$400 Shipping And Other Adventures

When we bought our house, we were very excited that it came with its very own swing set.

Four years later, the swing set is about to fall over. I don’t know if the swing set is older than we anticipated or if we were supposed to do more maintenance to it. Our home inspector told us the swing set was made of pressure treated wood and would not need to be weather-treated. The cracked wood and rotten ladder rungs we have now tell us a different story.

We decided to replace the swing set by the end of this summer and started shopping online for our best options. We were very excited when we got an email from a large toy vendor that swing sets over $899 were on sale for 20% off for the next 48 hours. We spent the next 48 hours researching and researching which swing set we wanted. We were so excited about the one we picked and that we were able to get such a nice swing set in our price range.

So we put the swing set in our virtual cart and suddenly the shipping charges popped up at… $400.

Four. Hundred. Dollars. Shipping.

For a $750 swing set.


We were outraged because the website says “Free Shipping” all over the damn place. In fact, it said “Free Shipping” right below the swing set’s picture. There was no asterix next to “Free Shipping”. It did say “View Details”, but with a purchase that large (something like 500 pounds), we thought it was for what you’d have to do to arrange the delivery.

It turns out the “Free Shipping” only goes up to $20 on purchases of $75 or more. Twenty dollars doesn’t mean shit when you are facing a $400 shipping fee. This particular swing set did not have the option of being sent to the store for pick up either.

I understand why the “Free Shipping” sign is on most of the site’s products, but when the shipping costs are going to be so exorbitant, it really shouldn’t be there. In fact, when you are talking about a $400 shipping fee, that price should be built into the price of the swing set. It is not really a $750 swing set, or even the $899+ swing set it was originally. It is a $1,150 swing set. I think almost everyone in the world needs that price reflected OR a big disclaimer that there is a shipping fee far and above the regular price.

I called customer service and complained. They told me they could do me a “favor” and discount the shipping cost by 50% to $200.

Two. Hundred. Dollars. Shipping.

Still too much in my book.

I mean really. WTF?!

And so, we are not buying a swing set from that store. In fact, we are writing a letter of complaint to them.

I don’t know where or when we’re getting our swing set now. In fact, most of the other places we were looking at also have large unadvertised shipping costs we weren’t aware of. It’s likely we will have to get a cheaper swing set than we expected just to pay for these costs or choose a swing set we don’t like as much to make sure it can be shipped to the store for a smaller cost.

Whatever the case, we are very disappointed. I thought today we’d have a swing set on the way, but who knows when that’s going to happen now.

At least our bank account remains $750+ richer. And we don’t have to do a major construction project that’s probably beyond our poor DIY skill level for at least another couple weeks.

EDIT: Since I originally wrote and scheduled this post on Friday, we ordered our new swing set from another vendor, but that’s another rant for another time.


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  1. Pingback: What’s the deal with shipping? | Creative Kids Play

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