Online shopping is all well and good, but when shipping fees in Australia cost more than the item itself, things suddenly don't look so rosy any more. The high price of shipping has been a problem in Australia for a long time, and when it costs less to have a product shipped to your home from the United Kingdom or the USA than it does from the Target 10 kilometres down the road, or from a retailer on the other side of the country, something isn't working.
There's been a rumbling from retailers over the last few years about the need for competitive shipping rates, especially as the exchange rate has turned in favour of Australians shopping abroad, with the result being that Australian consumers turn further afield for their bargain shopping. Air miles and the environment aside, this eats directly into the profits and sustainability of Australian and Australian owned businesses.
But, you might think, at least if you buy 'it' in Australia, you'll get it sooner, right? Well, no, actually. Some retailers (see the table below) offer express shipping internationally for less than standard shipping within our own borders!
When you can buy a DVD or game from The Hut or Zavvi in the UK for example, have it shipped to Australia from overseas, get a discount on shipping, or there's a shipping promo or free shipping or delivery coupon codes, and you're getting it for next to nothing, there's no real contest, is there?
My own mother sometimes buys her beauty products in the UK and has them shipped to her in Perth. Why? Because the price of the original item is so much lower because it's produced in Europe, I suppose, and combine that with voucher codes and free postage or postage deals and someone like StrawberryNet offering free shipping on skincare, makeup and body products is on to a winner from a consumer point of view.
In recent years, fortunately, more and more Australian businesses have wised up to the fact that the customer wants what the customer wants, and what the customer does not want, is to be paying over the odds for the convenience of online shopping and home delivery, and while there are people willing to offer this service, those who don't are losing out.
It is pretty great then, when looking at the table below, to notice that the list of Australian merchants that are now including free shipping, occasional shipping promotions, discounts, coupons or vouchers – Deals Direct are well known for this – is growing.
We can only hope that some of the big name stores will follow suit soon, and shipping charges around and within Australia will become so competitive that choosing to shop local will be the most sensible decision of all, both for us as consumers, and for the environment.
Here's a quick guide for you on some of the stores that offer free or reasonably priced shipping and delivery. If you know of others we haven't included, leave a comment below. It would be great to give some credit and support where it's best deserved.
|Bonds||3 hour shipping available, or up to 10 days.|
|Bobbi Brown||Free shipping on orders over $100 and occasional free gifts, otherwise $10|
|Amart Sports||Free on Footwear and Clothing, Varying for larger items|
|Deals Direct||Varies depending on postcode and weight|
|DUGG||Free standard AustraliansShopping or $5.95 Express shipping|
|Ezibuy||$9.90 standard, but additional fees for oversized items|
|Flowers For Everyone||$10|
|Freez||Flat rate of $5 or free for any orders over $150|
|Innovations||$9.90 flat rate|
|Kitchenware Superstore||FREE shipping for all orders over $150 or $9.95|
|Quiksilver||Free standard delivery, Express Shipping Free for all orders over $10, otherwise $9.95 for express shipping|
|Roses Only||Start at $9.95|
|Shoe Sales||Free shipping Australia wide|
|Styletread||Free standard delivery|
|Tony Bianco||Free dependent on post code|
|Wine Market||1 case $8, 2 cases $16, 3 or more $20|
|Wine Selectors||Spend $400 or more on wine and delivery is FREE., otherwise $11.25 – ACT, Melbourne, Geelong, Brisbane & South East QLD Coast , $13.25 – Adelaide, NSW Country, Sunshine Coast, Toowoomba, Ballarat & Darling Downs, $16.25 – SA Country, VIC Country, QLD Central, Cairns & North Coast, $17.25 – Tasmania, Perth $19.95 – NT, WA Country, QLD Far North & West, $10.25 – Newcastle, Sydney, Gosford|
|Your Chemist Shop||Free Postage for National orders over $140 weighing up to 3kg, $8.95 for everything else|
|Zodee||Free delivery over $40 spend, otherwise $9.95|
|Amazon||Up to $8.60 on standard delivery|
|Chain Reaction Cycles||$9.99, free on orders over $99, excludes large items|
|Marks and Spencer||Currently offering free shipping to Australia and New Zealand (could change at any time though)|
|StrawberryNet||Up to $11.55 on Cologne etc . Free on Skincare, Make Up and Body|
|The Hut||$1.52 Standard or $12.30 Tracked|
|Wiggle UK||Free on orders over $72, standard courier delivery is $18.50, bike delivery is $138, frame delivery is $62|
|Zavvi||$1.52 Standard or $12.30 Tracked|
|Glasses Shop||$30.28 flat rate|
|One Stop Plus||Varies dependent on purchases|
|Tommy Bahama||$20.18 flat rate|