Steep shipping costs

We are new to Vex, just registered our team and ordered the competition kit. At that time I did not realize that there were more items I needed to order such as Game element and Field. The shipping for those two items is coming unto $125, which is really high. The shipping for competition kit was $50 (to California).
Is this what everyone else’s experience been?


Definitely not as steep as you (possibly a shortage in the US, might just be for that part, i dunno) but we’ve had 23-30AUD which is definitely on the higher side for usual deliveries.

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Welcome to the forums…and to VEX’s high shipping costs. $125-150 for shipping a field is pretty normal (and less than a VRC field!). VEX ships everything Fedex ground at regular rates. This means that there is about a $15 minimum charge for anything, then after that the costs are based on weight after that. So you need to plan your purchasing to make just a few large orders each year, or you’ll spend $15 to ship a two dollar part.

VEX rates are not out of the ordinary, except that they don’t ship small/light stuff by mail, which would save a lot on shipping. The bigger problem is likely that we’ve gotten to used to “free” shipping by amazon!


When buying multiple items it may be best to place multiple orders instead of one big order. Shipping costs increase with the size of the box overall, so if they are including multiple orders in one box it can increase the shipping to an amount greater than shipping each order separately in smaller boxes.

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An interesting theory, but it doesn’t play out in real life: in my experience (I have been managing the ordering/logistics for our organization for years), VEX shipping knows about the oversize box fees, and will package your order into the appropriate size and number of boxes. Here’s the quote from FedEx, if you’re interested:

  1. A FedEx oversize charge applies to any package that exceeds 96 inches in length or 130 inches in length and girth. The rating will be based on the greater of the package’s actual rounded weight or dimensional weight, subject to a 90-lb. minimum billable weight.

If you want to test your theory, however; you can go to VEX Robotics and build up a sample order, and estimate the shipping charges, then go back and make up separate orders, and estimate the shipping charges again. Other than “sticker shock” there are no suprises when ordering with VEX: the shipping costs given on the page are what you’ll be paying.

You can’t really compare rates to places like Amazon, because they build most of the shipping cost into the items. It you look at independent retailers you can often find the products are cheaper but with shipping they work out to about the same.

And provide screenshots!!! I doubt it would help but now I’m curious!

I just happen to have an order going…so let’s see. Here’s 50 boxes of 1x25 bar (which I know will be shipped in multiple cartons):

And here’s 25 boxes of 1x25 (half the order):

Shipping single order of 50 is $44.33, shipping two orders of 25 would be $58.50


I have done this with multiple orders this past year. This is why I mentioned to try this method. When ordering a few items separately, it saved me sometimes $10-20 off shipping instead of one large order. I always build each order and have it price the estimated shipping cost. May not always work but it has for me on my last 3 orders. They were large orders however, that may be the difference because it was going to package larger boxes. I don’t think vex does always try to do the least expensive packaging vs fewer boxes.


Saved our program $12.41 which adds up over multiple orders. May not always work but worth checking the estimates on the site.


In this example, I think it’s the competition field perimeter has thrown FedEx into an oversized charge, that wouldn’t be happening if all of the products ordered could be shipped without oversized charges. So for this example, ordering a competition field separate from other items is a good idea to keep an oversized or overweight surcharge from affecting everything in your order


An IQ field ships in 3 boxes, where as a field element kit for this season is all in one. Also know that VEX does build in some of the shipping cost into some of the robot kits (why you get free shipping when you order one of the bundles).

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IQ field is sold as 8’x2’ widths. In the before times you ordered two and got the full field. In the present times they ship the three to make the full field. Fun fact, when they were out of the “middle” section this summer I just ordered the 3 “halves” and got my fields (now have 2 extra corners) but it beat waiting.

Which bundle has free shipping? The only free shipping I know about is the VEX Pro Monday free shipping deal.

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From the vexrobotics website: