Easy Guidelines To Follow For Effective USPS Shipping

April 4th, 2019 Comments off

A smooth shipping process not only helps streamline your operations as an e-commerce seller, but also ensures your products reach your customers without undue delays.  Moreover, you can focus your efforts on growing your business instead of dealing with customer complaints and questions around package delivery status or postage due at the time of delivery.

What can you do to ensure a seamless shipping experience from the time your package leaves your hands and reaches your customer?  Follow these five easy USPS shipping guidelines!

Pay Attention To Your Package

Guideline #1 – Round up on Weights:  Did you know that the USPS rounds up package weights to the nearest ounce or pound depending on the mail class used?  To avoid underpaying for postage or even worse having your customer pay postage at the time of delivery, always round up your package weight.  As an example, if your package weighs 10 lbs. and 5 oz., you should use the shipping rate for an 11 lb. package.

Guideline #2 – Check the Dimensions:  Your package size can make a difference in how much you pay shipping!  Dimensional (DIM) weight may apply to a USPS package that is larger than 1 cubic foot (12″ x 12″ x 12″).  Pay attention to the dimensions of your package and avoid unnecessary empty space to lower shipping costs.

Does Your Shipping Label Match Your Package?

Guideline #3 – Verify the Mail Class:  What mail class should you use to ship your package?  This depends on the weight of your package, how soon you need it to be at its destination and also how much you want to pay for shipping.  Remember, each mail class allows packages up to a certain weight limit only.  Choose First Class Package Service for packages weighing up to 13 ounces and Priority Mail for packages over that weight limit!

Guideline #4 – Double check the Shipping Zone:  USPS Shipping Zones are calculated based on the distance between the origin and destination addresses.  Stamps.com customers should verify that the origin zip code (the zip code for where you ship your packages from) is set up correctly.

Guideline #5 – Match the Label to the Packaging:  Your shipping label should match your package!  For example, based on the package weight, size and shipping zone of your package, if you have decided to use a Flat Rate Priority Mail Box for your package, make sure to choose the corresponding mail class while printing your label.  Also, your Flat Rate label must only be used on a Flat Rate box.

USPS Shipping Made Easy With Stamps.com

When you ship with Stamps.com, you don’t need to worry about underpaying for postage.  Use your Stamps.com digital scale to accurately weigh your package and the software will automatically use the rounded up weight and charge you the appropriate shipping rate.  Next, enter the package dimensions so Stamps.com can determine whether or not DIM weight applies to your package.  Select the correct package type or enter the dimensions of your package.  Also, make sure to set up your origin zip code correctly. When you enter the destination address, Stamps.com automatically calculates the correct shipping zone for your package.  Finally, choose your mail class and Stamps.com will print the appropriate USPS shipping label for your package.

 

 

Stamps.com Trade Shows Q2 2019

March 19th, 2019 Comments off

Trade shows are a great opportunity to get out and meet customers and partners, establish new relationships, and to share Stamps.com with ecommerce shippers just like you!

Check out the table below to learn more about where we’ll be, and when. We’ll post more details on social media as these events get closer.

 

Conference Dates Location Venue
National Postal Forum May 5-8 Indianapolis, IN Indiana Convention Center
Seller Cloud User Conference May 9 Lakewood, NJ Lake Terrace
WMX Europe June 27-29 Dublin, Ireland Croke Park
IRCE June 25-28 Chicago, IL McCormick Place South
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USPS Holiday Shipping Deadlines 2018

October 22nd, 2018 Comments off

The U.S. Postal Service recently announced their 2018 shipping deadlines to ensure delivery by December 25th.  Be sure to mail by these deadlines if you are planning to use the USPS to send any mail or packages this Holiday season.

If you live in Hawaii or Alaska, note that your shipping deadlines may be different than those for the contiguous United States.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Ecommerce Shipping, Shipping, USPS News Tags:

Shipping to Canada: Taxes, Duties & Tariffs

September 14th, 2018 Comments off

 

With over 20 million English-speaking digital buyers, it’s easy to see why Canada is an attractive place to sell for U.S. based e-commerce merchants. Canada even has one of the strongest e-commerce infrastructures in the Americas, including broadband internet access and widespread mobile phone usage for completing online transactions. Selling internationally doesn’t come without its challenges, however. Like any other country, Canada has duties, taxes and tariffs you will need to be aware of. If you haven’t gone through the process to become a Non-Resident Importer your Canadian buyer is responsible for duties, taxes, and tariffs that are imposed on imported goods.  It is important you communicate these additional fees to your customers at checkout so as to avoid unpleasant surprises at the time of package delivery.

 

Duties and Taxes

There are 3 kinds of duties and taxes for items being imported into Canada:

  1. Goods and Services Tax (GST): This is a 5% federal tax that applies to items being sold to Canadian customers for domestic consumption.
  2. Harmonized Tax (HST): A handful of Canadian provinces have opted to harmonize their provincial sales tax with the general sales tax and the total rate is known as Harmonized Tax.
  3. Provincial Sales Tax (PST): Provinces that do not participate in the HST collection process impose their own taxes at the local level. The tax rate varies by province and can range from 5% to 9.75%.

 

Tariffs

Along with duties and taxes, your Canadian customer may also need to pay tariffs. Tariffs depend on the country of manufacture, not the country from where the product is purchased.  NAFTA eliminates tariffs on all goods that are manufactured in the U.S. and shipped to Canada.  However, if your product includes components that were manufactured outside the U.S., then your Canadian customer will need to pay tariffs on those components.

 

Shipping to Canada

Over one-third of Canadian e-commerce sales are currently coming from U.S.-based websites. That’s nearly $50 billion dollars flowing in from north of the border. With annual growth predicted at over 12% for the next three years, now is the time to open your business to eager Canadian buyers. If you are looking to sell in Canada be sure to check out the Stamps.com Guide: How to Ship to Canada.

Managing Returns While Maximizing Profits for E-Commerce

May 11th, 2018 Comments off

We’ve all seen an infomercial that promises to let you return an item if you’re at all unhappy with your purchase. “If for any reason you’re no longer satisfied with your Snuggie, simply return it for a full refund. No questions asked.”

Many e-commerce return policies are based on this philosophy of risk-reversal. If you take away the risk of purchasing with a generously crafted return policy, people will be more likely to buy … But wait there’s more!

There’s much more to this story, as uncovered by a recent report from researchers at the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA). Published in The Journal of Retailing, the report looks at the effects of return policy leniency on purchases and returns in retail.

While the effects of return policy on retail sales are fairly well known, less is understood about the factors that influence people to return — or not to return — a product they’ve purchased. This report answers important questions for retailers about how they can use their return policy to achieve better business results.

The 5 Essential Elements of Return Rates

What are the ways to minimize returns and increase online sales? The report looked at the five most important elements of return policies and how each affects the rate of returns and overall profitability. These five elements are:

1) Time Leniency
This is the time period during in which a return is accepted by the retailer. Is it a 30-day return policy, 60-day return policy?

2) Money Leniency
This is how much money the retailer refunds for a return. Do you provide a 100 percent money-back guarantee, charge a restocking fee, etc.

3) Effort Leniency
The amount of hassle for the consumer to complete a return. Does it involve filling out a form or presenting identification to complete a return?

4) Scope Leniency
These are the products covered by the return policy. Are sale items included?

5) Exchange Leniency
What consumers get for returning the good. Are they given cash, store credit or replacement goods?
Report Results: Ways to Reduce Returns & Increase Sales
If you want to increase sales, the study shows that hassle-free returns (effort leniency) and money-back guarantees (money leniency) are the best incentives for buyers.
To decrease the dreaded returns, your policies should decrease the return options (exchange leniency) and increase the return periods (time leniency). Interestingly, people are actually less likely to return a product they’ve had for a longer period of time. It’s been theorized that this phenomena occurs because people often become more attached to items the longer they have them in their possession. That translates to longer return policies actually working to lower return rates and improve profitability.

 

Crafting the Right Return Policy
How will you use the findings to help reduce returns? As the report shows, crafting the right return policy can help drive more online sales for your e-commerce business. It can also help you avoid more returns in the mail. Look at each of the five return policy dimensions against your own policy to find new opportunities to grow and become more profitable.

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