Whether you are an eBay seller or the owner of an ecommerce store, understanding shipping costs is critical to your success. Before you can sell products online, you need to decide how you will get your products into the hands of your customers and what rates you will charge. Your rates should be balanced between you and your buyers, so you will not incur extra costs and your customers won’t abandon their carts due to high shipping fees.
To provide the best shipping service for you and your customers, you should consider using a courier service. For example, Smart Send Couriers constantly reviews their competitors to ensure your shipping costs are competitively priced. Courier services like Smart Send deliver convenient door-to-door shipping services and competitively priced, same day shipping. Choosing a reliable shipping company and setting the right rates can help you cut down on your shipping costs.
In order to set the right rates, you need to understand the aspects that affect shipping costs:
- Weight & Dimensions – The weight and dimensions of the product being sent will affect the shipping cost. Heavy and large products will cost more to ship.
- Packaging – How you package the product will also affect the rate. Larger, misshapen packages will cost more to ship than smaller, more compact ones. Some people may try to save money on shipping by trying to fix large products into smaller boxes. While this may cut down on the cost in the short term, it could negatively impact you in the long run when customers receive damaged items. Always choose adequate packaging over minimal packaging to avoid damage to the product. Damages lead to the loss of products and customer satisfaction, which will hurt your reputation and business. If a customer receives a damaged product, they may be likely to write an unfavorable review and will no longer purchase your products.
- Returns – Many ecommerce stores and individual sellers will offer free shipping on returns. This is a decision that is up to you but know that returns are bound to happen from time to time; in order to avoid incurring added costs, your returns should be factored into your business model.
- Handling Surcharges – In addition to charging customers for shipping, many businesses also charge a handling fee. Handling fees are charged to cover the fees required to pack and dispatch the product. The handling surcharge can include packaging materials, such as boxes and bubble wrap. If you are going to charge for handling, then charge a modest fee. The fee incurred by the buyer should only include what it cost to package and dispatch the product.
- EBay Fees on Shipping Charges – EBay charges final value fees on shipping charges, which are calculated using the courier service the buyer chooses.
- Express & Same Day Shipping – Customers who request express or same day shipping will pay a higher shipping rate compared to economy or road services. Be sure you understand the total costs for ‘express’ services to ensure you don’t get a nasty bill from the courier company.