My biggest fear in expanding my small business was having to ship my orders out. I knew that it would increase my business sales, but I was really terrified and overwhelmed by the idea of packaging my items, hoping they would arrive to my customers safely, all the while, somehow not offending anyone with my shipping prices.
It was a lot to work out, and I refused to think about it. So, I limited myself to customers near my city.
That was NOT a good business practice.
I realized that if I wanted my business to continue to grow and succeed, I would have to learn how to package and ship my products.
There are a ton of ways you can go about shipping off your products, but honestly, a lot of your shipping and packaging methods will depend greatly on your business style.
For example, my business style is affordable, and simple. No froo-froo, frilliness here. The less I spend on the packaging, the more savings I can pass onto my customers. I also practice the 3 R's with my business - Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.
This means that a lot of my packaging consists of recycled materials. I even print that on every single packaging slip that goes into my packages!
Now, before you go spending tons of money on fancy packaging, and expensive shipping programs, check out my top 5 shipping hacks below:
1) Don't throw away that gift tissue paper!
- Protect your products during shipment by using crumpled up tissue paper to fill the empty spaces in your box.You can even throw balled up junk mail (You know the one! Those grocery store flyers!) at the bottom of the box, and then cover that with a full sheet of tissue paper. *Bonus! - Using colored tissue paper that matches the items they ordered will add such an exciting touch!
- Know someone who shops online a lot? Ask if you can have their boxes, and bubble wraps, and add them to your stash for future use. Customers won't care that you used an Amazon box if your product is amazing and arrived undamaged!
- I never ship off any package without first weighing it. How embarrassing would it be if I didn't weight it, didn't pay the correct postage for its weight, and my customer was required to pay for the correct postage?? Get a cheap scale on eBay auctions, Craigslist, or even Facebook Marketplace.
4) Get free boxes delivered to your door!
- If you don't want to use used shipping boxes, you can order FREE shipping boxes to your door using the USPS website. They come in packages of 10 or 25 boxes, and you can even choose from different sized boxes, to normal Priority, or Flat Rate boxes. These boxes are free, shipping to your house is free, and all you have to do is pay for the cost of shipping it to your customer.
5) Create labels in 30 seconds!
- Not many people know this, but you can go to www.paypal.com/shipnow, and create a shipping label in no time. Simply type in all of the usual information (name, address, package size, etc.) and you can print right from there. If I ever need a super quick label, Paypal is my go-to!
Let me know which hack is your favorite, and be sure to share your favorite shipping and packaging hacks in the comments below!