Free Shipping in a Cost of Living crisis!

PlayBlue has been operating now for almost 13 years. Since day one we have done free shipping for all orders over €20. It has never changed and we have no plans to change it any time soon. This is something we are proud of and it is a Free Shipping standard that is by far the best on the market.

Back when we started the in vogue way for websites to do shipping was Free no limits. Most of our competitors at the time, this is how they used to do shipping. I always thought it was utter madness. 

Hidden Costs

Think about what this means for a second. Unlimited Free shipping works for no one. So a customer in Donegal could order a €2.50 pack of condoms and expect it to be hand delivered free next day. The order is picked by a staff member (who costs wages), packed in packaging (that costs money). Then handed to a courier (shipping fee) who brings it back to the depot. It gets sorted and shipped to the local depot in Donegal where another driver collects it and hand delivers it to the customer, if they are in if not they might need to repeat it again tomorrow. Think of the time, cost and environmental expense in processing this order. It is almost the definition of madness. We won't even get into the extra costs or courier damages, customers changing their mind, chargebacks etc.

Nearly all of those competitors offering Unlimited FREE shipping are gone bust years ago and the couple that remain all now have limited free shipping with requirements to spend €50+

Well at PlayBlue we are happy and comfortable with our €20 Free shipping limit. We have never tried to gouge our customers and as in everything we do we want to be fair and competitive. 

I think any reasonable person understands that a €4 contribution to orders below this limit are fair. Honestly shipping orders costs much more than €4 from courier fees, staff, packaging and when we get a €10 order we really make next to nothing on processing it, but on the flip side we don’t lose money either and customers hate paying shipping too. We also get a customer who gets to try out PlayBlue and hopefully will see the PlayBlue benefit on their next real order.

Over 90% of PlayBlue orders get Free shipping, well more correctly we cover it.

The move to online shopping has obviously helped us and it is something that we want to promote but I do think that the model of buying cheap (less the €10) orders and getting them shipped is not sustainable. The retailer is losing money unless they charge full cost for shipping. The environment loses with couriers and packaging and the consumer loses as if all purchases even the small ones move online the local high street will die and all we’ll be left with are coffee shops and barbers. Shop local when you can but only if the prices are fair and understand even when shipping is “FREE” someone is still paying for it.

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