Shopping online is always a bit of an adventure, and purchasing a pet gate online is no different. This article will explore the true value of “free shipping”.
Finding the right pet gate for your needs is always the first step in the process. Don’t waste time searching by price, because that will just confuse the whole picture, and you may end up with a pet gate that is a compromise at best and quite possibly a lesser quality gate.
You should always start your online search by looking for pet gates that match your needs. Search for the size of gate you need, then filter these by the quality you want and the design that best suits your home or office.
Once you have narrowed the selection down to the gates that you are truly interested in, the next and final step is pricing.
All online stores will have the same price components attached to the final price you pay. Every online product, whether it is a pet gate or something else needs to factor in,
- the manufacturer’s wholesale price
- the manufacturer’s distribution cost to the retailer
- a profit margin
- shipping costs to the customer
- state taxes (if applicable)
Now here’s the rub. The cost of shipping a pet gate fluctuates significantly from one sale to the next.
We all know that shipping costs are a combination of distance from supplier to customer, weight of the package and dimensions of the package. The shipping issue associated with pet gates, is that they tend to come in all sizes, shapes and materials, and this can impact the shipping costs significantly.
A pet gate can range in width from 24 inches to 12 feet. It can be constructed from wood, steel, aluminum or mesh, and it can have heights from 20 inches to 40 inches.
As a result, when an online store offers “free shipping”, the value associated with the shipping costs can range dramatically. In my own pet gate store, I have seen shipping costs amount to anywhere from $8 to as high as $120.
If you are not sure how to compare the price tag on a particular gate between two or more online stores, some with free shipping and some without, the hints below should help.
- most pet gate manufacturers are near the east coast, the closer to the east coast you live, the cheaper the shipping costs.
- make sure you know which online stores will charge you a state tax and which ones don’t.
- the bigger the gate you purchase the greater the shipping costs.
- extra tall pet gates may be outside the norms for package sizes as defined by the delivery services. This would add dimension fees to the shipping costs, so consider extra tall pet gates as having greater shipping costs than smaller gates of the same width.
You should always attach a minimum value of $15 to any free shipping offer, and go up from there.
- add $10 if the gate is extra tall
- add $10 dollars if the gate is wider than 46 inches
- add $10 dollars if you are located in the central states
- add $20 if you are located in a western state
The bottom line is not to fret too much if you have found the gate that truly suits your needs and where you believe the price tag is reasonable.
The value of the free shipping can range anywhere from $15 to $50, so my advice is not to be too concerned if you have more than one store offering the gate you want and they are all within $25 of each other. Simply pick the store that your are most comfortable with, and enjoy the beauty and functionality of the gate you have purchased.