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How to Compute Shipping Costs: Article or Project

In order to grow your business, it will most likely require you to ship your products. Be it finished ware, bisqueware or heavy molds, the basic process will be the same.

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Once you have packaged your item/s properly (see article on how to package items for shipping), you will then need to figure the cost to charge your customer. You can figure an estimate prior to packing or wait until you have the package ready to ship. Once you ship a few, you will find that you can get close estimates prior to packing thereby saving you some time and the risk of having orders canceled because the customer feels the cost is too high.

It all starts with the size of your item and packing materials. When you wrap items properly, you should have enough packing material to increase the size of your item by 1 (fair) to 2 (best) inches larger than all 6 sides of your item. Take for example a Bisque Santa that is 10” Tall, by 7β€œ wide by 6” deep. With adequate packing material (bubble wrap etc) your item will wind up being 12”-14” x 9”-11”x 8”-10”. Ideally the Santa will need a box 14”X11”X10” for maximum protection.

You will then determine if you are going to charge a β€˜handling’ cost which can include packing materials and/or cost for taking the package to the shipper. USPS offers the widest variety of shipping methods. They have flat rate (any weight as long as it fits in flat rate boxes), Region A or B flat rate, Priority and Parcel post for larger/heavier items. The others pretty much offer ground rate (slower) and express rate (faster)

Taking the box size, the weight and the zip codes (or shipping address in full), you can then go online to any number of shippers and compute your shipping estimate with their shipping calculators. Here are some of the most popular shippers rate calculators. To use, just click on the links or copy and paste to your browser bar.

USPS https://postcalc.usps.com/

UPS https://wwwapps.ups.com/calTimeCost?loc=en_US&WT.svl=PNRO_L1

FedEx https://www.fedex.com/ratefinder/home?cc=US&language=en&locId=express

 

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