March 31, 2008
If you are new to shipping or selling on eBay, you will need to set up a shipping center. This video will show you what you will need. The following 10 items will get you started with the basics:
- Packing Tape & Dispenser—I suggest the clear plastic tape that is 3 inches wide.
- Boxes—use a corrugated box that is new or in good condition. Choose a box that your item will fit in with a minimum 3 inches of space around it for packing material.
Taylor’s Tip # 5: Carriers provide free boxes for express shipments & the US Post Office has free Priority & Express Mail boxes.
- Packing Material—depending on the item you are shipping, you will need to prevent it from breaking or shifting while traveling. You can use packing peanuts, crumpled up newspaper, or bubble wrap.
- Shipping Envelopes—keep a supply of flat envelopes from the shipping carriers (free) and some brown padded ones for smaller items like books.
- Tape Measure—to measure the size of your package. Carriers charge based on the actual weight or what is called dimensional weight. Dimensional weight is based on the cubic size of a package. This is the length x width x height of the box in inches.
- Calculator—now that you have the measurements of your box, you will need to calculate the dimensional weight. For example: a box with the dimensions of 20″ (L) x 20″ (W) x 20″ (H) = 8,000 cubic inches, divided by 194 = 41.2 pounds for a “dimensional weight” of 42 pounds (always round to the next full pound). Now you know why you need a calculator. Or you can enter the measurements in this calculator.
- Shipping Scale—a digital shipping scale that weighs in pounds is essential; you can find one on eBay. Most parcel carriers ship up to 150 pounds but if you never ship anything over 50 pounds, you don’t need to overbuy.
- Label Printer—the ink-jet printer that you use with your computer is sufficient for printing labels when you ship online; if you ship more than a few packages every day, you may want to consider a thermal label printer that prints directly on 4 x 6 labels.
- Computer—the best way to ship is to go online. Shipping online provides discounts. Don’t waste time and money going to the US Post Office or a UPS, FedEx, or DHL retail store.
- Internet Connection—to get to the carrier and shipping websites, you will need an internet connection; hopefully, you are not still using a modem.
March 28, 2008
An article published in Mailing Systems & Technology magazine, entitled, What do the Big Shippers Know that the Small Shippers Don’t? , details four TAYLOR’s tips that could benefit anyone that ships on eBay.
Taylor’s Tip #1: “Don’t Wait in Line–Ship Online!“
Taylor’s Tip #2: “Compare Different Services from Various Carriers.“
Taylor’s Tip #3: “Get Rid of the Accessorials.”
Taylor’s Tip #4: “Leverage the Unique Advantages of the US Postal Service.”
March 27, 2008
6 out of every 10 people that ship on eBay are paying too much for shipping.
This video, showing on SBTV.com, talks about common shipping mistakes that eBayers make every day.
I challenge eBayers to show me your current shipping method and see if I could show you how to save on shipping.
Interested? Take the shipping challenge.
March 26, 2008
Small Businesses are paying too much for shipping!
On 9 out of 10 packages, small businesses are overpaying for shipping their packages and letters by as much as 50%, AND THEY DON’T EVEN KNOW!
SBTV is currently airing the segment, Top Mistakes of Small Biz Shippers. Check it out. There is a commercial before the segment, so please be patient.
There are several great tips on how you can save on shipping.
March 26, 2008
My first challenge!
- A businesswoman has a preferred UPS account with a 10% discount.
- She ships about 15 packages a week ground.
- Packages are shipped to businesses across the country.
- The majority of her shipments are samples weighing 8 ounces.
- She pays $6.90 to send this to a destination that is in the middle of the country.
Here is what the Shipping Coach suggests:
- Ship it with the US Post Office
- Use the First-Class Mail Package Rate of $2.32
- Buy the extra service, Delivery Confirmation for an additional $.18 (when shipping online)
- Delivery Confirmation allows the capability to obtain delivery information online or by phone.
- Estimated delivery is 3 days
- Total cost is $2.50 today
- Savings is $4.40 or 64%!
On 10 packages a week, that is $44 or almost $100 a month!
Most people think that United States Post Office’s First-Class Mail is only for envelopes, but a little known secret is that you can also use it to send parcels.
Packages need to weigh less than 13 ounces and be at least ¾” thick.
March 25, 2008
I love watching Bobby Flay’s “Throwdown” where he challenges award-winning chefs to an unexpected cook-off. I have decided to challenge you to a “Shipping Throwdown”.
I have found that on 9 out of 10 packages, small businesses are overpaying for shipping their products, AND THEY DON’T EVEN KNOW!
I invite you to give me your shipping choice and challenge me to come up with a better way. Respond to this blog with information about your parcel:
- Zip code you are shipping from
- Zip code you are shipping to
- Residence or business
- Cost that you currently pay
I will use my 30 years of experience to see if I can find a way for you to save on shipping.
I will I think I can beat you. Go ahead, give it a try.
I dare you.
March 21, 2008
The United States Postal Service (USPS) has announced a change in postal prices, to take effect on May 12. The change includes two sets of rates, one for retail customers and a different one for commercial customers. The latter has rates that average 3.5% less for Priority Mail than the retail customer will pay and 3% less for Express Mail. You can download the new rates at
Do you qualify for the lower commercial rates, or do you have to pay retail?
The good news is that you can obtain the lower rates by shipping online!
According to the USPS website, commercial rates are “Available to customers who tender payment via an authorized online service, Express Mail Corporate Account, or specifically authorized third-party postage vendor.”
In plain words, if you set up an account and process your shipments online, you qualify for the lower commercial rates.
You can process online at the following sites:
www.redroller.com (the company I work for)
www.usps.com (go to print a shipping label)
www.endicia.com (free trial for 30 days)
www.stamps.com (free trial for 30 days)
This is how much you will save by shipping online:
- Priority Mail 3.5% average
- Delivery Confirmation: Free vs $.65 (14%)
- Express Mail 3%
- International Mail
- Global Express Guaranteed 10%
- Express 8%
- Priority 5%
- Flat Rate Box 5%
March 15, 2008
Many small businesses are concerned about the May 12 Postal increase. We know that the cost of a first class stamp is going up by $.01. New prices for Express Mail and Priority Mail have been announced.
The amount of the postal increase is chump change compared to the massive amount of shipping dollars that are wasted every day. On average, a small business is spending 50% more than is necessary. Why? Because small business people don‘t ship smart. They have little knowledge of shipping options. They don’t know what they don’t know. As a result, on 9 out of 10 packages, they pay way too much.
What can they do?
*Get smart. Learn about shipping.
*Compare shipping rates among various carriers. No carrier is the best carrier for all packages. Do you only fly on a single airline?
Customers will be offered a 3 percent price reduction by purchasing Express Mail online and Priority Mail will be eligible for an average 3.5 percent savings to customers who use electronic postage.
March 15, 2008
An article in Operations & Fulfillment advises its readers not to put all their eggs in one basket. “Experts advise large shippers to invest in “multi-carrier parcel manifesting systems”. What does that mean? In layman’s terms, it means that you should use more than one package carrier.
Most small businesses pay 50% more than larger shippers because they don’t compare rates among multiple carriers. It is like flying with just one airline; no single airline is the best airline for flying to different locations. In package shipping, it is no different.
Taylor’s Tip #2: “Compare different services from various carriers.”
If you only ship a few packages a week, you may think that this advice does not apply to you but no single carrier will be the best carrier for all of your needs.
If you live in an area that offers regional carriers, you should check them out. Sometimes regional carriers can offer more options at a significant savings. If you don’t have a regional carrier in your neck of the woods, at a minimum, you should compare the cost of shipping your package between the U S Post Office and at least one national carrier, like FedEx, DHL, or UPS.
This simple method of comparing rates between multiple package carriers will insure that you are not wasting money on shipping.
March 13, 2008
Brien suggested a way to get free miles for your shipping dollars. Great idea! Thank you Brien.
Here’s my tip. I use an airline credit card for payment (JetBlue American Express) which I pay off on a monthly basis. The carriers I use don’t charge anything extra for using a credit card so I get free miles every time I ship a package!