Monday, 25 February 2013

You're charging me

for delivery to Shedfield? I was asked this morning. "Yes" I replied. I then got asked why I was charging the customer spending £20 on flowers,  £3.50 to deliver out to Shedfield.  This was the same customer that had just told me he'd been and bought himself a new 50 something inched TV for just under £1000. He couldn't fit the TV in his car but was happy to pay the company another £19.99 to deliver it for him, but he wasn't happy to pay me just £3.50 to deliver a £20 order for him. Explained to him that it would take my driver roughly 30 minutes (traffic depending) to get out to the address and back. I have to pay my driver to deliver the flowers the minimum wage of £6.19 per hour so already for him to go out there it would have cost me £3.09. Then we need to add on fuel. Let's face it petrol is an astronomical price these days, and to get from the shop to the address in question would have cost roughly £3.50 (give or take a few pence - ooh the cost of the delivery charge itself without anything else). I then had to explain about Car Tax, Car Insurance, Regular servicing of the vehicle, general wear and tear, among other  motoring costs. These all factored into why I had to charge him a minimal amount of money to get the flowers delivered for him. He still didn't seem to understand, but reluctantly paid me for it. 

This then got me on a mission to see what other shops would have charged, and I was genuinely shocked at the results I ended up with.  I contacted 10 other shops in the area that had Shedfield as a delivery area (9 were a lot closer than I am - 1 was half a mile further away than I am).  I also looked into Interflora, eflorist and Flowers Direct to see what their prices would come out at.  From the local shops NOT one of them was willing to deliver a handtied in water for only £20 (this is what my customer wanted flower wise). 8 offered to make the flowers for £25; the other 2 wouldn't make a tied bouquet in water for less than £35.  So already my customer had saved himself £1.50 by using me (that's without the delivery charges the shops quoted). The minimum delivery price I was quoted was £4.95. Most averaged at the £6.00 mark but one shop wanted me to pay £8.50 (and they were far closer than I am to Shedfield).

The cheapest Interflora order that could be delivered was £24.99 (this however was a plant and not a handtied in water). They did offer flowers in a cheap glass vase from £26.99. This then had a delivery charge of £7.99 to be added on top. More than double the charge I made.
Eflorist did offer some pretty hideous bunches of mixed alstromeria for only £14.95 (including delivery - NOT same day) and these did NOT come in water either. Their cheapest in water was £26.50 plus a charge of £7.95 for delivery.

Flowers Direct's cheapest bouquet was £28 (this was NOT in water and they very sneakily check the box for the £38 size when you click through so if you were to order from them make sure you check how much you are being charged). Their delivery was £5.99.

So as you can see; yes I do have to make a delivery charge when outside of our free area (which is only free when you spend £20 or more). I don't make this charge to make extra money though as I am sure you can all now see and understand. I really should be charging more to cover my costs/overheads but at the same time I still pride myself on being value for money; charging extra to deliver would negate this.

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