Smugmug Shipping over 700% markup!



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    JBHotShotsJBHotShots Registered Users Posts: 391 Major grins

    I just spent $7+ dollars on a mouse pad from my site and the same amount on shipping from EZ prints to NC. I just don't get it.

    Maybe I'm too simple minded but nonetheless it's frustrating.

    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
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    memoriesmirrormemoriesmirror Registered Users Posts: 2 Beginner grinner
    Is there ever going to be any resolution to any of the shipping fees? I read thru all of the comments and have to agree with them. I just tested an order for an 8x10 ($1.99) and shipping was over $7.00 (for USPS/UPS Ground to Maine). It is no wonder why I don't have any customers ordering from me because they don't want to pay the shipping fees. I honestly can't blame them. But like someone else mentioned, we have the option of ordering directly thru BayPhoto or EZPrints but our customers do not. Due to lack of ordering, it makes my business lose profits which in turn makes it even harder for me to have a successful business. Very frustrating.
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    FergusonFerguson Registered Users Posts: 1,339 Major grins

    So I just ordered a big canvas print from Bay directly. Bay charged me $1.50 for second day air. If I order from Smugmug with EZPrints (I can't do Bay for reasons still lost on me, but that's another story), the shipping on a bit smaller version (largest they offer) is $38.99 for second day air ($28.99 for USPS or UPS ground).

    Now... does anyone really think that $1.50 reflects any real aspect of their shipping cost? They, like so many others, are rolling it into their pricing. So I paid a bit more for the print, and less for shipping, for the feel good "I shipped it for $1.50".

    I have no idea of the math behind Smugmug's pricing. I know from personal experience that high volume shippers (which I would GUESS that they are not really) can get 70-80% off UPS ground rates. So if it really did cost $40 to ship, a real high volume shipper might ship that for $12. Thus if they raise their prices $15 and offered free shipping, they actually make money. Who knows what SM's margins are (or even if it's SM's, it may be the lab's shipping account).

    It's all smoke and mirrors, and how vendors decide to hide their costs. A few companies back, we built wire racks for retail stores, and often lost money on the rack or broke even and made a killing on shipping because we had huge discounts on shipping. Imagine what Amazon can do, or Wal-Mart. SM isn't Amazon, and thank god they are not Wal-Mart.

    Bear in mind that often a vendor who bakes shipping into product pricing to make shipping look cheap implies you will be paying multiple shipping costs when you order multiple products (e.g. unique paper prints) when there is no significant incremental cost to ship.

    But the world is now hooked on "free" shipping, and somehow believes that vendors really ship free. TANSTAAFL. But maybe SM needs to adapt.

    I think what you guys are asking is for SM to raise their prices for product and lower the shipping cost. Be careful what you ask for.

    PS. My comment in the 1st paragraph is not knocking Bay, they do such a terrific job I tend not to notice their pricing very much, but the invoice was sitting on my desk when I read this.

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    ShinryaShinrya Registered Users Posts: 197 Major grins

    It is a frustrating aspect of selling prints through Smugmug. I still get many e-mails from people complaining about shipping costs. The only upside to this, is that I can then turn around and order directly through BayROES as I do with most of my orders. I sell the print for the same as I advertise on my site, but customer pays far less in shipping and Smugmug miss out on that sweet 15% cut of the sale.

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    ShinryaShinrya Registered Users Posts: 197 Major grins

    I think what you guys are asking is for SM to raise their prices for product and lower the shipping cost. Be careful what you ask for.

    That might actually be a good solution though!

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    DayPhoDayPho Registered Users Posts: 11 Big grins
    I made an account just to comment here. I bought some prints from my own site this week and was in absolute shock at the shipping cost. It is WAY out of line with other printing labs. I'm ashamed to tell my friends and family they can order prints off my site - I'm definitely looking for an alternative. Other than the shipping cost, I am personally 100%+ satisfied with Smugmug. The service has delighted me and far exceeded expectations. I was with Zenfolio for years, and found Smugmug to really fit me better. Great site, terrible shipping markup really leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth though.

    Canon Mark IV & 6D. Too many lenses to list, mostly L. 35mm L is my pride and joy and the 85mm 1.4 will be legend. Fan of Adorama, Smugmug and Mpix.

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    dedricramseyphotodedricramseyphoto Registered Users Posts: 13 Big grins
    I would be nice if they had a "free shipping over $XX" amount, like other vendors do. I'm not sure if I can mention their name here , but one very popular online print service has free shipping over $35. If they let us set the amount, vs customers having to put in a coupon *every single time* to give them free shipping, that would be a start. The increased volume would offset the cost of shipping.
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    ShinryaShinrya Registered Users Posts: 197 Major grins

    I did a little digging to see just how different the cost pricing and shipping is between Smugmug BayPhoto orders & ordering direct through BayROES.

    As a general rule, you can see that Smugmug prices paper prints well below the cost price offered direct from BayPhoto. This means that customers eat the cost of shipping, whereas it would seem ordering though BayROES with its amazing $1.50 shipping; WE are the ones taking a bit of a hit with increased production costs.

    Metalprints are an interesting one, with Smugmug orders coming out far cheaper than through BayROES. Customers in the US ordering though Smugmug only see a $50 shipping fee for large metalprints, despite the obvious high costs with shipping such an item and that it requires a wooden crate for protection whilst shipping. Something that costs an additional $40 to $100 when ordered direct though Bay.

    The new 'Fine Art Prints' seem to be the worst offender though, as SM seems to be pricing them at similar cost to Bay, yet slap on the additional high shipping whereas Bay stick with a $1.50 pricing across the range.

    Anyway, that was just a few of my quick observations, and I only compared the print types that I currently offer on my SM site.

    Ultimately, I don't really care about a few dollars difference between the two, it all comes down to what the customer sees in the shopping cart. If Smugmug could find a way to reduce the shipping costs for regular paper prints (by adding it to the cost price), then that might just spur on a few more people to press buy!

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    ShinryaShinrya Registered Users Posts: 197 Major grins

    *note - I wanted to try and compare the international shipping rates also between Smugmug and BayROES, however BayPhoto doesn't give you a shipping cost for overseas orders in the cart. So please ignore the section in blue marked "shipping international London"

    However, from prior experience ordering many MetalPrints directly from BayROES for overseas customers, I can tell you that the costs for shipping with crates can get up-to around $300 USD. For Smugmug to only add another $50 on top for international shipping is pretty damm good in my opinion!

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