Outpost.com Slashing Free Delivery Perks

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Outpost.com continues to scale back its free delivery service.


The computer and electronics retailer late last month discontinued the free overnight delivery offer that it had been running since spring 1999. The site is now offering free second-day shipping instead.


In addition, free delivery is now available only for orders larger than $500. The site had been offering free next-day shipping for orders exceeding $100 since Feb. 1. Prior to that date, Outpost.com had provided free next-day delivery for all orders.


Effective March 28, orders of $500 or less can be delivered by second-day express for $8.95, while overnight packages cost $12.95.


Edee Wollin, spokeswoman for Outpost.com, last week blamed growing fuel costs and recent poor market conditions for the cutback on delivery perks.


Outpost.com, a division of Cyberian Outpost Inc., Kent, CT, uses Airborne Logistics Service as its fulfillment provider. Without specifying details of the relationship, Wollin said her firm's deal with Airborne would allow it to continue offering competitive shipping prices.


"Sure, we don't have the free overnight service anymore," she said. "But if you look at what some of our competitors are charging, I think [the prices] we still have are attractive when you compare them."


Wollin would not comment on the latest cutback in the free service. However, in a recent press release by her company, it cited a drop-off in average order size during December and January because of a slowdown in the computer retail market. The firm also cited a drop in advertising revenue via its vendor relationships during those months.


In addition, Outpost.com's stock listing on the Nasdaq exchange appears to be endangered, as it was lingering around 60 cents a share at press time, below the $1 price required by the stock exchange.


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