How much is your company spending on shipping costs? Are you above or below the average of $338 a month?
It’s a double-edged sword, isn’t it? You want your business to grow and you want more sales. But the more sales you have, the higher your shipping costs climb.
If you haven’t done so in a while, now is the time to start looking for cheap shipping options. We have a few ideas to help you get started lowering your shipping costs.
Pay Attention to Size
Pay attention to the size of your package. The most common shippers today use a dimensional weight ratio to determine shipping charges.
This means that shipping large pillows could end up costing the same as a 25-pound dumbbell.
Because if this you’ll want to package your product in the smallest box possible. Can you get away with a bubble mailer? Can you use a box that is just bigger than the product box?
Consider the Weight
Besides the size of the package, you need to consider the weight. You don’t want to use packing material that is going to add unnecessary weight.
This means that you should avoid the paper filler. You also don’t want to invest in a durable and heavy box if your product doesn’t need the extra protection.
Use Quality Packing Materials
More isn’t always better, so don’t assume that using a ton of packing material is going to protect your product better. Using a quality packing material will require you to use less and protect your product better.
This will save you money in lost product costs due to damage in shipping. Replacing broken product not only increases your product costs, but you are also paying for shipping twice.
You also won’t have to worry about losing money by refunding customers whose product arrived broken.
Take Advantage of Free
Nothing is cheaper than free, so why aren’t you considering free packing materials? Here are three options for scoring free shipping materials.
#1. USPS Priority Mail
If you plan on shipping your product via priority mail then you can use the available boxes. Just be aware that the post office won’t be happy if you go and stock up on a ton of boxes and then never ship anything.
#2. FedEx Offers Shipping Supplies
FedEx offers a bunch of solutions for the small business owner. You can get free shipping supplies. They also have packing and design services available if you are looking to scale up.
#3. Discarded Materials
One of the easiest ways to score free packing materials is to use the old and discarded packing materials from past shipments. If you want to really commit to this strategy you could go dumpster diving, but that sounds gross to us.
Retail stores throw away a ton of packing material. Grabbing this discarded packing material will save you money and do some good for the environment.
One thing to keep in mind with this strategy is that you may have to sacrifice looks. If package presentation is important to you, this won’t be the best strategy for you.
Utilize Last Mile Options
Last mile delivery means that you will use more than one carrier to get your shipment from point A to point B. This is most commonly used when you ship through UPS and FedEx.
The advantage of doing this is you save money on the residential delivery fee. Carriers want to save money by streamlining the delivery process.
So, you get a discount because the carrier will drop your shipment off at the local USPS office. Then the last leg of the shipment gets handled by the USPS.
One thing to keep in mind when using this method is that while you may save money, it will add a day or two onto the overall shipping time. So, if the shipping time is crucial, you may want to spend the extra money and get the shipment there faster.
Don’t pick one shipping service and then stick with it without considering any other options. While there isn’t anything wrong with having your “go-to”, you may find that shopping around gets you the best rate every time.
One shipper may give you the best rate across the country, while another may give you the best rates locally.
You may also find that online service options can provide better rates them going to a local retail store. They can also provide you with extended services like certified mail online delivery. You can get more information if you aren’t sure if certified mail services are right for your needs.
You’re using online business tools to help the other areas of your business run smoothly, so why aren’t you using them for your shipping? This will streamline everything for you and save you time.
Using a shipping software means that you have one portal to manage all of your shipping through. This can make managing those multiple carriers much quicker and easier.
When you find the right software, it can import all of your shipping information from multiple carriers. You can compare rates in one place. Then you can buy and print postage.
Get Creative for Cheap Shipping
If you want to save money on shipping the trick is to get creative and not let yourself become complacent in your ways. Start by taking a hard look at your current packaging.
You want the smallest and lightest packing possible. Then once you have the packaging sorted, it’s time to shop around for the best rates.
Finally, think about automating the process by integrating software into your processes. This way you can be sure you consistently choose cheap shipping rates.
Looking for more deals? Check out these 5 deal sites to help you save hundreds.