On 12/13/06, the Hoover S2220 Upright was selling on Amazon for $40, $52 and $63,
depending on the merchant. Shipping at one was free; at the other two it was 10%.

Coordinating Large Orders To Avoid Duplication And Minimize Cost/Shipping

In the first example below, selections are being made for one fairly large order. [Click on any image to get a full screen.] At Checkout we are then shown a full list of all items along with the total S&H. However, it can be difficult to see all items that apply to each supplier.

The 2nd image shows that list copied into a spreadsheet where the items can be grouped by merchant. Then most short-list suppliers can be eliminated by reordering those items from long-list suppliers, reducing the overall S&H charge. There the 'shipping rates' of all suppliers can be put in one place to see how they compare. As that spreadsheet shows, it can vary widely. Most seem to charge a base 'per shipment' of from $6 to $7.50, plus from .24 to .75 cents per pound. Since most people probably don't check this, it is open territory for exploitation. Quality Distributing gets 1.49 per pound. For instance, they would have charged $50 to ship a 30 lb bottle jack to me. However, a Google search brought me to SmithHamilton.com where shipping was free for the same jack at the same price.

Don't rush it; you have 90 days to let that Cart sit while you think things over. Periodically, run a Search on each big ticket item - another supplier may drop his price. Also, specials may turn up on some of your selections so check out the home page of the category (ie: Tools & Hardware) every day or two. You will need to grab those right away. To do so, open another account under a different name and buy the special. Then return to this account and Delete the original.

When you hit the “Place Your Order” button, you get the 3rd screen. When the confirmation email arrives you get a S&H breakdown by supplier. If a merchant's S&H is extreme, return to the Amazon site immediately and adjust the order.

A partial Amazon Shopping Cart of 63
items selected from 13 merchants
Copied the final? Cart of 91 to a spreadsheet
for analysis and more adjustments to the Cart
When done, the 'Place Your Order' button
commits the order and we get thanked

For the sake of this article, the above Cart was separated into these 13 smaller Carts to show the actual S&H of each merchant:

A Comparative Exploration Into The Shipping & Handling Charges Of Thirteen Amazon Tool Venders
Amazon Super Saver
Industrial Sales & Serv
Noble Sales Company
The Drill Spot
Ace Hardware
Papa Johns Hobbytool
Work Tough
Ron Fuseks True Value
BIC Supply (M-D Build)
Farm & Home Supply
Quality Distributing
American Sci. & Surp
Bon Tool Company

The above order was created for this article and then mostly deleted (I couldn't resist a few 'finds').
A real order was placed in December of 2005 (and more since then) and it is depicted below:

After all selections have been made according to the lowest price available and have been added to the Shopping Cart, all items are copied into a spreadsheet and sorted by merchant. To minimize shipping, items of a similar price are then deleted from the short-list merchants and reselected from the long-list merchants, allowing for relative S&H. Amazon's Super Saver Shipping and supplier free or low shipping are of course favored where the prices are comparable. Suppliers 'shipping rates and policies' should be studied. Prices can vary widely (see the spreadsheet up top).
Items were copied from the Amazon Cart &
pasted into a spreadsheet for consolidation
I began selecting these items on October 21;
I hit a final 'Place Your Order' on December 25
The Amazon confirmation email received
after the 'Place Your Order' button was hit

A few items were shipped December 26 and
delivered before we arrived on December 31
January 3, 2006 These items are listed in the spreadsheet
and email confirmation above
January 4, 2006

January 5, 2006 January 9, 2006
January 10 and 12

January 16 and 17 January 23.  "Quality Distributing":  29 days
and 1.49 per lb.   Others charge .24 - .75/lb
January 27 and 28 and February 7 Also purchased these new vents for
the trailer at Marks RV Supplies
but chose not to use them
Bought this new Atwood Everest Star
16,000 BTU furnace from DuckTec.com
but used Mr Heater heaters instead
There were of
course  more
delivered, but
they  did not
get pictured

June 3, 2006
What those tools built

Copyright © 2006, Van Blakeman