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Outsmarting RA’s Shipping Lunacy #5292997 12/12/19 11:00 PM
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The_Nuke Offline OP
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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


2012 Charger Pursuit aka "The Bacon Hauler"
- 5.7L + NAG1 (A5) + 2.65 (215mm)
Re: Outsmarting RA’s Shipping Lunacy [Re: The_Nuke] #5293089 12/13/19 04:09 AM
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Char Baby Offline
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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.


"Retired"
-----------------------------------

'80 Firebird FORMULA V8/4bbl-purchased "NEW"
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Re: Outsmarting RA’s Shipping Lunacy [Re: The_Nuke] #5293120 12/13/19 05:40 AM
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demarpaint Offline
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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.


God Bless Our Troops

Re: Outsmarting RA’s Shipping Lunacy [Re: The_Nuke] #5293123 12/13/19 05:42 AM
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Donald Offline
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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.


2015 Ford F-250 w/Powerstroke
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Re: Outsmarting RA’s Shipping Lunacy [Re: The_Nuke] #5293154 12/13/19 06:40 AM
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atikovi Offline
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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.

Re: Outsmarting RA’s Shipping Lunacy [Re: The_Nuke] #5293161 12/13/19 06:56 AM
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Kira Offline
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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.

Re: Outsmarting RA’s Shipping Lunacy [Re: Donald] #5293165 12/13/19 06:59 AM
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willbur Offline
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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.

Re: Outsmarting RA’s Shipping Lunacy [Re: The_Nuke] #5293189 12/13/19 07:41 AM
Joined: Sep 2013
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dlundblad Offline
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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.


03 Jeep WJ 4.0 202k Edge 10w40 HM Fram XG16
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Re: Outsmarting RA’s Shipping Lunacy [Re: The_Nuke] #5293210 12/13/19 08:15 AM
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MasterSolenoid Offline
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I think The_Nuke (OP) would be good at a game like this:
[Linked Image]

Last edited by MasterSolenoid; 12/13/19 08:22 AM.

2002 Ford Ranger / bought new
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Clarity, Brevity, Simplicity, and Humanity.
Re: Outsmarting RA’s Shipping Lunacy [Re: demarpaint] #5293232 12/13/19 08:45 AM
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Hombre909 Offline
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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


2019 Toyota 4Runner SR5 Premium
2006 Toyota Tacoma Prerunner Ext Cab
1999 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible (Torch Red / Manual 6 Spd)
Re: Outsmarting RA’s Shipping Lunacy [Re: MasterSolenoid] #5293270 12/13/19 09:15 AM
Joined: Mar 2014
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Leo99 Offline
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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.


Without data you're just another person with an opinion. W. E. Deming

2003 Corolla 250,000 miles (RIP)
2004 Corolla 125,000 miles
2004 Rav4 392,000 miles
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Re: Outsmarting RA’s Shipping Lunacy [Re: MasterSolenoid] #5293450 12/13/19 12:10 PM
Joined: Jul 2013
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The_Nuke Offline OP
OP Offline
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Joined: Jul 2013
Posts: 801
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.


2012 Charger Pursuit aka "The Bacon Hauler"
- 5.7L + NAG1 (A5) + 2.65 (215mm)
Re: Outsmarting RA’s Shipping Lunacy [Re: The_Nuke] #5293483 12/13/19 01:01 PM
Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 2,972
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hallstevenson Offline
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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.

Re: Outsmarting RA’s Shipping Lunacy [Re: atikovi] #5293493 12/13/19 01:12 PM
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PowerSurge Offline
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This. Usually, Rockauto is still cheaper than amazon even including shipping. If not, I go with Amazon.





Re: Outsmarting RA’s Shipping Lunacy [Re: The_Nuke] #5293579 12/13/19 02:47 PM
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Posts: 222
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N Heat Offline
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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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