How to Lower Your Shipping Costs
March 22, 2016
This past summer my wife and I decided to take a small vacation and visit the east coast. Coastal communities with their seemingly more relaxed pace, fresh seafood and salty air attract many tourists who descend on local shops and eateries. While we were walking the downtown street I recognized 3 bookshops we have done previous business with and decided to drop in and browse around. One of the bookshops purchase bargain books regularly from us but the other 2 were very sporadic in their purchasing. I was fortunate the owners of these stores were working the floor and had a few minutes to speak with me.
The stores that purchased infrequently were well laid out, had a great selection of titles but a relatively small bargain book section. “Do bargain books not sell well for you?” I asked. “Yes, they sell quite well” both owners replied. “If you don’t mind my asking, why don’t you purchase more from Book Depot since your selection of bargain books is quite small?” The answer I got was not what I was expecting: “The shipping costs are too high relative to the price of the books”. Book Depot gets great rates from UPS and many other carriers so I didn’t quite know how to respond at that moment.
As it turned out these stores would shop bargain books primarily from our New Arrivals section that gets refreshed daily at 9PM EST and check out their order before items in their cart sold-out. Being a smaller store they might just meet the minimum order requirement that would result in approximately 3 boxes weighing 120 pounds (~54.5 kg). Typically within 1 day our warehouse staff starts picking, packing and prepping orders for shipping. Based on some recent samplings these smaller orders will cost approximately $0.43 per pound to ship in Canada and $0.46 per pound for much of the United States (more for the west coast).
How to Lower Your Shipping Costs: Consolidation is Key
So what, I probably told you something you already knew; you want to know how to save on shipping costs! Did you know that if you consolidated several orders over a period of a week or two that your shipping cost per pound can decrease by more than 50%? By consolidating several orders together your shipping method changes from a service like UPS Ground to a common carrier LTL (less-than-truck) method. Here your boxes get packed onto a pallet, wrapped tightly in plastic and shipped as one unit instead of individual boxes. Our experience in the industry also shows that boxes shipped by this method have less chance to go missing or get damaged since they are secured to a wooden pallet. Below are some actual examples that detail out the costs of shipping between small package and LTL:
Sounds great you say, but how do I make this happen? Our warehouse staff will pull and pack your order as quickly as always but with proper instruction, our shipping department will allocate a secure area and start consolidating your bargain book orders onto a pallet. When you have reached the desired consolidation level you simply instruct our Customer Service by phone or email to release the shipment. Our shipping department will inquire of several LTL shipping companies for the best rate or as an alternative you can instruct us which LTL company you want to ship with. If you choose to go with our LTL provider then only one charge for shipping will be applied to the last order.
To set up your account for consolidation please contact our Customer Service by email at [email protected] or call 905-680-7230 extension 229, toll-free at 1-888-402-7323, and provide them with your consolidation instructions. For example, you might instruct them to ship your orders once you have a pallet’s worth of product or ship it at the end of each month. Once your account has been enabled for consolidation you will see your consolidation instructions at the check-out stage. You will not be charged shipping for each order while they are being held for consolidation. Once the consolidated order is ready to ship you will be charged one shipping amount.
Here at Book Depot, we realize that shipping costs continue to rise and eat into your profits. Each year we negotiate with our shipping companies to get the best rate that results in shipping savings for you. Our shipping department is diligent to get you a reliable delivery service at the best possible price. Combined with the fact that Book Depot has the largest bargain book selection in the industry, consolidation is a zero cost service we can offer you today to help lower shipping costs and add more dollars to your bottom line.
If you have any more questions please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Bill Van Vliet