Guest Post By Camilla Gilbro from IWOCA
This issue is no longer new to any eBay sellers, but nonetheless it is still very current. Shipping fees is something that you can easily forget (whether on purpose or not is difficult to say…). Sometimes these fees remove your profit, making it quite frustrating as this may be the only way for you to stay competitive. So what to do?
To simply charge more for shipping may not be an option for you (and it certainly shouldn’t be your first choice when cutting costs). More and more buyers get sensitive towards shipping prices, as they feel it’s an annoying extra expense and they’ll look elsewhere. Therefore, in order to remain competitive, yet not go bankrupt, here are a few things you can do.
Analyse your numbers
Yes, it’s so boring, but it works. Figure out how much you actually spend on shipping and analyse your numbers. Can you find a cheaper service? Compare carriers and their prices. If you don’t ship very often then you may be paying way too much on your carrier deal. On the other hand, if your shipping has increased over a period of time, it could be a good idea to review your current methods.
– In general it normally gets cheaper when you ship more, so there’s definitely money to save if your business is growing. Don’t get lazy and stick to the services you’ve always used. Spend some time researching. Trust us, it will be worth it.
Relating to the above, don’t just buy and send as you need to. Buying 50 envelopes or boxes is probably cheaper than buying 20, even if you only need 20 right now. Being a retailer you probably try to buy as much as possible in bulk as it will almost always be cheaper – the same goes for shipping equipment. If you can afford it, buy as much as possible to save money. No one expects you to quit just yet, so there’s no point in not stocking up.
Once you start doing (or if you are already doing) your financial statements, this will make perfect sense as you will see how much you can save in the longer run.
Consider your wrapping
Could you find a cheaper wrapping? Or even wrap it differently for it to take up less space?
These questions are worth asking yourself when you ship packages. Some of the sellers we speak to use packaging as part of their strategy to be competitive. When customers are getting price sensitive being able to set your price lower can turn out to be a huge advantage for you, even if it’s just by a few pounds.
Also, browse the web for cheap wrapping. There are several sellers on eBay and it’s definitely worth giving it a browse and see which are better. Another trick is to save wrapping from what the packages you have sent to yourself. Perhaps your stock is wrapped, why not re-use that? Once you start writing down your costs for shipping you’ll realize how much you can actually save.
One last piece of advice…
On another note, but while at the topic of shipping there’s a small trick that could definitely be worth your while. Place a small, personal note with the package. This will be a good idea for two reasons.
– Not all buyers realize that sellers on eBay have an actual store or that you can even leave feedback online. Putting in a small note will work as a reminder to them how it works and who you are – which might result in a loyal customer
– It’s nice to receive a personal message and it will make it a lot easier to pass on your details to others who may want to buy the same pair of shoes, ipad cover or whatever you’re selling.
Lastly it’s just a nice thing to do, and will take you from online seller to professional business person.
|About The Author|
|Camilla is the community manager at iwoca, a limited London based company that provides instant working capital to online sellers. Visit their website at www.iwoca.co.uk|