Survival-Pax Blog: Is "Free Shipping" Really Free?

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Is "Free Shipping" Really Free?

The people have spoken and we are listening.
You want cheaper shipping and we're doing all we can
to give you guys the best deal.
Shipping costs have become quite the hot topic here at Survival-Pax. We've been receiving several questions/comments a week about cheaper shipping, but most of all, "FREE" shipping, for our customers' orders. We actually had a poll on our Survival-Pax Facebook Page, which resulted in a strong lead for "Cheaper Shipping".

Many people don’t know how shipping costs are calculated, so I wanted to first simplify the mystery before we got into deeper discussion.

There are three factors that are always used to calculate shipping:
1. Weight of the package
2. Distance of travel
3. Speed of travel

1. The heavier the package, the greater the cost to transport it.
2. The further the package must travel, the greater the cost to transport it.
3. The faster the package must travel, the greater the cost to transport it.   

Shipping Cost calculations also take into account the cost of gasoline, type of transportation vehicle (local ground, freight, air, water, etc.), personnel, facility upkeep (utilities, electricity, etc), and other variable factors. No matter what you are shipping or where you are shipping to, shipping will always cost money.
After taking it all into consideration, "FREE" Shipping
may not be as good a deal as it sounds.
At Survival-Pax, we work hard to have reasonable shipping costs in order to keep our product prices low. We get compliments all the time about having some of the lowest priced gear on the internet, including the ever-popular 550 Type III Paracord. There is no question that shipping costs can make or break an online purchase; as an online shopper myself, I understand this perfectly. We’re currently working on new, more efficient shipping methods, which will mean even lower shipping costs and more money in your pockets!
But… there’s that “FREE” Shipping option still in question…

Many stores advertise “Free Shipping”. This might seem like a GREAT deal, but check out their product prices. “Free Shipping” is never free, as we already discussed above. The “Free Shipping” that companies advertise actually hide the shipping costs by raising the price of their products. By the time you calculate the difference between “Free Shipping” and low shipping costs, you’ve most likely paid more for the “FREE” shipping!!!

Check out the example calculations below:

“Free” Shipping over $40 from 60056 to 98101
1000ft Spool E.L Wood Paracord – Galaxy @ $64.99 = $64.99
“Free” Shipping to Seattle @ $0.00 = $0.00
$64.99 + $0.00 = $64.99

UPS Ground from 60056 to 98101
1000ft Spool E.L Wood Paracord – Galaxy @ $48.00 = $48.00
UPS Ground to Seattle = $13.22
$48.00 + $13.22 = $61.22

See the difference in price? You end up paying $3.77 more for “FREE” Shipping!

Now, this doesn’t always turn out to be the case. Low Shipping vs “Free” Shipping obviously has its variables. Sometimes, you will definitely save with “Free” Shipping. However, more likely than not, you will end up saving more money by going with the lower priced products with lower priced shipping as opposed to the higher priced products with the “Free” Shipping option.

If you’re still not convinced, check it out yourself! You can use our website,, to compare product and shipping costs with other companies who sell the same products as we do… Lord knows there are plenty out there!

I hope this blog post helped to shed a little light on the world of online shopping and shipping. Feel free to leave a comment or question here, or contact us directly via e-mail ( or phone (847-305-3779 M-F 10am-5pm CST).

Heather - Survival-Pax Team Member



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