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Need Help Creating Shipping Policy

jayme28jayme28 subscriber Posts: 3
edited August 2008 in Business Planning
Hello All,
I am new to the e-tail world and I`m struggling to devise a reasonable shipping policy for my customers without going broke in today`s economy.  I plan to focus on a policy within the US for right now and will have a small product category.  Questions I have:
1. Is investing in shipping software right for a new online business on a limited budget?
2. Are the general shipping tables provided through shopping cart software good enough for right now?
3.  Should I stick with ONE or go with MULTIPLE carriers to start shipping?
Look forward to all of your responses!jayme288/5/2008 11:36 AM


  • nevadasculnevadascul subscriber Posts: 3 Member
    There are different shipping plans.  One company I worked for had zone rates set up.  The zones rates were based on our carrier`s zone charts and package weight.   For anything shipping within a days travel by ground and under ten pounds for example, the customer was charged a flat $10.00.  The amount increased for two day travel and three day travel radius.
    However, the easiest policy to start with is to charge customer the actual freight fee.  Very simple to keep straight.
    Also, as far as policy, I`ve never quote freight charges to a customer in a purchase quote.  This prevents customers from making last minute changes after you`ve sent them a quote and expecting the freight rate to be the same.
    Most freight and parcel post companies supply their software free of charge to customers that open an account.  Or, you can go on line to their web sites and access the shipping software.
    It`s also a good idea to have a back up company to ship with.  While you may pay a little more per package if you don`t ship enough packages, a back up company can be a life saver.  Several years back for example, one of the major parcel post carriers was looking at two company wide strikes.  Customers then rushed to set up accounts with a competitor.  The competitor turned most of these customers down. 
    Also, I recommend setting up an account with one of the airlines.  Most airlines provide overnight counter to counter air freight service. That means you drop off your order at an airline terminal nearest you.  Your customer picks it up at the terminal nearest them.  I shipped a two hundred pound order a while back for $50.00. this way.  It saved me over $200.00 in freight charges.  Also, the customer was happy because I was able to get the order out after my regular service pick up time. 
    nevadascul9/2/2008 10:01 PM
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