Shipping Surcharges

Shipping surcharges are sent in situations where shipping an order would cause a monetary loss. We're primarily a food-service B2B company, and we opened access to the public in response to demand from customers who have difficulty finding some product lines locally.

This is caused by the complexity of carrying 1000+ SKUs and shipping to 1000+ locations across Canada. There simply isn't an algorithm that can figure out proper shipping costs. Canada is unlike the U.S. in that there is no flat rate shipping, and shipping costs for some orders are 3x-4x what they would be elsewhere.

We fully understand that this can be frustrating, and have been reviewing the policy continuously for years. The current set up is designed to work for the largest number of customers in our primary demographic markets.

How to Avoid Shipping Surcharges

  • Order coffee, rather than accessory products such as syrups (or in addition to)
  • Order more products, as shipping surcharges mostly affect low dollar-value orders (under $100)
  • Ship to a post office in a nearby larger town (eg. CanadaPost Flex Delivery), if your postal code has a "zero" as the second digit

The 3 above suggestions will eliminate 90% of the shipping surcharges. In rare situations, the shipping surcharges are unavoidable because shipping costs increase linearly with order value.

Note that we can't change an order once it has been placed, so any changes to products or shipping address will cancel the order for a refund so that you can place a revised order.

Q: What are my options when I get a shipping surcharge?

Your options are to:

  1. cancel the order for a full refund
  2. pay the shipping surcharge.

You must reply to the shipping surcharge notification email letting us know which you'd prefer.

Q: Can you just bill my credit card?

No - we don't store credit cards on file in order to protect your sensitive information.

Q: Why didn't I see this before I placed my order?

As is standard procedure for all companies, the details of our shipping policy is outlined in our actual shipping policy. This clearly states that some combinations of product lines and shipping locations are exempt, and is linked to from multiple places on every page. We don't clutter every page with every exemption because it would cause too much clutter, and only applies to a minor subset of customers.

Before you place an order, we're unable to box up the product to get the weight/dimensions required, along with your actual shipping address, to get an actual rate.

Q: Why don't you change your shipping policy?

We considered raising rates to accommodate all people across Canada, but realized that the shipping surcharges only affect a minority of customers for product lines we don't consider core to our business. Our business is built on selling fresh roasted coffee to businesses and people in major demographic areas, so that's who our policies are designed for.

We also considered simply stopping sales of accessory product lines (eg. syrups) to consumers, but had strong feedback from people who would much rather pay a little more in shipping, than to not have the ability to buy them whatsoever.

Q: Why don't you just ship it at a loss?

Unlike some retailers that are willing to take losses, we only want to deal with customers whom we have a mutually beneficial relationship. We do not consider an order to be from a "customer" unless that "customer" is profitable. It's a concept that solely self-interested consumers find offensive, but we live in the real world where basic economics matter. Our objective is to run a business that survives in the long-run, and to do that we have to be responsible with the way we operate.

Companies that ship to high-cost locations irregardless of profitability fall under either (1) large companies who have the profits to underwrite the losses, or (2) unsophisticated smaller companies who don't realize they're losing money.

Q: Why did I use to get free shipping, but don't any more?

A number of things factor into whether a shipping surcharge is required, including product line and order size. There are economic factors such as the exchange rate and fuel surcharges charged by couriers that will eat into our ability to cover shipping costs to customers that are marginally profitable to begin with. Generally, we try to keep our product prices consistent rather than increasing or decreasing with each fluctuation.


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