Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Tuesday Tips Keeping Shipping Costs Low

I'm going to take another break from scrapbooking tips and do a post on general business tips again.

When I am buying online, shipping price in a very important factor. I do understand that what I'm charged is the shipping cost plus extra expenses such as labels, tape, envelopes, and whatnot. However, I don't like to be charged $10 and see $1.50 in shipping! Yes I agreed to it and no I won't neg the seller, but I won't be back.

I try to keep my shipping costs very affordable and close to what I really pay. Of course with different shipping zones and package sizes sometimes I am over a little bit, but other times I'm less. Really with the time saved it all works out even if I do have to pay extra.

In an effort to upsell, I keep my combined shipping low. Yes sometimes I do eat a little bit of the cost, but if it helps me sell more die cuts or paper packs then it's worth it. If it keeps my customer happy it's well worth losing a few cents.

I recycle and reuse most of my packaging. I get boxes from anyone I can and reuse bubble mailers. A friend's company changed logos and they were going to throw away about 200 huge envelopes. I snagged them and they lasted me an entire year! I cut the logo off and taped the edge over itself and they were custom fit to my packages. I know some say food boxes are a no no, but I got some jewelry in a turned inside out cereal box and it was sewn shut. It totally fit her indie shop and I didn't mind one bit. It was creative and saving the earth. Obviously dirty boxes or boxes that have touched food might make some people skeevish so use your best judgement.

Unfortunately I do need bubble mailers more than I get them to recycle. We have a discount store here locally and I look ever time for 10 for $1 and buy all they have. I haven't seen them in a while so I ordered a bunch of little things from Etsy to restock. Kidding! Maybe... I'm going to have to break down and order from uline.com but I'm going to post on the Etsy forums and/or Craigslist to try to find someone to split shipping with me. Preferably more than one person so we really save.

Tape is a huDge expense for me, both packing tape and the scotch tape. I was buying Target brand tape for $1 each in packs of 4 but it went up to $3-4 per roll! Holy crap, is it made of crude oil now? I tried Dollar Tree tape and it was more hassle than it was worth. I went back to Target and staring right at me is a super genaric brand that's distributed in MN (where Tar-jay is) but is $4 for 4 rolls plus a free tape gun. Jackpot! So far so good, thicker than the $ store tape. I also found some of the same uber genaric tape to sub for scotch tape. It was 49 cents a roll! 49 cents! I use it to tape my labels on the package bc I'm too cheap to get stickers. Ok- stickers are on my (long) list. Until then, this tape works great.

So there you go, all of my secrets to keep costs low. Please add more if you've got em.