Whether you’re new to shipping auction items or you’re a long-time seller, there’s always room to optimize your shipping efficiency and boost your bottom-line. Follow ShipMonk’s tips to upgrade your shipping process.
- Before you list your item, calculate the true shipping cost. You will likely see an increase in sales by building the shipping cost into your auction price and offering “free standard shipping”.
- Offer multiple shipping options to accommodate the needs of shoppers. While most will choose free shipping when offered, some buyers will be forced to search for another seller if you don’t offer a shipping option that meets their timeline for holidays or other urgent needs.
- Determine whether you need shipping insurance and, if necessary, consider adding this into the auction price. While many carrier services include basic coverage, you may want to add insurance depending on the value of the item you’re shipping and the amount of items you ship. Not all items can be insured, and some destinations are not eligible. You may also wish to request a signature upon delivery to dissuade claims of lost or stolen items.
- Ensure the shipping address is correct, complete, and printed clearly. If you are unsure of the address or zipcode, take a moment to look it up and avoid returned packages. If you are still handwriting addresses, invest in a return address stamp to save time and ensure your packages are returned to you if they are not deliverable.
- External shipping labels must be clear and unobstructed. It is possible for the shipping label on the outside to be damaged or removed, so we recommend adding paperwork inside the box that indicates your shipping address as well as the recipient’s address. Keep it simple by including a copy of the invoice or your business card.
- Adding a simple note is a great way to increase customer loyalty and delight the recipient with your overall service and professionalism. A thoughtful note or handwritten “thank you” reminds the customer that you are a real human, too. It can be as simple as writing, “Thank you, Greg!” on the invoice you included inside the package. This is rarely done nowadays and will make you stand out in your customer’s memory. Great fodder for word-of-mouth referrals!
- Pack items securely. Choose corrugated cardboard boxes to ensure your package isn’t damaged in transit. Use padding on the inside of the box, and ensure all seams are strongly taped shut. A little extra padding or packing tape can help avoid damaged goods – and time-wasting claims processes. Be sure to choose the right box size to avoid overcharges due to inappropriate dimensional weight. Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express boxes are available for free from USPS.
- Be aware of holiday shipping cutoffs. Holidays are peak shipping times and deliveries may be delayed due to the high-volume of packages and potential weather delays (such as hurricanes or blizzards).
- Ensure a clean communication chain. You need to make sure, in the event something unfortunate happens with the package and the delivery of your items, that your customer knows exactly who to contact and how you will address the issue.
- Stress less! If these logistics processes are too daunting or overwhelming, then you might consider outsourcing fulfillment. Just remember, in finding the right fulfillment company, you’ll want to make sure they can answer each of these questions in a way that satisfies you. Good luck fulfilling your orders!