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7 Packing and Shipping Tips for Small Businesses

According to the United States Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy, there are 31.7 million small businesses in the country. Because many of these small businesses do not have any employees, it is vital that they learn how to do things efficiently. 

Are you a small business owner that wants to learn more about packing and shipping products to your customers? Keep reading these 7 tips for small business shipping!

1. Know What Goes Into Shipping Costs

One of the most important shipping tips to follow is to learn what goes into shipping costs. Many people expect free shipping that is fast and efficient. However, this is simply not an option in many cases. There are many things that can increase your shipping prices. 

First, you need to consider speed. How fast are you sending your product? Do you advertise 2-day shipping? 

If you are, it is likely that your shipping prices have jumped significantly. 

Another thing you need to consider is where you are shipping products. Obviously, the farther you are sending your package, the more it will cost to ship it there. This is why many small businesses only ship within their own country. 

Finally, you need to think about the weight and dimension of your packages. When you have larger items, they will cost more to ship to your customers. This is why it is important for you to keep your packaging simple and as minimal as possible.  Dimensional weight is important to understand, as it can really raise the cost of your package.  Determining DIM weight is done by using a formula supplied by the carrier.  UPS for example uses their own formula to determine DIM weights.  There may also be additional charges, for example if your box is over a certain length.

2. Buy Packaging in Bulk

Next, you should consider buying packaging in bulk. This is one of the best packing tips for those who have frequent orders and high shipping volume. Your product packaging can drive up your overhead costs, so buying packaging in bulk can save you a lot of money!

This will also help you protect your products. When you are shipping a lot of products, it is likely that some may be damaged in transit. However, when you have the proper material and packaging, you can protect your orders and keep them from getting damaged as they are getting shipped. 

Shipping Supplies may include:

  • Boxes
  • Tape
  • Bubble Wrap
  • Foam
  • Newsprint
  • Labels

Getting the right shipping products can make a big difference in your product safety!

3. Consider Different Carriers

There are many shipping carriers that you can work with when you are packing and shipping your products to customers. The most common carriers are USPS, also known as the United States Postal Service, FedEx, and UPS. Depending on the carrier you choose, the pricing, delivery options, and more may vary. 

Many of these carriers also offer programs specifically for small businesses in the area. For example, FedEx offers a rewards program for small businesses and startups. The Small Business Program through UPS also allows you to schedule pickups and deal with customer returns more easily. 

Be sure to contact your carrier to negotiate the best possible rates for your business.

By considering each different carrier and what they have to offer, you will be able to ship your products with more confidence. 

4. Insurance Options

Something else you should consider when shipping products to your customers is if you will offer insurance options. According to a report by the New York Times, 1.7 million packages disappear each day. Most customers do not want to pay for insurance, so perhaps consider including it in the price of your product and offer it as free insurance.

Rather than paying the high prices of insurance for your company, you can consider using a third-party insurance option. It is especially important to have insurance options if you sell valuable items or electronics to customers. 

5. Offer Tracking

Many people who worry about their packages going missing or getting stolen like to be able to track their products. When you offer tracking options, you show that your company is transparent and that you care about your customers. 

When you use larger shipping carriers, they often have tracking information available. This means your customers can get notified when their package is shipped, delivered, and more. 

While offering tracking may give you more work as a business owner, it is worth it to keep your clients happy!

6. Is Fulfillment Worth the Money? 

As a business owner, you may not be able to handle the number of orders that come your way. If this is the case, you may want to consider whether or not using a fulfillment center is worth the money! 

These companies can ship your products for you, rather than sending them to you for packaging and shipping. However, fulfillment centers can be very expensive to use. If you do not have enough sales to justify the cost, you can easily hire additional help or continue shipping products by yourself!

Think about the costs versus the benefits to see whether or not it is worth the additional money. 

7. Offer Free Shipping When You Can

Finally, it is best to offer free shipping when you can. This is not always an option and offering it too often may lose you money. However, many companies offer free shipping when customers spend over a certain amount of money. 

This is a great tactic and may result in more sales. You can use free calculators online that will help you identify the threshold when you can afford to offer free shipping. If you always want to offer free shipping, you can include the cost of shipping your product in the base price. 

Get Help With Packing and Shipping Today

Learning the right strategies for effective packing and shipping can be difficult. However, when you follow these tips, you will find that it is much easier to deliver your product to your clients! Do you need help with packing and shipping?

Pack Secure can help! We offer packaging and shipping supplies that make it easier and more efficient for you to deliver your products. Contact our team today to learn more about the products we offer!

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