It is always tempting to overspend when it comes to shipping. The problem with this is that it eats into your profits. You can prevent this from happening by using shipping options that will put a tight lid on your shipping costs.
Here are a number of factors that, if not checked, could inflate your shipping costs.
1. You Have a Flat Rate for Every Item You Ship
Using a flat rate box when shipping anything that can fit inside the box could increase your shipping costs. While this approach is recommended in some situations, in others, there other better and cheaper options that could save you a few shipping dollars.
Among these options are regional rate boxes, which feature three weight tiers. The shipping rate depends on the distant a package travels, which is based on a defined shipping zone. Another alternative is the Priority Mail option, which is usually the most economical method of shipping a package quickly (in under three days). If the package is 4 lbs or less, you might get better than flat rates.
2. FedEx SmartPost and UPS SurePost
Using SmartPost and SurePost for deliveries may help you reach any US address. However, while these services use FedEx/UPS, the “Last Mile” use the United States Postal Service to deliver a parcel to your desktop. Using multiple providers may give you the best of all worlds and lower your shipping costs.
However, many online vendors are migrating exclusively to the United States Postal Service, which is now matching most of the benefits offered by FedEx and UPS. USPS Parcel Select and Priority Mail are some of the services that are outperforming those offered by FedEx and UPS.
3. Failure to Factor Dimensional Weight Changes
Dimensional weight matters, especially when shipping with UPS and FedEx. There are instances where a package’s dimensional weight is more than the actual weight. New regulations require you to pay more for both dimensional and actual weight of a package.
Before shipping a package, use a dimensional weight calculator to establish whether you will be required to pay more. Measuring and weighing your package helps to establish the exact amount you will pay to help you avoid overspending. With the new regulations, you will spend less by packing lighter products in small boxes whenever possible. When it comes to dimensional weight, size matters.
4. Packaging Is Pushing up Your Costs
When shipping non-fragile lightweight items, you might want to avoid packing them in a box. Other cheaper and equally convenient options include poly mailers. These don’t need to be padded with air-pouches or packing peanuts; and if they are less than 13 ounces, USPS could be your best bet. The poly mailer provides decent protection to your items, and the conception that only boxed items are safe is misplaced. Poly mailers are safe to use and are tear, puncture and water-resistant.
If you want extra protection, go for the dime-a-dozen padded poly mailers available online. You can even get free boxes and envelopes when shipping with USPS, FedEx, or UPS. Every cent saved adds up when shipping your packages. If getting a free box saves you the $1 it would have cost you to buy one, a few thousand deliveries down the line, that $1 would translate into thousands more and make a credible showing on your balance sheet.
Shipping costs, if not checked, can seriously affect your company’s bottom line. Any saving on shipping costs goes a long way in improving your company’s profitability. Instead of buying packing boxes and envelopes, use a shipping company that provides free ones. This way, instead of worrying about shipping expenses, you can concentrate on doing what your business exists for; selling stuff online.