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Need help on how to bill for shipping costs to retailers

acalacal subscriber Posts: 3
Can somebody explain to me the best way to go about billing retailers for shipping costs.  I sell a fairly light weight item (pillow), but it is somewhat large about 15"x9"X 4".  I am just getting started, and I am not sure how to deal with the issue of billing for the shipping costs to retailers. I have a minimum wholesale order of 8 pillows, so the box needs to be somewhat on the large size. With the numerous variables incountered (number of pillows, location of delivery), not sure how to best do this.  I am not looking to make money on the shipping, I just want to make sure I don`t end up holding the bag for the shipping costs.
Any suggestions?


  • acalacal subscriber Posts: 3
    I get it, so you wouldn`t "invoice" them until after you have shipped, and you know the shipping charge? correct?  I guess the only down side to this is if they (retailer) wants to make the purchase right away by putting it on a credit card.  You wouldn`t know the shipping amount at that time.
  • JSIWCJSIWC subscriber Posts: 0
    and for sure - check ALL the shippers - in the pst DHL was the highest and I found this past week that they are far below UPS, Fedex and totally lower than USPS. Right now UPS rates are higher than everyone - guess it`s all those right turns they`re making.... 
  • bertbert subscriber Posts: 12
    You are right.  The days are over when one can say one carrier is less than all the rest.  USPS can now change rates with only 30 day notice and fuel service charges can change monthly with all the carriers.  Many of the carriers offer special rates at different volumes which can dramatically change everything.  Even special rates can vary weekly.  One carrier may be the best way to ship from point A to B but not from A to C today but this is subject to change with very little notice.  This is why one must do multi-carrier rate comparisons when they are doing the math.  They must use automation to optimize things when shipping variable quantities of goods.
  • EntrevisorEntrevisor subscriber Posts: 0
    I know this doesn`t answer your question directly, however, this information may still be of some use once you find the best packaging and all. The following two websites each provide an easy and unique way of finding the cheapest shipping option. I believe, in your case, that RedRoller is the most applicable. Good Luck!
  • bertbert subscriber Posts: 12
    It is my opinion that these sites will not help in this case.  I believe that Redroller is mainly a DHL and USPS re-marketer limiting the number of choices to just these carriers.  I also feel that Uship is really more for one time special shipments and not regular daily shipping.  I think visiting the individual carrier web sites may be better in this case for initial research.
  • acalacal subscriber Posts: 3
    Thanks guys, I will consider all of these options.  I already check out redroller, but not sure that is going to work.  Unfortunately, this shipping is much more of an expense than I thought
  • bertbert subscriber Posts: 12
    Another idea is to check out http://www.packworld.com</A>.  They may have a way for you do vacuum compression of your pillows so you can get more in a box.  There are other solutions that come up when you Google "vacuum compressing pillows for shipping".  Don`t give up, I am sure there is a good solution out there...Good luck! bert2007-6-1 10:10:51
  • EntrevisorEntrevisor subscriber Posts: 0
    I agree with you and Bert that the two sites I listed above may not be best put to use under your circumstances. However, I gave your scenario some more thought. It seems to me that the small problem is how to ship the pillows, but the BIGGER problem is having to deal with shipping the pillows. It seems all of your shipping woes would be alleviated if that issue wasn`t your problem. This is especially true if you are not trying to make money off shipping. You are in the business of selling pillows and not shipping them...
    With all of this being said, when you get time take a look at a service offered by Amazon called Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA). Here is the link: http://www.amazonservices.com/fulfillment/
    I am not too familiar with all the details, or, most importantly, pricing, but if you are needing to ship a large quantity of these pillows it may be a viable option. I do realize that with this service you have to get the pillows to them but you can do so in very large quantities and then let them deal with the multiple individual shipments to each customer and then pass on that exact cost to the customer. You can even sell this to the customers by saying through Amazon`s economies of scale we are able to offer you lower shipping costs, or something like that.
  • acalacal subscriber Posts: 3
    Thanks for the info. I will look in to it.  Not sure what gave you the idea I was trying to make money off of shipping.  Nothing could be farther from the truth.  I am doing everything I can to keep the price down.  Even when I sell one of my pillows on my website, I "eat" $3 on shipping.  It costs me $8 to ship (USPS priority), but I only charge $5.
  • EntrevisorEntrevisor subscriber Posts: 0
    I think you may have been confused with my response. As this statement illustrates, "This is especially true if you are not trying to make money off shipping.", I understand that you are not trying to profit from shipping. That is why I recommended you letting a professional shipping company like Amazon take over for you. What I was getting at was that if you sat down at a table and told people what PODillow, Inc did you would likely say sell pillows, and not shipping them.
    Therefore, I personally think it might be beneficial for you to take advantage of a service such as Amazon`s that basically allows you to outsource your shipping department to them. With their experience, partnerships, economies of scale, etc.. they would be best able to handle the most appropriate box size and shipping method. Plus, they handle any problems with shipping as well. You can calculate the exact cost more easily this way and then pass on whatever portion of that amount to your customer. If you choose to continue to "eat" some of the shipping costs you still can or you could always choose to pass on the exact cost of shipping and be a little more profitable.  
    However, this sort of process may only work if you have a high sales volume. If you are only making a few shipments per week then it might be too much trouble. Anyways, just thought it was worth looking at in case you were already selling a large volume or hope to one day. It seems it would take a lot of worries and time off your hand. Best of luck and sorry for the confusion.
  • acalacal subscriber Posts: 3
    Sorry, I got you know.  It was late last night when I read your post. 
  • acalacal subscriber Posts: 3
    Duh, "now" not "know" sorry I need more sleep.  I have been burning the candle at both ends.
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