We’re all getting used to buying more and more stuff on the internet. In the first place, it’s easier. You don’t have to leave your house, and it’s more comfortable when there’s nobody watching. In the second place, it’s cheaper. The only disadvantage is the speed. This problem can be solved by offering expedited shipping, making it faster but more expensive as well.
Customers pay more money for shipping, but does the expedited shipping itself actually cost more? I’ll use Amazon as an example, only because everyone knows it, not because I personally don’t like it or so. Standard shipping within the US is 4-14 days, expedited 2-6 days. It’s funny that there’s an overlap of 2 days, which could mean you pay more for the same shipping time. But that probably won’t ever happen. What I meant to say is, how can the discrepancy between 6 days and 14 days be achieved?
Do the delivery cars drive faster, do the planes fly faster, do they hire marathon runners who’ll almost die on your lawn, just so you get what you want a few days earlier, not because you need it, but because you really really want it? No. So what does go faster?
“It is not enough to succeed. This means others must fail.”
I didn’t use this quote just because I like it, but it does fit in here in a way. Your package will travel faster if it jumps the queue. If all the patient people’s packages usually lie around for day or so in a warehouse and yours is through in an hour, it will make a difference. This means that the more people choosing expedited shipping, the longer the shipping time of the patient people. This is unfair. Shouldn’t it be ‘delayed shipping’ instead of ‘standard shipping’?
Now you probably think, well okay, so what? But it really is more than that. Isn’t it, as the Romans said it, not just malum in se ethically wrong, but also malum prohibitum, wrong because it is forbidden? If you get on the bus, you shouldn’t get a dirty seat just because others bought a ticket which gave them the clean seats. You should always get the same sort of seat, and if people pay more they get cleaner ones, but those clean seats should already be reserved for them, so that the cleanliness of your seat doesn’t depend on other people. If you go for standard shipping which is 4-14 days, the shipping time should depend on things like, bad weather, traffic problems, a lot of orders, or on the availability of your product. But not on the amount of people going for expedited shipping.
To really make it clear, you pay for a certain shipping time. That time can vary, but because of unpredictable causes. It should always be 4 days, unless something happens. You always pay the same, so shipping times should always be more or less the same. Amazon knows that when a lot of people chose expedited shipping, standard shipping time increases. Therefore, you should pay less because Amazon delayed your shipment intentionally by allowing people to get faster shipping. They say 4-14 and not just 6 to cover this. They’ll always make it in 14 days, no matter what. But to say that your package might arrive in 4 days is wrong, because they know it won’t. They act as if shipping times depend on unpredictable causes, but they actually influence it themselves.
So if you’ll go for expedited shipping in the future, be aware of how many others you’ll keep waiting.