The average person doesn’t usually include shipping rates as a regular, consistent category in the budget. But you aren’t the average person—you’re a proud small business owner—which means you are shipping a considerable number of packages weekly.
But you’re also not getting the bulk shipping discounts like some bigger businesses that ship hundreds of packages every day.
If you find yourself in this middle ground, you probably fall under the category of “small business shipper.” This ranges from people who run their own online etsy shops to people with commercial locations and formal offices.
Here at ZipBooks, we want to make life easier for you, no matter what kind of small business you may run.
So how do you send out packages to your clients without having to pay a ridiculous amount in shipping rates?
We’re here to help you find the cheapest shipping rates, so let’s walk through it. Here are the factors that go into determining shipping costs:
So now we’ve covered the basic factors that affect your pricing. Next, we’re going to show you how to pay the least amount possible to get your products where they need to go. Here are some tips and tricks to help you cut down your shipping prices.
Though it might seem like rates are set in stone and way out of your price range, shipping rates are not fixed and inflexible. Don’t lose out on discounts because you feel like your business is too small to really take advantage of rate discounts. Depending on how many packages you tend to send out, you may be able to negotiate for a better price. Here’s how.
Go directly to the source—contact the shipping services. Set up accounts with them. Create a good connection, and then ask a representative about what sort of discount rates they offer. Sometimes there will be discounts general customers might not be aware of because the services don’t even list them online. Frequently, even sending as few as 100 packages per month can get you a discount.
Postage can get kind of tricky when you’re working with packages and padded envelopes. You can’t just throw on a stamp and call it good. Post offices usually take advantage of this confusion by printing the postage at the office and charging you way more for it.
Do some research on your carrier’s website and print out the postage you need from home. Some services can even connect to software to help you print it all out correctly.
Post offices can charge way more for boxes, padded envelopes, business envelopes, tape, and packing material than other stores. Compare prices online to get the best deals so you don’t get ripped off for basic shipping supplies.
Check to see if your carrier offers free pick-up and delivery. If so, this will save you the time, hassle, and money of going to a post office or your carrier’s store. However, if you choose to do this, you’ll have to arrange your schedule around the carrier’s pick-up schedule.
You have a decision to make. You either settle down by partnering with one shipping service and get a discount for being exclusive with them. Or you can choose to increase competition between providers by using multiple shipping partners so your clients can choose the one they want you to use.
Jenny is a content writer for ZipBooks and a graduate student at Brigham Young University.