Written by Jodie Pride
17th March 2015 • 5 min read
Amazon Seller tips series
Supplies for shipping can add up and cost alot of money, there are ways you can source some of these free or at a reduced price. Local schools are also a great place to source cardboard boxes. A great way to source these for free is to visit local shops and ask them if they have any packing materials they need to get rid of – stores often have to spend time and money recycling or getting rid of these themselves, so they’ll be more than happy if you take them off their hands. Cookware and electronics shops are particularly good for packing materials as they usually stock large, heavy and fragile items, as are supermarkets, which have daily deliveries (that means plenty of boxes they need to get rid of).
You’ll also want to make sure that you have packaged the items so that they don’t get damaged during transit (that applies especially to fragile items). One or two layers of newspaper or bubble wrap should suffice, or use a bubble wrap padded envelope for small items. If you bulk order, you can usually get discounts for these. You don’t want your item to reach the customer broken – careless packaging is a great way to receive negative feedback and lost customers.
If you’re an Amazon seller and eBay seller who only ships a few items on eBay, it will be significantly harder to lower your shipping costs than if you’re a high volume seller. If you are a high volume seller, couriers will be more willing to negotiate shipping fees with you. Simply contact them and ask about their shipping rates, and how much stock you need to ship with them in order to get a better rate.
You have the option to use Amazon’s fulfilment service (FBA) if you’re an Amazon seller. You can use Fulfilment By Amazon (FBA), which saves you time and effort because Amazon takes care of customer communication, and packaging/shipping for you. All you have to do is send your goods to Amazon and they’ll take care of the rest (for a fee which covers selling/handling costs). A major benefit of this service is that your items will probably sell quicker because they will qualify for free shipping by Amazon.
FBA charges fees per item, so one way an Amazon seller.can further reduce fees is by selling higher priced items; and you could save even more money by sticking to selling small, light items because of FBA’s storage and weight handling fees.
Your time is one of your most important assets, so it’s important not to waste it. Make sure that your shipping process is as streamlined and organized as possible. Make sure you have a dedicated and well maintained shipping station complete with packing and labelling supplies. Investing in a software that automates a lot of the shipping process – such as bulk printing labels – is a great way to save time.
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