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MilosCandles

USPS Shipping

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There have been many times in my life that I have Cursed the USPS.  But as a small business owner I love them.  Few things I have learned that will hopefully help someone else.

 

Few things I do

 

I do buy 6x4x4 brown boxes to use.  (Cost me about $.30 each)

 

1 - Under 1 pound (15.9 ounces or less) I ship First Class Mail.  15.9 ounces in a 6x4x4 box cost my $4.94 

2 - If there is over 1 pound in the 6x4x4 box I can put that box it in a Flat Rate Bubble envelope and ship Flat Rate Priority Mail for $6.90 (includes $100 Insurance)

3 - If I need 2 6x4x4 boxes I can put them box in a Priority Mail Regional A box.  Because I am in the Buffalo, NY most packages I send cost me between $7.10 - $8.25 (includes $100 Insurance) if they are going WAY across the country maybe $10

4 - I can fit 4 of my 6x4x4 boxes in a Rate B box.  The most I think that cost me is like $12.  (includes $100 Insurance)

 

After that it is cheaper to use Fedex or UPS.  

 

USPS Insurance is SOOOO simple and easy.  I have filed 3 claims in the last few months (many more over the years).  I just ask the customer to send me 3 pictures of the damage.  I open a claim online and in 2-3 weeks they send me a check.  In the mean time I am just making and sending the customer a new candle.  Everyone is happy in the end.  Basically another sale for me.

 

If you have never used a USPS Regional Rate Box (A or B ) order some and try them.  

 

To get the biggest discounts on USPS shipping I use     90% of the time I use PirateShip 10% - Shippo (Both Free)

 

 

 

This was my drop off Monday morning at the post office which is like a mile from my house and on the way to my 9-5 job.

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Edited by MilosCandles
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Let me know if this helps.

 

Basically you a paying a flat WEIGHT shipping cost rather than weight and distance.

 

Box A
Ships at approximately the same rate as a regular 2lb package   

Up to 15 lbs, same flat rate

ie - If your package is between 2.5 lbs - 15 lbs and fits in the Rate A box this will be cheaper as you are only really paying the 2 lbs rate to ship it.

 

 

 

Box B
Ships at approximately the same rate as a regular 4lb package   

Up to 20 lbs, same flat rate

ie - If your package is between 4.5 lbs - 20 lbs and fits in the Rate B box this will be cheaper as you are only really paying the 4  lbs rate to ship it.

 

 

https://www.stamps.com/usps/priority-mail-regional-rate-box/

Pic from Stamps website, which generally look like the rates I am paying on PirateShip

 

zones.JPG

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Regional rate is the bomdiggety. 

 

Also order the usps video size boxes. They fit perfectly inside a padded envelope for protected shipments that are 2” thick or less. I can fit up to 7 pair of 8” tapers in that size shipped anywhere in the US for about $7. 

 

Double boxing as you do is perfect, in compliance with usps and UsDOT requirements.

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1 hour ago, Sebleo said:

Nice info. Still trying to figure out Regional boxes. 

Pirate Ship has articles that will help you understand all the info on Regional boxes, USPS Cubic shipping rates and all the rest. Very valuable, easy to understand. If you open a chat with them, they're usually right there except after "regular" business hours. They are obviously a small company, but they know how to use the USPS. I'm merely speculating, but I'd be willing to bet that they are former USPS employees who know the Post Office inside and out. 

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14 hours ago, awnl said:

Thank you for the info.... shipping cost calculation drive me crazy .

I have great news for you.:whistling: There's still a lot more to learn.;)

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11 hours ago, Paintguru said:

Great info.  So how do you charge shipping on your website sales?  Fixed amount?   Exact cost to you?  

This is the biggest hole in ALL online shopping carts.  Not even etsy gets it right, but it does get close enough so I don’t lose money. None understand the sizing well enough or offer regionals.

 

So... to get close enough, I usually use weight. Factor in the weight of the boxes and dunnage and away you go. 

 

In the policies I let people know any overage of $1 or more will automatically be refunded. After a while and loads of figure out what works best to save you $ and time. 

 

For some special items that can ship economically, I build the shipping into the product price. Example, sets of bayberry tapers. They fit in a video box inside a padded mailer (for $7 and change) anywhere in the US. A buy 5 dealio with free shipping is enough to entice people. I can fit up to 7 pair... for shampoo and conditioner bars, I can fit 6 into the same size mailer.  Nice and easy transaction there. 

 

i tried flat rate for a short while, but lost out on smaller sales. There’s a strange balance with my particular customers...  I wish I could make myself sit and figure out shipping by $. The weight variance of all the things I offer makes it too demanding. 

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11 hours ago, Paintguru said:

Great info.  So how do you charge shipping on your website sales?  Fixed amount?   Exact cost to you?  

I can't answer that question yet, because I haven't got the complete answer myself. I'm winging it right now. The information that @TallTayl gave in the last post cleared up quite a bit. She's right on the idea of free shipping. Consumers, including myself, go for that. Many times I will buy one item that offers free shipping but is priced higher over an identical item that is priced less but is + shipping. In my mind, I know I'm paying for the shipping one way or the other. I know it is built into the price and it's not really FREE. Most every other consumer knows that too. Despite the fact that we know all that, there's something in our minds that  draws us to the product that offers something for free. FREE is THE most powerful word in advertising. It always has been and probably always will be. Next time you're in the grocery store, look closely at all the products that offer such things as "2 ounces Free". Once you start looking, you'll see it everywhere you go. 

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On 12/14/2018 at 10:39 PM, Paintguru said:

Great info.  So how do you charge shipping on your website sales?  Fixed amount?   Exact cost to you?  

 

I charge $8 flat rate shipping.  It sucks for people ordering 1 candle, but it encourages people to buy more ( I think LOL).  Generally I can ship 2 candles for almost the same price as one.  One I get to 3 or 4 I assume the profit I am making on my candles covers the extra shipping cost.  

 

First Class is $4.94

Flat Rate Padded Envelope is $6.90

Region A

Region B

 

I just ran a report...

Average Shipment - $6.95

 

If it were closer to my $8 rate I would be much more concerned.  Yes I lose money on some shipments, but overall I am doing OK.  I do have it down to a science though. 

 

 

Edited by MilosCandles
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On 12/17/2018 at 12:54 AM, MilosCandles said:

 

I charge $8 flat rate shipping.  It sucks for people ordering 1 candle, but it encourages people to buy more ( I think LOL).  Generally I can ship 2 candles for almost the same price as one.  One I get to 3 or 4 I assume the profit I am making on my candles covers the extra shipping cost.  

 

First Class is $4.94

Flat Rate Padded Envelope is $6.90

Region A

Region B

 

I just ran a report...

Average Shipment - $6.95

 

If it were closer to my $8 rate I would be much more concerned.  Yes I lose money on some shipments, but overall I am doing OK.  I do have it down to a science though. 

 

 

That is very helpful. I've been struggling with that idea. I didn't know where to start when it came to how much I should charge for a flat rate. It would definitely save a lot of time and mental effort that I could use elsewhere. 

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I guess the other bit of info I forgot to include....

 

To print my shipping labels I use a Dymo 4xl label printer.  This thing is a dream.  You can find generic labels for it pretty cheap.  It is heat transfer so no ink needed.  I just love this thing

 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Dymo-LabelWriter-4XL-Label-Printer-LabelWriter-4XL-Label-Printer/362512428608

 

For a LONG time I used full sheet with 2 labels on it.  Run it through my laser printer, and run it through again turned around to print on the 2nd label.

 

 

 

 

s-l1600.jpg

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1 hour ago, Paintguru said:

What does everyone use for padding within the shipment?  Peanuts?  Brown craft paper?  

Geami / green wrap around items. Usually not much else is needed, but if so a few wads of paper to stop movement. This stuff is far superior to bubble wrap. 

 

846BCEE8-8906-4F8D-91A5-B9A76083BA32.jpeg

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40 minutes ago, TallTayl said:

Geami / green wrap around items. Usually not much else is needed, but if so a few wads of paper to stop movement. This stuff is far superior to bubble wrap. 

 

Where do you get it?  Have a link?

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2 hours ago, Paintguru said:

What does everyone use for padding within the shipment?  Peanuts?  Brown craft paper?  

 

I use a combination of items.

Boxes,   Bubble wrap, Crinkle Paper, and Kraft Paper.  Depends on what I am shipping.

 

And then always happy to re-use packaging that was shipped to me.

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14 minutes ago, MilosCandles said:

 

Where do you get it?  Have a link?

I have purchased kraft and white here. 

http://www.globeguardproducts.com/category_s/105.htm (this placed used to offer preexpanded with tissue. So bummed they don’t any longer. 

https://www.fastpack.net/geami-greenwrap/

 

 

Amazon Smaller roll here. https://www.amazon.com/Ranpak-Geami-WrapPak-EX-MINI/dp/B079P7GRZ3

 

ebay. https://www.ebay.com/itm/Geami-GreenWrap-Ranpak-WrapPak-EX-ExBox-White-Honeycomb-Paper-Packaging-/323510822771

 

 

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I don't do a heavy volume of shipping as the majority of my sales are at markets and shows. But when I do ship an order I go USPS regional rate every time and save money. Since my orders are soap I don't need anything fancier than ziploc bags and peanuts. The peanuts I save from supply shipments I get and the regional rate boxes are free so I only pay for the bags and packing tape. I use one flat rate on my website so all orders cost the same to ship. It works out for me as all my orders fit into one box.

Edited by Candybee

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