I was wondering whether or not to start shipping coffee beans from a really good coffee roaster that I know. I haven’t worked out the shipping costs yet, so when this guest post came through, I read it eagerly for advice.
If you’re setting up an online store, I’d suggest working your way through this article, too.
Weather it’s a person selling on eBay or a business that runs a complex supply chain, shipping costs are a cause for concern because it can account for a large percentage of a business’s operational costs. While it’s impossible to cut out this expense completely, there are things that business owners, both small and large, can do to save on shipping costs.
Find a Company That Works With Small Businesses
While there are lots of shipping solutions out there, not all of them cater to small business owners. David Kiger’s profile, who is the CEO of Worldwide Express, talks about the need for small companies to find advanced freight and shipping options that will help them reach their goals.
This becomes even more helpful when small companies start trying to ship overseas. Advanced freight and shipping services help protect small businesses by keeping them informed about international shipping and customs laws that they might not have otherwise known.
Avoid Guesswork of Shipping Costs
Another problem that small companies have, especially for those that are just starting out, is that they never know how much shipping they will be doing. They don’t know the size, weight or the shipping cost.
Not knowing this information turns out to be an added expense later. The result is that companies often overpay for shipping because they aren’t really sure what the price should be. Removing the guesswork from the equation can save a lot of money.
Use Shipping Tools When Provided
Some companies try to figure out what shipping will be by themselves. However, many shipping solution providers offer free online tools that they can use to help determine the cost. These providers offer the tools because they want to draw in more business by being as helpful and upfront as possible.
Most of the online tools will help companies calculate their shipping costs for both international and domestic shipments. Other tools allow them to track shipments, print forms or even standardize addresses.
Watch Those Hidden Fees
When shipping internationally, there are a number of fees that companies might not be aware of and that end up hurting their businesses. For example, export compliance and proof of delivery all come at an added cost. Additionally, taxes and customs duties alone can often amount to nearly 30 percent of the total shipping fee on international shipments.
It’s important to know which party is responsible for paying these fees because it can affect the bottom line of a business.
While all of these tips are good, the only way for any of these tips to be helpful is to do the research to determine what the appropriate costs will be for the business’s shipping operations. Understanding these costs will help companies like yours more effectively manage the pricing, the budget, and profit margins.
How did you manage to control your shipping costs, especially with items that were unexpected by you or the client?
Screencast: How the Shipping Cost Calculation Works in your WordPress eStore
Youtube: PayPal Shipping Calculator