If you’re shipping anything this season, whether a package or a surprise gift for your loved one, you might need some pointers for speeding up the process and keeping costs low. With the cost of shipping rising these days on top of fuel prices and tariffs, it is more important than ever to do your best to keep shipping costs down. Use bubble wrap and other lightweight materials to pack your packages, and take advantage of free shipping domestically and internationally as often as possible. Here are 7 tips for fast and easy shipping.
1. State shipping prices and times upfront
Most websites will let you know how much shipping will cost and how long it will take for an item to reach its destination, making it really easy to budget accordingly. Shipping costs can vary greatly depending on the weight of the items that you are shipping. If your shipping costs are high after considering this, ask the seller if they offer a discount off the listed price.
2. Invest in good packing materials
While it is true that most of the shipping costs are due to weight, packing materials do not come cheap either. Investing in suitable packing materials such as padded envelopes, and shipping boxes will help keep your shipment light, so they will not break the bank. If you want to cut costs further, consider investing in recycled materials.
3. Vacuum seal larger soft items
If you have a bigger shipment to send, vacuum sealing larger soft items such as pillows, or stuffed animals will save you money, as it will cut down on the amount of packaging your items has. It will also help you keep your shipment light, which is a saving grace regarding shipping costs and weight. It will take some extra time, but it’s worth it when you find out that this will help cut down on the cost of shipping.
4. Research your shipping carriers
If you regularly ship items, it’s important to find out which carriers offer the cheapest rates. Not only do you want to know how much each carrier will charge you, but you also want to know how long it takes for your items to arrive at their destination. Some carriers may have shipping rates that do not seem like a lot, but if they can’t deliver items on time they are not worth using.
5. Offer free shipping as a promo
If you are trying to get your business off the ground, you may find that free shipping is a great way to attract customers. If you have the funds to offer free shipping for a limited time or an entire holiday period, this will help your company make money. Not only does it encourage people to shop from your site, but once they receive their shipment, they will likely come back for more.
6. Have a plan in place for busy seasons
Getting your products to their destination on time can be easier said than done when dealing with a constantly busy shipping company. You may be paying more than you originally budgeted to get your items there on time and potentially have them arrive damaged if they aren’t packed properly. Make sure you have a plan in place for busier shipping times.
7. Automate your shipping
If you are shipping a lot, then it makes sense for you to automate the process. Consider using a service like Shipstation, which will help you integrate all your shipping accounts into one place. It will also allow you to automate your shipping process so that once an order is placed, it goes straight through the system and is out on its way. A letter will inform you when an order is being shipped, and a notification will come through via email should the package be damaged. You can also get information through text message or a courier to the customer directly if you want to.
When it comes to shipping, there are ways that you can save money on your product and its delivery. Make sure your item is light in weight and well-packed, and don’t forget that some carriers offer cheaper shipping rates than others.