Business ecommerce

Online Xmas shopping – delivery charges almost as much as the goods

I did most of my Christmas shopping online this year. Amazon. Who would want to face the elbow sharpened housewives and desperate present seeking husbands in the high street scrum?

The shopping, aside from actually deciding what to buy for individual relatives, was easy. The shock came in finding out the total bill when Postage and Packing was included.  Although I didn’t leave it till the last minute I wasn’t exactly an early bird shopper so to make sure the presents were delivered in time to ensure happy smiling faces on the big day I paid for first class delivery in each case.

Check out the costs below. I left out the items with free delivery as these were largely bigger ticket purchases with the delivery buried in the total cost. Out of the total cost of £63.27,  £22.06 was delivery!!!

Item(s) Subtotal: £15.75
Postage & Packing: £6.72
Total: £22.47

Item(s) Subtotal: £15.19
Postage & Packing: £3.34
Total: £18.53

Item(s) Subtotal: £7.99
Postage & Packing: £6.50
Total: £14.49

Item(s) Subtotal: £2.28
Postage & Packing: £5.50
Total: £7.78

Total items £41.21
Total Postage & Packing £22.06

Total cost £63.27

I think I’m going to invest in UPS shares. There is a service called Amazon Prime which provides free delivery on many items for an annual cost of around fifty quid. This starts to look good value all of a sudden.

The smallest item at £2.28 was a pack of 20 ear plugs for my sister. Never let it be said I don’t buy exciting presents #generoustoafault. Delivery was over 2x the cost of the ear plugs!!!

Interesting to see how the business model for postal services is changing. Other than Christmas cards I doubt that we send many physical letters anymore. Also most of our bills are received electronically. Since finishing work on 20th December I have sent 17 emails from my gmail account. That’s over the holiday period. There will also have been umpteen IMs and sms’. But I still spent £22.06 on postage!

Trefor Davies

By Trefor Davies

Liver of life, father of four, CTO of, writer, poet,

6 replies on “Online Xmas shopping – delivery charges almost as much as the goods”

I was lucky enough to have a Amazon locker in my local coop.. All postage was free and made it exceptionally convenient.. Amazon email me a code that gives me three days to collect.. Once at the locker I enter my code and one of the doors ping open with my goods inside… The future!!

I’m sure some where there is a P&P scam going on, I too did all my December 25th purchases on line, my experience over all was good but I’m also curious how I can buy a USB>FireWire cable for 2.99 GBP but pay 3.50 GBP P&P, from now on I will filter E bay and Amazon purchases by free P&P, I will also look into buying some UPS shares.

Yep, Amazon Prime is the way to go – inclusive next day delivery on practically everything.

Most of the disproportionately high postage charges come from the sharks swimming in the Amazon “marketplace” – no doubt to reduce the fees they pay on sales value to Amazon, as used to be common on Ebay.

I’m off for a 16 mile round trip to the post offfice sorting shed now, to pay £1.09 to liberate something sent to me with 9p short on the stamps 🙁 Now there’s a profit margin.

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