Smugmug Shipping over 700% markup!

LikeGod04LikeGod04 Big grinsPosts: 13Registered Users Big grins
edited November 28, 2015 in SmugMug Pro Sales Support
It had recently came to my attention that shipping charges with smugmug are way higher then else where.

I went to order 16x20 thinprint from Bayphoto thru Smugmug and the cheapest shipping option was $17.99! and when I went to Bayphoto directly it was $1.50. That's over a 700% markup, which in my opinion is unacceptable!

I contacted Smugmug support about this asking why the difference. There response was this:

I'm one of the support team managers and will do my best to assist you with this. Let me explain: Our shipping costs for various shipping methods don't necessarily match those that our labs offer if you order directly from them. Our current shipping rates include shipping, order handling, and 24/7/365 customer service on every order. We may adjust these rates periodically to reflect current charges from shipping companies. You are also covered with a 100% print guarantee when you order through the SmugMug shopping cart.

I hope this helps! Please let us know if you have any further questions.


There answer to me is why I pay a yearly subscription fee and allow 15% cut from my profits. That does not answer why the difference.

my response to them was this:

The reasons that you have given me for why the shipping costs so much only
raises more questions. I understand that the shipping costs cover order
handling, but you’re a middle man that just forwards the order to the lab
by a computer....so you don't have any "handling" that Smugmug does. All
that handling is done by Bay Photo or the other photo labs that we can use.

I don't know the exact number of orders that you need to provide support
for but I would be willing to bet that it is less the 5%. I know that I
have only used the support maybe half a dozen times for various questions
or problems that I have had over the years. The 5% that you need to
provide support for, my yearly subscription fee and the commission that you
collect from my markups should cover that.

I know for a fact that I have lost sales because of the shipping costs,
that is why I have raised this question. My clients have told me that they
would order more smaller orders if the shipping was lower. Instead they
get to the cart and see the shipping costs and decide to wait till they can
get with family and friends to do one big order, which doesn't seem to ever
come. And when I order a product directly for my clients, the shipping
cuts into my potential profits.

If the handling rates were lower we would have more sales which would equal
more profit for you guys from the commission that you collect. Plus were
it’s the labs that ship the products then we should be paying the shipping
that they charge not what Smugmug feels it should be.

I have been with Smugmug for a long time....I believe I opened my account
around 2005. And I have been very happy with Smugmug to the point i have
recommended it to friends. But in the last few months I have discovered
that I am losing a lot of business and profits with Smugmug.

I apologize but I feel the answer that you have given me was a cop out and
has not addressed the issue. Having over 700% markup on shipping is
unacceptable. And if that is in fact the answer then why are you taking
15% of my profits and why am I paying $250 a year for the subscription? I
feel that the reasons you gave for shipping cost is why I pay the
subscription fee and allow you to take 15% of my profits.

I know that I am only one person that is complaining about this but I
really hope that you consider changing how you figure the shipping. And I
bet if I was to raise this concern on the forums that I wouldn't be the
only one that feels this way. I know that I am starting to research other
photo hosting options.


And the response that I have recieved was this:

Thank you for contacting SmugMug. I am sorry that you are upset with the difference in prices between the print lab and what we charge. We negotiate contracts with the print labs as to how much we are charging and these do not change very often. The print lab has the ability to change and set their prices much more fluidly than we do. We are set to the prices that are negotiated at contract time.
Please let us know if we can do anything else to assist you.


I am not complaining of the prices! I am complaining of the shipping markup! They refuse to actually answer the question or address the concern. I am starting to get the feeling that Smugmug does not care about this concern, which from a search I am not the only one with it.

I am I wrong for being upset about this? For feeling like my clients and myself or being charged way too much for shipping? I am I the only one that thinks this is a problem?

There has to be something that can be done to fix this. I personally have been very happy with Smugmug and I really don't want to have to deal with the hassle of setting up a new site. Every company that I order from has figured out that if they offer reduced or free shipping they get more orders. Smugmug is a smart company and has grown thru the years I would of thought that they would of figured that out as well....
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Comments

  • rkw624rkw624 Rich Posts: 259Registered Users Major grins
    edited January 16, 2015
    You'll get the same response telling this to a block of wood! I agree with you. The shipping is ridiculous and I barely have any sales. Most of my customers say this is the main reason they do not order prints. I just encourage people to tell me what they want and I then upload the photos to the store of their choice for local pick up. Works for me and them!
    Rich
  • ShinryaShinrya Peter Stewart Hong KongPosts: 92Registered Users Big grins
    edited January 17, 2015
    I get a lot of e-mail feedback from customers saying that this is the main reason they are put off from purchasing prints.

    A lot of my orders come from outside the US too, so shipping is exponentially higher still for those customers.
  • slpollettslpollett Major grins Posts: 1,019Registered Users Major grins
    edited January 17, 2015
    My customers also complain about the shipping cost. I rarely have someone order through my smugmug site. 85-90% of my sales are given to me directly to fill just to save on shipping. I still charge them shipping, but only what it costs me. Shipping costs are definitely a concern.

    Sherry
  • SheafSheaf SmugMug stats geek CaliforniaPosts: 774Registered Users, SmugMug Product Team SmugMug Employee
    edited January 20, 2015
    Good feedback. Thanks guys and gals.

    Let me try and share some insight into how SmugMug determines shipping costs at Bay. The first and most important aspect is that we simply don't know at the time an order is placed how much USPS, UPS, or FedEx will end up charging us. It varies significantly not only by the size and number of prints, but also by other factors including type of packaging (like flat vs rolled), weight, number of packages, shipping speed, and shipping location.

    So how do we determine the shipping cost you see in the cart? We built a formula with the goal of breaking even on shipping overall. The formula changes occasionally, and it sounds like it needs to change for this case and other similar ones.

    Now, are we marking it up 700% for this order? No, certainly not. I suspect our formula is off in this case. But I think mostly that the difference is due to Bay taking a hit on the shipping cost and making it up elsewhere. $1.50 to ship a 16x20 ThinWrap is very, very low. Can you let me know what the location, speed, and carrier for the order were?

    And meanwhile I will take it on as a project to review the shipping calculator and see if some changes can be made.

    Thanks!
    SmugMug Product Manager
  • AdamNPAdamNP Major grins Posts: 178Registered Users Major grins
    edited January 20, 2015
    I would frankly rather you guys make up the difference somewhere other than shipping cost as well, whether it's in slightly increased print costs or wherever else. Let's face it, this is the era of free shipping. Amazon started it, and now virtually every online store offers the same. People expect their online purchase to have free shipping at this point. They will accept a small fee, but the sorts of numbers SM puts for shipping will drive off 90% of normal customers. The same customer will think nothing of a few more dollars for the print itself.
  • David EvertsenDavid Evertsen Regular Grin-Orama Posts: 522Registered Users Major grins
    edited January 20, 2015
    AdamNP wrote: »
    I would frankly rather you guys make up the difference somewhere other than shipping cost as well, whether it's in slightly increased print costs or wherever else. Let's face it, this is the era of free shipping. Amazon started it, and now virtually every online store offers the same. People expect their online purchase to have free shipping at this point. They will accept a small fee, but the sorts of numbers SM puts for shipping will drive off 90% of normal customers. The same customer will think nothing of a few more dollars for the print itself.

    I am not asking for free but, a lot more reasonable would be a huge help to my business as well.. As far as Amazon how how their Free Shipping (not asking for free) has permeated the American Consumers Mind.. I present a tweet from a Principle at Smugmug..

    Epiphany: A product's brand matters less to me now than whether it's available via @amazon Prime or @amazon Subscribe & Save. #convenience

    Just my thoughts..
  • LazertatLazertat Beginner grinner Posts: 2Registered Users Beginner grinner
    edited January 26, 2015
    Hello All,

    Just started on SmugMug one year ago. Did so in order to get a secure site to display sensitive photos for some organizations I belong to. We are in many cases continuing a struggling with the adversity to publishing any type of personal information let alone photos especially with most of us older folks whom are the backbone of voluntarism. Adding to this most of the older folks are on fixed incomes making the costs prohibitive.

    The work I do is for non-profit, the fees I had hoped to accomplish would first pay for the sites annual the rest to the charities which I volunteer.

    My sales last year totalled $25.00.... 160,000 photo views......the general body of the membership say they would sooner give the exorbitant shipping fees directly to the charity rather than order pictures through me. With today's digital gadgets everyone is taking their own photos. Is the quality, our time put into photos of value to the average customer when all they need is a snap from a phone? Not when it comes to doling out too much cash.

    This may be the last year for SmugMug, after I see how download fees and watermarks affect the bottom line. Thank you all for sharing your concerns to this issue. When I first wrote Smugmug I was pleased with the response and manner my concern was handled, however the only option for less handling charges was and remains Bay Photo...

    This is also killing us with the current exchange rates in Canada.
  • LikeGod04LikeGod04 Big grins Posts: 13Registered Users Big grins
    edited January 27, 2015
    I understand not knowing the final cost for shipping but you should be able to calculate it closer to what the actual cost is. Not make a guess that insures that you still end up ahead by passing the cost onto our clients. That is why I am willing to pay the yearly fee's and let you take 15% of my profits.

    I can't tell you how many times that I have gone with a different vendor for the exact same product due to the shipping costs. 9 times out of 10 I am willing to spend a few bucks more on what ever it is that I am ordering if the shipping is free. In my mind I am ahead and have a little extra money that I can spend on something else since I don't have to budget for shipping.

    I want to make myself clear I am not asking for free shipping. but a flat rate shouldn't be too much to ask for. Bayphoto charges me $1.50 to have the item shipped directly to my house and $6.00 if I want it shipped to my clients without the invoice. I think that is very reasonable. I feel that Smugmug and myself would profit slightly if the shipping was lower due to my clients ordering more prints since they are not having to budget for the shipping.

    I am having a hard time wrapping my head around why smugmug can't match the labs shipping rates. Its not like smugmug is picking up the order from the lab and shipping it themselves. All they do is forward the order on to them thru the internet.

    As for where it was going: My order was going to Idaho Falls, ID 83402. With smugmug I had selected US Postal Service Priority or UPS Ground (3-5 days) and with Bayphoto I had selected their standard 2 day service. (the cheapest option) I do have screen shots of the shipping screen but they are on my other computer.

    (apologize for not responding sooner....life caught up to me. Laughing.gif)
    Sheaf wrote: »
    Good feedback. Thanks guys and gals.

    Let me try and share some insight into how SmugMug determines shipping costs at Bay. The first and most important aspect is that we simply don't know at the time an order is placed how much USPS, UPS, or FedEx will end up charging us. It varies significantly not only by the size and number of prints, but also by other factors including type of packaging (like flat vs rolled), weight, number of packages, shipping speed, and shipping location.

    So how do we determine the shipping cost you see in the cart? We built a formula with the goal of breaking even on shipping overall. The formula changes occasionally, and it sounds like it needs to change for this case and other similar ones.

    Now, are we marking it up 700% for this order? No, certainly not. I suspect our formula is off in this case. But I think mostly that the difference is due to Bay taking a hit on the shipping cost and making it up elsewhere. $1.50 to ship a 16x20 ThinWrap is very, very low. Can you let me know what the location, speed, and carrier for the order were?

    And meanwhile I will take it on as a project to review the shipping calculator and see if some changes can be made.

    Thanks!
  • JBHotShotsJBHotShots Major grins Posts: 390Registered Users Major grins
    edited March 19, 2015
    Not to dog pile on this topic, but the OP brings up some very valid points and in particular the fact that SM doesn't physically handle anything that gets purchased and printed from our sites. Wasn't it just a couple of years ago that our subscription fees went up to cover some of the costs of memory and upgrades?

    Now that I have seen this topic, and I'm sure this isn't the first time it has been brought up as previously mentioned, I wonder how many sales I have not been able to close the deal on due to very high shipping costs.
    Jamie
    JBHotShots.com
    Facebook
    7DII w/Grip, 50D w/Grip, 24-70/2.8L, 70-200/2.8L, 85/1.8, 50/1.8, Rokinon 8mm FE 3.2, 580EXII 430EX
  • rkw624rkw624 Rich Posts: 259Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 3, 2015
    A customer of mine just ordered one 5x7 print. Shipping and handling is $4.99. Wow! If I ordered this for them through an unnamed pro lab it's free. What tha?
    Rich
  • David EvertsenDavid Evertsen Regular Grin-Orama Posts: 522Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 14, 2015
    JBHotShots wrote: »
    Not to dog pile on this topic, but the OP brings up some very valid points and in particular the fact that SM doesn't physically handle anything that gets purchased and printed from our sites. Wasn't it just a couple of years ago that our subscription fees went up to cover some of the costs of memory and upgrades?

    Now that I have seen this topic, and I'm sure this isn't the first time it has been brought up as previously mentioned, I wonder how many sales I have not been able to close the deal on due to very high shipping costs.

    We can't even get information that folks had items from our sites in a shopping cart and left the site without purchasing.. Would love to be able to see that stat available to see if I could contact a potential sale and find out. We will never be able to know unless the customer contacts us directly..

    Dare we dream.
  • FergusonFerguson Major grins Posts: 1,197Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 19, 2015
    We can't even get information that folks had items from our sites in a shopping cart and left the site without purchasing.. Would love to be able to see that stat available to see if I could contact a potential sale and find out. We will never be able to know unless the customer contacts us directly..

    Dare we dream.

    Just in the FWIW department, lots of people put things in carts to see pricing or shipping and then abandon them. I think people would be really, really angry if that resulted in a call for "why did you not buy". I know I would be.

    Besides... Smugmug and most sites let you shop and abandon the cart without ever logging in, so it's not like they (should) would know who you are, anyway.
  • GRBlizzGRBlizz Major grins Posts: 109Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 26, 2015
    I also work for a non-profit, and I have to say I have cringed at the orders that contain one-two prints, and have shipping greater than the print charge.

    In our case, I decided to increase the "sitting fee" for our big annual fundraiser, and allow people to download their images for free. For those who find it helpful, I'll share the data.

    The fundraiser is "Pictures with Santa." We have about 100 families come through each year (max we can accommodate). We were charging $10 sitting fee, and then $2 for a 4x6 and $5 for a 5x7. Each year, about 30% of the families would place an order, and our average profit was $350.

    A couple years ago, we raised the sitting fee to $15, and showed people how to download their images for free. The number of sittings still maxed out, so we made $500 more. In addition, about 10% of families still ordered, so we made another $100 from that.

    Overall, we made more money by moving from print sales to sitting fee pricing. This is also how I work in my own pro shoots as well. Sadly, as others have said, SmugMug is not competitive as a printing fulfillment house, not because of their item costs, but because of their shipping.
  • bjcoolphotobjcoolphoto Brians Photos Posts: 13Registered Users Big grins
    edited July 3, 2015
    The volume of posts here tells it all.
    I just tried to order a 8 x10 stretched canvas I can buy from a lab, delivered for about 30.00. The SM price was 114.00 including 100% mark-up, so lets compare fairly, about 57.00. that seems too high compartively. Then there was a 41.89 shipping cost. This is never going to work.
    Compare 30.00 with 98.00 and I can see why I'm getting as good as no sales.
    Will have to find a way to put a note up to tell people to get me to quote directly and print elsewhere.
  • AceCo55AceCo55 Aussie Grinner Posts: 950Registered Users Major grins
    edited July 4, 2015
    Will have to find a way to put a note up to tell people to get me to quote directly and print elsewhere.

    Just create an information page which outlines what you are offering, what info you need and a way to contact you (link to your contact form)
    My opinion does not necessarily make it true. What you do with my opinion is entirely up to you.
    www.acecootephotography.com
  • OffTopicOffTopic Searching for the light Posts: 506Registered Users Major grins
    edited July 13, 2015
    Sheaf wrote: »
    Good feedback. Thanks guys and gals.

    Let me try and share some insight into how SmugMug determines shipping costs at Bay. The first and most important aspect is that we simply don't know at the time an order is placed how much USPS, UPS, or FedEx will end up charging us. It varies significantly not only by the size and number of prints, but also by other factors including type of packaging (like flat vs rolled), weight, number of packages, shipping speed, and shipping location.

    So how do we determine the shipping cost you see in the cart? We built a formula with the goal of breaking even on shipping overall. The formula changes occasionally, and it sounds like it needs to change for this case and other similar ones.

    Now, are we marking it up 700% for this order? No, certainly not. I suspect our formula is off in this case. But I think mostly that the difference is due to Bay taking a hit on the shipping cost and making it up elsewhere. $1.50 to ship a 16x20 ThinWrap is very, very low. Can you let me know what the location, speed, and carrier for the order were?

    And meanwhile I will take it on as a project to review the shipping calculator and see if some changes can be made.

    Thanks!



    Shipping at Bay (direct) has been a flat $1.50 for all orders over $12.00 for as long as I can remember...years. And that is 2 day delivery.

    Overnight shipping from Bay (direct) has been $12.50 for as long as I can remember...years.

    Drop ship only costs an extra $6.00.

    I can have an order drop shipped overnight to a customer for much less than standard delivery via my SM account.

    Bay charges us flat fees when we order directly from them, are they not passing those fees on the SmugMug, a volume account? You could mark up those costs significantly and we'd still get a huge break over what we/our clients are being charged now when ordering via our SM sites.

    Unless SmugMug is picking up the prints from Bay and shipping themselves, which is really what it sounds like in your explanation. And then I'll just have to ask WHY? Obviously Bay Photo gets a lot of business from SmugMug accounts. If the implication is that Bay Photo buries their shipping costs in their product pricing, well we're not getting any discounts on product pricing when we go through you, so we should see some favorable pricing for shipping too.
  • AdamNPAdamNP Major grins Posts: 178Registered Users Major grins
    edited July 13, 2015
    OffTopic wrote: »
    Shipping at Bay (direct) has been a flat $1.50 for all orders over $12.00 for as long as I can remember...years. And that is 2 day delivery.

    Overnight shipping from Bay (direct) has been $12.50 for as long as I can remember...years.

    Drop ship only costs an extra $6.00.

    I can have an order drop shipped overnight to a customer for much less than standard delivery via my SM account.

    Bay charges us flat fees when we order directly from them, are they not passing those fees on the SmugMug, a volume account? You could mark up those costs significantly and we'd still get a huge break over what we/our clients are being charged now when ordering via our SM sites.

    Unless SmugMug is picking up the prints from Bay and shipping themselves, which is really what it sounds like in your explanation. And then I'll just have to ask WHY? Obviously Bay Photo gets a lot of business from SmugMug accounts. If the implication is that Bay Photo buries their shipping costs in their product pricing, well we're not getting any discounts on product pricing when we go through you, so we should see some favorable pricing for shipping too.

    An excellent laying out of the facts. This is why there has never been a straight answer from SM on this, and never will be. Anyone with basic math skills can see that SM is exorbitantly marking up shipping to profit from it. It has nothing to do with "breaking even". Is SM saying that Bay charges them, a huge volume customer, MORE for shipping than some random person ordering one print? I think not.
  • bjcoolphotobjcoolphoto Brians Photos Posts: 13Registered Users Big grins
    edited July 13, 2015
    How please?
    AceCo55 wrote: »
    Just create an information page which outlines what you are offering, what info you need and a way to contact you (link to your contact form)

    Thats a great idea. How easy/hard is that on SM?

    thanks, Brian
  • TeachTeach SmugMug Hero Posts: 269Registered Users Major grins
    edited July 14, 2015
    To create a information page you can follow the steps listed here to create a page.

    http://help.smugmug.com/customer/portal/articles/1210637-how-do-i-create-and-customize-pages-?b_id=1644

    From there I would suggest you add a text content block with your offered prints and other items that you want to share with your clients.

    http://help.smugmug.com/customer/portal/articles/1210628?b_id=1644

    I also suggest adding a contact form to your site. Here is a link explaining how to set that up.

    http://help.smugmug.com/customer/portal/articles/1248294-how-do-i-create-a-contact-page-?b_id=1644
    Heather
    SmugMug Support Hero
  • OffTopicOffTopic Searching for the light Posts: 506Registered Users Major grins
    edited July 15, 2015
    Teach, you are a SmugMug Hero and your only response to this thread is to tell someone how to set up his site to allow customers to order directly from him rather than through his SmugMug site? If that is the only answer you have for us, I hope you understand that if we do so, it would mean that many of us would have little reason to continue paying for Portfolio or Business level accounts.
  • rainforest1155rainforest1155 SmugMug Support Hero Posts: 4,467Registered Users Major grins
    edited July 15, 2015
    Hi Lori,
    Heather was just providing information on creating pages and a custom contact form in response to Brian's question.

    I'm checking with Sheaf to see if he has any updates on what he was mentioning in his post earlier in the thread. There may not be anything he can share right now, but rest assured that your valuable thoughts and comments aren't forgotten or ignored.
    Sebastian
    SmugMug Support Hero

    look on the bright side
    http://www.SebastianHosche.com
  • JBHotShotsJBHotShots Major grins Posts: 390Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 24, 2015
    Sheaf wrote: »
    Good feedback. Thanks guys and gals.

    Let me try and share some insight into how SmugMug determines shipping costs at Bay. The first and most important aspect is that we simply don't know at the time an order is placed how much USPS, UPS, or FedEx will end up charging us. It varies significantly not only by the size and number of prints, but also by other factors including type of packaging (like flat vs rolled), weight, number of packages, shipping speed, and shipping location.

    So how do we determine the shipping cost you see in the cart? We built a formula with the goal of breaking even on shipping overall. The formula changes occasionally, and it sounds like it needs to change for this case and other similar ones.

    Now, are we marking it up 700% for this order? No, certainly not. I suspect our formula is off in this case. But I think mostly that the difference is due to Bay taking a hit on the shipping cost and making it up elsewhere. $1.50 to ship a 16x20 ThinWrap is very, very low. Can you let me know what the location, speed, and carrier for the order were?

    And meanwhile I will take it on as a project to review the shipping calculator and see if some changes can be made.

    Thanks!

    Has this been addressed? I'm about midway through my 7th or 8th year with SM and needing clarification for future plans.
    Jamie
    JBHotShots.com
    Facebook
    7DII w/Grip, 50D w/Grip, 24-70/2.8L, 70-200/2.8L, 85/1.8, 50/1.8, Rokinon 8mm FE 3.2, 580EXII 430EX
  • David EvertsenDavid Evertsen Regular Grin-Orama Posts: 522Registered Users Major grins
    edited October 2, 2015
    JBHotShots wrote: »
    Has this been addressed? I'm about midway through my 7th or 8th year with SM and needing clarification for future plans.

    Bump..
  • AdamNPAdamNP Major grins Posts: 178Registered Users Major grins
    edited October 12, 2015
    Just had a single 4x6 purchased, and the customer was charged $4.99 for basic shipping via USPS. I would love to know how that is even possible, for what I'm sure amounts to an envelope.
  • rkw624rkw624 Rich Posts: 259Registered Users Major grins
    edited October 17, 2015
    Same thing happened to me. I ended up reimbursing the customer for the postage to keep her happy.
    Rich
  • David EvertsenDavid Evertsen Regular Grin-Orama Posts: 522Registered Users Major grins
    edited October 17, 2015
    rkw624 wrote: »
    Same thing happened to me. I ended up reimbursing the customer for the postage to keep her happy.

    WE have to rejoice we can now upload directly from our phones to smugmug.. SMDH what is going on sometimes... Any update on this??
  • AdamNPAdamNP Major grins Posts: 178Registered Users Major grins
    edited October 18, 2015
    There's not going to be an update. Sheaf made an attempt back in January, and I'm sure was told to leave it alone by SM, hence the total silence since.

    They've had literally years to respond to this. It's massive price gouging, plain and simple. If there was no annual charge for the account, or no 15% cut, it would make sense. As it stands, it's just insane, and has no explanation (other than gouging). I'd say charging $4.99 to ship a single 4x6 is easily a 700% markup over the actual cost, as stated in this thread's title.
  • photoclickphotoclick Major grins Posts: 278Registered Users Major grins
    edited October 18, 2015
    There will be an update if we, the customers, keep being persistent. It is up to us. We can bring it to the social media as negative PR.
  • David EvertsenDavid Evertsen Regular Grin-Orama Posts: 522Registered Users Major grins
    edited October 18, 2015
    photoclick wrote: »
    There will be an update if we, the customers, keep being persistent. It is up to us. We can bring it to the social media as negative PR.

    Really funny thing is that Adobe reversed course in 1 week over their disaster of an update and import updates in LR.. We as loyal paying customers of SM can't get any response on this in over a year or so from Principles of SM or really anyone else.. Remember when they used to let us know what's going on.. Get involved with their customers?? Times have changed I guess and so has SM..


    Thanks
  • SheafSheaf SmugMug stats geek CaliforniaPosts: 774Registered Users, SmugMug Product Team SmugMug Employee
    edited October 19, 2015
    AdamNP wrote: »
    There's not going to be an update. Sheaf made an attempt back in January, and I'm sure was told to leave it alone by SM, hence the total silence since.

    They've had literally years to respond to this. It's massive price gouging, plain and simple. If there was no annual charge for the account, or no 15% cut, it would make sense. As it stands, it's just insane, and has no explanation (other than gouging). I'd say charging $4.99 to ship a single 4x6 is easily a 700% markup over the actual cost, as stated in this thread's title.

    I haven't been told to leave it alone, though admittedly it hasn't been our highest priority either. I'm sorry for not providing updates to this thread.

    Unfortunately, there is no easy answer. People have become accustomed to free shipping from Amazon or for expensive products with high margins.

    We can't sell a single 4x6 for $0.29 and ship it for $0.50. It's simply not feasible, for Bay or for SmugMug. There are quite a few costs associated with printing, shipping, processing the payment, and handling an order in general that simply would not be covered. We would be losing money on every small order.

    I just tried ordering a single 4x6 without color correction from bayphoto.com. The print is $0.49, higher than SmugMug's price without correction, and the shipping from their facility to my house (a total distance of less than 30 miles as the crow flies), is $5.99 for the cheapest option.

    The biggest challenge for me right now is simply not knowing how much we will be charged at the time of checkout or after the fact on a per-order basis. I need to explore ways to solve that problem with our carrier and with BayPhoto.

    In the meantime, we are looking at switching over from UPS to FedEx for Bay orders, hoping that it can reduce our costs.
    SmugMug Product Manager
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