We are going to be selling home decor and furniture. Our site is in progress of being built and products are being added but we're not sure about shipping charges and actually the physical process of shipping items. We have never owned a business that ships product. Can anyone please let us know, if you sell similar items or larger and smaller items, how you ship things and who do you use? Do you use the "if it fits it ships" USPS boxes? Do you have scales so you can wiegh your items? What about large furniture items? Do you get them delivered to you and then you have to then turn around and ship it out again once it sells? We are located in the Portland, OR area. Is there anything available where we can have the large items automatically shipped to a freight shipping company?? None of our wholesalers do dropshipping.....
Any and all advice about shipping is welcome. We don't really understand all the options listed or how to even figure out how to decide or where to start.
Michelle and Jennifer
Your standard markup should cover your shipping needs for items small enough to go fedex or ups ground. We don't have scales because most of the time the volume weight (measurements) of the package will be used due to bulky but light decor items. Fedex and UPS both have good resources for learning how to ship. Also set up a buisiness account so you can get discounted rates(we use FedEx). Over time if your sales volume is large enough you can negotiate even better rates. USPS can be used for really small items 2lbs or less (over 2lbs you are not really saving that much), but I personally like the insurance policies when shipping with FedEx or UPS. We had 4 candles break in a shipment and FedEx reimbursed us for the retail value of the items plus shipping no questions asked. We ship free if the order is over $100.
Wholesalers that do not drop ship are totally ok if you can ship the item fedex or UPS, but if the item is large and needs to go freight you will definitely want a wholesaler that dropships because freight could cost you around $300 to ship one pallet wheras your wholesaler may be able to do the same for around 150 because of their volume. If you are shipping alot or if there is a freight company that works well in your area you could try to open a contract with a freight company and they may lower prices.
There are enough quality wholesalers that do dropship. Go to the Las Vegas Market to get a really solid idea of what is out there and available(this is where we found our suppliers). As a little guy it will be extremely difficult to compete with the logistic networks of wayfair, houzz, amazon, etc on larger furniture items unless you dropship.
If you have a large budget and plan on keeping lots of stock you could look at fulfillment services, but I recomend starting small until you know how conumers in your area will react to your business.
I thought it would be the exact oposite, but our brick and mortar has done the majority of sales.
I hope this helps!
A combination of small and large furniture can be shipped by having business accounts with any/all of the carriers like USPS/UPS/FedEx. In addition, you also need freight accounts from these carriers as you also have large furniture to ship. Ideally any order that weighs more than 150 lbs is categorised as freight. So you will have to get this account as well. Once you have both types of accounts, you can use the Multi Carrier Shipping label app to ship both normal shipments as well as freight shipments without any problems.
In addition, once you ship more and more items, in the course of time, you will be eligible for renegotiation of your carrier contract and hence you can get better discounted rates. This will surely happen but it will take time depending upon the volume that you ship using a carrier.
Handling normal and freight shipping can be easily handled with UPS/FedEx. The only problem you will face is that you have to handle two different accounts since you need a different account for freight. You have to manually login to each account, enter the order details and print labels.
If you are using FedEx, an app like FedEx rates, labels & tracking can help you automate the process. The app helps you handle both normal and freight shipping.
The shipping process gets automated depending on whether is freight or normal. The app helps you print labels for all orders in bulk, display rates at checkout, and also the tracking process.