Most of us that are in some type of sewing or crafting business ship orders of some kind to customers around the country. What method of shipping do you use? Have you ever compared the costs of the various shipping companies to see where you could get the best deal? I’m kind of a “stuck in a rut” type of person, and for over 10-15 years now we’ve been shipping our pattern making books and our sewing machine/serger repair books through the regular U.S. Postal Service. Well, with the advent of the coupon clutches, shipping took on a whole new meaning — the sewing machine repair books and pattern making books were all mailed “media” mail, which ran between $2.40 – $2.60 each depending on the weight. The Coupon Clutch, because of the size and weight have to be shipped in the medium size flat rate priority mail postal service box, which costs us $10.50 if the label is made online ($10.95 if metered at the post office).
At the end of last year when Denise saw the “end of year” postage paid figure, she about hit the ceiling. She insisted that we could get a better deal from fed Ex because of the volume we were mailing. She made me get out of my rut and get with Fed Ex to see what we could do. I have a Fed Ex account that I rarely use, so decided I’d give them a call and see what kind of a deal they’d do for us. Well, the deal is this — they would take my “last years” shipping total, then see how many packages we ship through them during the following 3 months, and if the volume is considerably higher, they’d give us a 5% discount. Here’s the breakdown of a few of our shipping fees with Fed Ex (and needless to say, when I got to the point of clicking “ship”, I backed out and started over with a U.S. Postal Service label):
A package going to Tennessee (from Florida) via FedEx — ground and home delivery
$7.27 base fee
$3.00 DAS extended Residential fee (I have no clue what that means)
$2.45 Residential fee
$ .91 Fuel surcharge
$13.63 final charge
A package going to Washington State (5 business days) – ground and home delivery
$9.10 base fee
$2.45 Residential fee
$ .81 Fuel surcharge
$12.36 final cost
The priority mail flat rate box says 2-3 day delivery – anywhere in the country for the same $10.50 and they also have a delivery confirmation (tracking number) in case that’s needed. We do charge our customers $10.00 for shipping the coupon clutch, then just “eat” the remaining amount — but the point here is that you need to check out all the alternatives and see what is the best deal for you and for your customers. I’m sorry, Denise, but I’m back in my “U.S. Postal Service rut”, and looks like that’s where we’re going to stay.