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Copyright 2007


Save Time Online Guide to Postage and Packaging

Saving postage costs in your business

Depending on your business operations, you may have large postage or freight expenses. Whilst these are necessary for your success, reducing these costs will obviously increase your final profits.

Having said that, it is never worth cutting corners to save a few cents at the expense of service. Sure, you could use less packaging and save money, but if the products arrive at customers’ either broken or damaged, you will have the extra costs or repairs or replacements – not to mention bad will.

So, keeping your products sufficiently padded has to be a priority, but once that is taken care of you could consider some of the following tips:

  • The average phone call In Australia will cost you 20 or 25 cents, a fax little more and an email costs nothing. A standard letter will cost you $0.50 for a stamp. Before you mail something, ask if it could be sent as effectively by fax, email or phone.
     
  • Talk to your local post office about bulk mailing costs. These can be substantially cheaper than regular postage charges. Ask if the bulk price can apply over a few days rather than a single mailing.
     
  • If you are sending out packages of the same size regularly, then you can buy in the envelopes or boxes in bulk.
     
  • Look at the usefulness of padded bags versus boxes filled with packing foam. Compare the rices with the benefits for your particular products.
     
  • Plan ahead. Instead of sending two packages to one place, can you compile the items into one? Many businesses will send a parcel and follow it up a day or so later with the invoice; is it feasible to include the invoice in the original package to save the 50cent stamp for the invoice?
     
  • Use packaging as small as possible for the item(s) to be transported. This leaves less room for movement and damage, as well as needing less additional packaging items included.
     
  • Buy stamps in bulk – you can boxes of 50, 100 or 200 stamps. This doesn’t save on the cost of the stamps, but it will save you time buying them more often. It also requires less administrative effort to pay for stamps once a month instead of once a week.
     
  • Unless it suits your business image to do so, don’t use the heavier grade of paper for letters and other documents. For one or two pages it wouldn’t matter, but over a large document the extra weight could end up costing you in extra postage.
     
  • Send things as soon as possible. It is when things are delayed that you will get charged more for overnight or urgent delivery by the post office or a courier.
     
  • Shop around for freight services. There can be a wide range of prices for what appear to be the same services. It may be worthwhile to use more than one courier service if their local and distant rates vary greatly. However, with freight and couriers, check what is and isn’t included in the costs before making a final decision, and then monitor the service.
     
  • Don’t assume that because your customer is paying for the freight, the cost doesn’t matter. Clients will factor the freight costs into their purchases and extra freight could be the difference between buying from you or not. Likewise, cheap service from your courier may reflect badly on your business, too.

 

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Tash Hughes is the owner of Word Constructions and assists businesses in preparing all written documentation and web site content. Tash also writes technical and business articles for inclusion in newsletter and web sites.

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