How much are you paying for online shopping postage?

When was the last time you bought or sold something online? Websites like eBay and Amazon have made shopping from the comfort of our own homes so much more streamlined, but it also means that a lot of people are putting a lot of extra money on their credit cards.

A whopping 62 per cent of Australians made an online transaction in the six months leading up to April 2011, according to the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA). Internet users outside of the major cities were more likely to buy goods online, with 70 per cent of these people making online transactions compared to the 63 per cent who did so from a metropolitan location.

When you don’t physically go to the store to buy an item you need to pay for postage, whether that’s from a local store or the other side of the world. How much does this cost, and is it contributing to the amount we’re putting on our credit cards?

What does it cost to ship from popular online shopping sites?

For Australian buyers, Myer online shopping offers one major convenience that many other retailers cannot: free shipping (albeit for orders over $100). CHOICE suggests that this free shipping isn’t always as free as it seems, because the cost to the business is built into the cost of products. However, buying local is usually going to be cheaper than buying from overseas because of the shipping.

A 1 kilogram parcel delivered by courier from the US will cost $66, from Hong Kong it will cost $30 and from New Zealand $45, based on rates from Australia Post. Within the country, Australia Post has released a flat-rate postage service for certain items. Larger goods such as toys or electronics sent nationally will set you back $15.05 – a 50 per cent saving on the cheapest international shipping option above.

The ACMA research pointed out one important point about how we’re buying online – 91 per cent of shoppers use their credit cards or direct money transfers to pay for the goods (including shipping).

Shopping local supports the economy

Retail giant Amazon recently announced that it will open an Australian fulfilment centre, according to SmartCompany, and while some small businesses will benefit, others will be competing with one of the largest independent marketplaces in the world. This will make it significantly cheaper to buy from Amazon (which has an enormous range of products), but unless they offer promotions such as free shipping, the 91 per cent of shoppers using their credit cards will need to be mindful of the postage costs associated with their purchases.

To find out more about your credit card interest rates and how shopping could affect that, contact Beyond Bank today.