No matter what your business may be, shipping is a necessary part of what you do. No matter how much you may rely on e-mail, faxing, or digital sharing of various sorts, you can’t avoid the need to ship physical objects. Legal documents need physical signatures. E-bay items need to be shipped or returned. Items you sell online through your own website need nice packaging and the right packaging so that they are delivered successfully.
Small shipping boxes, cardboard tubes, triangular boxes, Styrofoamor evenlarge shipping boxes. The more you can determine exactly what you will be shipping on a regular basis, and hone in on the sizes and shapes you need, the more prepared you will be for purchasing large quantities of shipping boxes and saving money in the long run.
That is one of the most cost-saving and logistically smart considerations, no matter what your situation. Can you boil down all your shipping needs into particular sizes, and troubleshoot the different types of custom or non-custom shipping needs that will arise?
Let us say that you are an E-bay seller – a massive one. You ship widgets, but your widgets are only a subset of widgets that are sold and purchased in a category of E-bay that you have come to monopolize. Good for you and your widgets. But to truly be cost effective, you need a shipping strategy that pleases your customers and allows you to reap the benefits of effective shipping. This means easy shipping. This means shipping that isn’t overly complicated. And it’s possible, since you most likely sell again and again on E-bay, very similar items with similar size, shape, and weight considerations.
You sell widgets. You sell widgets that are a cross-section of E-bay that are roughly similar. You don’t sell miniature figurines and car parts at the same time. No, your widgets are similar. So already, your shipping needs aren’t drastically different from one package to the next. But can you creatively categorize your widgets even further? Doing so will allow you to think through the different types of shipping boxes and shipping containers. You eventually should be able to estimate the amounts you sell of each of these categories.
And there you go. It may seem like you spent a lot on a small part of your operation. But if you rely on shipping on a day-to-day basis, it will make a difference. It will make a difference to you and it will make a difference to the buyer of each widget that you sell.