Shipping costs are expensive hurdles for every company in the eCommerce world, but they are especially troubling for small businesses. Big companies like Amazon have only made it more challenging by raising the standards for quicker free shipping. However, if you want to stay in business and make more profit, you must learn how to save money on shipping. So what steps must eCommerce entrepreneurs take to lower costs and improve their profit margins?
Weigh Your Packages and Scale Down Dimensions
Shipping heavier packages can be more costly unless you are using flat rate shipping. If you usually print labels and ship from home, you may want to consider purchasing a postage scale. This unit will help you buy the correct shipping labels and predict costs better.
Apart from weight, carriers also look at package dimensions when computing the total shipping price. If you are using a big box for a small item, you will end up paying more due to the extra space your package accumulates. A large box will increase dimensional weight, leading to additional costs. Make sure to be careful when choosing your packaging.
Look for Discounted Packaging Supplies
Companies like FedEx, UPS, and USPS often provide their customers with envelopes and boxes at discounted prices or for free. You can also buy packing supplies like dunnage, air-fill, boxes, bubble wrap, or poly mailers in bulk to save money. Do not be afraid of the initial high investment, as it will save you more money in the long run.
Consider Hybrid Services
Hybrid services like FedEx SmartPost and UPS SurePost can reduce half the costs of using other delivery options like standard FedEx and UPS. They pick up orders and use carriers like USPS to deliver the packages to a post office or a sorting facility, which is then picked up by the local mailmen. However, although these services can help you save money, you must also be aware that they can slow delivery time, and there are size, weight, and volume restrictions you should look out for.
Acquire Discounted Shipping Rates
Shipping companies all offer discounts depending on the shipment volume. This does not necessarily mean you have to ship numerous orders every month to receive such benefits. The types of packages you ship matter as well. Although you may receive better rates if you ship more products, you can always try to negotiate the volume discounts by promising loyalty to the shipping carrier. Companies should always opt for lower shipping costs, as long as they don't delay delivery times or affect the shipping solutions.
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