Nov 24, 2014 04:00AM ● Published by Family Features
Whether you’re sending merchandise to customers across the country or sending a gift to a loved one across town, ensuring your shipments end up at their final destination can be a time-consuming and sometimes stressful process.
“Getting things where they need to go can be costly to your wallet and your schedule,” said Cliff Rucker, Vice President of Sales for the U.S. Postal Service®, which provides convenient, affordable, top-rate shipping solutions for business owners and customers with its Priority Mail® services. “Luckily there are ways to make the act of shipping seamless and simple.”
Whether you’re the small business owner shipping the product or the customer receiving the product, the experts at the U.S. Postal Service offer these tips to make sure everyone involved is satisfied with the experience.
Shipping tips for small businesses:
1. Seek out free supplies. Many shipping carriers, like the U.S. Postal Service, offer free packing supplies to encourage the use of their services. Even business owners who buy supplies in bulk incur heavy expenses; seek out free offers when available.
2. Use technology to save time. Let the advances in technology help you beyond online sales. Mobile applications, including the free U.S. Postal Service Mobile App, can help you find locations, calculate shipping prices, manage pickups, and much more – all from the convenience of your smartphone.
3. Know key shipping dates. Prepare for busy shipping seasons by knowing all the important shipping dates. Be sure to educate your customers on these dates as well.
Shipping tips for customers:
1. Pack like a pro. Pick a strong and sturdy box, and tape it closed tightly. Cushion contents to protect during transportation. Be sure to wrap glass and other fragile items with extra newspaper or packing material. Remember to place an extra shipping label inside the box, so the item can be returned in case the box or label gets damaged.
2. Ship like a pro. Start by printing addresses clearly and in all capital letters, and be sure to include complete “to” and “from” information. Ensure the correct ZIP code information is listed by checking usps.com. Label a box as “FRAGILE” if it needs to be handled with extra care. Lastly, visit usps.com to pay and print postage, schedule a pickup or drop off your package for delivery at the Post Office.
3. Ship across the globe. Use the Postage Calculator tool on usps.com to check prices and compare options. There you will also find a customs form and an area where you can pay the postage and print your shipping label. Schedule a free next day Package Pickup, or drop off your gift at your local facility.
For more tips and tools to help with all your shipping needs, visit www.usps.com.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images