Friday, May 18, 2012

Words of Wisdom Series: Shipping Tips

In this new series, we ask the SASsy Mentors for their "words of wisdom" about a specific topic.  This month, we asked Celeste from CricketsCreations and Jessie from Modified for quick tips about shipping: time saving ideas or things they wished they knew when they were first starting out.

  • Buy your shipping supplies in bulk. Even though it may seem like 200 or 500 bubble envelopes is too many, they can be SO much cheaper this way in the long run.  Also, mailing an envelope is often less expensive and has shorter transit time than using a box.  Try the biodegradable, eco-friendly and recycled products in all different sizes offered by EcoEnclose.
  • Put your return address on a few dozen envelopes when you have a little bit of down time. This task may seem like it doesn't take much, but it will definitely save you time in the long run.  You could also get a return address stamp made, like these cute ones from lettergirl.
  • When establishing the cost for shipping, don't underestimate the actual costs. Keep in mind the cost of boxes, labels, envelopes, tape and any other supplies. It's important to make sure you're not losing money on shipping!
  • Shoppers love getting free or discounted shipping, even if you make the money back by charging a bit more for your actual items. Especially popular are, "The more you buy, the more you save," opportunities, such as combined shipping where additional items cost less or nothing to ship after the customer pays full shipping on the first item.   (Combined shipping is easy to set up in your shop!)
  • Afraid of losing money on international postage? One strategy is to charge the highest amount to "Everywhere Else" to make sure that you're covered, then you can refund any shipping overages back to the customer. An example of a country that's more expensive to ship to from the US is Australia, so you could base your "everywhere else" rates on USPS estimated Australia prices.  Make note of this in your shop policies.
  • For small lightweight items, invest in a small postal scale of your own.  You can weigh your packaged items at home; check the rate at USPS.com; add postage stamps (which you can get in many denominations) and drop them in a drive through mailbox, skipping the trip to the post office.
  • Make yourself a "shipping station" with all of your supplies in one place so you don't have to spend 10 minutes trying to figure out where you put the tape.  This also helps you see when you are getting low on envelopes and other supplies at a glance so you can stock up before your busy seasons.

6 comments:

Crickets Creations: Handcrafted Fashion Accessory Scarves and Fringies Professional Photo Portrait Props said...

Thank you for the very well written, clear article, Becka (you make me sound so coherent, lol)! :)

Judy Elizabeth said...

Good advice...

Linda Pruitt said...

Nice info! Helpful. I do have a shipping station (Drawer) and it is so helpful for seeing what supplies are needed. Also have my postal scale in there. Loved the hint about "Everywhere" Will use that one!

Beonca said...

Thanks for sharing this post is really help full for me.
Sometimes i have lost money on shipping.
B

The Bottom Line Blog said...

These are great tips. Thanks for such a helpful post!

International Freight Forwarder said...

Fabulous and practical tips on shipping. Thanks!