Every Friday, we answer a common question about fulfillment, shipping, or business. This week’s question comes from one of the fans who entered our giveaway contest for a Roku. Today we will answer the following question: “how do I save on postage?”
Money is tight these days. Not only is the economy looking a bit worse for wear, but many of us are actually forbidden from working entirely! This is a strange new world to inhabit, and with extra time and little money, many people are responding by being more frugal.
Resourcefulness is a great quality to have. It’s what allows us to make the most out of our existing resources and minimize unnecessary spending. One such unnecessary expense which many business owners are looking to save on is postage. To help you save on postage, we are going to share four simple tips that you can use today.
1. Take advantage of flat rate shipping.
The greatest way to save money on shipping is to take advantage of US Postal Service flat rate boxes and mailers. When you use flat rate boxes and mailers, not only is the postage fairly cheap but you don’t even have to buy your own supplies.
You can order bulk shipments of flat rate boxes and mailers directly to your door, to which you can apply postage and ship to others. For best results, order supplies in advance and make sure you are using the smallest possible box or mailer that you can get away with.
2. When shipping First Class, use precise postage for precise weights.
If you’re shipping a really small item, though, you might not want to ship via Priority Mail. In cases like this, you can use very small boxes or padded mailers. After packing them, weigh them using a postal scale or even a kitchen scale, then apply the bare minimum postage that you need. If you’re shipping a 7.6 oz package, you only need 8 oz of postage. Every additional ounce of postage is extra cents that you don’t need to spend.
3. Use a third-party postage system for commercial discounts.
A lot of people think that postage prices are set by the USPS and are, thus, always the same. This is not the case. In fact, you can save quite a bit of money by going through a third party instead of buying postage directly from the USPS (online or in-person). PayPal and Stamps.com both offer postage at a discount rate, and it’s widely available to anyone who uses their systems. In PayPal’s case, you don’t even have to pay for a monthly account fee!
4. Outsource to a third-party logistics company.
Last but not least, if your goal is to save money, it may be better to outsource fulfillment altogether. If you need to ship more than, say, 100 packages per month, it becomes difficult and time-consuming to do that on your own. A third-party logistics company, on the other hand, does this all day, every day and they know every trick in the book about how to ship efficiently.
Big shipping companies get massive discounts on postage that aren’t available to individuals. Not only can you save on postage, but you can also save on labor, training costs, supplies, and storage costs by outsourcing fulfillment.
This is a poor option for pinching pennies, but a great option for building a sustainable business!
There is no reason to pay more for postage than you have to. By taking advantage of flat-rate mailers, avoiding buying excess postage, and buying postage from third parties, you can save yourself a nice chunk of change. If you really want to crank it up a notch, you can always outsource fulfillment too. Then they’ll do all the penny-pinching work on your behalf!