Money Saving Tips Businesses Can Use to Cut Shipping Costs

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?

Useful Resources

Screencast: How the Shipping Cost Calculation Works in  your WordPress eStore

YoutubePayPal Shipping Calculator

3 Top Reasons to Use Online Stock Brokers

Online trading has exploded over the past couple of decades, since the beginning of companies like Datek Online (remember them?). Its popularity was made by the ease of use, cost of trades, and increasing number of platforms on which you could trade.

There are many other reasons why so many people are doing it, but let’s check out what I think are the top 3 reasons.

Better level of control for commissions, trade executions and transparent pricing


Image of TDAmeritrade’s Online Platform

One of the key things that caused many people to go the online route was that the commissions for brokers were already through the roof. The lower level of commission also made smaller trades, micro-accounts and more frequent trading possible, meaning that ordinary people could access the market directly for purchasing stocks, bonds, contracts & much more.

Instead of calling your broker, you could open your browser or start up your trading apps to get the best current pricing; decide on whether you want to go long or short; and set the market, limit or stop limit orders for the stock you wanted to purchase, allowing you to dictate your execution pricing and your total purchase/sell cost.

A better level of control effectively means that you will have more control over your profits or losses. This new trading phenomenon wound up working for many people, and encouraging dozens of online trading companies to spring up seemingly overnight.

Accessibility to your trading accounts 24/7/365

I’m not a frequent or avid trader by any means, but even I enjoy those advantages of being able to access the account pretty much where, when and how I want. If I had to rely on a standard broker, who may be unavailable when I decide to call, to buy and sell everything for me, there would be a limit to how quickly I can make an investment. In the financial world, time is money and every second counts.

So, if you trade online, you will make all of the trades yourself. You can do everything at the exact second you want to. Even the smallest delay in buying or selling can cost you a very large amount of money. But you will need to learn about online trading from someplace like Online Trading Academy, you will never lose money because your broker was unreachable at the time you wanted to make a trade.

Most modern brokers offer a variety of platforms to access your accounts: web-based sites, apps on your phone or pads, even proper software for your PC or Mac. And you will still be able to dial-in on the old phone, and make trades for an extra fee.

Look for a good online stock broker

Really, check out the offerings and decide what you want or need. You will need to decide what products you want to trade: stocks, bonds, forex, contracts, commodities, etc.; then consider what kind of tools you actually need: will you be trading via web or app or via a full software application.

Lastly, don’t forget to look at the additional research brokers these days offer. Many offer lots of research tools, reports, stock scanners, and much more for no additional fee; while others charge bare-bones fees for stock trades, then have an a-la-carte attitude to the many services available, so trading costs will be low until you need to pay for additional services. However, most fees are minimal compared to what you would pay to an actual traditional broker.

Check out this video for more information. And search through this site for more ideas on use online stock brokers for trading. Or perhaps you have a favorite you’d like to share.