We did this to simplify our shipping cost structure and make it easier to understand and transparent. Basically, if you live in the continental USA you get free shipping on orders over $100, except on oversize items (Those are frames and wheels.) which incur a maximum shipping charge of $19.
If you live outside of the lower 48 we charge the actual shipping cost. We ask that you place your order so our incredible shipping staff can weigh it and determine the smallest box it will fit in (because box size is often more important than weight in determining cost). We'll calculate shipping using one or more carriers and send you an e-mail with the charges, usually with different options for speed and cost. You can pick one or cancel the order.
Speaking of frame prices, they'll probably go up next year due to manufacturing cost increases. Our frames are made in the same factory and out of the same tubing and by the same craftsmen as some frames costing more than twice times as much, though, to be fair, you do get more curlicues with some of those. VO frames also cost about the same as some frames that come nowhere near the quality of ours (and it really annoys me when people compare our frames to those). Anyway, it's always been my philosophy to charge what I consider to be a fair profit, not what the market will bear.
Finally, we offer a three year warranty on our frames. Even great steel frames do, very rarely, crack or break, and it's often really hard to tell why it happens. For example, a customer cracked a dropout on a VO frame; we sent him a new frame. He cracked the dropout on the replacement! Those are the only two dropout problems we've seen in the thousands of frames we've sold--and we still have no idea why it happened.
I just wanted to say one more thing about VO frames. I think what makes them special is the way they ride and handle. For me, at least, everything else, except decent build quality, come very far behind ride and handling when it comes to choosing a bike frame. And that's why we're a bit obsessed with ordering multiple prototypes and testing them for many months.