Cabela's shipping madness

I certainly don’t mind that Cabela’s has free shipping virtually all of the time (for website orders over $49), but I rarely use them in terms of buying stock for my store since they are average to high retail priced already. But, much in the same way that MidwayUSA will always have some random ammo marked down to an inexplicably low price, Cabela’s can pay off if you look often enough.

Last week I managed to find some of the various Lightfield brand non-lethal 12ga loads with rubber batons, rubber balls, and squishy-stars, which Cabela’s had listed for the strangely low sale-price of $4.99 per 5rd box. These boxes usually retail for over $10 a box, and so I dove in and ordered up maybe 15 boxes (small boxes) of stuff on the Cabela’s website, figuring it would all come in one box, because, why wouldn’t it? I realize of course that an outfit like Cabela’s, even though they have a few large central distribution hubs, will also resort to having store locations ship out packages to supplement online orders if the main hub is out of stock, but this order had to be a record at … 9 BOXES!

Cabela’s, who is already taking a hit selling Lightfield ammo at what is perhaps $0.50 cents to $1.00 over their cost, and then having it sent with no shipping cost, was now using 9 separate boxes, some of which only had one 5rd pack of 12ga inside. Just the most odd money-loser of an order I have seen any seller process. I am meanwhile happy with all of the extra free packaging that I can reuse.

And speaking of free packaging, a big Thank-You to Natchez Shooting Sports for sending me the sale-priced MTM ammo crates via a free-shipping promotion that they were having (which did not restrict very large items like plastic crates), to which they used a truckload of bubble wrap, albeit the wrong way, in these huge boxes. In the box shown below, the plastic tote crates take up perhaps 1/3rd of the box, and the rest of the void was stuffed with loads of pristine bubble-wrap. The wrong-way use was that they did not actually place any bubble wrap under or around the items being shipped, just to one side of it, which is no potential help. MidwayUSA does this as well - throwing boxes of ammo in a large shipment box, and then just dropping a few air-cell bubble wraps to the side. There were 3 big boxes like the one shown full of bubble wrap, but all of the items could have been nested together in one box. Oh well, it all made it.

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To a European the terms “environmental protection” and “preserving resources” comes to mind.
Reuse is very good of course but practiced by few (for space and many other reasons) and sowith most of the material is lost then.

And no, I am no tree hugger or so. I just like common sense.

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I used to work by a large US computer company.

The shipment of parts was outsourced to a different company.
They get paid by parcel. So if I ordered 5x the same part, I get 5 boxes.

This was about 8 years ago.

The big boys can offer free shipping for two reasons:
1.) They buy in bulk directly for the ammunition manufactures and get very go pricing, in short, big money talks, small customers (like us) pay the higher cost.
2.) Same with UPS and FedEx , the big guys play FedEx and UPS for the best cost, and again the little guys (like us) pay for the all the deals the big guys get.
I am not complaining, just the facts, that is business and the way it is in a free enterprise country.
If we small dealers got together we could get better pricing
I could share more, but there are some trade secrets… ;-)
As far as Cabela’s, there is a reason they got bought out by Bass Pro shops.

As far as they go Cabela’s no longer ship to the UK so as a supplier they are a distinct waste of time for us over here. I did phone up and ask why after some waders I had purchased had been declined!!, about as far as I got was she didn’t really know but it was a fact and they would not honour my request to purchase waders. Not long after they started stating on their site they would not ship to the UK but you have to look to find it (or you did then) not sure about now as I have not been on their site for ages. However only a week before Christmas another wildfowler I know remarked on he had just tried to buy stuff from Cabela’s and had been refused, so it looks like it is still the same.

I knew the big distributors / retailers have special deals with UPS and FedEX, but this Cabela’s deal for something they were already making so little profit on, struck me a blunderous operation on their part. If I had tried that same order on some place like Cheaperthandirt, and if it was pulling parts of the order from different locations like they do, I would have probably paid double for the entire order vs Cabela’s total.

I pack fairly well, my dad always did and I followed his lead. Over the years I have gotten many items that they wrap bubble wrap around it and don’t put tape on it. So, it unwraps itself and the item flops around. Or heavy items with light items.
or sharp items with nothing to prevent it and it pokes through the box…
The funnest is when folks just drop something in an envelope - and it just slides all around or an expensive document or manual that i paid priority for and they ship it media and no other packing… come on folks…

People pack awful many times. It is always a pleasure when I get an item packed well.