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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:


Lower shipping cost table

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


Book Depot


Mohammed Javed replied 7 years ago

This is some good news but can it be done with overseas shipping ie consolidating on a pallet and then shipping it?
I have been buying books from you for several years and having them shipped to Brampton ON for consolidating till the quantity is a shipping pallet. This way I save a huge amount on normal shipping. Only the US Mail Bag service (the one where you can SAL a package of 66 pound is comparable. Can you do SAL through USPS?

Book Depot replied 7 years ago

Hi Mohammed,

Thank you for the comment! I am going to forward this question off to our customer service team and they will get in touch which you in regards to your inquiry.

Best regards,

Bill Van Vliet replied 7 years ago

Hello Mohammed,

First let me thank you for your business over the years and we certainly look forward to helping you in anyway we can.

To start, we can help save you money by consolidating your orders at our facility. Once we have a pallet’s worth of orders we can ship them to your freight forwarder. This will save you having to ship multiple orders to the consolidator. In terms of USPS International Mail Bags we have not really explored this option in detail. Our concern has been how much damage the books might receive in a mail bag. Maybe this is something we can explore in the future.

If you are interested in us consolidating your orders here please contact our Customer Service Department and provide them with your specific instructions. You can reach our Customer Service by email at [email protected] or call 905-680-7230 extension 229, toll-free at 1-888-402-7323.

Thank you and wish you continued success in your business.

Bill Van Vliet
Book Depot

Maureen Lane replied 7 years ago

Bill, thank you so much for this information. I am one of your customers that does have to order quickly so that I can get the books I want before they run out. I buy books for a Family Reading Club at a local elementary school. We are nonprofit and funds are limited so I always try to spend our funds wisely. We have a Family Reading Club that gives recognition to our members for the number of minutes that they read, not only during the school year but during the summer, also. My greatest joy is watching children and their families choose books that they love and will be able to keep and enjoy. I’ve been very satisfied with the quality of the customer service that I’ve gotten the few times that I have needed to call you.
Sincerely, Maureen Lane

Bill Van Vliet replied 7 years ago

Hi Maureen. We love to hear stories like this of how books are impacting the lives of children and families. I understand the urgency of purchasing our product since some of it has a limited number of copies available. If you don’t have the same urgency to have the books shipped then let us consolidate them onto a pallet and after it builds up we can ship several orders together to save you some money. Let our Customer Service Department know if that is a viable option for your organization.

Thank you for your business and the time you spend making a difference in the lives of young readers and their families!

Tenny Yeung replied 7 years ago

Iam a book dealer in Hong Kong. I can see a huge market of remainder in hk and mainland china. However, since the transport cost is extremely high. It is nearly equal to the total wholesale price of the books that i order from your company. Do you have any suggestion for me? Or is there any successful story in the asia or china? Can you give me some suggestion?

Scott Harper replied 7 years ago

In the past year I’ve opened a bookstore in Pekanbaru, Indonesia. I use a freight forwarder that has port to door service and they handle the customs end too, but the delivery takes a couple of months with a stop in Singapore. Air freight will be cost about twice as much, but it will take two weeks. Shipping is higher, but I’m still able to offer books from Book Depot that are lower than the major bookstores here. Schools have also bought books from us, so we will be getting more children’s titles.
We get all of our books from Book Depot, except for a few from Dover and Barron’s.

Book Depot replied 7 years ago

Hi Tenny,

Thanks for your inquiry! I am going to forward your request to our Customer Service team who will send you some suggestions to get lower freight for shipping to Asia and any other information that may be helpful to making a decision.

Best regards,

Bluenose replied 7 years ago

Hi! I’ve bought from Book Depot for 3-4 years and I just began a consolidation as you advice for 2-3 times. It’s as you mention , your delivery cost is lowest and the way you pack is very neat. Sometimes I’d like to buy a small volume to ship fast, sometimes I’d like to buy a big volume and get the best shipping cost. I’ll email to a customer service to ask about a minimum volume to get the LTL .

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