One large expense that every business will encounter is getting your product to the customer. Shipping prices can rob you of some profit you could have if you do not seek the lowest costs when you mail packages. Customers may also not do business with you if a competitor has lower delivery charges. There are several ways you can lower the postage and shipping charges to keep your customers happy.
One of the best deals around, if your packages are not very large, is to ship via flat rate. An advantage is that you do not need to waste time with having to weigh your packages because if it will fit in the box – it qualifies. You pay by the box size and not the weight – up to 50 lbs. The boxes are also free, letting you save even more money.
UPS lets you provide your own boxes but it must meet certain dimensions to qualify. Remember to always use the smallest size box because the bigger the box the more it will cost – regardless of the weight.
If you are frequently shipping products to the same region, the USPS offers Regional Rate Boxes. This option can enable you to save some money over the cost of Flat Rate. The boxes are free and they are sent to you in packs of 10 to 100.
Watch for Zones
Depending on where you are mailing your packages from, the prices may also vary. Some shipping companies, such as the USPS and UPS, charge one national price, FedEx charges for U.S. deliveries by three zones. This may make their prices a little more depending on the destination.
If you are shipping heavier cargo, it will cost considerably less to find a shipping company with a distribution center in that zone. Then, bundle your packages together, send it to the distribution center, and let them distribute your packages for you. This enables you to skip zone pricing and will give you considerable savings.
Become a Member
When you sign up for an account and become a member at either UPS or FedEx, you can save even more money. Membership will let you save up to 50% when you pre-print your address labels and pay for shipping online. You can also save up to 50 addresses and track them. You will need a label printer to print the labels.
Save on Gas
If you hate having to go to the shipping store, you can also save gas by letting either UPS or FedEx pick up your packages. They will do this daily if needed, or you can schedule pickup times.
Be Flexible When Choosing Options
There can be sizable cost differences when it comes to various size packages. While flat rate is your best option if it fits in the box, getting a better price on larger packages requires some looking around. Also, FedEx and UPS will charge extra when delivering to a residence, but the USPS will not.
Recycle Packing Materials
When you get packages sent to you, save the packaging and bubble wrap. Reuse it whenever possible to prevent having to buy more. Once again, be sure to select the packaging that is closest to the size of the order for the best deal. Remember that a box is not always necessary. You can also use poly mailers but you will need to pay for them. These are excellent if the item is lightweight and unbreakable.