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nana b
09-27-2006, 03:06 PM
I was going to order some of the giraults from Jerrys over the internet and got to the point for shipping cost and saw that it was going to be about $29 and I didn't finalize my order. I was really taken back by that price. They do have the cheapest set cost but Dakota has the cheapest individual cost. Now I don't think I want to order from Jerrys just for principal?
Has anybody noticed the high shipping cost and ever questioned it?

CM Neidhofer
09-27-2006, 03:39 PM
I haven't looked at Jerry's shipping because I have a store near me now. But I have ordered from Dakota in the past because of their flat rate shipping charge.

Christine

Tressa
09-27-2006, 04:12 PM
Yea, it cost me a 100+ to ship my GAs from Jerrys... Have not bought anything from them since, use either Dakota or Dick Blick

Bringer
09-27-2006, 04:38 PM
Hi,

Some of the Giraults...how many ?
I've ordered from ASW, which I think it may be somewhat related and I must have paid more or less that for the set of 80 halfs of Sennelier. And that was from USA to Portugal.
I always ask them to use the USPS. I don't want anything with UPS, Fedex and alikes.

Kind regards,

Josť

nana b
09-27-2006, 06:24 PM
I was going to buy 2-25pc sets and 1-50pc set and the shipping was going to cost almost $30. That goes against my grain to think they would charge that when $9 would be plenty. The Giraults sets are on sale at a good price but I told the customer service guy what I thought about the shipping and he agreed and said I was not the only one that has been complaining. I may call back tomorrow and see if I can talk to someone else higher up.

nana b

artist_pw
09-27-2006, 06:48 PM
Hi:

I just try to wait for the sales or the discounts on shipping. If you get several items, ask them to package them in one shipment to save $, but your still at their mercy for shipping. Hope that helps.

prettytulips
09-27-2006, 10:41 PM
If Dakota's cost plus shipping is the same as Jerry's cost plus shipping, just go with Dakota. They are faster anyway...

binkie
09-27-2006, 11:41 PM
I always watch for the sales and also check several online stores for prices including shipping. Don't limit yourself to one store - shop around.

binkie

pequan
09-28-2006, 06:38 PM
shipping costs at Jerry's and Cheap Joe's are ridiculous....I always get a group order to save shipping...usually orders over $250 they ship free...yes ASW is a part of Jerry's....although they have great sales, the shipping is way to high for just a small order.....If I were going to be charged $29 for shipping a few pastels I wouldn't order either...actually, I wouldn't from that company again....EVER!!

LEIGH RUST
09-28-2006, 08:27 PM
I was ordering goods through Jerry's earlier this year as they had some things that I really wanted and couldn't get in Australia, however when I recieved the shipping note I had to cancel the order due to the ridiculous shipping costs. The shipping was more than the product. Granted I am in Australia but even so the costs were prohibitive.

nana b
09-28-2006, 08:43 PM
I called today and left a message for the next guy up from the first two I talked to about their shipping cost. I don't know if he will return my call but if he doesn't I will probably try again. It seems counter-productive to have cheaper prices to attract the people and then stick them with those shipping cost. It probably won't help but who knows if a bunch of us complains. Any way, they need to know the business they are losing because of it.

The toll free number is 1-800-827-8478. His name is Stephen Gilmore and his ext is 200 in case anyone wants to put their two cents in.

Nana B

M Douglas
09-29-2006, 02:32 AM
The shipping charges on my order from Dakota this week was $29 for a 5.5 lb order. USA to Canada. Dakota's is about a 2 hour drive from me across the border, at the cost of gas it probably would have cost the same if I had driven down. The question now is am I going to get another bill from customs for duty?

Melodie

Dark_Shades
09-29-2006, 09:14 AM
I was going to place an Order with Dick Blick (whom I have ordered from before to ship to UK)
Their shipping cost was as much as the order - so I have not finalised it

PeggyB
09-29-2006, 01:18 PM
Although I think Jerry's shipping expenses are out of line, and don't order from them unless it is more than $250 for "free" shipping, I think something we many all forget on occassion is that shipping prices have gone up everywhere due to the expense of gas. None of the vendors can control that part of business, nor can they totally control the expense of the packaging supplies. They can however, control other aspects of the shipping fee - like how much they actually pay someone to pack our shipments - gee, maybe Jerry's is a great place to work because they pay their employees a liveable wage! hmmmm - ya think? :evil:

Peggy

canvasishome
09-29-2006, 02:18 PM
Yep, I agree with everyone.

I stopped ordering from Cheap Joe's because of the crazy shipping costs. It's a pity, too because they are the only ones that sell some videos that I wanted to buy.

What really makes me mad is that several items have shown being "out of stock" for months. I have inquired several times about when the items will be back in stock, but they never answer.

They've lost my business, I'm afraid.

-dk-

nana b
09-29-2006, 06:54 PM
Stephen Gilmore from Jerrys returned my call today! He said if I ordered and had it shipped by next-day air then it could actually save some on shipping:confused: . He said they would call the next day and tell me how much shipping cost would be and if it was too much I could just cancel the order but they could do a "special cost" and it would probably be less:confused: . He couldn't tell me for sure but acted like you could just cancel, just like that , if it didn't suit us:confused: . That just doesn't make sense to me:crying:, but I may try it:D . Now if I could order the Giraults at their sale price (which beats everybody else's price , get them in one or two days and cost maybe $16.00 shipping that would be a pretty good deal, don't you think?

Nana B

binkie
09-30-2006, 03:49 PM
Good luck!

I think that what Jerry's does is to lower their prices more than other stores but make up the difference on the shipping costs. It reminds me of how some people sell on eBay. They ask $1 for the item and then $20 for shipping. Probably psychological, leading folks to think that they got a much better deal than they actually did. I think when it comes down to it, I'd watch all the sales, figure in the shipping and then see who has the best price. JMHO

binkie

MarieMeyer
10-03-2006, 12:50 AM
It just so happens that I received a shipment from Jerry's today - 6 pastels, $16.50 for the merchandise and $11.95 for the shipping! I felt like a fool when I placed the order, but they are Blockx pastels and I don't know another open stock source. I weighed and measured the package and then went on the UPS site to find the cost. $6.48.

Now then:
1) Jerry's is a volume user of UPS, so surely they get a discount from the public price. Say, 25%?
2) The "packaging" consisted of a recycled box (something sent to them by one of their suppliers) and some bubble wrap. Cost to Jerrys: $0.10.
3) The labor required consisted of someone walking to the Blockx bins and picking out six pastels and wrapping them in bubble wrap. Assuming a very large warehouse: 10 minutes.

So it looks to me like about half of the shipping charges are pure profit for Jerry's.

There is a very nice privately-owned art supply store in my neighborhood where I buy 90% of my supplies. Even though they've got to pay top dollar for rent for a location on the busiest shopping street, they don't charge me $1 per stick for ringing up my transaction and putting my purchases in a box!

canvasishome
10-03-2006, 11:41 AM
Hi Marie,

That's what I suspected. I'm guessing Cheap Joe's does the same thing. I, too, am trying to support my local art sources as much as possible. I think the high shipping costs thing stinks.

prettytulips
10-03-2006, 02:25 PM
I have a few close art stores and 2 large ones 25 miles away. With gas prices and lack of time, I calculate the cost of gas to go to the larger stores and it often comes to more than the shipping. It takes 2 hours of time to travel too...so if they charge 14 in shipping and it will take 10 in gas then I donate the $4 for the convenience of not having to travel in north Orange County traffic.

chewie
10-03-2006, 03:57 PM
i also don't order from jerry's due to the shipping racket. i wonder how does some of the other places do it, surely they dont' ship to me and loose anything for it?! so if they can, so could jerry's. dakota has a nice option there, if you plan to get more than a couple things.

as for that great price issue, ask another retailer to match--i've never been turned down, or at least it was so close that it was worth it. asw is something that i won't bother with--i've been burnt anytime i've tried to deal with them. (once was a large studio easel, broken, that had been returned and then they shipped to me anyhow?! then getting the issue resolved was maddening!) and from what i understand, jerry's and asw share a warehouse.

now, blicks, they've done nothing but super service for me. this summer--i went to their new iowa city store (and had a very hard time not melting my credit card! wow, what a place!!) i got some top notch product info from the staff, and then i got several single pastels. when i got home, i seen they'd overcharged me. grr. so i wrote to them, figuring that would be the last i heard of it--not so!! they not only credited my acct., they sent me a sketchbook and a tote to 'make up' for it! holy smokes!

i would rather pay the slight higher cost at blicks knowing i wont' have troubles, than the other's cheaper prices and high shipping and even higher stress rates!

Kathryn Wilson
10-03-2006, 05:51 PM
hmmmm . . . . I wonder if we sent a link of this to Jerry's Customer Service, or General Manager something might happen.

I do know that shipping charges from the freight companies have gone up, but not that much. I ship quite a few items and the best deal is Fed Ex Ground. Takes longer, but on larger packages it is well worth it and the items are insured automatically, with tracking. Now if Jerry's would cut a deal with Fed Ex, you might get less costly shipping.

Kathryn Wilson
10-03-2006, 06:03 PM
I just sent Jerry's a long email through their "contact us" form - we'll see if I even get an answer. I did not mention WC by name or anyone else on this forum.

prettytulips
10-03-2006, 06:44 PM
I doubt they will bend. If they have thousands of clients who don't say anything, why would they change? There's an art store here in Irvine who has the worst management I've seen. They're huge but you can occasionally hear the eccetric jerk who owns the place yelling at his employee's. If Jerry's is ran by an egomaniac then I doubt the prices will drop. Doesn't hurt to write though.

Dick Blick has been pretty darn good. Jerry's has a few more things that are harder to find, so it all depends on what I am ordering...

Oh, if you set up your own private Fed Ex account or DHL or UPS, you could have them ship to you on your private account if that is cheaper.... They might not want to accomodate you by writing down your personal account number, but you can try that too.

Karen Margulis
10-03-2006, 06:44 PM
I sent an email to customer service at Jerrys saying I wanted to purchase the full set of Giraults but the $65 shipping was prohibitive and would they offer any shipping discount. It took 3 days to get a response and the answer was NO. They've lost my business.

Karen

nana b
10-03-2006, 07:10 PM
Kyle, thanks for doing that. It might work but I doubt it. I wouldn't care if my name was mentioned:evil: . I think your first idea was better. Sending a link to this thread would probably make more of an impact. Since pastels are so light weight but expensive the customers are really getting the shaft because they charge by the dollar amount purchased. I wonder if their business is getting really hurt because of this. Even if shipping has went up because of the gas prices, they are still over charging probably double what it should be:( . Also someone said that they shipped free over $250 but I don't see that on their rate charts. I know Blicks does (it hasn't been too long ago that it was only $200) but they have went up to $250.

I was going to go on and order and do like the guy said but I haven't attempted that yet:eek:

nana b

Kathryn Wilson
10-03-2006, 07:57 PM
I re-thought the link - it could get WC in hot water, so decided against it. You never know when someone decided to get "sue" happy for slander.

nana b
10-03-2006, 08:14 PM
Kyle, that's true. Well it sure seems that they just don't give a gosh darn. I guess we could see if Dakotas will match Jerry's price. Wouldn't hurt to try. I really don't need all the Giraults I was going to order because of their price. I do want to try them though.

Kathryn Wilson
10-03-2006, 08:19 PM
Doesn't Dakota have a sample box of Giraults?

nana b
10-03-2006, 11:42 PM
Kyle, I looked and didn't see a sample box but I could just order individual pastels in a few colors. I can't seem to make up my mind.... really need to wait till I pay down my credit card:evil: .
nana b

Kathryn Wilson
10-04-2006, 02:15 PM
Just an update - I received a message from Customer Service that my email was being sent on to Management - with an answer coming shortly.
-----------

Surprise, surprise - I heard from Ira Goldstein himself. I will digest the email and get back to you what he said about shipping charges.

nana b
10-04-2006, 06:04 PM
Kyle, thank so much for getting in on this and maybe getting us a break at Jerrys. If we don't get the response we want then we can just cross them off our list and forget about it once and for all.

Thaks again,
nana b

Kathryn Wilson
10-04-2006, 06:57 PM
Okay, I now have the full attention of both Ira and his Customer Service guy Steve - they both want to open a dialog with me about shipping costs and customer service.

What I need from our members is examples - factual stuff - like what it costs you to have something shipped from them.

Karen Margulis
10-04-2006, 07:10 PM
Kat, Thanks for doing this! I have used Jerrys many times and just paid the shipping...as long as it was under $20...because I always would wait for a $10 coupon which made shipping in line with dakota for smaller orders. It was when I wanted to make a large, expensive purchase...the $600 Giraults, that I was quoted a $64 shipping charge which I feel is excessive as the pastels don't weigh That much! On the positive side. I have always had good customer service although usually a slow response time. I had some orders wrong and they always made it right.
Karen

MarieMeyer
10-04-2006, 07:19 PM
I'll recap my post from earlier in this thread.
I recently received a shipment from Jerry's containing 6 pastels, for wich I paid $16.50 for the merchandise and $11.95 for the shipping!

I weighed and measured the package and then went on the UPS site to find what the cost to me would be to ship the same package the same distance. The answer was $6.48.

That is a pretty big difference. Especially when you consider that since Jerry's is a volume user of UPS, so surely they get a discount from the price quoted to the public. I would guess it might be as high as 25%.

So, did Jerry's experience a lot of costs in processing my order? Well, the
"packaging" consisted of a recycled box (something sent to them by one of their suppliers) and some bubble wrap. Estimated cost to Jerrys: $0.10.

The labor required to fulfill my order consisted of someone walking to the Blockx bins and picking out six pastels and wrapping them in bubble wrap. Assuming a very large warehouse: 10 minutes.

So it looks to me like about half of the shipping charges are pure profit for Jerry's.

I know they have to maintain the website, overhead on the warehouse, etc etc. Well there is a very nice privately-owned art supply store in my neighborhood where I buy 90% of my supplies. Even though they've got to pay top dollar for rent for a location on the busiest shopping street, they don't charge me $1 per stick for ringing up my transaction and putting my purchases in a box!
images/buttons/quote.gif (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/newreply.php?do=newreply&p=5011738)

Kathryn Wilson
10-04-2006, 07:34 PM
Okay, if I don't use names, may I quote what you are saying?

MarieMeyer
10-04-2006, 08:03 PM
Yes. You can even quote my name, nothing to be shy about!

nana b
10-04-2006, 11:02 PM
Kyle, I was going to order over $200 worth of Giraults and the shipping was going to cost me $29.95. I called Dakota today and talked to one of the owners, Robin. I just ask her if she would match a competitor's price on the pastels. She was really nice and gave me one of their old sale prices from a couple of months ago which was $59.95 for a set of 25 and $119.95 for a 50ct set That is just a few dollars more than Jerrys. I ended up ordering two of the 25ct sets and one of the 50ct sets. They also have the Supertooth on sale and I ordered some of that too. The cost of shipping a flat rate of $9.95 and I know I will have good customer service so I am quite happy with my purchase. I can't speak for her but she said if any one else wanted to talk to her about it wouldn't hurt to call:wink2: .

It sounds like maybe you finally got Jerrys attention but it's too late for me because I think I will be shopping at Dakotas from now on. I really think you did good Kyle and I appreciate it:clap: . Maybe Jerrys will get more business from some of us if he adjusts his shipping!

nana b

johndill01
10-04-2006, 11:03 PM
Kat, I can't find but one example of shipping chargers from Jerry's, which are
Subtotal: $87.59
Shipping: $13.95

As a comparison, one of the sponsors of WC shipped an order of over 100.00 for 8.00. (granted they used USPS, but still had the shipment with 4 days.)

I have a couple of recent orders from ASW, and shipping charges range from 12.5 % to 15.5 %.

I have one final thought on Jerry's response. They have all of the shipping information readily available on their database. If not, then they are in serious need of a new accountant.

Just one disgruntled customer's thoughts.

John

DAK723
10-04-2006, 11:10 PM
As many others have mentioned, this is a common internet and mail order racket. Not just art supplies. If the price seems too low to believe, check the shipping cost. It will make up the difference. I have the same compliants with MisterArt. Their prices always seem cheaper than Dick Blick's, for example, but in the end I buy from Blick, or go to my local art store. Always check the shipping cost before you make that final click to buy. If you can't get a shipping estimate before you buy - don't.

Don

Shari
10-04-2006, 11:38 PM
I recently placed an order with Jerry's, but when I saw the very high shipping price of $23.95, I called ASW which is the same company, and they met the Jerry's price and charged way less shipping, about half. I will no longer order from Jerry's. ASW is the very same company but often their prices are a bit higher, but they will match jerry's price usually.

Kathryn Wilson
10-05-2006, 09:20 AM
Good examples everybody - now to formulate a response! If you have anything to add, or someone has just found this thread, go ahead and put your 2 cents in!

scall0way
10-05-2006, 09:59 AM
This thread is so timely as just last night in art class someone was complaining that she had gone to the local Jerry's and they didn't have something in stock - and the instructor suggested she order online. He said "If you ask the local Jerry's to get it for you they will just order it anyway and add their own markup, so you might as well just order it online in the first place."

I mentioned some comments from this thread, and the instructor looked at me like I had two heads. "Jerry's shipping isn't high", he insisted. "I order from them a lot and their shipping is really cheap" and said he preferred them to DickBlick or Dakota Pastels for cost. Weird, eh?

He went on to say that he had just recently placed an order for a big pastel set from Jerry's because they were having 50% off sale - and that he was charged *nothing* for shipping. Now I'm totally confused. :lol:

PeggyB
10-05-2006, 02:13 PM
I mentioned some comments from this thread, and the instructor looked at me like I had two heads. "Jerry's shipping isn't high", he insisted. "I order from them a lot and their shipping is really cheap" and said he preferred them to DickBlick or Dakota Pastels for cost. Weird, eh?

He went on to say that he had just recently placed an order for a big pastel set from Jerry's because they were having 50% off sale - and that he was charged *nothing* for shipping. Now I'm totally confused. :lol:

You are taking classes from a well respected, known artist. Could it be some are more "equal" than others?

Kat thank you for starting the dialogue with Jerry's. It will be very interesting to see if anything comes of your endeavors. I'm not too hopefull it will be positive....

Peggy

scall0way
10-05-2006, 03:20 PM
You are taking classes from a well respected, known artist. Could it be some are more "equal" than others?

:lol:, that's what I thought! I even said, "Alex, what's up with that? Do you order a lot from them? Maybe they just like you." :)

But in his inimitable manner he merely replied: "Like me? Are you kidding? They hate my guts!"

So I'll probably never get the real answer. ;)

nana b
10-05-2006, 03:26 PM
Scalloway, don't be confused about what your instructor said. He probably does get "good" shipping costs but they're not what we are charged. Maybe they will lower the shipping cost because of our inquiries, I sure hope so. Dakota's shipping is a flat $9.95 for any thing, no matter the size or quantity and that is as cheap as it gets. Let's sit tight and see what Jerry's comes up with.

nana b

Howard Metzenberg
10-05-2006, 09:13 PM
I appreciate that several people here have made nice comments about Dick Blick, and I’ll be sure to pass the word around within our offices. This issue, the cost of shipping and handling, is one of the most important aspects of pricing, not only in art materials but in all “remote transactions” businesses where you as the customer place an order online with a distant seller.

This may surprise you, but I am writing here to defend our competitor Jerry’s Artarama and their shipping charges. In 10 years, I expect that several of our competitors will not be around anymore, but I am sure that Dick Blick and the fellows who run Jerry’s/ASW (Ira and David) will still be doing business. As comsumers, you will still be beneficiaries of that competition between Blick and Jerry.

What businesses like Dick Blick and Jerry do is to sell a service that aggregates many diverse products from small manufacturers, often imported from places around the world. Imagine what it would be like if you had to go directly to each manufacturer to find information about the product, negotiate the price, have the product shipped, receive it and unpack it, and so forth! You would never have any time for art, and manufacturers would never be able to find time in the day to do their own work. So both Dick Blick and Jerry provide a service simultaneously to both you as the consumer and to the manufacturer. We are called intermediaries.

Several people on this thread have made the assumption that Blick and Jerry’s should charge you exactly what UPS or Fedex charges us for shipping. My answer is that shipping is a part of the overall service that we provide, and that we cannot possibly afford to sell you shipping at cost, just as we cannot afford to sell you pastels at cost.

Charging for shipping and handling as a separate line item from price is a reasonable way to recover some of the cost of handling the order. That's why virtually everybody charges that way. And if they tell you they offer "free shipping" what they really mean is that they have marked up their prices enough to cover those costs. When Blick and other companies offer free shipping on large orders, orders over $250 in our case, it is becuase large orders are more efficient for us to handle.

Shipping and handling charges are simply a price that is charged for a service. Prices are signals in the market. We are trying to give you as the customer an incentive to place the kind of order with us that we can handle efficiently and make a profit on. Jerry is doing the same.

It is true that another company mentioned here (Dakota Pastels) has a relatively low “flat fee” for all orders. I have praised Dakota elsewhere, so I think it’s fair to point out that Dakota really doesn’t sell things that are bulky or expensive to pack and ship. Do you see them allowing you to mix and match different colors of individual sheets of large pastel papers?

There is nothing evil about profits! It is the incentive to make a profit that brought all of these companies into this market, and that makes all of us strive to do better. Companies that make a profit are companies that survive and become better companies.

Think of each of us (Blick, Jerry, Dakota, Joe, etc.) as offering you a “value proposition,” an overall package of price, information, convenience, service, selection, and so forth. Each of us does things a little differently in order to attract you and retain you as a customer. Jerry has a slightly different value proposition than we do, so it’s no surprise that some customers will favor Jerry over our company.

Jerry’s Artarama has a different formula for apportioning the cost of picking, packing, handling, and shipping out merchandise than we do. For some customers, Jerry’s will end up being a better value, and for others, Dick Blick will be. I think we both offer a terrific selection. One company tends to put more emphasis on prices, while the other emphasizes service and convenience. Both Blick and Jerry have designed shipping charges to encourage large orders that can picked, handled, and packed efficiently, because it is those large orders that are the most profitable.

Shipping and handling charges are disclosed to you before you place your order. You should use them in your decision making process. Decide which company is offering you the best overall value on each order you place.

Howard Metzenberg
Dick Blick Art Materials
Highland Park, IL

Kathryn Wilson
10-05-2006, 10:38 PM
Hi Howard! Thanks for giving us a look into Blick's view on shipping and handling costs. I appreciate you taking the time to pull together all the information you've given us.

Ira and Steve have been very gracious in their emails to me - I feel they are working hard to understand where we are coming from. I haven't given them a full response to their emails - all the intricacies of doing business, keeping customers happy and still making a profit enough to stay in business and grow are understood by all of us.

But you have to understand that a lot of us artists are not by any means wealthy, not big named artists pulling thousands of dollars down for our paintings (at least not me!!!), and we are feeling the pinch of paying these high shipping costs. I daresay that a very small box of 4 pastels should not be costing the customer close to $12.00 to ship -

Maybe we need choices in shipping - but that could be a nightmare for the companies too. Maybe competitive bidding for their shipping business - I find UPS to be very high, even compared to Fed Ex (Ground).

Just being able to open a dialog with Ira and Steve I feel is an accomplishment and even if we don't achieve a meeting of the minds, they will at least be aware that there are problems that need to be looked at.

Thanks for listening!

canvasishome
10-06-2006, 01:22 PM
Hi Howard,

I, too, would like to thank you for taking the time to write us and explaining the shipping game from a corporate point of view.

With that said, it just convinces me even more to avoid the on-line stores and support my local brick and mortar stores. I can find most of what I need at Hobby Lobby or Michaels. Even with sales tax, the final cost is far more economical for me to buy my art supplies there.

The only way I will ever shop for my art supplies on-line now is if I'm absolutely desperate for something. The astronomical shipping costs can just not be justified, in my mind.

-dk-

PeggyB
10-06-2006, 02:34 PM
Thank you Howard for your fine explanation. However, here is a response to this statement from you that I've taken directly from the Dakota website.

quote Howard: It is true that another company mentioned here (Dakota Pastels) has a relatively low “flat fee” for all orders. I have praised Dakota elsewhere, so I think it’s fair to point out that Dakota really doesn’t sell things that are bulky or expensive to pack and ship. Do you see them allowing you to mix and match different colors of individual sheets of large pastel papers? unquote Howard

Quote Dakota website:
5 Sheet Minimum
We ask that you order a minimum of 5 sheets of paper. ALL single sheet papers of any brand, size or color may be combined for the 5 sheet minimum.

12+ Quantity Price
ALL single sheet papers of any brand, size or color may be combined to receive the quantity price break.

So yes, I do see that they allow for different colors, and even sizes and brands to be mixed for pricing purposes.
They also have several easels, both studio and plein air, as well as other bulk items - not as many as Blick or Jerry's, but they do have and sell them, and you can see what they have on thier website. Granted, I have an advantage of going directly to their warehouse in Mt Vernon if I want to take a lovely 1 1/2 hour drive, but I don't mind paying their flat shipping fee for the convenience of not taking that drive more frequently as orders placed early in the day are usually received the next day. That being said, I'm also a fan of Dick Blick, and when I can wait for the time it takes to get from east to west coast I also appreciate your fine service. It is commendable of you to defend your competitor, but they really need to work on that "service" part of their business as I think you've probably read on several of the postings here.

Peggy

Diane Cutter
10-06-2006, 03:15 PM
Thank you, Howard, for the very clear explanation of shipping/handling. I have been a happy customer going back to the 80s. Daniel Smith has also been great for me (as a printmaker) because of their specialized niche.

I may be the only one here who can't complain since, for me, on-line shopping is the only way I can get my supplies (what a blessing for me!). In Puerto Rico it is either shop on-line or wait until a trip up to the mainland and bring it back in the suitcase... The two local art stores are at great distances and carry nothing but the extreme basics. They will probably be out of business in a few years as they sell only a bit more than K-Mart or Wal-Mart. To my knowlege there is no Hobby Lobby and Michael's disappeared from the island a couple of years ago.

One thing I would like to add to the voices is more flexible shipping options. Most offer a couple, but I would like to see more on-line outfits offer five or six options including USPS Second-Day Air. FED Ex and UPS may be great on the US mainland or in Europe but they do not deliver in the countryside here. So please, add my voice to the 'more shipping options' request.

Diane

nana b
10-06-2006, 03:48 PM
Howard, I thank you too for taking the time to join us. I have to say I have enjoyed the good service and prices from Dick Blick for over a year now and will continue doing business with them. But that being said, I like most of the artist here on WC and friends here at home, will shop to get the best prices and that includes shipping costs. It looks like Jerry's has good sales but besides the high shipping for light stuff like pastels and the fact that they don't even have free shipping for over $200-250 orders, I probably won't shop with them. I had my order in the system and was getting ready to finalise it when I saw the shipping charge and declined. I have since ordered the items I needed from Dakota because I got a good product price, great shipping cost and good service. That $280 order could have gone to Jerry's but for the staggering shipping cost. I don't know personally how Jerry's service is but that would have been a factor in whether I would have reordered.

The big guys are getting the best shipping cost and that's good for them because they turn around and sell to a lot of people but those same people that buy from them are ordering on line too and we purchace a lot of stuff. So I think they should realize that we won't order from them if the shipping is stuctured like that because it looks like a "take it or leave it" attitude and it turns people away.

nana b

cherylleclairsommer
10-09-2006, 01:29 PM
I see the problem as relating to the disparity of purchasing small items such as pastels which can be shipped in a small container versus ordering a bulky item of the same price which requires a larger size container. Theoretically, the smaller box/weight should require a reduced price for shipping unless it is extremely heavy compared to the bulky item. But shipping and handling prices are charged relative to the price of the goods rather than the real cost of shipping. Hence, customers become angry when they order items which are high priced but small in size. I assume Jerry's designed the shipping schedule to be simple. Simple is not always better. Jerry's shipping and handling rates have the net result of discouraging business for smaller sized items. I too have not ordered from Jerry's due to the high price of shipping. Sometimes I pool my order with friends to obtain the discount shipping rate from ASW. Customers look at the total price of the purchase, not merely the cost of the item.

Kathryn Wilson
10-09-2006, 07:15 PM
I've discussed this matter at length with one of our Admins - one thing she does caution us about is that in the User Agreement it is stated that we should not discuss problems with an actual shipping order - we can discuss in general problems with a company, but we cannot work out specific order item problems.

I will, however, follow through on sending quotes from statements you have made (those who have given me permission, that is) and work it that way. I will let you know what comes of it. If they would like individuals to write about their specific complaints to them, I will let you know that too.

Howard Metzenberg
10-09-2006, 11:02 PM
I really enjoy the opportunity to explain business decisions such as pricing and shipping costs to such an informed and interested group. My point overall is that the incentive for profit, combined with the openness of the market (low barriers to entry, free information via the Internet, etc.) produces great benefits for the consumer. It results in a variety of companies coming forward to offer you different combinations of favorable pricing, selection, service, and convenience. Let me answer Kat first!

Hi Howard! Thanks for giving us a look into Blick's view on shipping and handling costs. I appreciate you taking the time to pull together all the information you've given us.

Ira and Steve have been very gracious in their emails to me - I feel they are working hard to understand where we are coming from. I haven't given them a full response to their emails - all the intricacies of doing business, keeping customers happy and still making a profit enough to stay in business and grow are understood by all of us.

But you have to understand that a lot of us artists are not by any means wealthy, not big named artists pulling thousands of dollars down for our paintings (at least not me!!!), and we are feeling the pinch of paying these high shipping costs. I daresay that a very small box of 4 pastels should not be costing the customer close to $12.00 to ship -

Maybe we need choices in shipping - but that could be a nightmare for the companies too. Maybe competitive bidding for their shipping business - I find UPS to be very high, even compared to Fed Ex (Ground).

Just being able to open a dialog with Ira and Steve I feel is an accomplishment and even if we don't achieve a meeting of the minds, they will at least be aware that there are problems that need to be looked at.

Thanks for listening!

This might surprise you, but it’s likely that Jerry’s loses money on shipping you a single order consisting of a box of 4 Blockx Pastels, even at a $12.00 shipping charge. Dick Blick may have more automated equipment for handling such small orders, but our lower shipping cost really reflects a loss leader strategy.

Right now, Dick Blick ships small orders via FedEx for $7.95, but this price is frankly a loser for us. Early in 2006, our base shipping charge for such an order was at $9.95. We went down to $7.95 because a competitor (not Jerry) lowered their price to that level. Several of our online competitors charge even more than Jerry for small orders, sometimes tacking on special “small order” fees.

For businesses, it is quite easy to determine the “average cost” of handling an order. We know what our costs are, and what our revenues are, so figuring average cost is just long division. But if we made decisions based on average cost, we would end up getting a lot of unprofitable orders and losing the orders that really matter.

To be profitable, businesses like Blick and Jerry’s must estimate what the incremental or “marginal cost” is of an order. Then, we must design our pricing (including shipping charges) in such a way that those customers whose orders we can handle profitably will come to us, while those with orders that are too costly for us to handle purchase through other channels, or change the way they order so that their orders will be profitable. If you remember that “marginal cost equals marginal revenue” is the basic condition for profit maximization, then you have earned a passing grade in a beginning economics or business course.

Many small businesses fail because they do not understand that a successful business must turn away business that is unprofitable and focus on business that is profitable. They end up trying too hard to win every single order, even though many of those orders will never be profitable for them.

Dick Blick and Jerry have different business strategies. Jerry’s strategy is to create a smaller and more manageable business based on serving only the high volume customer, the professional artist who orders hundreds of dollars worth of merchandise at a time. They can afford to turn away the $11.00 dollar pastel order because they know that once you start to place $200.00 pastel orders, you will probably shop around and check them out too.

So what I am saying here is that Jerry’s shipping cost, which is just another price, is not too high or unfair. It is simply a signal to you as a consumer with your $11.00 order that their business is not able to handle your order efficiently, and you should place your order elsewhere.

Do you still think that shipping charge is unfair? Let me put it another way. What if you were a professional artist who orders thousands of dollars of art supplies each year? From your perspective, that is your livelihood, and you don’t want to pay higher prices to subsidize small orders that other people place.

Howard Metzenberg
Dick Blick Art Materials
Highland Park, IL

Howard Metzenberg
10-09-2006, 11:48 PM
I see the problem as relating to the disparity of purchasing small items such as pastels which can be shipped in a small container versus ordering a bulky item of the same price which requires a larger size container.

Cheryl - What you do not see is that we adjust the prices of the items themselves to reflect how difficult they are to ship. Thus, the easy-to-handle and easy-to-pack small items have lower margins than heavy and bulky items. Those differences in price tend to be reflected in similar prices for each item across the entire industry.

Theoretically, the smaller box/weight should require a reduced price for shipping unless it is extremely heavy compared to the bulky item. But shipping and handling prices are charged relative to the price of the goods rather than the real cost of shipping. Hence, customers become angry when they order items which are high priced but small in size. I assume Jerry's designed the shipping schedule to be simple. Simple is not always better.

What I am saying in my answers here is, stop being angry! It is what it is.

Your insight about our shipping schedules is correct, but what you donít understand is that simple actually is better! We have thought about charging shipping by weight and bulk at Dick Blick, but this presents several problems. First of all, we would have to know what it actually costs to ship each item, and frankly we donít know. We have to make compromises based on the limited information we have.

Let me give you an example. Pastels and tubes of paint may be the same size or volume, but they have different weights. Cobalt Blue (a metallic pigment) weighs more than the Phthalo Blue (an organic pigment). Can you imagine how hard it would be to weigh each tube from each manufacturer, and put that information into a computer system and keep it accurate, and then use it to determine shipping charges, telling you online when you place an order what those shipping charges are going to be, and still keeping the performance of the website at a reasonable level?

But the main issue is that, if each item had its own shipping charge, and perhaps a schedule of charges based on where it is shipped to, we would have a huge number of customer service calls and complaints from people who would still not be satisfied with those charges, who would think they were unfair in particular cases, or who would not understand them.

As an e-commerce web developer, one of the things I often explain to people is that computer monitors offer very limited information content and customer experience compared to a retail store, or even a catalog. I have no choice but to keep it simple online, because there is no way to convey complex information and make sure that the customer understands it.

So the simple shipping schedules you see at every company in the industry reflect a compromise. They are not perfect, but the cost of gathering the information and negotiating the charges with consumers by some other method would be much greater.

Jerry's shipping and handling rates have the net result of discouraging business for smaller sized items. I too have not ordered from Jerry's due to the high price of shipping. Sometimes I pool my order with friends to obtain the discount shipping rate from ASW. Customers look at the total price of the purchase, not merely the cost of the item.

Each company in the industry is setting its prices to encourage you to place only profitable orders. Jerry's probably accepts the smallest margins on those smaller sized items. If they accepted both small margins and small orders, they would lose a lot of money. If your order is not profitable for them, you can pool with other customers to place an order that is acceptable for them, or you can go elsewhere.

Is that a bad thing? You have many alternative ways to order the product or a close substitute for it online. And shopping instead at a retail store is an option for most people.

Howard Metzenberg
Dick Blick Art Materials
Highland Park, IL

Howard Metzenberg
10-10-2006, 12:07 AM
Thank you Howard for your fine explanation. However, here is a response to this statement from you that I've taken directly from the Dakota website. ……

Peggy,

They do indeed offer mix-and-match pricing, but they actually sell very few papers and boards in sizes above 22x30 or 19x25. These sizes are not really that inefficient to handle, as long as the customer orders at least a minimum number of sheets at once. When you get up into the larger sizes, you have much greater damage in shipping, and no standard boxes are available. The corners get bent, and the customers get angry. But very few customers are interested in working on 25x37 sheets and larger. (That’s roughly double the standard 19x25 Mi-Teintes sheet.)

I really think Dakota is a terrific small company. The owner has decided not to be all things to all people. Instead, he takes the approach of having a huge selection in one niche, which happens to be your niche! He can focus his marketing just on that niche. He picks the most profitable items to sell, rather than trying to sell everything. He has a simple website that is easy to understand, including a simplified shipping charge.

Howard Metzenberg
Dick Blick Art Materials
Highland Park, IL

fio44
10-10-2006, 11:19 AM
I personally find that while shipping is certainly a consideration when placing an order, I am usually more interested in A. do they have the item I desire in stock, or is it always out of stock. B. what is their return policy C. can I speak to an actual person to place an order if desired, or when something goes wrong D. when something goes wrong how attentive are they to the customer, namely me; am I treated with respect or am I just a customer number.

I will gladly pay higher shipping, or a higher price for an item if I can get it, and if I know the vendor always has it in stock, and if it is out of stock, they can tell me intelligently when it will be in stock.

Is the return policy one that is easy to use or not one designed in such a manner that it attempts to make it less painful to not make the return, leaving me, the customer frustrated and paying for an item I did not order, or do not want.

When I call the company, can I talk to a person, or is the phone program a spider web of, if you want to place an order, press 1, if you want to speak to ask about an order, press 2, etc., etc., or worse yet, a phone system where they have an option for customer service, but when you dial that option, you have to leave a message on their answering with their promise to call you back. No very customer focused IMHO.

Finally, when you actually speak to customer service, do they have a genuine interest in your problem and resolving it to the satisfaction of all parties. Do they listen. Do they treat you with respect. Do you feel when you hang up that the person considered you an actual person of merit, did they make yoiu feel like you were their only customer, or were you one of one million customers.

We all want great pricing, but the vendor needs to be able to survive too. It is these other areas, the service that helps me decide where I am going to make my purchase, either on-line or in person. You certainly wouldn't return to a restaurant that isn't clean, or where the wait staff can only be found with a map and a bloodhound. Likewise, if the shipping is an issue, then I would seek product elsewhere.

BTW, as for Jerry's and ASW, I used to order from them quite frequently, but over the past several years, I have found them to be very lacking in points A,B,C & D, and a recent incident sealed it for me; I will never order from either, ever again.

Just my two cents.

Tressa
10-10-2006, 03:54 PM
Ok, What about drop shipping??? I placed an order with Jerry's this past Feb for a full monty of Great Americans(definitely over 250.00), and was told that the shipping would be calculated at time of shipping, as it would be coming direct from mfg.. ok...over $100.00 later, I got my pastels minus some that were not in stock. What happened to free over 250 to me?? Should this not have been explained at the beginning.
Tres

HarvestMoon
10-10-2006, 04:14 PM
yes, and am constantly being 'taken' by Jerry's cost. I mark 'pay 7.50 and send it by cheap mail' for a small but pricy thing, so they charge me the 7.70 plus ship it UPS in the biggest box they can find. recently, they tried to charge me $49. shipping for 80 LITTLE tubes of paint! And I just tried to cancel an order so they ignored the cancel, and said it had shipped..... anyway, you really gotta watch it- even in stores - we have one 30 miles away- not nearly the inventory of the catalog, but they charge the wrong price all the time!

nana b
10-11-2006, 12:35 AM
yes, and am constantly being 'taken' by Jerry's cost. I mark 'pay 7.50 and send it by cheap mail' for a small but pricy thing, so they charge me the 7.70 plus ship it UPS in the biggest box they can find. recently, they tried to charge me $49. shipping for 80 LITTLE tubes of paint! And I just tried to cancel an order so they ignored the cancel, and said it had shipped..... anyway, you really gotta watch it- even in stores - we have one 30 miles away- not nearly the inventory of the catalog, but they charge the wrong price all the time!

HarvestMoon, the cheapest shipping for Jerrys is $11.95 and that is 0-49 lbs. I think the $7.50 is an extra charge for their Next, 2nd and 3rd day Air rates. That would be $7.50+actual shipping cost. It is a little confusing some times the way they word it.

On your other order, if they were going to charge you $49 then you must have ordered between $350-$479. I just looked it up in their shipping cost section in their customer service. Their highest shipping charge is $70.00 ($750 worth and up). That's as high as it gets, so if you order lots of stuff from them, the shipping cost would be considered pretty good I guess.

Anyway I thought I would let you know probably why they charged you what they did. Their shipping is just too high for most of us to order what they consider small orders. Too bad.

nana b

Kathryn Wilson
10-11-2006, 09:44 AM
anyway, you really gotta watch it- even in stores - we have one 30 miles away- not nearly the inventory of the catalog, but they charge the wrong price all the time!

Geez, I thought I was the only one to find this to be true. After many times being overcharged for something in the store, I talked with the Manager of our local store and pointed out to him that if his cash registers had a viewable screen to the buyer a lot of that could be avoided. Many a time, I get out to the parking lot and review my slip and it is wrong, so back in I go and have to talk to the sales clerk and have it corrected. I think they count on people not taking the time to do that.

LOL - one time I was in the parking lot and I was loudly complaining to my husband about being overcharged for something and the Manager was nearby unloading his car - he immediately had the money returned to me (with egg on his face).

Tressa
10-11-2006, 09:52 AM
Kat, they actually had a documentary on grocery stores who do the same thing.The sales items are not input in the computer, or the signs are ambiguous of the correct sales item, and you pick up the wrong one. Of course they would deny it, but they do count on people either not bothering to come back, or not noticing.
Tres

Kathryn Wilson
10-11-2006, 10:03 AM
That's why I love the grocery self-checkout lanes - I check each price as it goes in and if it is different, I have the clerk change it.

bluefish
10-11-2006, 02:51 PM
and if you live on the East Coast and order from Dakota, be prepared for a LONG wait - I think they are still using 'Pony Express'! :envy:

fio44
10-12-2006, 01:55 PM
Ok, What about drop shipping??? I placed an order with Jerry's this past Feb for a full monty of Great Americans(definitely over 250.00), and was told that the shipping would be calculated at time of shipping, as it would be coming direct from mfg.. ok...over $100.00 later, I got my pastels minus some that were not in stock. What happened to free over 250 to me?? Should this not have been explained at the beginning.
Tres

Hi Tres,

In my opinion, there should be some verbiage/disclaimer somewhere indicating that if an item is dropped shipped direct from the vendor and not through Jerry's then the buyer should expect to pay shipping charges. If that is not indicated in their catalog, that is a major problem.

If you placed this order via phone, then the service rep should have made it a point to let you know that items dropped ship do not receive the free shipping if over $250.00 because they are not being shipped via Jerry's.

Now, to take it even further, if Jerry's knows this item is always going to be dropped shipped, they could make arrangements with the vendor/factory to ship free, or charge Jerry's for the shipping, or Jerry's could reduce the price by $100.00 or anticipated shipping cost.

Once again, the service issue is a major factor for me. I'll pay a bit higher in price for superior service, for somebody who will actually treat me like a customer, a person of value. Your experience tells me that Jerry's does not value you, their customer. Just my two cents.

Jeff

Tressa
10-12-2006, 02:55 PM
No, they do not, as after over a month and a half waiting for the remainder of my pastels, I called to ask what's up, and was told that since it was a drop shipped item, I would have to deal with them (mfg) direct. Which turned out fine, but, I ordered from Jerry's. Seems to me, it should have been their responsibility to find out where the rest of my order was, and when it would be shipped! I did finally get the rest of my pastels, but only after numerous calls back and forth to Great American.
Good prices mean something to me, but I buy a lot of art stuff, and customer service means MORE, so I am more selective in my online ordering.
Tres

nana b
10-12-2006, 03:41 PM
As I said before, by looking at jerry's customer service chart on their site, they don't have free shipping after $2oo, or $250 or any amount. If someone knows something other than that let me know. Blick's has free shipping after $250 but not Jerry's as far as I can tell.

bluefish
10-12-2006, 04:23 PM
nana b:

Jerry's doesn't have free shipping no matter what dollar amount you spend but Jerry's cousin ASW has free shipping over $250.00 - same customer service manager as Jerrys, etc.

'bluefish'

nana b
10-12-2006, 07:32 PM
Bluefish, thanks for the information. Now thats just strange:eek: .

Well, I probably won't be ordering anything from anyone for awhile. My card was smoking the last time I used it:evil: . Although Christmas is coming up and I have decided I like all my pastels but I love the Senneliers. Their lights are the best! And their darks, I can't live without.

nana

fio44
10-13-2006, 05:46 PM
No, they do not, as after over a month and a half waiting for the remainder of my pastels, I called to ask what's up, and was told that since it was a drop shipped item, I would have to deal with them (mfg) direct. Which turned out fine, but, I ordered from Jerry's. Seems to me, it should have been their responsibility to find out where the rest of my order was, and when it would be shipped! I did finally get the rest of my pastels, but only after numerous calls back and forth to Great American.
Good prices mean something to me, but I buy a lot of art stuff, and customer service means MORE, so I am more selective in my online ordering.
Tres

Hi Tressa,

I agree, it seems that Jerry's could have been more proactive/attentive in their dealings with you, and with all customers, and they certainly could have made it known before hand of the issues that could result from a drop shipment. I am sorry that you suffered through such an experience, and am glad to hear that you got it resolved, though unfortunately at the expense of your own time and efforts. The fact that it took you several calls to get the product from Great American to me is also a concern.

Tressa
10-13-2006, 06:48 PM
Jeff, the people at GA were very nice, but, a little unorganized. Some of my phone calls resulted from telling me my order had not been filled yet, as they were making pastels. OK, but, 3-5 months??:eek: I understand it takes a while, but a couple of times I was told it was being sent, then after waiting, call back, and get, sorry, that was not yours. I know it is a small company, and like I said, everyting worked out, but it was a bit daunting.
Their pastels are wonderful, and it was worth the wait, but, it could have gone a bit smoother.
Tres

fio44
10-15-2006, 03:07 PM
Hi Tressa,

I used to do American Civil War Reenacting, and your experience with Great American sounds much like several I encountered during that time. They probably have grown too quickly for their own good, which is often indicative of some of the things you noted, providing wrong information, long wait times, etc. Glad it turned out for the better for you though, and I wish you only good results in all your future art supply dealings.

Tressa
10-15-2006, 03:24 PM
oh, cool, did you ever do Gettysburg? We went to a huge reenactment several years ago in the nineties around 94ish, and it was wonderful. I must admit that I don't remember the significance of the battle, but it was some centennial or something. Seth(my son who was around 2 at the time )got his pic with Robert Lee and "Ulysses Grant

fio44
10-17-2006, 11:01 PM
Hi Tressa,

Yes, I've done Gettysburg several times, including the 135th, which was in 1998. However, if you went close to 1994, the 130th was in 1993, every five years are the big anniversary events, then I wasn't there at that time as I was just starting my reenacting life in 1994. I hope you enjoyed your time however, sounds like it. Perhaps one day you'll go again; it's such lovely ground. Until next, take care.

cherylleclairsommer
10-18-2006, 05:02 PM
Howard,
Angry customers lead to poor customer relations which is communicated to other artists. It also reflects on the entire business as a whole.
But I certainly don't lose any sleep over Jerry's shipping rates - I just go elsewhere even with large orders. I now use ASW or Dakota, sometimes Blick - Jerry's has lost a customer whose card always seems to be smoking.
Art suppliers should take notice - the fact that this discussion is even taking place shows the increasing power of the consumer to take their business elsewhere. Obviously other art supply stores will pick up the slack.