Free shipping?


If you are selling a unique product nobody else on Amazon is selling, how important is it to offer free shipping? In general, how much impact do you think free shipping has on sales?


Very important.

If its new to the site, I want my “test” to be risk free.

Otherwise there’s no reasoning to get yours, instead of a more famous one.

You need to create demand before you can charge people.



I am a very frequent Amazon shopper. I tend to mostly buy FBA items, but when I do buy merchant fulfilled I look at the total cost. If a seller has poor feedback I may pass them over and pay a little bit more, but all things equal, I will buy a $5 item with $4.99 shipping rather than a $10.99 item with free shiping (non-FBA). If it is a choice between a $5 item with $4.99 shipping and a $9.99 item with free shipping, it makes no difference to me. I will usually pick whichever of the 2 has the soonest estimated delivery date.


I am purposely choosing items nobody else on Amazon has, so there can be no comparing of pricing or shipping.


May not be a direct comparison but I highly doubt your product is so unique there are not other offerings of something similar.

The physiology of a buyer clearly shows a propensity to see free shipping as an advantage since it will appear to them as a ‘good value’ for the shipping. Over the years we have read a lot about online buyer behaviors and even experimented with this ourselves and do notice that when offering free shipping we find it to be a deciding factor on a buyer purchasing or not. In general, we do get more sales with free shipping than without – even if the overall cost is slightly higher than if offering at a lower cost with paid shipping.

In fact, a buyer will pay more in the price of the product with free shipping, even if the alternative of a lower product cost plus shipping being actually lower.

As a rule, offering free shipping and just increasing your product cost by that amount will drive more sales than a product with shipping being less in overall pricing.

Now, keep in mind that by offering free shipping, there would be no shipping to withhold from a refund for discretionary purposes. Your only option to recoup costs would be to charge a restock fee which most buyers will not like; which could increase the likelihood of a claim or negative feedback. Factoring this into your product cost can keep this ‘hidden’ (just like when offering free shipping) to minimize the buyer perceived impact.

I would recommend doing some Google searches on this topic and reading some of the published white pages on free shipping vs paid shipping.


+I am purposely choosing items nobody else on Amazon has, so there can be no comparing of pricing or shipping.+

Don’t be surprised if in the coming weeks, there aren’t a number of sellers offering those items on the detail pages your created.


First they have to source them and that will not be easy.

But I am seriously thinking about the free shipping. I’ve always offered it on eBay and buyers definitely take advantage of it and have no comprehension of the costs, especially for heavier items. Free shipping has really started to feel punishing but I guess I better think seriously about it.


The only way you’ll know if free shipping is a good model for you is to try it out.

And I did look at your items - some interesting stuff. The only thing about totally unique items is if nobody is searching for something similar, they never see yours.

Another thing you can consider is a hybrid of the two, using price banded shipping. Shipping is free above a certain price point. Amazon charges shipping for FBA customers if they are not Prime unless order is above 49.99 (and then they ship economy) I add a few bucks to things I send to FBA to account for me not getting shipping concession. Also on self fulfilled items, most of those are under $25, but I offer free shipping for $25 and up to encourage multiple item purchases, since a lot of my items are complementary.

You just have to experiment. Not much is one size fits all. And you can always raise your item price and hide the shipping cost in there. Simpler for the customer since they don’t have to do the math.


So it is better if my stuff does not look really different because then nobody will find it?

I just don’t get the appeal of selling the same thing and getting into a price war with other sellers.


Unless your the manufacture, I don’t care what you sell, others will sell it too. If it shows any growth at all!

All anyone has to do is search for your product once listed. Google will tell them where to get it.


Generally, most buyers these days seem to actually believe that shipping is free. They will buy 10 items, all with free shipping while bypassing the same item at less cost with separated shipping and lower overall costs for the multiples.
A guy last week was griping about needing “free shipping” because everyone else offers it (sometimes I do not do free shipping to get those multiple orders when I cannot be the cheapest)
Anyway, I point out to him that he wants 3 and the lowest free shipping seller would cost him 18.00 but I am only charging him 14.00 total. He never answered my reply but he did buy the items later that day.
Unfortunately, lack of ability to get your shipping back for returns is a problem, but you will probably get double shipping or more on some items so it will probably balance out overall.

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