Article > Opinion

Let's Make Delivery Free



I just read Jon Owens’ article on ending free delivery (April 2008). I thought it was great. No one ever wants to talk about this and I know the technicians say they refuse to pay for delivery. But as your article points out, do those same installers ever get a UPS shipment at home or the office? Are all of those shipments free? I don’t think so. We probably need to peg a price for gas over which there will be a surcharge. I just visited a location that calculates their delivery cost regularly. The cost is $9.73 per delivery (gas is over $4 per gallon in his location.) How could he possibly deliver a $5 part if that was all that was on the order?

With the ever-rising cost of gas how can we keep “burying” the cost in the product?

Mike Lambert
Automotive Distribution Network
Parts Plus/IAPA

  Previous Comments
avatar   William   star   6/15/2010   3:49 AM

I think that charging for delivery of parts is inevitable, once one major chain starts charging, then they all will.Just as it was mentioned about pizza delivery,it was once free also.... but times they are a changing and someday the FREE delivery of auto parts will be a thing of the past as well. Anybody remember when water and air were free at the Service Station? well those days are Long gone, as we all know.And the bottom line Really is that the shops will just pass it on to their customers any way.Yes I said it, cause it's the truth. So when it comes, it comes.And I for one will be glad to then send out a single oil filter for $1.99 all the way across town in rush hour traffic

just before my driver gets off shift.

avatar   Rick   star   6/14/2010   1:35 PM

There is no such thing as free delivery. Of course we don't put a surcharge on your invoice. That would be suicide! But don't think you aren't paying for it. Every part we sell has every bit of overhead built into it. From fuel costs all the way to garbage pick service. It's the only way we can stay in business. We built our business on the service we provide and the people that provide it. After being in business for almost 20 years you can bet we figured out a way to charge for "shop supplies" without actually putting on the invoice!

avatar   Sergey   star   3/20/2010   6:36 PM

It's funny how Wolfe mentioned pizza delivery; i just called local Pizza Hut for a great special, however total bill came to almost regular price.... what? oh yes we charge a delivery fee now of $2.25??? Well i hang up. Never called back. And if i would, that driver won't get no tips from me, because guess what, company you work for already charged me YOUR tips. See ya...

I guess if you are in a middle of nowhere you can get away with charging extra for delivery, but if competitors near by?

I still order pizza by the way, sure not from Pizza Hut.

Now if you don't want to see pack of bulbs coming back wasting you gas you have to work closely with your customer at the time of order, that's it. Expedite the heck out of your customer's needs, don't be fooled right away by possibility to earn few extra spiffs.

avatar   Ronnie   star   2/1/2010   3:43 PM

Look if your a mom and pop shop, and there are not many out there anymore, there should be no delivery, fee. That is taken care of by our suppliers and purchasers. That price should be negotiated in the initial purchase price from our suppliers. Don't forget, it's a privalige that our shops call on us. They could just as easily call someone else.

avatar   Dave Elliott   star   10/7/2009   2:02 PM

There are people out there charging for deliveries? Really? You're kidding! And they're still in business? Really? Really? You'd deliver one item in my town and then your phone would never ring again from that place, so get all you can on that first delivery sale, cause that's it

avatar   Wolfe   star   7/25/2009   3:04 PM

It is always nice to get a delivery for free. When ordering a pizza, do you complain about the delivery charge? Not at all, but then again, it is being delivered to residential and not commercial. I deliver parts for free, and the customers love it. BUT, when someone orders a package of lights for (let's say) $2 and then when they get it, decide that they no longer want the part. Now my driver comes back with the part, no money, and less gas in the tank. Charging for delivery may be an inconvenience, but it will definitely make people think good and hard before ordering. "Do I need anything else with this part?" or "If I need it, I'll just send them out again." Which one is more efficient? The latter may be more convenient, but for who? JUST the customer? Now that wasted delivery is going to have to have the cost reflected somewhere.

avatar   Roger   star   3/26/2009   11:53 PM

That $5.00 part that you delivered for free this time could be a $500.00 Part the next time. Personally as a manager of a parts store that does free delivery I would much rather give my Commerical cust a little "incentive" to call my store the next time he needs a part and if my deliverying a pary for free is what it takes to get his business then it's free delivery.

avatar   Cayson   star   3/4/2009   7:13 PM

I agree, and think this will become a more prominent problem in the future. On the other hand, I think this is one of the strange anomalies in the automotive aftermarket that may never change. Im sure most companies will just do a less noticeable increase in mark-up of their parts to cover the additional delivery costs.

avatar   Rob   star   1/27/2009   9:00 AM

I agree with the previous poster, our sales have also increased as some competitors have begun charging for deliveries. If you are going to charge for them, is there a minimum charge? Is the guy down the street on your way to the 10.00 a run customer going to get charged, even though you were passing his location anyway? Its all about customer service, and if you want to flourish, you must take care of the customer first!

avatar   danny   star   1/21/2009   5:22 PM

i understand the point your trying to make about the fuel surcharge . i think you really need to pay attention to what your main competitors are doing . i have no complaints because our sales increased due to some competitors charging these extra fees.

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