Outsmarting RA’s Shipping Lunacy

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Anyone who's tried to order more than one thing from RA lately has seen the strangeness their shipping algorithms now employ while figuring up the total bill. I may have stumbled upon a way to defeat the insanity that can sometimes ensue when ordering several parts that show to be shipping from more than one location (and thus tacking on extra shipping charges). This is hard to describe via text, and I only really stumbled upon it while trying different approaches, so bear with me: 1. For a part that shows to be shipping from a different location than other parts in cart, go back and add several more of that same part to the shopping cart. 2. View cart and see if any of the newly added parts ship from same location as original parts. If so, remove all newly added parts from cart. 3. The cart should now hold all the original parts and no extras, and if this trick worked like it did for me, all the parts will be shipping from the same location. NOTE: if you start out with more than 2 different shipping locations, this may not work in its current form. I think the shipping logic can still be circumvented by using a form of this work-around in that scenario, but it may require more iterations of the second step to get all items into one shipping warehouse in the cart. Hopefully that's a little more clear than your average mud. Good luck, Nuke
 
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I do the same thing by trying to get as many part coming from the same location(distributor/warehouse) as possible. As long as I am buying the quality parts that I command.
 
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RA lost a lot of my business because of their shipping. I tried a few different tricks, I found them to be hit or miss. The business who gets the exact part I want to my door cheapest wins. I have no loyalty to any wholesale or retail businesses, I'm loyal to my wallet.
 
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Upstate NY
Most large companies offer free shipping especially on orders over $50. RA should be negotiating a low cost shipping contract with UPS now that Amazon is delivering a lot of their own packages. UPS should be hungry. I always check the part on Amazon also and in most cases Amazon is cheaper. The exception with Amazon is if they do not carry it and it will be coming from a 3rd party seller. Then Amazon can be more that RA even after adding in the shipping on RA. And unfortunately Amazon does not always get the technical details right. They had some rotors listed as REAR but RA said FRONT for same item number. And they are FRONT. So get the item number on RA and look it up on Amazon.
 
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Even when shipping from two different locations, 4 out of 5 times I've found the total price is still lower than the other places I check. That the parts from Rock often arrive within 2 or 3 days is a bonus that gets my business over the others. And by the way, no such thing as free shipping. The places that offer free shipping have to cover the cost somehow and higher pricing is the usual result. And if you are 100 miles from them you are subsidizing those customers who are 3000 miles away.
 
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This topic has come up before. My post on the subject explained how after carefully recombining parts in different "shopping carts" the "warehouse assignments", the A, B, C etc., would change. I worked many combinations of parts and warehouses. That the algorithm is one to assign multiple warehouses falsely is beyond doubt. Therefore we know we're dealing with dishonesty. We shop by determining the total price. How much time you want to spend finagling orders is up to you. The most galling thing was that a few BITOGers actually dismissed this dishonesty by saying, "A business has to make money" or some such obfuscation.
 
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I
Originally Posted by Donald
Most large companies offer free shipping especially on orders over $50. RA should be negotiating a low cost shipping contract with UPS now that Amazon is delivering a lot of their own packages. UPS should be hungry. I always check the part on Amazon also and in most cases Amazon is cheaper. The exception with Amazon is if they do not carry it and it will be coming from a 3rd party seller. Then Amazon can be more that RA even after adding in the shipping on RA. And unfortunately Amazon does not always get the technical details right. They had some rotors listed as REAR but RA said FRONT for same item number. And they are FRONT. So get the item number on RA and look it up on Amazon.
I have been having issues with Amazon lately, and will pay the extra shipping from RA so I get the actual parts I ordered. In my experience, they are playing fast and loose with third party sellers at Amazon.
 
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Indiana
As far as their shipping costs, I've had decent luck with their cheapest shipping option. Sometimes it's USPS and other times it's DHL, but I always get it within 5 business days. I had to buy a diff seal (twice) and it was $3 for shipping. I'll have to try this next time.
 
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Originally Posted by demarpaint
RA lost a lot of my business because of their shipping. I tried a few different tricks, I found them to be hit or miss. The business who gets the exact part I want to my door cheapest wins. I have no loyalty to any wholesale or retail businesses, I'm loyal to my wallet.
+1
 
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Originally Posted by MasterSolenoid
I think The_Nuke (OP) would be good at a game like this: [Linked Image]
I used to play that game for hours and hours when I was a kid. Explains a lot about me.
 
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Originally Posted by MasterSolenoid
I think The_Nuke (OP) would be good at a game like this: [Linked Image]
That hurts my brain to look at! I've never been great with math, but I am a code monkey by trade, and as such, I can reverse engineer the work of other code monkeys sometimes if a loop hole or workaround is desired. In this case, I know the shipping algorithm is defined in the website's code, and I know how most code logic for something like this is developed. So I just try to think about how it's likely coded to behave in normal scenarios and then figure out if there any abnormal scenarios which could expose a beneficial loop hole or work-around. From there, it's just a matter of getting the mouse clicks to make the web page perform what I envision would bring those loop holes to life! For decision trees like this one, there's always a default output that's used if the choices entered don't satisfy any of the anticipated combinations. I figure that default output is to have the items ship from the same location (assuming they are actually in the same warehouse). So the task becomes getting past all the anticipated combos and into that default output. The approach I detailed previously appears to be one way to do that. I'll know for sure if I can recreate my "good luck" in subsequent orders.
 
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I don't like how RA does this and plenty of times I have evaluated splitting parts between them and Amazon by comparing the final, total price of the item + shipping. Plus, because of RA's policy, Amazon is typically my go-to place to look for parts and RA is a second thought. That all said, part of RA doing this might be to "spread the wealth" between the different wholesalers/distributors that they work with.
 
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So you guys are saying that RAs algorithm will select multiple shipping locations even though your entire order may be available from a single location?
 
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Originally Posted by N Heat
So you guys are saying that RAs algorithm will select multiple shipping locations even though your entire order may be available from a single location?
There is a truck symbol next to the part in the catalog that will ship from the same warehouse as what you have in your cart if you want to reduce shipping costs. They have a video on it at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=4&v=tw9toVBbgOQ&feature=emb_logo
 
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Originally Posted by N Heat
So you guys are saying that RAs algorithm will select multiple shipping locations even though your entire order may be available from a single location?
The first iteration of my cart had 4 items shipping from 2 different locations, but the items are all so closely related, it wouldn't make sense to store them in disparate locations. So I played with the items I had in the cart as described originally, and I finally ended up with a cart that contained the original 4 items but all shipping from the same location. Take from that what you want. Me personally, I take it to mean the shipping locations are fluid.
 
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Originally Posted by The_Nuke
Originally Posted by N Heat
So you guys are saying that RAs algorithm will select multiple shipping locations even though your entire order may be available from a single location?
The first iteration of my cart had 4 items shipping from 2 different locations, but the items are all so closely related, it wouldn't make sense to store them in disparate locations.
My favorite example, and it's happened multiple times, is select brake pads and rotors (front only or rear only) for the same car. I'd almost put money on it that they will come from (2) different warehouses. Just did it now.... picked Raybestos Element 3 front pads and Element 3 rotors - two different warehouses.
 
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There is also an element of inflating the estimated arrival dates at work here, which I have seen at other places besides RA. This most recent order from RA was submitted on Thursday, and all the cheapest shipping options estimated arrival next Friday. I chose Fed-Ex, and on the Order Shipped email I got Friday from RA, it estimated delivery on Wednesday. Somehow two days were cut off from their original estimate. When I pull up the shipping number on Fed Ex's aight, their estimated delivery is tomorrow, Monday. So RA had me choosing shipping options based upon estimates that were a full 5 days inflated. It's almost as if they were hoping I would choose a more expeditious shipping option.
 
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Originally Posted by The_Nuke
There is also an element of inflating the estimated arrival dates at work here, which I have seen at other places besides RA. This most recent order from RA was submitted on Thursday, and all the cheapest shipping options estimated arrival next Friday. I chose Fed-Ex, and on the Order Shipped email I got Friday from RA, it estimated delivery on Wednesday. Somehow two days were cut off from their original estimate. When I pull up the shipping number on Fed Ex's aight, their estimated delivery is tomorrow, Monday. So RA had me choosing shipping options based upon estimates that were a full 5 days inflated. It's almost as if they were hoping I would choose a more expeditious shipping option.
It's not malicious intent to upell you on more expensive shipping... It's simple: if it shows up earlier than described, you'll be happy. If it takes longer than the estimate, you'll complain!
 
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