We have received a large number of new customers recently and I have been asked why I don't offer free shipping. I thought I might add a blog post here to hopefully save myself having to retype my reasons when someone asks.
"Lots of companies offer free sipping" he said. "But you do realize that there really isn't any free shipping", I told him. "Somebody has to pay for the shipping, UPS doesn't offer free shipping, neither do FedEx or the US Postal Service". "But I don't have to pay for the shipping, you do", he told me.
Hoping to get him to understand, I offered the following; "Most of my customers buy multiple items when they are shopping in the store. I could follow the lead of many other online merchants, I could add some dollar amount into the price of the item, then offer 'Free Shipping'". So I offered, "let's say that you buy 4 bowl blanks that have $5 shipping included in the price, that would be $20 in 'free shipping' that you paid. Now if I calculate actual shipping for these items, it might be $12, so your 'free shipping' cost you $8. ($20 - $12).
Now this is a very simplified example, but he seemed to finally 'get it'.
Shipping is and always has been a sore spot for sellers of any item that is heavy compared to the dollar value of the items. If I was selling stamps or socks or any product that was very light weight, I would certainly include 'free shipping'.