Why doesn't CPS offer free shipping?

Why doesn't CPS offer free shipping?
article writer
by Stephen Post
September 8, 2020, Updated October 28, 2022

If you've bought anything online in the past several years you've probably noticed a growing trend. So many places today offer ˜free shipping' that it's almost become something people expect. You might be wondering why Container & Packaging Supply doesn't offer free shipping too. Allow us to explain.

There is no such thing as free shipping

In the 1930's the acronym TANSTAAFL came into colloquial use. It stands for the phrase There ain't no such thing as a free lunch. In other words; someone always has to pay. It may not be you, but in the end someone has to. Food doesn't just magically appear without effort. This is why we say there is no such thing as free shipping ¦ someone has to pay for the gas and the labor of getting product from point A to point B. If we decided to offer ˜free' shipping we could do it by:

  1. Raising our item prices to cover these costs. (It's gimmicky ¦ why not just show you what the costs are.)
  2. Pay for your shipping ourselves. (This is unsustainable, and shortly we'd be out of business.)
  3. We could charge our other customers more to ship their products to supplement your shipping costs. (This is inequitable. Would you want to be charged more so someone else could have ˜free' shipping?)

We prefer option four:

  1. Don't offer free shipping, and show customers their product costs and their shipping costs so they have transparency and flexibility to make informed decisions.


One reason we don't subscribe to the idea of offering free shipping is because we want to be transparent. By being transparent, you know what your costs are and are able to seek solutions to bring down those costs. Knowing exactly where your money is going is always good, right? We think so.


The other advantage to seeing your shipping costs is that it gives you the option to look for alternatives. If your product costs seem high then you can look for volume discounts or cheaper items. If you think your shipping costs are high then you can look to see what might be driving those costs (shipping from multiple warehouses, not shipping from the closest warehouse, etc.) and work with us on ways to reduce the cost.

If you have an account set up with UPS or FedEx we would be happy to ship your order freight collect so you can take advantage of your own rates through those carriers. If you are in an area where UPS charges are quite high (such as Alaska or Hawaii) we'd be happy to ship via USPS so you can enjoy cheaper shipping rates. If your order is large enough, you can take advantage of the great LTL rates we have with our many freight companies.

When you know what your shipping costs and product costs are, we can work with you to find the most cost-effective delivery.

No lures

At Container and Packaging, we don't believe we need to trick you into doing business with us. We value the fact that we do our best to be open and honest with you about costs. Free shipping, 20% off, and sizzling summer sales are all are tactics designed to push you into doing business. Rather than luring you in, we hope you will choose to do business with us because we share common values. We're pretty proud of what we do, how we do it and most of all why we do it. Packaging is a passion for us. We love to help you with your packaging choices. Give one of our amazing representatives a call today to help you on your journey to finding the perfect packaging options.