I started an online business in 2009. My business plan was built upon a virtual storefront rather than a brick & mortar kind of business. In order for my virtual business to grow and realize the level of success I desired, I needed reliable, affordable, and consistency in shipping.
I researched the various options available and selected USPS Priority Shipping for all my needs. Following are the decisive factors that helped me make this decision.
1. For my business needs, I wasn't ever going to have to ship anything that weighed more than 10 pounds or larger than a bread box.
2. It was vital that I could schedule a shipping pick up within 12 hours. I wanted this service to be complimentary, as well as, something I could always schedule online.
3. A major factor for me was company accountability & reliability. I did not want to be placed in a situation where I had to argue, prove, or defend my company/merchandise/reputation should anything go wrong with a shipment.
4. It was vital that all my packages were tracked and that I would receive notifications about said packages. More importantly, this factor was not optional, that I knew without question the buyer had received my package (A hard lesson learned when a customer claimed she never received a WWI rosary).
5. Shipping insurance was necessary for my inventory's values. Along with ease in filing claims & quick payments.
6. Free shipping supplies, delivered to my home was not a requirement initially but certainly was a bonus.
7. Reasonable shipping costs without having to incorporate my business was another major factor.
USPS Priority Shipping met all of the above criterion.
》How to package goods for shipping《
1. All glass items will arrive in one piece if you a) wrap item in stiff paper; b) then wrap it in bubble wrap; c) fill cavities with stiff paper; d) place glass item in center of new cardboard box; e) fill in remaining space with foam peanuts until item is immobile; f) tape box closed; g) double box glass item, filling second box with foam peanuts or stiff paper to immobilize 1st box.
2. Don't waste your time with "fragile" or "hand stamp" because ALL shipping is mechanized.
3. Do not advertise "valuable" contents or "antique" contents are being shipped. This is begging for your mail to be stolen.
4. Always print an extra copy of the shipping label and place it inside with whatever you're shipping. Believe it or not but glued/taped labels are still lost or damaged. This step will help your ensure your customer receives their item.
5. I like to include a personalized, hand written "thank you" to every customer. The best business is repeat business!
6. Don't buy bubble wrap unless you have to. This particular product can be reused. Always save your bubble wrap and foam peanuts. Never save used cardboard boxes. Used cardboard boxes do not hold up with repeated shipping.
7. Don't buy blank shipping labels. It is more cost effective to print (draft quality to save ink) your labels on recycled white paper, cut it to size, and glue stick your label to the package.
8. If your item cannot get wet then your first step must be to place item inside a ziplock baggie that you'll need to seal closed with packing tape because shipments have been known to get exposed to water.
9. Be aware of what items are prohibited from being shipped. It is important to understand that since 9/11 all shipments are x-rayed.
10. Always utilize some form of shipping insurance and delivery verification unless you don't mind loosing revenue.
11. Another caution is to not over pack your item. This can make it susceptible to damage as it goes through the shipper's automation system.
12. Be sure to use a packing tape to seal all seams when shipping very small items such as coins. I had this happen once.
@Suzanne1 have you considered using 3M Anti-Tarnish Carbon Paper for your plastic bags? I managed a jewelry store for years and this is a great investment and you can also mail the strip in the packaging for your customer to have as a safe jewelry protector. They're just little black pieces of paper you put in the bag for protection. You can get 100 it so for 6.00 and would be a nice gift to help the customer protect their jewelry from environmental exposure. Shipping altitudes are really hard on jewelry. Here in NM anything that has a glue base non prog setting, dries out within a few months and falls apart. Glue turns to powder here I spent alot of time learning how the Native Americans manage to keep jewelry from falling apart in NM.
Sheww that's alot of details. For me I usps flat rate for most of my goods but alot of mine go into pounds. As well as keeping email updates of new merchandise and sales etc.. I don't use much bubble wrap but I do use alot of brown packing paper
@BrightMoonstone shipping insurance only protects YOU, not the buyer. The buyer has all the protection and can just get refunded. If your item is valuable enough that it would cause you hardship to lose the funds, add extra insurance. On most sites, you are not even allowed to mention it or give buyers the option to add it, you can add it into purchase price or shipping fee but not advertising it. If it is small dollar items, you probably don't need to spend the extra money.
@BrightMoonstone I've used it twice in 19 years. I am not familiar with the type of coverage you've mentioned. Would you mind contributing to this thread with more info about the kind of shipping coverage you've referenced so all may possibly benefit? I'm interested in learning about it.