8 Mailing and Shipping Money-Saving Tips and Tricks

8 Mailing and Shipping Money-Saving Tips and Tricks

To combat the long list of expenditures, business owners are always looking for ways to cut costs without compromising quality. While it may be obvious to some, most business owners might not have considered how quickly mailing and shipping costs can add up. Here are eight tips to reduce your mailing and shipping costs.

1. Avoid mailing documents when possible.

This may seem like an obvious tip, but you can avoid mailing your documents with the help of technology. You can easily send invoices, proposals, presentations, contract terms, faxes and signed documents as PDF attachments via email.

2. Have your mail work double duty.

When you mail invoices or ship merchandise to your customers, insert ads and promotions for other products and services you provide. You’ll save on additional postage for those marketing materials while also utilizing the opportunity to advertise.

3. Consider getting a postage meter.

Weighing each piece of mail to determine the exact postage can help you save a bundle on unnecessary mailing costs. If your business spends more than $50 a month on mail, you’ll benefit from investing in a postage meter. Be sure to carefully consider all of the costs associated with renting a postage meter. Check out this article for more tips and information about renting postage meters.

Editor’s note: Looking for information on postage meters for your business? Fill out the below questionnaire to have our sister site BuyerZone connect you with vendors that can help.



4. Avoid locking your business in with one carrier.

Rather than working exclusively with one carrier, consider choosing the best carrier for each individual shipment. Yes, this may seem like a time- and labor-intensive process, but all shipping carriers offer drastically different rates based upon the weight, dimensions and destination of each package. Don’t be afraid to negotiate with multiple carriers to see which company will give you the lowest possible rate. When carriers know they’re actively vying for your business, they’ll have incentive to offer more competitive pricing.

5. Match delivery requirements and fees for common shipments.

Once you’ve chosen a shipping service provider, work with its small business specialist to best match the carrier’s fees and services with the shipping requirements for your business, such as mode of transportation (air or ground) and delivery timing. Businesses that don’t carefully stipulate their shipping criteria can spend as much as 40 percent or more in fees than those that do.

6. If you choose FedEx or UPS as your carrier, use SmartPost or SurePost.

SmartPost and SurePost are less expensive than traditional ground services. Delivery prices are determined by the way your shipments reach their destinations. The most expensive part of the delivery process is carriers driving their very large delivery trucks to your customers’ homes and offices. SmartPost and SurePost eliminate this final step by picking up the packages from your location and delivering them to their final zones. From there, the customers’ local USPS branches make the “last mile” delivery by adding those packages to their daily routes, therefore reducing the overall cost of the shipment.

7. Buy your packaging in bulk.

Whether you’re shipping in branded boxes or simple brown ones, equipment and supplies are expensive, and it can be tough to balance a palatable cost with materials that fall within your brand’s guidelines. Look at your historical data and determine how many boxes your business typically ships weekly, monthly, annually and/or quarterly, then determine your projected growth rate and how that will affect your shipping volume. Use that information to research the best deal on packaging for your needs, and stock up. If you don’t go through all your shipping materials this year, save them for next year. 

8. Make sure you package your shipments efficiently.

Packaging your shipments as efficiently as possible will save you money and increase the likelihood of your merchandise arriving intact. Your item(s) should easily fit within the box without too much empty space. Use light, airy packing material or reuse packing materials from shipments you’ve received to reduce the weight of the package and save on shipping costs.

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