Small Business Brief

Shipping & Transportation

4 Ways Small Businesses Can Save Money When They Ship Products

Running a small business can be one of the most satisfying things you can do with your life. After all, small business owners consistently rank as some of the happiest people in the country.

That doesn’t mean running a small business isn’t a lot of work. There are a lot of obstacles to overcome, including determining how to best ship products. Balancing a small business budget is a tough task, and finding a way to keep shipping costs down will be key to the success of a product-oriented business.

How can you keep those costs down when shipping? There’s a variety of things you can try to do. Keep reading and we’ll walk you through a few ideas you can try to employ.

1. Understand How Shipping Pricing Works

You can’t get around a problem if you don’t take the time to understand it. That’s the case when it comes to shipping. Before you can figure out which corners to cut, you’ll want to know what factors lead to your overall cost.

Most shipping companies come to a total cost in much the same way. The main factors they consider are the dimensions of your package, the weight, and the distance it needs to travel.

The larger each of these factors is, the larger your total cost will be. 

The speed of travel is also something you’ll have to consider when determining shipping costs. Thanks to the popularity of services like Amazon, consumers expect their packages to come quickly.

Expedited shipping, however, costs money as well. You’ll need to find the proper balance between speed and customer expectations.

If there’s anywhere in your shipping set up where you can cut down on one of these factors, you should do it. It’ll save you loads of money in the long-run.

2. Don’t Be Afraid To Negotiate

Too many small businesses take the estimated numbers from carriers as hard law. This isn’t the case. If you’re going to be shipping things out constantly, you’re a potential asset to these shipping companies.

The bottom line is they’re going to want your business.

That puts you in a more powerful position than you might assume. You shouldn’t be afraid to utilize it as you determine what carrier you want to work with.

Many shipping companies will set different price scales based on volume. If you can promise that you’ll be sending out a certain quantity of packages a week, they likely will be able to get you a more competitive rate per package.

Compare these competitive rates between carriers and see where the companies stand. If you can, pit them against each other and see if you can get a particular carrier to go lower. 

Securing a great rate off the bat is an amazing way to make your shipping problems a lot smaller. You need a little confidence.

3. Look Into Your Carrier’s Packaging

No matter which carrier you go with, they likely have their own packaging options. If you can use these packaging options for your products, you might be able to shave a few bucks off of your shipping costs.

Each carrier has certain dimensions and regulation rules. If your personal packing doesn’t align with their standards, you could find yourself paying extra fees.

Looking at carrier packaging might present solutions that you didn’t even think about, for example. Do you have a small product you’re shipping in a small box? Looking at carrier packaging might reveal that your product fits just as well in an envelope.

However, you’ll need to consider the price of the carrier’s packaging as well. You’ll want to compare rates. A seller like Packaging Fulfillment might offer you a better deal on shipping materials than one of the international carriers would.

This is another area where you don’t have to be afraid to negotiate. Cutting down your cost of packaging can help your overall shipping budget immensely. 

4. Consider Prepaid Shipping Labels

Are you sending out packages of the same weight and size every week? If you have a kind of standard shipment you make, you might be able to cut some overall shipping costs.

This is because you’ll be able to invest in some prepaid shipping labels. When you prepay for shipping, you’re granted a discount. That discount can be as high as 20% off– nothing to turn your nose up at.

Investing in prepaid shipping labels is easy as well. You purchase a large number of shipping labels ahead of time that matches the dimensions and weight of the packages you normally send out. 

You then affix the labels you’ve purchased and send the packages out right away, as opposed to determining a price then and there. Not only does this save you money in the long run, but it can also help to streamline your shipping process.

You can call a carrier representative and inquire about pre-paid shipping labels if this might be a workable solution for your company.

Ways To Save Money When You Ship Products

If you sell a certain product as your main act of business, you’ll likely be sending plenty of packages out. Determining how to keep costs low when you ship products out will be an essential task when determining how to keep your business going.

The above methods are a few of the many ways worth considering. With any luck, you can set up a great shipping procedure and be well on your way to success.

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