I always try to be as transparent as possible about what it's like to run a small, American-made business, so these recent questions seem like a good opportunity to talk about how Outlaw works and the bigger factors that contribute to the product you receive as Outlaw.
Free Shipping Isn't Really Free
First, I have to talk about "free shipping." Some companies offer "free" shipping... and by that, they mean the price of shipping is included in the cost of the items or as part of an annual membership.
But as the price of shipping changes, that creates an unpredictable situation for small businesses like ours.
If we include the price of shipping in the price of the product and have "free" shipping, product costs are unpredictable. The cost of shipping has to be built into the price of the product, but if shipping suddenly doubles, or if we have to change carriers because of service outages, that means we can't really predict our costs.
Not only that, I really feel strongly about being clear about the factors that contribute to our small, American-made business (as I'm sure you have picked up thus far). This is a big one.
Freight Charges Change
Already, the cost of freight shipping has gone up as much as 5x in the past 6 months. This means that our ingredient costs have gone up on a per-ounce basis.
This is because of an increase in demand on the whole system... it's kind of like Uber surge pricing, but for freight. There are fewer drivers (worker shortages) with a higher demand for rapid shipping (supply chain issues).
We ship in the most economical ways possible, but if we ship on a pallet, we better be shipping a full pallet, which means we have to make a sizeable investment in inventory. Plus, big companies (like Walmart and Target) can pay extra to jump the line, which means that in order to get product at all, not only do we have to pay more, we also have to wait longer... which means that when we order supplies, it might be weeks or months before we can sell it.
What Has Free Shipping
In the past, we had some subscription boxes that included free shipping.
If you have one of these subscription boxes, hooray! You're grandfathered into these free shipping plans. We have been re-working our subscriptions and including free shipping for everyone who signed up for one of these older subscription plans.
Our new subscription boxes and subscription box builder both have a very attractive 25% discount which we calculated as roughly the price of "free shipping," plus some extra to account for fluctuating shipping prices and how much we appreciate the regular patronage.
For example, our Outlaws Essentials subscription box is $42.75, with a full value of $57. This means you save $14.25 for a 20ish oz package... or something around $4 more than you would if we put free shipping on it.
We also periodically offer free shipping specials for regular long-time customers who are subscribed to our emails (subscribe at the bottom of https://LiveOutlaw.com)
What About Amazon?
I'd be ignoring the eleph-rilla in the room if I didn't bring up The Amazon.
You may notice that the pricing of things on Amazon don't exactly always have parity with the products on our own website. This is because they are building the price of "free shipping" into a membership program (Prime) and they're charging us for it in the shape of extra fees (about 40% of the price of an item goes to fees, plus their monthly subscription fees).
But it's a great place for people to discover our products, since 60% of online shopping starts at Amazon. Our hope is that people will be so charmed by our products and our packaging, they will be compelled to seek us out and follow us on Facebook or Instagram, and ultimately fall in love with us Outlaws. ♥️
I Hope This Has Been Helpful!
We always want to deliver the best products for the best value. We believe that Outlaw products are made with the finest quality ingredients, in unique scents that you can't find anywhere else, from people whose ethics you can trust, at a price that is fair and competitive.
Thanks for being part of the Outlaws! It means so much to have you riding with us!