On All Hallow’s Eve, 2013, we announced “free shipping for all orders $60 and up worldwide!” At the time of the announcement, we gave ourselves a big escape hatch stating that the program is “firmly open-ended, and the rules and program may change as we evaluate the cost to us and the benefit to you, but for now, happy shipping, and happy Halloween!”
Six months later we have given away $500,000 in free shipping, and, well…we can’t sustain the program in its current form. At the rate of $1M a year - yeah - we aren’t that phat.
What we have been unwilling to do is have a free shipping program that is the equivalent of a shell game, whereby we pay for the program by passing the cost on top of our product pricing or our express shipping options (or other clever subsidy program). We want to offer free shipping, where we can reasonably afford it, because people just need a free option, where one can exist.
Effective starting on Monday, May 12th, 2014, we are amending our free shipping program to include a free shipping option on all domestic orders, $75 and over. Based on current calculations and Bat Computer analysis, we hope this is the sweet spot that SparkFun can afford and that gives real value to our customers. We looked around the playground and we think our free shipping program is still the best around, for companies not called Amazon. We estimate that this program will still cost us about $250,000 a year, which hurts. We will feel that hit in every way. We also are tickled pink at the idea that thousands of orders every year will have a free shipping option.
For those of you who loved having free shipping on international orders, we understand this will sting a bit. Please take a look at our distro page here. We have a good amount of international distros who can ship locally in their respective countries.
Post amble: We do and must reserve the right to amend our free shipping program in the future. We are making this up as we go. Some of this we have been good at forecasting, some of it, not so much. It turns out that it’s actually not sustainable to send 20 big stepper motors from Colorado to Australia for free. Hmmmm.