If you’re running an eCommerce business, one easy way you can cut down on your operating expenses and increase your profit margin is by seeking out discounted postage and cutting your shipping costs. There are many simple ways you can achieve this — let’s take a look at some.
Shop Outside the Box
When choosing your shipping provider, shop around for companies outside the big three— FedEx, UPS, USPS. For instance, you can save a bundle on shipping costs by working with a consolidator. By working with a consolidator, you can often get the same services you’re already using at a significantly lower cost due to the ability to consolidate shipments — plus more affordable options for international shipping, which can become quite expensive for retailers selling globally. Bottom line – don’t assume the big name providers are your only option. Shop around!
Negotiate Your Rates
Many shipping companies will negotiate pricing with you based on the volume of orders you produce each month. Depending on the size of your business, you could be eligible for discounted postage. If you’re not producing enough overall volume — or even enough volume to specific countries for global shipping — you may not be eligible for discounts from major companies. Instead, find a consolidator that can leverage those discounts for you!
Ask About Industry Association Discounts
While we’re on the subject of negotiating — your industry’s professional association may have a partnership with a shipping company. Member rates could have discounts of up to 50% on select services with carriers like FedEx, UPS, and more — so it’s worth looking into!
Compare Hybrid Services
Hybrid services pick up packages from your business and ship them through UPS, FedEx, or USPS — usually for half what you’d pay at a major retailer! While the extra middleman may add a day or two to your transit time, it can be worth the significant savings for your business.
Pass the Buck
When billing customers for shipping, be sure to consider all fees associated with shipping including surcharges. While these costs are often offloaded onto customers, high delivery prices may deter sales. Consider instead building the shipping fees into the price of your products — that way, you recoup costs and the customer still feels like they’re getting a good deal.
If you’ve been paying to insure your packages through a major shipping company, you could be missing out on savings. Instead, buy insurance from a third-party provider. On average you can save about 40 cents for every $100 of insurance you buy — which can add up over time especially if you ship expensive items.
Hunt for Discounts on Packaging Materials
Discounted postage isn’t your only money-saving option to consider in having your products delivered to your customers — you can save on boxes, bubble wrap, poly-mailers, air-fill, and more to consider. Tempted as you may be to add branding to your packaging — use this opportunity to cut your expenses instead. You can buy plain packaging in bulk to save money or even find free shipping materials from many different sources.
We hope we’ve inspired you to seek out different ways to cut down on shipping costs and save your business money. Remember: look for available discounts, leverage your strengths to negotiate, and shop around. Options like Asendia can offer you lower shipping costs and end-to-end package tracking for your customers — contact us today to find out more!