Lake Jackson, TX.: . Free shipping offers are generally a ruse, a ubiquitous marketing technique designed by slick ad agencies and public relations stooges to separate honest and trusting people from their money. For shame. As the makers of SwampButt Underwear™ (www.swampbutt.com) believe that honesty is the only policy, they reduced the amount of shipping charged to their customers for the upcoming Christmas gift giving season. From now until the time someone remembers to change the web site, shoppers pay $7.50 for second day priority shipping via the United States Postal Service. It is not labeled ‘free’ but it is less cost and the honest truth.
Giving A Break
This is a way for the company to help customers manage their budgets during the busiest and most demanding shopping season of the year and be truthful about what the price really is. “We like to have fun here at SwampButt Underwear, but occasionally we decide that there is a way we can help out; something we can actively do to make a stressful time like the upcoming holidays easier to manage,” said SwampButt Underwear owner Harold Nicoll.
It’s Not Really Free
Nicoll mentioned that those companies offering ‘free’ shipping might not be as up front about those charges as they could be. “We know that some will include the cost of shipping in the price of their garments or other goods sold,” he stated. “They could more legitimately say people pay nothing additional for postage, but that is not the same as stating that it is free. Nothing is free.”
Lack of Transparency
While this practice of burying charges is not against the law it is potentially unethical. “I can’t say that this is a bad or unethical practice for those businesses, but it is for us here at SwampButt Underwear,” Nicoll said. “I can also say that in an age where corporate social responsibility standards demand transparency, this practice is anything but transparent.” The offer of free marketing is a psychological ploy. The offer of free anything will get the attention of on line and in store shoppers.
According to Crazy Egg (www.crazyegg.com), “free shipping is designed to attract shoppers by a specific method. “Free” anything is good. Add this “free” buzzword to “shipping,” and you’ve somehow scored a success in the mind of the shoppers.” While cynical, the whole ‘free shipping’ ethos offers a look inside the minds of marketers of all description and the view is not very pleasant.
Marketing & Mind Control
Leveraging the fragile and stressed psyche of people who want to give something to their loved ones they will enjoy is either a way to take advantage of these people for a short-term gain or a way to build trust with present or future customers during the long term. “Stating that something is scarce with appeals like ‘limited time only’ or ‘while supplies last’ is a way to make people think they will miss out on something unless they take immediate action. “If these declarations of limits are true it is acceptable,” Nicoll said. “Unfortunately, no one but the company knows if this is true or not. If you come back to the same site or store and find an item that was advertised as ‘limited’ in some way you will have your answer.”
SwampButt Underwear is a real company that sells products that help solve a real problem. SwampButt Underwear is trademarked in the U.S. and foreign countries. We paid a lot for it, so please do not use it without permission.