5 Costly Shipping Mistakes And How To Avoid Them

1: Trying To Scrape More Profit From Shipping

If you don’t charge enough, you may well lose money, but if you charge too much, your customers will resent that. Breaking even may be the best way for you to keep a good relationship with customers. Increasing shipping charges to make a little extra profit might sound like a good idea at first, but in the long run, it can damage your reputation.

Keep shipping costs contained and build a strong, loyal customer base.

2: Complicated Exchange/Return Process

Returns can become complicated and costly for small business owners. While you may think you have clear rules for returns, there are some common mistakes some businesses have made that have soon cost them an arm and a leg. It may sound simple, but if you’re seeing a high number of returns due to damaged items you may want to look at the way you are packaging your items and adjust that to reduce the amount of replacements you need to send.

You could consider including a returns label in the parcel or offer an easy way to print one from your site. Also be sure to credit the person back what they are owed promptly once receiving the return. Be sure to make your returns policy clear so that the customer understands who will need to pay for the returns fee if something goes wrong.

3: Bad Packaging

Packaging is one of the most overlooked steps in shipping. Taking that extra bit of care to ensure your items are packaged properly will save you the hassle of returns and angry customers if your items do arrive damaged.

Pick the right packaging; Don’t try and save money by sending items in boxes that are too small, or without good internal packaging such as bubble wrap. A good rule of thumb is to use a new box with a couple of inches of cushioning.

4: Insufficient Delivery Options

So you stick with one carrier, however a year on they up their rates and another carrier offers you slightly better prices. To change your process, retrain your staff and work on integration again makes bad commercial sense, what if their service isn’t as good as the existing provider and you have to change back? You become deeply dependant on one carrier and lose flexibility, fluidity and buying power.

Small businesses will find it difficult to get good shipping rates by going to the carriers directly. Your best bet is to use a parcel broker, ensuring you benefit from discounted, aggregated rates and let them do the hard work dealing direct to get the best deal.

5: Inaccurate Product Specification

Inputting incorrect dimensions and weights in to our booking system leads to unwanted surcharges and increased shipping costs. Sometimes taking that extra bit of care to measure your items properly can save you quite a bit of cash, especially if there could have been a better service offered for the correct dimensions/weight! Your parcel will more than likely be measured using lasers by the carrier after they have collected it.

Cover yourself: Photograph your parcel next to a tape measure before it is collected. In rare events of dispute between your stated volume and the carrier’s measurement this could be used as evidence.