How can you save money on shipping? You constantly stare at the numbers that you pay just to transport your goods, and you want to improve your company’s process. Here are 7 ways you can lower your shipping cost without cheapening your product.
1. Use Software – There are two well known online shipping services that help you get the best price and make it easy to ship goods. ShippingEasy.com and ShipStation.com. Both services are online apps that can help you organize all parts of your shipping and save you money by helping you get the best deals. What exactly do they do? Let’s dive into how these services can help you save. First of all, time is money, right? Both services help organize and handle your orders. You can print labels, view who needs to pay, and view who needs their shipment fulfilled. Both integrate right into the most popular shopping carts and other services you may use. The main feature for either software is they connect you with the lowest shipping rates based on the needs for each package. Shipping Easy and Ship Station are connected to major carriers and even offers international options. Both services include free trials so that you can see exactly how much it will help you. Try out http://shippingeasy.com/ and http://www.shipstation.com/ to start saving!
2. Ship directly to the customer. While it may seem wise to use Amazon or Walmart to get your brand name out, the fact is that it makes your product more expensive to use a middleman. If you are just starting to make a name for yourself, you want to draw your customers in with a lower price. If you need to ship the product to Amazon then Amazon ship the product to the customer, that doubles your shipping cost. Consider just selling directly from your website and shipping from your production location. Spend a little money on advertisements, and you will make that money back through your decreased shipping costs.
3. Recycle. If you recycle, you have the opportunity to skip paying so much for premium shipping materials. How do you recycle? Many large companies have lots of boxes that they throw away. Try asking around to see if anyone has boxes they would otherwise throw out. One person suggested getting packing material from a local newspaper printing business, saying they often have a lot of extra paper. Think about how you can save material or how you can re-use. When I shipped as a small business re-selling books, I used paper bags from the grocery store to wrap the packages in clean brown paper. The package looked nice, but I didn’t have to pay for paper in which to wrap the package.
4. Change the weight of your package; use airy packing materials. Why pay for heavy packing materials when bubble wrap is available so easily? You want the object to be safe. However, bubble wrap does a good job doing this, and you won’t need to pay as much for it. Also, don’t use boxes that are larger than necessary. Find a box that fits the item well. A larger box will just mean you need to pay for that extra cardboard.
5. Buy your shipping material online. It can often be cheaper, and it is always more convenient. You can buy labels, boxes, and packing material at a lower price if you buy it, not only online but also in large quantity.
6. Insurance – What should you do about insurance for the items you ship? Insurance can be a large cost for many companies, and then, they don’t even have very many packages lost or stolen. Here is some advice to help you save money. Only insure the high cost packages. Weigh the advantages and disadvantages. Where will your cut off be? What is considered a high value package? That answer is up to you and your company. However, because packages are rarely lost or stolen, you won’t be shoveling out money for packages that can be easily replaced. On the same hand, you will have all those high value packages insured and will have no need to worry about them.
7. Ask your service provider. They will probably give you some kind of discount if you are shipping many packages, as a group discount. If you don’t ask, the answer will always be no. Many people simply assume that there is no negotiating in situations like this. However, you may be surprised!
Experiment. Don’t just accept that you must do something the way you have always done it. There are many simple things that you can tweak to have a cheaper result. Happy shipping!