Why Free Shipping Is Never Really Free

Sometimes a theory doesn’t really translate when you put it in practice. Like marmite making peanut butter or amazon delivering truly sustainable products. Theoretically, it sound exciting. In practice, it just doesn’t really work.

Kind of like FREE SHIPPING - which we all like to think is free, but it’s not. Because deep down we all know that shipping something costs money, free shipping feels like a discount.

Of course it’s highly likely that when you’re being offered FREE SHIPPING, the actual cost has been baked into the prices of the products themselves, and/or it's part of a strategy to increase your order size.

And few of us, when in the thralls of shopping for our favourite kitchen cleaner, moisturiser or candle want to think about how much its going to cost us to get it to our doorstep.

We have set an ambition to be transparent about our shipping costs so our members know the environmental as well as economic costs of each box. We have set a maximum of 60p and a minimum of 20p for each product. So it can add up for the box based on weight so we can be as transparent for you as possible even though this is the opposite to other techniques some businesses use (which, with our no-middleman product pricing being so low, means the postage can seem high by comparison to the products). At the Leo’s Box, we use carbon neutral postage. So we base the cost of postage on the weight of the box. We try and be as clear as possible so the cost of postage is is totally transparent.


Members (and not-yet-members) have asked about our postage model. We recently introduced our postage plan and tried to answer here. So, to make things simpler, we are transparently moving our postage costs into a separate column for the total checkout.

The overall cost to you is exactly the same, but SHIPPING will show as a changeable rate for every order. We believe this is a new way to do shipping that is upfront and honest which allows us to do try and achieve our mission to make living sustainably easy.

Read next story