5 Tips for Small Business & eBay Sellers to Reduce Shipping Costs
Mailing and shipping costs can be expensive for small business owners selling products online or for eBay sellers. Here are 5 tips to help your company to reduce your shipping and mailing fees:
Determine the proper packaging to ship your items
Delivery services charge more for larger shipping containers. Larger boxes and packing materials weigh more and increase the total cost to ship the item, so make sure to use the smallest shipping container. Your product should fit safely and securely in the shipping box, which will ensure that it does not move or migrate during transportation. Damaged goods during shipment not only cost you money on returns and refunds, but also create customer dissatisfaction. It is unlikely a buyer will purchase from you again if their initial order was damaged. Packaging needs to provide safety for the order while maintaining the lowest possible cost. If shipping and handling charges are too high during the checkout process, buyers may not complete an online transaction.
Create a local delivery network
If you are spending a ton of money on local deliveries within a 30-50 mile radius, it might be less expensive to hire an on staff delivery person. This may not work for every business; vehicle and fuel fees plus the employee cost would have to be compared to what you are currently spending on your delivery service. You will have complete control over delivery times and schedules. If you purchase a vehicle, prominently display your logo and it will act as a mobile advertisement for your business.
Print postage online to save on postage costs
The US Postal Service offers discounts for purchasing and printing your own postage online. You will need a digital postage scale to accurately weigh your package. The US Postal service offers free pickup, so you can ship directly from your store without having to make a trip to the post office. Tracking is included so you will have confirmation that your packages are delivered. If you want to further automate your shipping system, software is available that integrates and generates an email to buyers with their tracking number.
Compare the prices of FedEx, UPS, and USPS for shipping your products
Not all shipping services charge the same rates. Measure and weigh your package and use online shipping calculators to compare the rates of the different shipping services. Shipping providers also allow you to set up business accounts and typically offer volume discounts for large usage. You will also need to take into consideration the different features offered by each company. For example, the USPS offers flat rate boxes for free if you use their priority mail option. A lot of different factors are involved when calculating shipping cost: weight, dimensions and the distance of the shipment, so you need to compare rates. Remember that shipping companies change their rates regularly, so it is important to stay informed of the most current rates.
Pay your bills online or electronically to save on postage
Paying each of your monthly bills electronically will save on the cost of postage. A miniscule amount will also be saved on the time and materials of cutting a physical check. Payment can be set up to withdraw automatically, thus eliminating the risk of late payments and incurring finance charges.