For those of us who ship items that we’ve designed and crafted all around the globe, there is the constant issue of prices going up. Postal Service rates have gone up once again as well as prices on products we use for packing our products. We have learned, through trial and error, a few things dealing with the packing and shipping aspect, and want to pass them on to you.
** I’m sure we’re not the only ones who’ve gotten “stuck in a rut” when it comes to the type of packaging we use. Well, now is the time to step out of your comfort zone and try new packaging products. For example, for years we have used the bubble type padded manilla envelopes for shipping soft, really unbreakable products. Recently we decided to try the tyvek type envelopes. WOW! The tyvek envelopes worked GREAT — they were more lightweight than the manilla padded paper packages, therefore brought the shipping cost down, plus they are untearable which the paper manilla packages were not. In addition, we found a supplier on eBay where we could get a large lot of 1000 tyvek bags for about 1/3 the price of only 100 manilla bubble packages.
** Before simply making the call or visit to an office supply store for your packaging needs, check out eBay to see what might be available there. It’s been our experience that you can get larger lots of the shipping item for less. However, if you are still wanting to use the local office supply store, be sure you check the newspapers and flyers that come in the mail for discount coupons.
** When you get ready to actually package the items to ship, it would be wise to check the various shipping companies (USPS, FedEx, UPS, etc) to see where you can get the best shipping price. I usually think that if my product won’t fit in a USPS “flat rate” box of some kind, it will be cheaper and quicker delivery to send the box via FedEx. Once again, I had an eye opener yesterday when I was shipping a rather big/heavy box (12 pounds and in my own cardboard box, not any flat rate type box). I was doing my online shipping label at FedEx and got down to the price area and it told me the price would be $23.85. WHAT?? And this box was going to a BUSINESS so didn’t even have all the “residential” surcharges tacked on. I immediately opened a new window to check out the US Postal Service rate —-sending from my zip to their zip – box size and weight —- the priority mail price was $13.59! You can guess right away that I closed up the FedEx label window and finished the label using the US Postal Service. Never “assume” that one carrier will be cheaper than all the rest —- when you have a package that is a little different than those that you normally ship, be sure to check the various options before making any assumption about which would be cheaper or faster.
** One other reminder on the shipping supplies – remember that the Postal Service provides a wide variety of flat rate boxes as well as regular priority mail boxes and shipping envelopes — all FREE to you, the customer. This can make a big difference in the final cost for shipping your items, where every penny saved can add up to additional profit for you.