Sign a shipping contract

If you ship often, you can try to negotiate a deal with your current shipping company of choice. If your current company doesn’t negotiate deals, it might be worth your time to research other shipping companies that will. 

Signing a contract agreeing to use one company to handle all of your shipping needs might lower your shipping rates. Make sure to look at any extra fees involved, like additional handling, remote delivery, signature required, repeat delivery attempts, heavy package, and other charges. You can negotiate these with the carrier you choose. 

It’s essential to include in your contract that fees for any packages delivered late will be refunded. A lot of businesses offer shoppers discounts for late delivery. Make sure your agreement allows for this as well, so you don’t have to dip into your profits if customers get their packages late. That should be the responsibility of your shipping company. 

Because shipping rates are always changing, keep track of policy changes. If your shipping rates become too high, develop a plan to renegotiate your contract or leave and conduct business with another carrier. 

Include shipping costs in your pricing

Many smaller businesses have chosen to create another approach to solve this shipping enigma. Small retailers have started building standard shipping pricing into the cost of each item in their online stores. And if shoppers want expedited shipping, then an additional fee is charged. This method will slightly raise your prices overall, but it helps customers from feeling overwhelmed by extra fees at checkout time. It also allows them to—if you’ll forgive the pun—weigh their shipping options to help them decide how fast they need their item. 

There’s no doubt this method will save you money on shipping because you’ll be passing the cost to your customers. But, on the other hand, it’s difficult to market this strategy when so many bigger businesses offer free shipping as an option. 

Use shipping software to automate the process

If you choose not to go the contract route, you’ll have to continually research the cheapest shipping rates, which can be time-consuming. 

Luckily, there are software solutions available to help make this process a lot easier. ShippingEasy, ShipStation, and SKULabs can perform a variety of functions such as importing all your orders into one place, keeping track of your inventory in real-time, creating labels, packing your products, and comparing shipping companies for the best rates. 

Become a member of NFICA

There’s also another way to save on shipping for your business. If you’re a member of NFICA, you get significant discounts on shipping. For just $5 a year, you can enjoy 20% off ground services and 40% off air and international services with UPS, among other great benefits like access to telemedicine, travel discounts, and more. Join now so you can start enjoying these discounts today. 

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