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I recently placed an order from Target, 1 item 34.99, it says free shipping threshold is 35, ok, so I found something else we needed anyway, not a hard thing to do these days. 
got an email notification, my package 1 of 2 arrived, today, the other will arrive tomorrow… so they wouldn’t send one package for free but they will send 2? 
makes no sense to me.

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13 minutes ago, vtfireman85 said:

I recently placed an order from Target, 1 item 34.99, it says free shipping threshold is 35, ok, so I found something else we needed anyway, not a hard thing to do these days. 
got an email notification, my package 1 of 2 arrived, today, the other will arrive tomorrow… so they wouldn’t send one package for free but they will send 2? 
makes no sense to me.

Stupid is as stupid does. 
 

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Do not try to rationalize the irrational. You will only waste your time and still have no answer.
I gave up trying to understand “free” shipping a long time ago. The only answer I could come up with is that they mark up the product and beat down the shipper to make it work. Another thing, some retailers use a loss leader to get you to buy from them. When I built our home I bought a trailer load, for my trailer anyway, of lumber. A unit of precut studs and a unit of osb subfloor. The lumber store manager loaded my trailer and said “Man aren’t you gonna buy something I can make money on??”  I said that I had just bought $XYZ worth of lumber. He said yea but we just lost a dollar a sheet on the plywood and $.50 on each stick. He said most people only buy a few of each and a bunch of other things that they make their money on. Their loss. My gain. 

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Some things are priced to make "break even" at best. A good example is that $5.00 fast food meal. All the money is made on the drink not the burger. That $1.89 'small' drink actually costs about 18 cents total. We used to figure that the ice and the glass cost more than the Pepsi/Coke syrup that goes in it.

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33 minutes ago, 12_Guy said:

Do not try to rationalize the irrational. You will only waste your time and still have no answer.

Way back in BC you got introduced to "arithmetic"  and graduated to "mathematics". 

Neither of which seemed to explain how airlines calculated fares

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True story about Industry.

In the 80's I worked for an electronics Chip company that produced a family of chips that when combined made up a very high performance computer base chip set.

Another company in the industry got a government contract to supply computer systems.  Their marketing department had over sold their chipset. The memory management processor was ready to go but they would be unable to met requirements for 3 months.

The chipset our company produced was very little different from the requirement and we could produce immediately. We agreed to sell them 300 ceritified to work parts for $385. each.

Good news for us, the out of company costs for the chip was like $7.  The product marketing Manager got a healthy commission on that  sale.

The other company got their product on line sooner than they expected and reneged on the agreement. Their reply was sue us we will be in court in about 5 years and we both loose.  Dog eat  dog world and today neither company has their name on their door.

 

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1 hour ago, dads706 said:

Some things are priced to make "break even" at best. A good example is that $5.00 fast food meal. All the money is made on the drink not the burger. That $1.89 'small' drink actually costs about 18 cents total. We used to figure that the ice and the glass cost more than the Pepsi/Coke syrup that goes in it.

Funny if you buy the same thing off the “dollar menu” it’s 50% of what the meal prices are…

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2 hours ago, vtfireman85 said:

I recently placed an order from Target, 1 item 34.99, it says free shipping threshold is 35, ok, so I found something else we needed anyway, not a hard thing to do these days. 
got an email notification, my package 1 of 2 arrived, today, the other will arrive tomorrow… so they wouldn’t send one package for free but they will send 2? 
makes no sense to me.

Amazon has been doing this for years.

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You bought something else didn’t you?  So it worked for them

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tax write off and bonus $$ for dept heads.

rock has $7 min ship now and most everything comes from "different" bins.

5 items 3 different states, last item ordered 5-3,    for 5-6 delivery ,never went in the mail until 5-12 while they took the lowest bid.

A zcam us off does the same,after order placed/goes out for low bid,can take 45 days when using points,and they will send 3 (Jamaican/Colombian) trucks + usps on the SAME day.

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7 hours ago, AKwelder said:

You bought something else didn’t you?  So it worked for them

1.99, don’t think it covered 2 shipping charges 

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As I mentioned in another thread, I buy a lot of parts from RockAuto. They ship from different locations around the country and it used to be possible to choose what you wanted to buy based on having it shipped all from the same place. This week I was looking at 3 things, a steering rack boot, a cv axle and a control arm. There were about 10 different choices  in price for each. When I put them in the cart, they showed shipping from 3 different locations. As I began changing items to try and consolidate shipping, the same item would all of a sudden change locations. So, where it was shipping from location A, now it was shipping from location B. All because I removed the item I had shipping from B and selected one similar that shipped from A. So, no matter what I did it maintained shipping from 3 different locations at around 16$ each. And, I noticed that lower the price for an item, the higher the shipping was. Which, actually made some of the higher priced items a better "value". And me even crazier than I am trying to get the most reasonable total price. But, I keep using them because even with the shipping nonsense, the total of the order was about 75% lower than the local NAPA,AZ,Advance or O'r.   Oh, and one other thing. It was actually just the control arm bushings I needed which were $25. The whole control arm with the bushings installed and a new ball joint also $25.

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16 hours ago, dads706 said:

Some things are priced to make "break even" at best. A good example is that $5.00 fast food meal. All the money is made on the drink not the burger. That $1.89 'small' drink actually costs about 18 cents total. We used to figure that the ice and the glass cost more than the Pepsi/Coke syrup that goes in it.

Very true!

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Places like Target and Amazon don't have one central warehouse for everything.

What you bought is likely coming from two different locations, and two separate shipments direct to you is quicker and less expensive than putting the first item in the box, shipping it across the country to the warehouse with the second item, putting the second item in the box, and shipping it on to you.

Where they make it up is on all the orders that can be shipped in one shipment.

Of course they beat up their suppliers and shippers for the best price so this isn't costing them much if anything. Wouldn't you? That's just good business.

Of course the free shipping offer is to entice you to buy something else. That's just good business.

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5 minutes ago, Matt Kirsch said:

Of course the free shipping offer is to entice you to buy something else. That's just good business.

No doubt, I even wondered if it might have been a lower minimum with a lower priced first item. 
i carry 2 Nalgene bottles to work, they tend to wear out at roughly the same time, used to be 9.99 each with a 20 dollar free shipping minimum and 12.99 shipping, well that doesn’t make much sense, so i buy 3, then the price went up a little, next thing I know its 25 dollar minimum free shipping. 

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55 minutes ago, vtfireman85 said:

next thing I know its 25 dollar minimum free shipping

That's an indication that they're not making money on those orders that are just the bare minimum to qualify for free shipping. When it starts costing them too much they raise the limit.

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Shipping companies are faced with increased fuel prices so they have little choice but to raise prices. 
 

Round and round we go.  

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13 hours ago, vtfireman85 said:

1.99, don’t think it covered 2 shipping charges 

 Very true.  But I would guess that they know lots of statistics regarding all manner of likely outcomes for this same scenario.  

 

Somewhere a computer program has found out that when the value of a purchase reaches a certain point and a customer adds another sale to reach the free shipping the most common purchase value is X, and the cost of shipping is a percentage of X so they make money. They also are willing to absorb so many loses to keep customers and hope for a large sale later.

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