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Thread: Shipping Honey

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Seattle, Washington State
    Posts
    4,398

    Default Shipping Honey

    I was wondering if anyone could give me some advice. We get a lot of customers who wasnt hone yshipped to them in different parts of the state.

    The way we do it now is to take their order, bottle it, package it, and go to a retail UPS store, they weight it, I fill out the invoice for the customer, and the UPS guy tapes it up and send it.

    The only problem is is that they charge as little extra on top of normal shipping.

    Unlike if I go to the Postal Office (USPS). If I go in there, the people are somewhat rud and they want to turn customers quickly so having them weigh the box, tell me what the shipping is, me filling out the total invoice for the customer, putting it in the box, sealing it, and them placing the shipping label on it is a hassel.

    So I thought I would take some advice and go to the USPS web site to print out and pay for a shipping label however, they only allow you to do this with Express and Priority Mail.

    So I am not sure what to do. I would like to keep shipping cost down so the customer doessent fee llike shipping the honey is not worth it. I do not want to pay retrial upcharge for going to the UPS store nor deal with the hassel of the USPS service.

    Any thoughts? the wife said to get a paypal account.

    What asre the charges for a paypal account?

    Any other options anyone can think of?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Effingham, IL
    Posts
    48

    Default Develop standard shipping costs.

    Chef, I think you are trying to be a nice guy and split hairs where you shouldn't. Maybe I misread what you have posted.

    If you try to print a unique and specific invoice for each customer to the penny it will drive you nuts. Not only does it take a lot of time but it really doesn't accomplish anything other than you only get each penny you deserve. Nothing wrong with that as Lincoln taught us all the lesson over 160 years ago. I ship honey to both costs to relatives and places in between. I'm not doing this to shave pennies or keep profits so I may be off base in my perspective. I know it costs $7.XX to ship a 2# jar of honey to Virginia (as I did today) parcel post. I think I could have paid an extra $5 to get it there next day or day after (I forgot) but the point is that time is money (the less time in shipping means more money). If the customer understands that then what is the problem? My wife loves next day air although she won't be using whatever shows up at the door for a week. People who want your honey across the country aren't going to quibble about an extra buck. Why not just develop a "shipping and handling" charge for 8 oz, 1#, 2#, 5#, etc shipments (including weight of packaging) for the different delivery times and weights and let them decide what they want to pay?? I think that if you have marketed your honey such that folks want some of it for the reasons you say they will be willing to pay a premium for it (the "average" shipping and handling charge for the timely delivery they want). I think everyone understands that the cost of shipping isn't the cost of the product although the "total cost" does include it. Just give the customer the choice of what shipping speed they desire then charge them for what they want.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Southern Oregon
    Posts
    1,165

    Default

    Chef, you may want to reconsider using UPS for anything at this point. There appears to be a strong likelihood of UPS mishandling your packages and a tendency to for them to avoid responsibility for their negligent actions.
    John B Jacob www.oldsolbees.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Oxford, Kansas
    Posts
    1,988

    Default friend dont let friends use ups shipping

    Quote Originally Posted by JBJ View Post
    Chef, you may want to reconsider using UPS for anything at this point. There appears to be a strong likelihood of UPS mishandling your packages and a tendency to for them to avoid responsibility for their negligent actions.
    I agree totally with JBJ my advise would be to ship everything USPS priority mail in a flat rate box. The boxes and labels are free from the local post office. UPS advertises everything under 100 dollars is insured at no extra fee in reality they are self insured and getting them to honor a claim is almost impossible. they will find an excuse not to honor the claim usually they will blame it on packaging.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Owen, WI, USA
    Posts
    2,558

    Default

    Isaac
    We ship a ton of stuff using the USPS via paypal.
    If the customer pays through paypal you can print the postage paid label online, so no trip to the post office is necessary. On paypal you CAN print parcel post or first class postage, unlike the USPS site.
    In the majority of cases I use the flat rate priority boxes and envelopes, which are provided free of charge by the post office. As much as you can get in the box or envelope ships for one flat fee, and is very often cheaper than using regular priority. No need to even weigh these. Even if the box is too big, when allowing for the cost of purchasing your own box instead of using the USPS provided box it is usually cheaper to ship anything small enough to fit in the priority flat rate boxes.
    It is amazing how often it is actually cheaper to send items in multiple flat rate priority boxes rather than even parcel post. If you have multiple containers of honey for instance, compare the price on two flat rate boxes ($17.50) vs parcel post shipping with the added cost of your own purchased box. Usually the flat rate is cheaper.
    Using priority mail allows you to ship M.O., cash or credit card purchases by printing on the post office site.
    Good quality scales for weighing other sizes can be bought at Office Max or the like. If you need to weigh your item, no driving to the post office and waiting in line for the clerk. The dollars saved in gas, time and convenience will quickly recoup the expense of the scale.
    In a case where your package is parcel post, you can still print the label without postage by hand or online, have the postman pick up the item, figure the postage then bill you the next day.

    Also, your postman will pick up packages in a designated area other than your mailbox if your item does not fit inside and you are concerned about weather or theft. You can arrange pickup on your porch, inside the garage etc also online. My post man routinely picks up and delivers to my shop[, whether I am ther or not.
    I ship 3-10 packages almost every day and I haven't been to the post office in months.
    Sheri
    Last edited by JohnK and Sheri; 10-06-2007 at 12:47 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Ogden, UT
    Posts
    49

    Default Flat Rate Box

    is a winner. It is why I sell ask my distant customers to purchase 2 bottles at a time . . . . shipping cost out of their pocket is a much better deal. JP

    EDIT: And very nice eBay store, John and Sheri I will be ordering up some of that for my wife's soap and hand cream recipes. We just don't render enough ourselves.
    Last edited by UtahBeekeeper; 10-08-2007 at 02:14 PM. Reason: Add observation

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Owen, WI, USA
    Posts
    2,558

    Default Thanks Utah

    ...for the nice comment on my Ebay store.
    You and your wife will certainly be welcome there.
    (Please make sure I know it is you if you order 8-) )
    Sheri
    Last edited by JohnK and Sheri; 10-08-2007 at 06:53 PM.

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