Business

6 Ways to Cut Shipping Costs for Home-Based Businesses

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The idea of being your own boss, controlling your time, and getting rich is a fancy one, and many are hopping on the trend now that the means to start a home-based business is very accessible. Typically, you can start an online business by signing up for an account on a selling platform, posting your products, ensuring supply, completing orders, and waiting for your sales.

True, how we described it seems to be oversimplified but that’s how it works from a general outlook. However, one crucial thing that aspiring home-based business owners must consider is how to bring their products to their clients and the financial costs they have to bear. Read on to know in detail what makes up your shipping costs and how to save money on shipping.

How much does it cost to ship a parcel?

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According to ZGGShip Freight Forwarding Company, many factors can affect the shipping rates that businesses must pay. These factors may include the total weight of your package, where you want to ship your cargo, the nature of your products, how you want your package to be delivered, and other additional services that you avail of.

Freight forwarding companies typically offer their services using a base price per shipping location. For instance, ZGGShip offers to ship your cargo from the United States to China starting from $3. The prices vary a lot, so it’s essential to find a partner who can offer you reliable services at cost-effective and reasonable costs.

6 ways to save money on shipping

Home-based business owners usually start at a small scale before gradually expanding. Astronomical shipping costs are not something healthy for young businesses, so it’s reasonable to find ways to lower them as much as possible. Here are some ways you can save money on delivering your goods to your customers.

1.   Work with the right delivery partner

Of all the ways to reduce your shipping costs, you have to remember that working with the right carrier or company would be your best bet. You have to make sure that you are really getting what you are paying for. Moreover, reliable logistics and freight forwarding companies often have mature systems that ensure that your products arrive at their destination safely.

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Alt-text: Man holding a box for delivery

Some questions that you should consider to know whether you’re working with a reliable carrier include:

  • What do their other clients say?
  • Can they offer me cost-effective and good services?
  • How many years have they been in the industry?
  • Do they have specific accreditations?
  • Is their network expansive?
  • How well do they fare in terms of customer care?

2. Get shipping discounts from your carrier

You can try to negotiate with your logistics partner and get some shipping discounts. Discounts are typically offered to clients with large shipping volumes, but you may promise loyalty to them in exchange for some cost reduction. Moreover, doing so may improve your relationship with your carrier, which would only benefit you in the long run.

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3. Charge shipping rates to your customers the correct way

Customers won’t want to pay for shipping and you don’t want to do so as well. However, shipping is a necessary expense for every home-based business. You can actually use some techniques to charge your customers with the shipping rate in a way that they perceive that they’re not losing more money than needed. Here are some ways to do it:

  • Raise the price of the product to cover the shipping costs and offer to deliver it for free.
  • Set a minimum spending price to get free shipping in return.
  • Try reducing the shipping fee by a bit and including the removed cost in the product price.
  • Use different shipping rates depending on a particular set of categories. For instance, offer higher fees for international shipping and similar stuff.

4. Consider your shipping distance

One of the most common ways shipping companies charge you is by counting the distance to your target location. It goes that the farther you want to deliver your goods, the higher your costs will be. For starting home-based businesses, shipping long distances may not be necessary on a regular basis. But for those who have started to expand, it may be needed to ship to farther places.

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You don’t have to pay astronomical fees due to your shipping distance. One way to circumnavigate this is to take control of where you can fulfill your customer orders from. Take advantage of the warehouses provided by your logistics partner or rented by you. You can just fulfill the orders of your clients from a nearer place to them, directly cutting down your costs.

5. Try to outsource fulfillment

You actually don’t have to fulfill the shipping by yourself. Instead, you can entrust the fulfillment of your orders to your freight forwarding or logistics partner. By outsourcing fulfillment, you are letting a third-party service provider package, label, address, ship, and do all other related stuff and logistics processes to bring your goods to your customers.

You may see this as another expense that you have to bear, but it’s another way to cut your expenses. Such companies that offer fulfillment services own numerous warehousing facilities. They can just ship your products from a warehouse near a particular customer, which saves your shipping costs. Also, they usually have good deals with carriers in terms of transportation.

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Alt-text: Shipping process

6. Do not use more space and weight than needed

One common mistake that business owners do when shipping is to use larger containers or packages than needed. Recall that cargo load is one of the bases upon which carriers calculate your fees. That’s why doing so adds up to dimensional weight, which translates to higher shipping costs for you.

Take time to ask yourself what really needs to be included in your package and choose the right size for it. You can try to minimize the packaging as low as possible. Use lightweight cartons and similar protective materials like bubble wrap, and keep their usage at a minimum. You may also use more apt packaging like poly mailers for smaller non-fragile goods instead of boxes.

Conclusion

Starting a business from your home is a great idea to kill away boredom and create a stable source of finance. One thing you should consider is how you will bring your goods to your clients and how much you would be spending on the said necessity. You can reduce your shipping costs in many ways, which all boils down to having wisdom and a good skill for negotiation.

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