Shipping products can add up fast! Between ordering boxes (please not from those awful folks), tape, packaging supplies and then still trying to keep it on-brand and looking adorable when it arrives to your customers. Add in the desire to show your customers how much you appreciate them by going above and beyond (y'all... Amazon throws our stuff in a box with 2 bubbles and no one gets angry at them) and suddenly your shipping costs are sucking up most of your profit.
Here are 6 ways I save money shipping while still keeping my packages cute and on-brand:
A note: there's lots of affiliate links in this post which means I get a small commission if you do end up ordering :)
1. Order free boxes in bulk from the USPS. You didn't read that wrong... they're FREE! USPS provides the free Priority shipping boxes at their locations and you can order different sizes in bulk online (those also ship to you for free).
2. Save the cute custom tape for the top of the box and use plain kraft brown tape for the bottom and sides of your boxes! I buy plain water activated tape from Amazon and get custom water-activated tape from Sticker Mule (this link gets your $10 off). By skipping adding more expensive tape the bottom, my more expensive roll of tape lasts twice as long.
3. Skip the custom tissue paper when you're lining your boxes and use kraft paper. Yes, it's very cute but it's going to get thrown away! I buy rolls of masking paper (the stuff you use to cover floors when painting your house) from Home Depot! It's a decent price (about $4.50 for 180'). Since my envelopes are all kraft paper, the added kraft packing paper helps me stay on brand! I'll add cute custom details later...
4. Re-use packing paper from other orders to pad your boxes. That brown kraft paper from your Amazon or Grove orders? (that link gets you a free starter set too) Hold onto it! I keep bins in my closet to keep it all organized and haven't ordered packing paper or bubble wrap in years! Obviously if the paper I have is really thrashed (or the cats went at it with some nibbles) it gets recycled but this is a great way to save $ and still be environmentally friendly as a paper business.
5. Once everything is loaded up, now I add select cute branded details! The kraft paper liner gets sealed up with a Sketchy Notions sticker and I tuck in my mini print (that has links to my socials and shop on the back). I used to buy all my stickers from Zazzle (you can get 30% off them here) but now I order most of them from my printer. Then I seal up the whole box with custom water-activated tape from Sticker Mule! I recommend signing up for their newsletter because they often do a sample sale of this tape and it's a good deal! You can get $10 off Sticker Mule here!
6. Pay and print your shipping labels at home. I use a shipping scale to get everything weighed up and order my shipping labels through Pirate Ship. This gets me access to discount pricing (even on Priority) and saves me time when I head to the Post Office. Then I use my Dymo label printer to print out my label and it's all ready to go! Since everything is already labeled, I just drop it all off at the Post Office (or schedule a pick-up) and head home. A note... the Dymo printer and really any label printer is an investment but it's absolutely worth it! Try watching the price or time your purchase with a sale.
What other ways do you save money when it comes to shipping as a small business?