Shipping can easily become one of your biggest expenses as a product based business, but there are ways around the mounting costs if you know the best ways to ship.
Saving money on shipping can free up your income for other expenses or expanding your business, so to help you get started I’m going to share some of the tips I’ve learned through my own businesses.
Consider The Weight
The first thing to consider is the weight of what you are shipping. To ship packages weighing less than 2 pounds (typically customers ordering directly from your online store or website), First Class or Priority Mail with USPS will offer you the best shipping price.
For packages weighing more than 2 pounds (like wholesale orders), your best option is to open an account with FedEx or UPS. Their shipping charges on larger packages are less expensive than the Post Office.
Shipping Tip: Another fact many entrepreneurs are unaware of is that it costs less to ship to a business or commercial address using FedEx and UPS, than a residential address. This is part of what makes this the best bet for your wholesale orders.
Print Shipping Labels At Home
If you’re going to ship with UPS or FedEx, the first thing you'll want to do is sign up for an account online at www.ups.com or www.fedex.com. Prepaying and printing your labels at home instead of at the store will save you nearly 50% off the in-store price. You can still drop your packages off at the store to ship, although you’ll pay much less and you won't have to spend any time in the store waiting for your shipping labels to print.
Shipping Tip: Commercial post offices like Mail Boxes Etc. charge MUCH higher shipping fees than FedEx and USPS, so try to avoid shipping with them, even if the location seems convenient.
Save Even MORE!
Ask your local business associations or Chamber of Commerce about any special discounts they receive from FedEx and UPS. Some have negotiated discounts of up 58% off so it might be worth asking.
And, don’t forget to ask your credit card company too. I’ve save hundreds of dollars over the last 4 years thanks to a 5% discount from FedEx, just for being a card holder.
What shipping tips do you have for your fellow independent sellers?
Andreea Ayers works with creative entrepreneurs to help them get media attention for their products and to increase sales by getting their products in stores. For advice, insight and lots of free resources, check out her site LaunchGrowJoy.com
Main image courtesy of CJ Sorg