Shipping can be expensive, especially if you’re a business owner or a consumer with an eye for online shopping. Cutting your shipping expenses is the best way to trim the fat from your long-distance purchases. Here are seven tips and tricks you can use to save a dime on every mile.
Don’t lock yourself into one carrier
If you can avoid locking yourself into one carrier, you will no doubt save money on shipping. Always choose the best carrier by price for each order. Shopping around for a carrier every time you want to click “buy now” can be time-consuming and labor-intensive, but it’s worth the bundle of savings. You’ll quickly realize that different shipping carriers usually offer varying rates depending on dimensions, weight, and package destination.
Be open to many options, and chances are, you will cut on costs by going with the rate that benefits you the most.
Try a virtual mailbox
If you have packages headed for overseas pastures, the international shipping costs involved can leave you digging deep into your pockets. While you could opt for a slower shipping option, bundle items together, or scour the shelves for boxes that minimize wasted space, a virtual mailbox is a high-tech solution to sky-high shipping costs.
For those unfamiliar with these innovations in mailing, a virtual mailbox is a physical mailing address that can receive packages from any carrier and store them securely for you. You then pick up your mail at your leisure. If you’re looking for an easy way to ship that’ll save you money, look for a virtual mailbox near you.
Unbeknownst to most, virtual mailbox services often receive discounted shipping rates, given that they ship such a high volume of mail. As a bonus, virtual mailbox services fulfill the needs of international shoppers who may require a U.S.-based address to shop with US companies. By choosing a virtual mailbox location, complete with an international street address, you can reduce the number of mail runs and mail distribution times, saving you precious dollars that would otherwise be spent on international shipping costs.
Use USPS flat rate boxes or ‘Commercial Plus’ pricing
USPS commercial service allows you to use flat rate boxes to ship your packages. It’s an excellent way to ship heavier items because it’s based on volume rather than weight. As the ads say, if it fits, it ships.
On the other hand, if your parcels are light (less than 16 oz/ approximately 400g), you can switch to First Class shipping. For about the same price, you can see packages reach your relatives or your customers in record time.
If you’re a small business owner shipping products, packaging costs can be pretty high, adding to the total shipping expenses. However, you can save money by reusing packaging.
Having to buy boxes and bubble wraps every time you’re shipping can be expensive. Instead, reuse these items as frequently as possible, and if possible, ask for some spare packaging from friends.
Look for shipping partners/outsourcing
Finding a shipping partner like Amazon FBA is likely to save you money on shipping. There are many other outsourcing services out there that handle shipping on behalf of businesses or consumers.
The fees may make it look more expensive, but it saves you money and effectively manages your finances in the long run. Remember, by outsourcing, you relieve yourself of expenses such as warehousing and personnel.
Avoid paying for insurance
When looking to cut shipping costs, it’s imperative to assess the insurance fees. If you’re dealing with a reputable shipping company, the chances of losing your package are pretty slim. As long as your parcel is not of high value, you don’t have to insure it.
Go for a shipping company that assumes the risk of loss for lower value packages themselves. Taking this step will save you the money you would otherwise spend insuring your package.
Be efficient in your packaging
Ensure your packaging is efficient. Only use boxes that accommodate your item without leaving out so much space. Additionally, airy and light packing material helps reduce shipping costs.
However, ensure the items are in tip-top shape by the time they reach you. The best way to do that is by using boxes such as those from USPS. Also, by reusing packets such as the airy ones, you save on shipping costs even further.
Now there’s no excuse for you not to save money on shipping. It requires some effort on your part and time to plan your shipping, but it’s well worth the effort. So whether you’re shipping within your city or abroad, the tips mentioned above will help you save money. Your pocketbook will thank you.