7

For my purchases the shipping often makes a big difference. I only see the total on the very last step, when everything is being confirmed. Is there a way to see the shipping cost much earlier, for example even before it is added to the shopping cart?

  • On a hunch I deleted my secondary address, and now the shipping price is included on the product page. Weird though, because my secondary address was at a post office a block away from my primary address, so you'd think the shipping would be the same for both. – wjandrea Nov 4 '18 at 23:45
3

Well, there are many reasons. This has been brought up before. Let me provide a low down (I currently work at Amazon for process improvement and web development).

The algorithm we run takes into account several factors when determining shipping costs:

  • Weight of the item
  • Size of the item
  • Where the items are shipping to (Alaska costs more than California for example)
  • Speed of shipping
  • Who is selling the item (we support third party sellers)
  • Current information for multiple carriers (FedEx, UPS, USPS, LazerShip, etc)
  • Stock and location of the items in our fulfillment centers
  • Several other small pieces
  • How the shipping will be broken up (one order can be 4 shipments for example)

The reason we don't just say "This item will cost $6.98 for shipping" is because it might cost $4.00 and it might cost $12.00. We don't want to create a false expectation for the customer by promising $6.98 and having it cost $9.00 at the end of checkout.

Simple answer?

Too many variables. We must check all of the parameters to give you an accurate figure.

Amazon does not want to create a false expectation until we determine the actual cost we can provide.

  • All of the reasons given are invalid. All the variables needed to figure out the shipping price, are already available at a much earlier time. There's no valid excuse for not showing the price until the last step of the purchase. Obviously it should show the cheapest shipping option, and if you later change to a more expensive one, the price should just be updated. It's very simple and places like eBay have no problem showing the price. – Peter Aug 3 '16 at 10:06
  • 1
    Do you really need payment information to determine the shipping costs? Because I need to add a card or bank account before I can see the total (including shipping costs). – SQB Aug 28 '18 at 8:47
  • 1
    This is not a valid argument for several reasons. Almost all of these variables are either not variable or can specified when performing the search. Present the same options during checkout in the search results and you have your values. If it still can't be a single number just show a range which at least can be compared relative to other results. This is a UX problem not a technical one. – Steiny Sep 1 '18 at 22:14
  • The only valid reason is that Amazon wants you to put too much effort to withdraw at the very end when you see the shipping cost and also I'm sure it was A/B tested and improved based on conversion rates so it probably works. The answer above is plainly misleading, and I hope to get a few upvotes in future just to reach125 points and be able to downvote this answer. – konrad Feb 18 at 22:56

protected by Community Apr 11 '17 at 16:58

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality or spam answers that had to be removed, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site (the association bonus does not count).

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.