Hello Everyone. I am waiting for my GF to arrive and I have been looking into possibly starting a side business and I was wondering how others are shipping their products they create? I have looked into USPS and others and even their smallest boxes cost about $8 to ship something.
Any suggestions and experience would be appreciated.
Shipping is pricey, there’s no getting around that. If you have a PayPal account you have access to their Multi Order Shipping which gets you their bulk discount with USPS (even if you’re only shipping one thing at a time), but otherwise make sure to figure shipping into your costs because people in general seem to be more wiling to pay for an item than shipping so 20+9 shipping is “too expensive”, but a 30+0 shipping will sell.
If you’re going to ship frequently, you could explore getting an account with a service like ShipStation. They give you commercial rates so it pays for itself if you have decent volume. It also lets you easily print postage onto sticker paper, import orders/addresses from a spreadsheet, email people tracking codes and notifications, etc. There are several services like this — I used ShipStation for a crowdfunding campaign and thought it worked well enough.
If your product is light enough (under a pound) and you are shipping from/to the US, then USPS first class parcel is a really good deal, like $2-4. Good luck!
Shipping is hard to learn on the internet and I’ve gone through it too!
I use Shippo to buy labels and a Rollo to print them (although you can totally print on paper and tape them on!). Most items I sell are under a pound, so I can ship them for $3-$5 USPS First Class, and most everything else is USPS Prioirity $8-$25, depending on weight and size. I use a digital kitchen scale to weigh packages.
Ecoenclose is a great ecofriendly option for mailing material. I roll the shipping into my prices, since everyone loves not having a surprise shipping expense when you go to check out! If you haven’t got a website, you can set up a free one with Square, which connects to Shippo to import your orders in automagically.
The funny thing is that I learned from watching eyelash seller videos on YouTube, like this one: HOW I PACKAGE & SHIP ORDERS! - YouTube. It is funny to me because I don’t barely even wear makeup, much less fancy eyelashes or crazy long nails
Just goes to show that when you are open to learning it can come from anyone!
The smallest free boxes from USPS cost about $8 to ship, because the boxes they give away are for Priority Mail service, and that is priced higher in part because they’re giving you $1-2 in packaging for “free”. If you use your own box, the cost to ship something that weighs under a pound starts at $3 and goes up to $5 and change anywhere in the US. You can fit a surprising amount in under a pound… each of these boxes up to 20"x12"x3" in size, with laser-cut wood products inside, weigh under one pound and cost $4-5 to ship.
If you sell through a marketplace or ecommerce platform, you can usually buy your postage right through your website/account.
If not, https://www.pirateship.com is free and gives you discounted commercial rates on USPS postage. You just need a $20 postal scale to weigh your packages, and any printer to print the shipping labels at home.
You can drop prepaid packages off at your post office, or schedule a free pickup right at your house and your mail carrier will take the packages with them.
I use stamps.com when shipping with UPS.
I ship marble slabs, which requires a lot of padding. I eventually bought an air cushion machine which was really great and saved on lots of space. Just something else to keep in mind when you are looking at the options of what to make with the GF.
where did you get those white boxes from? I just shipped my first monogram and the product was damaged. It appears like they dropped another box on it from the damage I seen. Filed a claim now I need to reship. Going to get more scrap plywood to try and sandwich the item then bubble wrap.
I am looking to start to use PirateShip with the next shipment little over $5 for priority
ULine, WB Mason, Papermart, Staples or Amazon – whichever is cheapest when I’m running low. At any given time, any of those sites may be cheaper than the others for a given size.
Boxes like that, shallow with a “tuck top”, are called literature mailers.
I attach each item to a 12x18 cardboard sheet using twist ties through the cardboard, then use extra thick bubble wrap (5/16" bubbles in a 24" wide roll) over that. Looks something like this.
Then a few air pillows on top. The end result is that a partial crush of the box in any direction won’t impinge on the product. Your packaging needs to withstand multiple 6 foot drops, and being partially crushed by heavy packages, or you’ll be making replacements often.
+1 to ecoenclose for packaging. One thing I was surprised by is the lead time for ordering packaging. You’ll probably want to get samples, try them out, then order a larger quantity of packaging. All of this can take longer than you sometimes expect.
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