Cut Costs, Increase Profits With These 5 Money-Saving Shipping Tips
July 24, 2017
Are outrageous shipping costs eating up your profits? You're not alone, especially if you're the owner of a small business. Free and fast shipping are the norm for today's consumers, but footing the bill for postage isn't always easy. Pay attention to box sizing, packing materials and the way merchandise is arranged inside the carton to shrink your shipping costs without disappointing your customers.
Use Actual Weight to Estimate Shipping Costs
Inaccurate weights and dimensions result in shipping costs that are either too high or too low, and neither situation is good for business. Invest in a postal scale that can accommodate the weight of your largest packages. A small scale with a 3 pound to 5 pound capacity is ideal for lightweight merchandise such as jewelry or handbags, while a model with a weight capacity of 250 pounds will likely quickly pay for itself if you deal with heavy items on a regular basis.
Carriers typically round weights to the nearest pound to calculate shipping. For example, a 9-ounce envelope is typically billed the same as a box that weighs 1.2 pounds, and a parcel weighing 74.7 pounds is calculated as a 75-pound package.
Understand Dimensional Weight and Its Relationship to Box Sizing
Some carriers use the dimensional weight of a package to determine the cost to ship. Dimensional weight defines the amount of space a package requires. When the dimensional weight is more than the actual weight, it is typically used as the billable weight. This means that it may cost more to ship a 2-pound backpack in an oversized box than it does to send a pair of 4-pound dumbbells.
To calculate a package's dimensional weight, measure the length, width and height of the box in nearest inches, multiply the three together, and then divide the result by 166. The dimensional weight of a box measuring 25 inches long, 10 inches wide and 5 inches high is 8 pounds. Shipping the 2-pound backpack in a box this size makes it four times as expensive.
Make the Most of Every Inch
Shipping boxes come in a variety of sizes, including small and simple envelope mailers and extra-large heavyweight cardboard containers. Choose a box that safely holds the contents of the order with a minimal amount of empty space left over. This cuts shipping costs and also saves money on packing materials. Consolidate
multiple-item orders into single packages whenever possible and cost-efficient, and use appropriate packing tools to ensure a snug fit that will protect items during transit. Consolidating usually reduces shipping costs and saves on supplies, such as bubble wrap and tape.
Pack Like a Pro
Some small businesses use eye-catching package presentations to set themselves apart from their free-shipping competitors. This can actually save money on shipping costs and supply expenses when it's done correctly. Colored tissue paper has very little impact on the weight of a package, it's inexpensive, and it's an attractive way to separate multiple items packed in a single carton. Place large and bulky items in the bottom of the box, and arrange smaller merchandise on top. Fill in the gaps with crumpled tissue paper, newsprint or a similar lightweight material.
Wrap fragile items in bubble roll or cushioned foam for added protection, and use heavy-duty packing tape in a dispenser to minimize waste and streamline the packaging process.
Go Online to Take Care of Business
Printing postage stamps, envelopes and flat-rate boxes at home saves time, and it's typically more affordable than buying stamps at the postal counter. Handling other shipping tasks online, such as printing labels and scheduling pickups, also helps cut costs and reduce expenses. Take advantage of your preferred carrier's online shipping tools. For example, the United States Postal Service has an online shipping portal that lets customers print shipping labels, schedule package pickups and pay for postage without making a trip to the post office.
Quick and reliable shipping doesn't have to cost a fortune for you or your customers. Use accurate measurements, minimize empty space in boxes and use packing materials wisely to keep your shipping costs down without skimping on the package's presentation or safety.
/account/v2/editBillingDisplay,/orderhistory/subsManager,/orderhistory/submitReturn,/account/accountSummaryDisplay,/account/loginAccountDisplay,/account/myfiles,/csl/listAllhttps://request.eprotect.vantivcnp.com/eProtect/js/payframe-client3.min.js?d=20200809 Join Now