The internet has opened up so many business opportunities and has provided businesses all over the world with endless customer options. The internet allows you to sell to anyone, anywhere in the world. You can make a profit, without ever having to open a storefront. However, any business owner will understand the high costs of shipping and some of the troubles that are associated with shipping items across the world. Consider the following money saving shipping tips.
Charge the buyer for shipping
In some cases, charging the buyer for shipping costs is acceptable. This is usually true when shipping items to a country that is very far away, or has higher than average shipping fees. The customer is likely aware of these shipping concerns and may be used to paying additional for shipping. Sometimes, offering them a small discount on the item will keep them satisfied with the higher cost of the purchase.
If shipping within your home country, however, customers may be used to free shipping. Instead, consider raising your prices a couple of dollars and then include free shipping. The free shipping cost is usually valued higher than the couple of dollars increase in the price of the items, and most buyers do not care. Test out your shipping prices and follow domestic shipping rates to best set your prices.
Ship in bulk
If possible, shipping in bulk can save you costs on domestic shipping rates. When business shippers, such as the United States Postal Service or UPS know they will be getting regular business from your company, they are more likely to provide you with discounted domestic shipping rates. Inquire with local shipping companies on business shipping prices and ensure that you are aware of any minimum shipping requirements. Also, test out different carriers often. As a general rule of thumb, Fed Ex is cheaper than UPS and USPS for packages exceeding 3 pounds.
Attempt to reduce shipping weight
Most shipping carriers base their prices on the weight of the package that is being shipped. Box shipping rates tend to cost more than secure shipping for small packages. Although you may not be able to adjust the weight of your inventory, you may be able to find shipping alternatives that weight less. Look for lower weighted boxes and envelopes and only contain filler in fragile inventory items. Only choose boxes and cases that are low in weight. Over many years, you will notice a significant decrease in your shipping costs.
Although it is important to reduce shipping weights, never sacrifice the quality of your packaging. Higher quality packaging protects your items better, reducing the amount of damage claims. Always choose a box with enough room for cushioning materials around the contents. Sturdy paperboard or corrugated fiberboard boxes are best for weights up to 10 pounds.
Always purchase insurance
It may be tempted to forego many of the delivery adds on?s to save money, such as buyer signature required, first class shipping, and shipping insurance. However, purchasing private shipping insurance can actually save you money. If you lose just one high valued purchase without insurance, you will have to replace the item out of your pocket. If you purchase insurance, the item will be covered.
Purchasing insurance is not enough. You also need to be aware of how the insurance claim process works, especially if you lose a high valued item. Some insurance providers, for example, give you only a few days to discover the damage and file a claim, while other insurers offer 30 days to report damage from the time the shipment arrives at its destination. Be aware of these time limits, and always provide your customer with order notification limits and an easy way to contact you with any problems.
Many businesses rely on domestic and international shipping of their inventory items. For this reason, many businesses spend a large portion of their costs on shipping fees. Attempt to reduce your overall shipping costs by finding alternative packaging, reducing secure delivery service weights for lower domestic shipping rates, charging the buyer for shipping, and always opting for small package insurance to cover any damages or losses.