If you’re just getting into the ecommerce game, you may be wondering how most people deal with the constant shipping that takes place. After all, once you really get going, you’re taking constant trips up to the post office. This also includes getting boxes, wrapping up the items, taping everything up, and labeling it all…just to stand in line so you can send it out.
I mean, it sounds like that’s literally all ecommerce pros do all day long. How do they get any other work done?
Well, like most professions, the real pros have found ways of getting around the common problems. Plus, you’re in luck: as shipping is such a big deal nowadays, it’s easier to get what you need to do most of it from home.
Boxes of Boxes
Of course you’ll need boxes; this is shipping 101. But just how many boxes do you need? That’s difficult to say since you know how much product is going out every day/week/month better than we do. Even if you’re just starting, you know if you’re going to the post office every day or just every once in a while.
But there’s one thing you shouldn’t be doing: always searching for boxes to use to ship. Not only can this get annoying, it may get in the way of your business.
If you’re waiting to go down to the post office or running out to the store every time you need boxes, then you’re wasting valuable time. Go ahead and stock up as much as you can. Put boxes in boxes or in brown paper bags. If you ship with USPS pre-printed priority boxes, ask if you can have a bunch to take home. This way you can fix everything at home. Better yet, order them straight from their website.
No matter what you sell, at some point you’re going to encounter some sort of safety wrapping. This can be bubble wrap, foam, or even plain old newspaper. But what’s the best idea for your home office?
To save room, go for something that wraps up. Bubble wrap and shrink wrap are two examples of wrapping products that can be rolled up for ease of storage. This may not work with everything you ship, though.
In this case, you may want to store the safety material in a handier place like a basement, garage or utility closet. Unlike boxes, bubble wrap isn’t going to decay or warp in a moist or outdoor environment.
Scale, Postal Zone Chart, Label Maker
If you use flat rate boxes like the USPS provides, this may not be an issue. But most ecommerce sellers deal with variable weights, sizes, and shapes of products, and not everything fits in such a perfect box. This is when scales and postal zone charts come in handy.
Go ahead and pick up a scale. Now, print out and study the postal zone chart. It can give you a good idea how much something will cost to send to another area. Combine the scale, postal chart, and label printer and you’ll never be stuck waiting in those long lines at the post office again!
Shipping can be a hassle, but there are more avenues than ever to make it much simpler than in the past. Necessity often breeds ingenuity, and nowhere is it more evident than in ecommerce. The more you sell, the more you’ll know how to cut corners to save money for your business and for your customers.