping with $250 or more. I live in WI, and my last order was over $300, and the charge for tax and shipping was over $60! Is there a reason that LA is so much more, and does not have a FREE shipping offer to reward larger purchases?
Thanks!

dfs/la2
03/30/2009, 05:23 PM
Pike614,

Thank you for your post about your LiveAquaria orders. We appreciate your business and are happy to explain what makes our company special. We work to have the healthiest live stock available. Our State of the art Aquaculture Coral & Marine Life Facility (http://www.liveaqyaria.com/general/general.cfm?general_pagesid=377) works diligently to have the best quarantine procedures, filtration and expert care possible.

We are equally proud of our support staff. They are dedicated, knowledgeable, caring individuals that provide outstanding care for all of our live specimens. Our success is attributed to them.

At this time, free shipping is available on our BYO Packages (http://www.liveaquaria.com/product/aquarium-fish-supplies.cfm?c=420+1805) over the amount of $60.00.

Please let us know if you have any further questions.

Pat S.
LiveAquaria (http://www.liveaquaria.com)
Drs. Foster and Smith (http://www.drsfostersmith.com)

Pike614
03/30/2009, 05:55 PM
I guess you didn't answer my question. Don't get me wrong, I like working with LA. BUT when it comes to shipping, I don't see why it is not on par with other companies. I agree your animal quality is great, and that is what I pay for when I buy an animal from you. But, shipping is shipping...and Saltwaterfissh dot com has you beat. If nothing more than a suggestion, I can say that I have now ordered from them 4 times because of their free shipping, and that saved me $140.00. So I am just trying to figure out why LA is not competitive in this aspect of the business.

dustinP
03/30/2009, 06:53 PM
there shipping is dirt cheap especially when you order huge amounts of dry goods or salt buckets and ground shipping no matter then weight is still one price. and alot of places charge 55 dollars for shipping, and dont pack half as well as the liveaquaria folks do

Pike614
03/30/2009, 07:16 PM
Just comparing live aquaria not fosters. They are not dirt cheap compared to other leading online retailers. Just trying to get some feedback and maybe suggest they revisit their free shipping policy they used to offer for larger live goods orders not cleaners. Other companies do,so why not live aquaria?

jrobison
03/30/2009, 07:53 PM
well i would like to see lower shipping too, BUT I would bet the other place you mention doesn't have near the quality of livestock or customer service, when I looked at them a year or so ago they didn't even have a phone number. You can call LA 7 days a week and speak to very friendly knowledgable people. So it is worth the shipping to me. JMO

jmaneyapanda
03/30/2009, 07:57 PM
Dude, do you know how much it costs to ship 3 gallons of water overnight? Make no mistake, Live Aquaria is LOSING mioney by shipping at the cost they do. The other places you mentioned recoup that money but boosting the price of their lesser quality livestock.

Pike614
03/30/2009, 08:35 PM
I am ONLY TALKING about SHIPPING here. If yoo look close, LA's prices are HIGHER than many online retailers. I agree this is for a reason, they have awesome service, guarantee, and quality livestock. SO I expect to pay more for the livestock! But their shipping is shipping, and other retailers offer incentives for those with larger orders.
Other companies are doing it, just asking LA why they can't.

MedicalZoa
03/30/2009, 08:39 PM
all these big online fish sellers have huge discounts with fedex to ship, whether they admit it or not. 35$ is high IMO. LA provides excellent fish which is why we pay more for there fish than on any other site, so why would there shipping be higher. SWF.com does have cheap shipping which is drawing me towards buying from them. also blue zoo charges 39.99 for overnight which has prevented me from buying from them for that reason. swf prob. doesnt have a good of quality livestock as LA but there shipping is lower so chose which one you want. i have bought from both sites and was very pleased with both LA and SWF.

dustinP
03/30/2009, 08:39 PM
because LA has better packing then anyone else in the industry, they fill it with tons of water and air for the animals, they fill it with packing peanuts so there is no shifting of bags and give you like 40 heat packs so temp doesnt differ, that gets very expensive with the amount of packages they ship a day

Pike614
03/30/2009, 08:46 PM
nope, SWF has the same if not even better packing, label each bag and plenty of heat and water, boxes are white and labeled for fed ex, I've ordered at least 10 times from LA, and 5 now from SWF and see no difference in shipping quality, that's why I posted. I also know that these companies contract with FedEx for significantly lower rates, which is what I suspect is going on. Other companies have better contracts for shipping, and they can offer lower shipping.

dfs/la2
03/30/2009, 09:05 PM
Pike614,

Thank you for your compliment regarding the quality merchandise as well as the positive customer service you have received from our company. We understand your concern of the shipping and handling rates. This is something our company closely reviews as we continue to strive to be competitive in this area. We understand that our customers may at times find lower prices in shipping through other companies, however we continue to stand behind our quality and health of our livestock as well as our promise of excellent customer service.

Please let us know if we can be of any further assistance.

Mike S.
LiveAquaria (http://www.liveaquaria.com)
Drs. Foster and Smith (http://www.drsfostersmith.com)

GoingPostal
03/30/2009, 10:31 PM
Look at the reviews SWF.com gets compared to LA maybe. LA's prices are right on par with other reputable online dealers, a cut for large orders would be nice for some but wouldn't help me at all. I've dealt with both, even have a large credit at SWF and won't risk it given the stories I've heard lately and my own experiences, cheap shipping doesn't help when they are sending sickly fish. Plus the customer service isn't even comparable between the two.

MedicalZoa
03/30/2009, 11:03 PM
i agree that LA has the best customer service out there, and if your fish does there right on it, you dont have to wait a week etc.

kdblove_99
03/31/2009, 08:45 PM
I Just paid $39.99 for my LA order. That was for 9 fish and all were filled with lots of water. I found the price to be very fair. I do wish they offered Free shipping on orders over a certain amount but i will take the best customer service in the business over free shipping. LA goes way above and beyond

AuroraDrvr
03/31/2009, 08:54 PM
$35 pales in comparison to the healthy specimens.

snorvich
03/31/2009, 09:46 PM
Many other vendors load the shipping cost on the cost of the animals. Since the animals ALL have shipping cost associated with them, the real cost of shipping is covered once a customer hits the magic threshold. BUT, once a customer exceeds the magic threshold, they are OVER PAYING for shipping. As Milton Friedman once said "There is no free lunch". I would rather have shipping cost explicit rather than implicit.

In any case, I go with AuroraDrvr, $35 pales in comparison to healthy specimens. Shipping a less than healthy specimen at a cheap price is the ultimate "penny wise, pound foolish".

flameangel88
03/31/2009, 10:29 PM
On a recent purchase from two vendors that came in on the same day: The package with a 4" fish (with free shipping) which weights 16lbs and a package with a 4 3/4" fish from LA DD (shipping was $39.99) was 42lbs. Both fish made it fine but if you were the fish which bag would you rather be in, the 2g bag or the 5g bag?

Sometimes it's hard to look at it from the surface but after crunching the numbers it's much easier to justify especially after spending hundreds on a fish. The longer I'm in this hobby the more I've been willing to pay for shipping in order to get a healthy fish.

I don't like to pay for shipping just like most here and many times I'd buy something I may not need/want but rather to bring the total over to get free shipping. I didn't do myself any favors because the aquarium space cost much more with constant upgrading.

I would like to see LA go with shipping discounts with large orders in the near future.

agreeive?fish
04/01/2009, 10:49 AM
in most cases (on larger fish or multiple smaller fish) even with shipping its cheaper for me to buy from liveaquaria than local plus i have a 14 day garuntee from LA and out the door gaurentee from the lfs... i do buy form the lfs as well as LA and i have no complaints about shipping costs

tatkinson
04/02/2009, 08:44 AM
Pike, I agree with you. I haven't ordered livestock from LA because of the shipping $$. What got me was I had everything in my cart and went to check out and then saw I had three or four different shipping charges for one order. One for DD one for Rock one for Corals and one for Inverts so I said no thank you. I realize they all ship from different places or something but still. I still check DD nearly every day to see if there's something I just can't live without and check this forum often to see if there are any shipping offers (which is how I found this thread) so I totally hear what you're saying and agree with you. I do think LAs site is by far the nicest and easiest to navigate though, great pictures too.

reefing102
04/02/2009, 12:13 PM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=14745233#post14745233 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by tatkinson
Pike, I agree with you. I haven't ordered livestock from LA because of the shipping $$. What got me was I had everything in my cart and went to check out and then saw I had three or four different shipping charges for one order. One for DD one for Rock one for Corals and one for Inverts so I said no thank you. I realize they all ship from different places or something but still. I still check DD nearly every day to see if there's something I just can't live without and check this forum often to see if there are any shipping offers (which is how I found this thread) so I totally hear what you're saying and agree with you. I do think LAs site is by far the nicest and easiest to navigate though, great pictures too.

When you look at their shipping rates page it tells you that there are seperate charges.

Shipping policies and rates are divided into 5 categories which ship from separate locations; you will receive separate order numbers for each shipping category. Shipping categories will be subtotaled separately during checkout as follows:

1. Fish/Corals/Inverts/Algae/Saltwater Plants/Prebuilt Reef Cleaner Packages
2. Diver's DenĀ®/Coral Farm
3. Build Your Own Reef Cleaner Packages/Caribbean Prebuilt Reef Cleaner Packages
4. Live Rock & Live Sand
5. Freshwater & Pond Plants

All rates listed are for the contiguous 48 states. Alaska residents, please call for shipping options. If you'd like to upgrade your shipping method, Federal Express offers a number of convenient delivery options available to many areas of the country for an additional fee. For a list of options available to your area, call 1-800-463-3339. Use the origin zip code: 90045 for transit times.

Ian
04/02/2009, 01:28 PM
I will happily pay the 40-50 associated w/ a fish purchase related to DD. Both fish Ive bought from them were in 40lb boxes. Theres no way it cost them under $100 to ship overnight (probably MUCH more) compared to the $50 they charged me.

With everything, you get what you pay for. I want the best so I will continue to pay the $50 shipping charge and be happy with it...

tatkinson
04/03/2009, 09:17 AM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=14746404#post14746404 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by reefing102
When you look at their shipping rates page it tells you that there are seperate charges.

Don't take this the wrong way but.. Who does that? Seriously.


I think maybe part of the reason I feel the way I do about LAs shipping is because of it's relationship with F&S. Your rates are so killer good on that end I guess I automatically assumed the same would be true of LA.

I'm not saying anyone who likes paying $35 shipping is wrong any more than pike and I are right. Different people just feel differently about it. I order all my dry goods from F&S because of the shipping and get all of my livestock from the LFS because of LAs shipping. LA's the only online vendor I would order from because of my experiences with F&S. I don't know about the quality of their livestock or how it's shipped because shipping $ have been enough to keep me from placing a livestock order. I'd rarely, if ever order items from just one category so it's that extra $35 for that one extra item that comes from another facility that I dislike the most.

The one order I did place with LA was for rock. I didn't feel the packaging was anything unique or above average. Because it wasn't double/triple bagged the water I put in to re-hydrate while I prepared the curing vat ended up all over the floor (my fault, should have known better). The quality wasn't what I expected from the description and it took forever to cure so my opinion is based on that experience. I really don't think anyone actually from LA touched the rock because I really don't think anyone from LA would have sent that rock out. I didn't call and complain because I got it on sale and I didn't want to complain about my first order so I guess that part's my fault but it's part of where I'm coming from.

Just stating opinion here, not trying to argue it as there's never any point. In the end it all comes down to semantics; either the shipping charges are latent and buried in the cost of the livestock or manifest. Granted the latter may be more honest but for some reason I prefer the former.

I too have drunk the Drs. F&S Cool-Aide and think y'all are a great company and am, by no means, saying I feel ripped off by the shipping charges just that I'd like to see some deals every now and then.

I'd even be OK with paying for a shipping discount; like $100 a year for free shipping on orders over $100. Or maybe a rewards scheme where after you spend $1k in a calendar year you get free shipping for the rest of the year with a minimum order.

Thanks,
-T-

DFS/LA1
04/03/2009, 10:35 AM
tatkinson;

Thank you for your post and for sharing your opinions. As always, we greatly appreciate and value the feedback from all of our customers. We will continue to strive to come up with cost saving offers that will satisfy many consumer needs while still being feasible from a business standpoint.

We are sorry to hear that you were not satisfied with your Live Rock purchase. Although, we encourage customers to communicate any concerns during the warranty period, we will be happy to look into this further. Please PM your customer information or order information and we will work with you to reach a resolution.

Sincerely,

Linda T.
LiveAquaria Supervisor
Drs. Foster & Smith

dustinP
04/03/2009, 10:59 AM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=14752391#post14752391 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by tatkinson

I don't know about the quality of their livestock or how it's shipped because shipping $ have been enough to keep me from placing a livestock order. I'd rarely, if ever order items from just one category so it's that extra $35 for that one extra item that comes from another facility that I dislike the most.
thats not entirely true, if your order comes from both of their facilites then i believe you only pay an additional 10 dollars for shipping

dfs/la2
04/03/2009, 12:22 PM
We apologize for any confusion and want to clarify shipping rates on our live stock.

There is a minimum order amount of $29.99 on live stock orders. The shipping fee is $34.99 for orders under $225.00 and $39.99 for orders over $225.00. These fees are based on orders only shipping from one facility.

When ordering from multiple facilities you are then charged an additional fee of $14.99. These facilities are listed on each specimen page.

In addition when viewing items in your shopping cart this information is also broken down into categories.

You can also view shipping information (http://www.liveaquaria.com/general/general.cfm?general_pagesid=28) at the link provided.

Please do not hesitate to contact us with any other questions or concerns.

Chris C.
LiveAquaria (http://www.liveaquaria.com)
Drs. Foster and Smith (http://www.drsfostersmith.com)

Creade
04/04/2009, 08:30 PM
I have no idea how anyone can complain about LA. Seriously, best quality livestock I have ever received

I will gladly pay the extra shipping charge to get the customer service, livestock quality, selection, and guarantee that LA provides its customers.

I have ordered from SWfish.com in the past, quality is nowhere near what I have received from LA.

Not to mention, supporting a WI company is always good!!

Norm R
04/09/2009, 06:53 AM
IMO, this is clearly a case of "you get what you pay for". As snorvich stated, if the shipping is not explicitly called out as Drs. F&S does, or is stated at a depressed amount, the true cost of the shipping is burried in the cost of the livestock, period. No vendor is giving you free shipping, or $9.99 shipping, out of the goodness of their heart. They are making their money somehow (which should be expected). If the price of the livestock is equal or lower, as well as the shipping being lower, you may be getting lower quality livestock.

There is no right or wrong approach and buyers should simply do what they are most comfortable with, and what provides them the most success over time. I have had repeated success with Drs. F&S over countless orders so I gladly pay what appears to be higher shipping with the knowledge that I will receive the highest quality livestock, in superior packaging, backed by industry leading customer service and guarantees. I would just encourage you to consider the fact that you are not purchasing Snickers bars...every powder blue tang is not of equal quality and has not received equal treatment since it swam freely in the ocean. If you have not ordered from them, give it a shot once and you will see why they have so many dedicated customers. Maybe Drs. F&S should simply charge zero for shipping and replace it with a "quality surcharge". :) Call it what you want but in an expensive hobby with so many variables, it is simply worth it IMO.

Just my .02.

Norm

mustang51js
04/10/2009, 07:34 PM
i ordered 2 clams from liveaquaria and the DD and i did pay different shipping on both, but the price of each with the shipping was still cheaper or right around the same price than my lfs's

Korrine
04/15/2009, 08:47 PM
I just received my fish. I checked to see what USPS charges for overnight delivery using the Wisconsin zip code and my zip code and it came up with $83. UPS next day air was
$133.

I'll gladly pay the $35 :)

Terra Ferma
04/15/2009, 09:45 PM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=14726617#post14726617 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by jmaneyapanda
Dude, do you know how much it costs to ship 3 gallons of water overnight? Make no mistake, Live Aquaria is LOSING mioney by shipping at the cost they do. The other places you mentioned recoup that money but boosting the price of their lesser quality livestock.

jmaneyapanda,

A high volume shipper like Live Aquaria probably pays less than half of what it would cost you to ship the same weight.