What does shipping cost you (on average)? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 7 Old 08-14-2003, 04:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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On average, what are your shipping costs? and who do you use to ship? USPS, UPS, etc.? do you ever offer free shipping? if so, what has been your experience with this. thanks
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#2 of 7 Old 08-14-2003, 09:05 PM
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Generally, the buyer pays shipping so the business owner shouldn't incur a lot of shipping costs unless they run free shipping offers frequently.

A lot of inexperienced wahms will jump right onto the gimmick wagon & lose money by offering specials like free shipping without taking into consideration their profit margins, packaging materials, & time.

UPS & Fed Ex charge monthly or yearly fees if you're a business owner & sign up for their daily pick ups. You can check their websites & call a rep for more information. These fees are passed a long to the consumer in a round about way either by charging a handling fee (which a lot of people don't like) or by simply making sure your retail prices on your products make you enough to not only pay the bills, overhead, and make it worth your while, but also ensure that you aren't losing money on shipping costs.

Online post office services can save you loads of time, but also add a cost to your efforts. www.stamps.com allows you to print your postage without having to stand in lines at the post office. www.shippertools.com allows you to print labels & get free delivery confirmation but you still need to stand in lines at the post. Time is money, so don't forget to account for that as well.

While dropping off packages at a UPS or Fed Ex place may seem more economical - you need to take into consideration the wear & tear on your vehicle, the time it takes from your day, how many kids you have to bring along & whether it wouldn't be worth it to simply have UPS or FedEX come to your house instead. It all kind of depends on the volume you do.

You can get free labels through UPS & free shipping supplies through USPS. However, the packaging you use to ship UPS or Fed Ex should not be Priority packaging turned inside out, that's stealing from the post office. Recycled packaging also may seem like a good idea in the beginning but again if you do high volume shipping - digging through recycle bins & driving to grocery stores for boxes will quickly feel like a big burden. We buy our boxes wholesale locally but there are lots of places online you can buy in bulk & have them shipped to you. We need a large variety of sizes, but often wahms who are shipping just diapers, slings, and smaller items can get away with poly jacket envelopes or tyvek envelopes.

Hope this helps a bit,
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#3 of 7 Old 08-15-2003, 12:09 AM - Thread Starter
 
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you gave me lots of great info - thank you.
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#4 of 7 Old 08-16-2003, 01:04 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by squeakermansmom
On average, what are your shipping costs? and who do you use to ship? USPS, UPS, etc.? do you ever offer free shipping? if so, what has been your experience with this. thanks

I think Jessica has it covered.. But, I wanted to add my exp..
We ship threw fedex with a daily pick up at my house I pay $8.00/week for the pick up IMO it is worth it with 2 kids and 1 on the way I have a hard time getting to the post office everyday.
I do go to the post office when I have small packages to mail or if a packages is going out international. I try to make these trips on my DH's day's off during nap time.

My Fedex bill runs about $70.00/week But, I ship from 10-50 packages a week..

I offer specials some times for free shipping on orders over $100.00 but, only to the us... Saddly I can't afford to send a packages outside the us for free.. Canada is not much to send to but, Japan and Austraila is so much to ship to.

HTH,
Liz
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#5 of 7 Old 08-16-2003, 03:34 AM
 
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Quote:
A lot of inexperienced wahms will jump right onto the gimmick wagon & lose money by
offering specials like free shipping without taking into consideration their profit margins,
packaging materials, & time.
<~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We're still figuring out the shipping page on my site, so I almost HAVE to offer free shipping b/c there is no way for people to pay for it yet!! I WISH I were a programmer and I could do my site exactly the way I want it, but I"m not so I can't. Plan your shipping BEFOREHAND!!
Lauren
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#6 of 7 Old 08-18-2003, 09:56 AM
 
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This is helpful information, but I have another question.

How do I figure shipping costs out?

When someone buys a product, and I am not sure of the finished weight, what do I charge for shipping? I the a USPS standard I can use?

Thanks in advance,
Teresa
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#7 of 7 Old 08-19-2003, 08:46 PM
 
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I estimate wheight so I can give a flat shipping price. But I am buying a scale soon.

anwyay, then I went to www.usps.gov, where you can download a software- "shipping asisstant" or somehting like that, which claculates shipping for every rate and destination.
I always round up a dollar to cover my tiny packing costs or time and to buffer against mistakes in my estimate.

From what I know, USPS is cheaper under 3 pounds, anything more and UPS or FedEx can be best. Everything I ship is light.

Berkeley mom of 3 and President of Tender Cargo Baby Gear
and The Nurture Center Store and Resource Center 3399 Mt Diablo Bl Lafayette CA 888-998-BABY
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