Suzanne Johnston wrote an article on Jan 9, 2013 asking if free shipping is worth it. Being a Houston shipping company we were very interested in her thoughts.
I guess that the best way to summarize her article is that nothing is really free. Shipping costs are somehow passed on to consumers, whether they are aware of them or not. Look at all the websites that offer shipping free if you only spend say fifty or one hundred dollars. You may have entered the website hoping to spend twenty five dollars. Just think, if you double your budget, you can save on the shipping charges.
Is this really a savings to you? We do not think so. This is a way to get you, the consumer to spend more money on their website. Did you really need two sets of pans or two blenders? Probably not, but you now have “free shipping”.
It seems that every January both Fed Ex and UPS raise their rates. Even at five per cent, the increase in rates appears to be higher than the rate of inflation. We thing that this is one of the reasons that the “free shipping” bargain appeals to many shoppers
As these rates go up, we are noticing more websites offering “free shipping” with the United States Postal Service. Since these orders are difficult to trace, the time you spend looking for your lost item, may be more than the money you would have spent shipping via UPS or Fed Ex. On both of their websites, information is quickly updated and you can track the actual progress of shipments.
At pack n send we prefer to give our customers a tracking number so that they can watch as their package moves from one location to another. This lets our customer know when their package was delivered. If we request a signature, they can even see who signed for their package. This past year we began tweets about ways to make your shipping experience easier when shipping gifts.
Our most important suggestion was to always verify the recipients address before you send out a shipment. During the year, individuals and companies may move. While their email and phone numbers may have stayed the same, their physical address may have changed. It is much easier to ship a package to the recipient’s correct address rather than have the package rerouted or redelivered when you have shipped it to a bad address.
We have a few other tips when you are shipping on your own:
Always use a sturdy box when shipping. Remember that when you ship with a common carrier, the box may be tossed, thrown, and put on a conveyor belt. Our best suggestion is to see if you can press down on the box and leave an impression. If the flaps of the box move, you probably have not provided enough padding. For delicate items, we recommend using 5/16 inch bubble and then Styrofoam peanuts that are tightly packed inside the box.
Do not wrap your box in a brown paper bag. The bag may get torn or completely taken off the box when the box is on the conveyor belt. It is a much better idea to use a sturdy box, and put the label directly on the box. If your paper bag is separated from your package, then the item you have sent will not be delivered.
When shipping for any holiday, do not wait until the last minute to ship your item. The heavier the shipping load for the major carriers, the higher the probability that a mistake could happen. If you wait until the last minute, you may not be able to ship via ground. Ground shipping is generally less expensive than air shipping.
If you would like any other information about packing or shipping in Houston or in the rest of the country, please feel free to contact pack n send at 713 266 1450.