Saturday, September 21, 2013

Soapbox Saturday: Confusing Shipping Charges Drive Me Crazy

I recently placed an order at a certain company known for their assessments.  I needed to stock up on Protocols as well as order 2 assessments.  The cost of the order was around 1700.00 which is ALOT of money to spend on assessments.

The shipping charge was 85.00.  I got pretty mad.  85.00 would buy me at least 2 Linguisystem books, 7 card decks or 42 Super Duper card deck apps. So I called the company to ask why the shipping rates were so outrageous.

The man on the other end of the phone insisted that their shipping charges were reasonable.  We got a price break because we spent over 500.00.  If I wanted to spend 2500.00, I could get an additional price break on shipping and handling.  

I waited until the packages came so I could see the weight and compare based on the actual shipping cost.  It came in 3 packages.  There may be some slight variations based on size but I think this is a pretty accurate estimate of what it should cost to send a package via UPS ground shipping:

Package 1:  17 pounds:  16.00
Page 2:       13 pounds:  15.00
Page 3:       13 pounds:  15.00

So this company could have legitimately paid 46.00 to ship the assessments.  Media mail might have been an even cheaper option.  But instead they charged an additional 39.00 for handling fees.
In the past, I've always bulked up my orders to this site thinking that I was saving on shipping and handling.  It turns out I was throwing money away.  It got me thinking and I started looking at all of their assessment protocols and where I could purchase them for cheaper shipping and handling.  Some are only available through them-but a lot were available through companies which offered free shipping.
Apraxia Profile
Auditory Skills Assessment (ASA)
Boehm Basic Concepts
CELF Preschool, 4, 5
Cognitive linguistic Quick Test: CLQT
Comprehensive Assessment of Spoken Language (CASL)
Super Duper , Linguisystems, Janelle Publications, Mayer-Johnson
Janelle Publications
Super Duper , Linguisystems
Super Duper, Linguisystems, Mayer-Johnson
Super Duper , Linguisystems, Mayer-Johnson
Super Duper , Linguisystems, Mayer-Johnson
Goldman Fristoe test of Articulation (GFTA)
Super Duper , Linguisystems
Pediatric Evaluation of Disability Inventory (PEDI)
Peabody Developmental Motor Scales (OT test)
Super Duper
Super Duper , Linguisystems, Janelle Publications, Mayer-Johnson
Scan C
Janelle Publications Super Duper
Super Duper, Linguisystems
Test of Word Finding
Super Duper ; Linguisystems
Linguisystems , Janelle Publications, Mayer-Johnson
Super Duper , Linguisystems, Mayer-Johnson
Super Duper ; Linguisystems, Mayer-Johnson  

After I researched that, I started to wonder about other shipping and handling charges.  It pains me to say this, but the company was right.  When you compare their shipping and handling charges to similar companies, they are a lot cheaper.  I found companies that charge up to 15% of your total order for shipping and handling.

Academic Communication Associates
Speech and Language, ESL and Special Education books and materials.
Free Shipping over 75.00
Academic Therapy Publications
Publications related to learning disabilities and special education
10% on all orders
Achievement Products
Special Needs products
15% on all orders
Ark Therapeutics
Z-vibe, Oral motor and feeding products.
Free shipping over 100.00
Speech and language books, videos, and promotional materials, also carries outside vendors products.  Typically for 10% off the list price.
·      24.99 or less  5.00 shipping
·      25-79.99 8.00
·      80-159.99  12.00
·      160-299.99 16.00
·      300.00- 499.999 20.00
·      500.00+  30.00
Autism Shop
Tons of books on Autism and related disabilities including books for kids, plus learning toys for children with Autism.
Free shipping over 100.00
Beyond Play
Lots of products for early intervention and special needs including feeding products.
·      0-50.00  5.00 shipping
·      50-200.00    10% shipping
·      500-1500.00  10%
·      1500-2500.00   5%
·      2500 + FREE
Discount School Supply
Craft supplies, Dramatic play materials, teaching materials Carries a lot of products found at Lakeshore learning.

Free shipping over 79.00 with fuel surcharge.  (extra charges may apply for larger equipment.) 
Great Ideas for Teaching
Speech therapy books and games

·      0-50.00  7.95 shipping
·      50-500.00    15% shipping
·      500-1500     10%
Janelle Publications
Speech therapy books, games and activities
Free shipping on assessments
10% shipping for all other products
Lakeshore Learning
Educational Products/games
15% of total order
Speech and Language books, materials and assesments
FREE shipping
Special Education products and Boardmaker. 
FREE shipping over 50.00
Speech and Occupational therapy assessments and textbooks
·      0-500.00      6% shipping
·      500-2,499    5% shipping
·      2500 +        4% shipping
Books, materials and assessments for Special Education and Speech Pathology-took over Thinking Publications products.
10% on all orders
Say It Right
Speech and language books and materials, carries the Entire World of /r/ Series
5.50 base charge + .99 per additional item.
School Specialty
Carries Special Education products, Early childhood products and Occupational therapy products.  Specialty catalogs include:
Speech Bin
Free shipping over 49.00 (extra charges may apply for larger equipment.) 
Southpaw Enterprises
Sensory integration and neurodevelopmental products.  Carries some oral motor products and early intervention toys.
8.00 OR 14% whichever is greater
Super Duper Publications
Speech therapy materials, games, and assessments
Speech, Occupational and Physical therapy products
FREE Shipping over 35.00
Therapy Shoppe
Sensory and Occupational Therapy products and games for kids.  Some social skills and speech products as well.
·      0-35.00       7.49
·      35.01-50.00  7.99
·      50.01-75.00  8.99
·      75.00-100.00 9.99
·      100+   10% of order
Western Publications
Speech and Occupational therapy assessments
10% on all orders

I think it pays to shop around a little bit on shipping and handling.  If you would like a printable copy of this information please click HERE.   If you find some of these shipping and handling rates outrageous-please take the time to contact these companies and let them know your thoughts.  Together we can make changes that would be difficult alone.

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Carrie Manchester said...

It definitely pays to shop around! When I bought my EET, I was going to go directly through their website...then I noticed the shipping charges! I knew that Northern Speech also offered the EET, so I opened another browser tab and added the same items to my cart. The shipping costs were so much less, that I ended up adding the EETCHY steppers and STILL paid a little less than if I had ordered through the company itself!

AMY said...

Thank you for all of the awesome research. My district deals with our testing supplies, but I often end up getting my own therapy materials.

Speech2U said...

Carrie-I did the same thing when I wanted to get a bunch of student strands for EET. And I think I got it when Northern Speech Services was having a sale.

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