As an individual decides to try out ecommerce most likely they have limited experience with shipping except for going to the post office to drop off letters or packages. As a result one of the most important aspects of running an ecommerce business typically gets overlooked to novice sellers until they have had a chance to get a better understanding of how ecommerce works and then they look to learn ecommerce shipping tips. One of the biggest lessons novice ecommerce sellers need to hear and learn as quick as possible is that not all ecommerce USPS shipping rate options are equal. What do I mean by this?
Ecommerce USPS Shipping Rate Guide: USPS Shipping Rates Breakdown
Retail Pricing – If you have gone into a USPS location such as a post office and purchased a label for a package you have paid retail pricing. This is the most expensive price point you can possibly pay to ship an item out. I want to make sure you hear that as many novice sellers who are just getting started go to the post office to ship out their items and are paying the top cost for shipping possible which eats into their profit margins. If you are still doing this or about to do this, you should stop immediately and read on to the next ecommerce shipping tip which covers commercial pricing for labels.
Commercial Base Pricing – Anyone who generates a shipping label online instead of using a post office or retail location automatically qualifies for commercial base pricing. This means you immediately are saving money on every label you generate simply by printing the label from your home using an online label generation shipping tool. Shipping is one of the biggest factors that can make or break an ecommerce business because most ecommerce owners focus on the product they purchased and more experienced sellers include the taxes and expensive they paid to get the item (which is referred to as landed cost) and define a price to sell the item at to make a profit based on those details. Shipping is often overlooked as you need boxes, packing supplies, label printer, and more to really be efficient at shipping on your own. These are cost that come along with the rate you pay for the specific the label. As mentioned in my previous ecommerce shipping tip, customers expect free shipping so finding the best shipping rate possible is so important to be able to really make your business model work.
There are many online shipping tools available for you to use to generate shipping labels. You can find ecommerce shipping tools, you can identify USPS technology partners that give you a website to generate your own labels or most marketplaces and shopping cart platforms have direct integrations with USPS to let you print commerce base pricing labels from their systems directly.
Commercial Plus Pricing – This specific shipping rate is reserved for very high volume sellers and creates a deeper discount on your labels then you would even get with commercial base pricing. The reality is that only a very small percent of online ecommerce sellers will ever qualify for this rate class so it is good to know it exists and if you get an opportunity to participate in this pricing you should but don’t count on it or expect to be able to qualify especially early on your ecommerce business life.
For this ecommerce shipping tip I went specifically at the Ecommerce USPS Shipping Rate Guide as many new online sellers do what they know which is USPS and the post office to ship their products. As always with ecommerce, depending on what you sell USPS may not always be the best option as in some cases related to weight classes FedEx, UPS and DHL offer better price points for specific weight classes. As you are starting to get your ecommerce business running you really need to invest the time to rate shop across shipping carriers and see for your specific products and weights what is the best solution for you to spend the least amount on shipping as you can.