Author Archives: Mathew Bell

Best boxes for transportation

When it comes to shipping, there are a few different kinds of boxes that can be used. One of those boxes is cardboard. A solid yet cheap material that can be used for shipping. Another option is wooden boxes or crates. These boxes are heavier than the other options. The final option for shipping boxes would be plastic. This material is also cheap and durable but also flimsy. It can be challenging to decide what box would be the best to ship items, but hopefully, this will guide you in the right direction. 

The most common kind of box for shipping is cardboard. These boxes are great for all types of items, regardless of shape or size. Cardboard boxes can come in all shapes and sizes. The versatility of these boxes is unmatched. They are incredibly light and can hold quite a bit of item inside of them. Cardboard boxes have a unique design that gives them the strength they have. This design is called corrugation. Corrugated cardboard is the small waves you see in between the top and bottom pieces of cardboard. This design makes these boxes unmatched by being light but durable. Cardboard is also very cheap to mass produce with very little material. 

The following kind of box for shipping is wooded boxes or crates. These boxes are the strongest of the three we are going to discuss but very heavy. Wooden boxes need to be made by hand, so this is a long process. Usually, these boxes are used to ship large, heavy machinery that a cardboard box could not hold. The durability of wood boxes is obviously better than cardboard and plastic, but that durability comes at the cost of being very heavy. These boxes will need to be moved by at least two people or heavy machinery, which can be a problem for some people as they may not have access to the required items to move the box. 

Finally, we have plastic boxes. Like cardboard boxes, these are durable and can sustain the elements. The downside is that these boxes can be very flimsy. These boxes have a unique process to make them which cuts into the price tag they have. Plastic boxes can be more expensive compared to cardboard boxes and, at times, wooden boxes depending on the size. These boxes can hold about the same as cardboard boxes but have more strength to them as they are made from plastic. 

With so many different kinds of shipping boxes, it can be challenging to decide which one to get. It really depends on what it is you are trying to ship. Cardboard boxes are good for just about anything, and they are very cheap, which helps. Wooden crates are best for shipping large machinery that a cardboard box could not hold or support. The high price of plastic boxes can be a turnoff, but they are a happy medium between wooden boxes and cardboard boxes. Plastic is light like cardboard boxes but durable like wooden boxes. In my opinion, I would suggest going with the old faithful cardboard box. They are cheap and can be bought in bulk, thus saving some money in the long run. The need to construct wooden boxes before anything can be shipped seems as it will cut into the running costs of a big business, and no ordinary person has the need for it. 

Ecommerce is huge are you selling on eBay?

I started my eCommerce career on eBay. I found it super fun to make money on items that at the time I didn’t want or that I knew I could make some extra money selling them.   I don’t even mind that I am going to lose around 12% for just using the platform.  The big deal is that I am getting rid of almost always something I am never going to use again.  It is the best part of living in American and that is Capitalism.  I am able to sell an item that I don’t want to someone who does want it and it is pretty darn cool.  The major areas that I think are important to know when selling on eBay are the process of listing and then shipping.  Packaging is key and I want to go over some basics that could help you and your company save some money and time.

If you are selling on eBay, remember that is actually costs money to send that package.  It sounds small, but you must build this cost in.   It is not free to send something in the mail or by UPS or FedX.  There are costs involved and many people forget to think about the shipping charges that they will pay when they sell an item.  It is a big thing to think about because if you have a strangely shaped item or it is really heavy the cost of shipping may be super high.  You may want to sell for free shipping or you may want to have the buyer pay for it.  But measure your item out and also think about what it will take to get that item to the buyer safely.  No one likes a busted item when it arrives and it is super costly. 

When it comes to packaging it needs some thought.  You can make or break your company just on this small choice.  I may need to use a bubble bag that seals or I may need to use a big box.  Either way, the cost of shipping supplies needs to be added to every single sale in your own mind so you don’t lose money on the sale.  Now I like to keep my used Amazon boxes that I get in order to sell items later.  If I have a box all ready to go then I don’t have to go out and buy more shipping supplies later.  That to me is key to making money on eBay.  So save up some different sized boxes from things that you have bought and it also helps the environment out as well.  Take what you have and use it.  There is no need to waste and get something else if you already have something in inventory or at home.

Filling up your packages is pretty important.  It may actually be 30% of the savings because of the safety it can bring. Some items are fragile and need to be protected.  I have used cardboard to protect knife blades in the mail and also small pieces of wood too.  Just make sure it is soft enough wood to not break the item, even if it is pointy.  Keeping paper or newspapers around to use as stuffing is a great idea or just the packaging fillers that came from Amazon can be reused as well.  Just a few tips and tricks that I hope help!

Don’t settle for bad cardboard

My favorite part of working is doing things my own way.  I do a lot of work on eBay selling things and making extra fun money for my hobbies. I have lost money and learned many lessons from my mistakes and from simply not knowing.  But I have learned many positive things as well from successes and from watching what others were doing.  I found it amazing that using the correct shipping supplies could end up changing my margins on the items I was selling.  Did you know you could make an extra 30% profit by changing your boxes?  It ended up saving me money in the long run due to returns as well.  I want to talk about how I did this and how you can do it to during the 2021 eCommerce craze.

I got into this whole thing to make money!  I think most of us do.  For some people that come in when they list the item.  Or for some people, they love when they finally ship the item and then they feal amazing about the wholesale.  But either way, I think you feel even better when you are able to make more money doing it.  If you get to see those awesome sales running in and you are cashing checks then it is a cool thing. 

Do some research.  I think learning about the industry is key.  I found out that I actually knew nothing about the shipping supplies world and that I needed to up my knowledge base in order to get the correct items and stay ahead of my competition.  Some of my competition was actually winning in this area and I didn’t even know it.  By them being able to purchase boxes at a lower price that fit their products better they were able to in the end have more merchandise than me and sell it at a slightly lower price than me as well. Lower prices usually win over ratings on eBay. I have a great rating but it really is not worth anything. 

I found the big companies that only worked in bags and boxes and went with those to save money.  By doing this and not selling on a third-party location like Amazon they can sell them cheap and still make more money themselves.  So that is one of the best places to look for the boxes you need.  I was able to call a few companies up and find a better product.  Then I was able to get a bulk discount from each and then see which one would go lower than the other.  It was not mean, but I honestly wanted to know.  I decided to go with the more flexible company and I have gone back to them to show my gratitude as well.  If a company is willing to take a little less to keep me then I am going to be more loyal to them and show my gratitude.  It is a cycle of respect that businessmen and women understand and appreciate. So get the right box and rock your business because that can change eyou from a success to a failure.  If you are using the wrong stuff and getting returns because of damaged goods that is not good either. Use high-quality gear.

Packaging and shipping the right way

Ecommerce has really taken off in 2021 and the lockdowns were key for it. In my own life the entirety of how we work and shop has changed. The reality is that our company has made a whole lot of changes and our entire marketing section just was told to do everything in the house.  That means that we are working on projects that we never have and are learning just like major marketing companies how to purchase items from the best location because costs matter. Bankruptcy is not a good look on a career.

Our company needed to get better at sending our own corporate gifts to save money.  We knew we needed our products to be of high quality and they had to look fancy.  This is a complicated task when it comes to making regular cardboard look good.  I think that our process for finding those products was good and want to share some of my information to help you out this year.

If you don’t know what you need then you are in trouble.  So research what things you need for your project.  We looked at what we had purchased last quarter from marketing companies and had sent out.  It was our first goal to deconstruct those items and then find out what we would need to look for when shopping.  So we learned that we needed a specific type of box, filling, and tape.  Those were the three main items to send these gifts which we would order separately depending on the company we were gifting to.  Now that we knew what we needed the plan was to find the best price, shipping, and availability.  That was a certainly complicated task but worth the time invested due to the cost savings we could get each quarter.  Finding less expensive shipping supplies and only paying for our man-hours that were extra was the idea.

We first whipped out the phone and looked on Amazon.  The idea was to find something that we could ship within two days and get in high quantity for a good price.  This was indeed what we found, but the shipping for large quantities actually was about a week because it was not on prime for most of the products we needed.  The other thing was that the custom great looking boxes were really not available.  This was a viable option and I kept all of the prices in the cart because I like to be precise.  I then decided I wanted to see what would happen if I went local and found a place that we could get any products we wanted by simply driving 10 minutes to.  If you can local is best. But sometimes they are not helpful. 

The first big box local store was right around the corner. The convenience was great because if we had an issue we could get any box, tape, or filing right away by driving down the road.  But the options were varied limited in-store and the idea of custom was none existent.  The prices were also much higher than Amazon and that was a sad thing.  The convenience was great but probably not worth the lack of choice and the fact that the stock was not in great quantity. So the obvious choice was to buy online.  Online was what we did and I don’t regret it at all.

Shipping Supplies 1

As a business owner I know how important it is to make sure you give your customers the absolute best experience from start to finish as possible. Especially in a world where the attention span of the consumer is shrinking day by day and the number of competitive options is growing by tenfold. One bad experience on their end with your business, and you have very well and most likely lost them forever. This is especially true in the e-commerce business. You need to be able to grab the customer’s attention quickly, hold it long enough for them to do a cart checkout, and keep them from having buyer’s remorse. All the while trying to win their loyalty, so they’ll visit your site again and again. 

In trying to win over customer loyalty a lot of focus is put on the products you sell (which is a no brainer), the design of your website, the opt-in in order to get them on an email list so you can keep in touch, and (hopefully) customer service on the backend. All of these things are important as they all play a role in a positive customer experience. There is one thing, however, that tends to get overlooked, but if done correctly can be quite the eye catcher and brand builder. That is the shipping supplies you choose to use.

Now it might seem silly to think that the supplies you choose to ship out your products should be given your attention. But that just begs me then to ask the question… What is Tiffany’s known for? Why do girlfriends (or maybe some boyfriends) buy their boyfriends man crates? How do you know you’ve received an amazon order without even looking at what’s inside? It all comes back to what you use to ship out the product that customer has ordered. It’s a little thing, but it can have a big impact on your brand. Why just a plain old box with a label slapped on it, when you can use this as an opportunity to build brand awareness and loyalty? 

Granted, you don’t want to break your budget on the shipping supplies you choose to use. But high quality and fun packaging definitely can’t hurt. Plus, the better the quality and the more care given to how it’s shipped out, better guarantees the safety of the product, which therefore leads to a better customer experience. After all, no one is happy when you receive a package that’s been damaged while in route. Then it’s just an inconvenience for them to return it, and a hassle for you to have to replace their item, and potentially severing their return business in the future. 

So instead of overlooking this opportunity, I would encourage you, if you have boring old boxes and cheap tape and labels, to go back to the drawing board and see what you and your team can come up with in redesigning the way you ship things out and make this a brand building exercise. Because how cool would it be to someday have customers know who you are and what it is you do, simply by looking at nothing more than your box? If you’re wondering what they could be like maybe go, ask Tiffany’s. They know a thing or two about that. 

There are differences in the tape you use

There is a lot of things that always surprise me.  Some of them are economy-related and politically related, but sometimes the small things in life like tape shock me. Now in eCommerce or economy, I saw a huge movement from brick and mortar business to eCommerce has taken the entire country by storm.  The reality is though that with all the lockdowns and regulations that it is much safer to be an eCommerce company in 2021 than any other.  This is simply due to the demand for shipping.  People are not going out of their homes nearly as much and in many cases, they are not allowed to by law.  This means that the demand for online shopping has skyrocketed. What comes with this?  Well shipping of course.

But if you are new to the shipping industry or your company is now finding that its most important department is shipping then there are some good lessons to learn and know.  The big thing to know is to make sure you are staying competitive in the market.  This is hard to do because technology is so vast and people can learn anything.  But having good relationships with companies is a big way to stay on top of the competitive nature that is in business 

Shipping supplies can be a huge key to being successful in 2021 and being on top of this area is key.  It is more important to make sure you have good quality contact that can get you the gear you need and on time.  There is no way to ship without a product and having a company fail on delivering the things you need is not good.  That is why having a great contact is a good thing and being able to buy products in bulk is a big part of having a great contact. 

No joke, Shipping supplies are simply costly.  There is no doubt that you need to be able to find a place to get them at a good discount.  I have to say that being competitive is more than shopping on Amazon versus going to your local store.  Yes, Amazon will be cheaper, but it will also be way higher than a major store that only sales these items and gives bulk discounts.  Bulk Discounts are a huge part of this industry and making sure you know what you need is part of it. 

Don’t lose money on each package you send.  Get smart.  This is tedious and can end up saving you tons of money. My business found a big problem with spending when we were packing up boxes to ship.  Our packers were using about 10 strips of packing tape per box.  To all of us this seemed normal and was needed to hold the weight of all these items.  But when talking with a specialist in the industry from our supplier we found that our tape was thin and not capable of sustaining our competitive nature.  So he started to inform me and my company of thicker tape that could do the job in 3 strips of tape.  This was shocking but we figured that it would just cost more.  It did, but not relative to the project.  WHen you ran the numbers you could save a ton. 

Don’t lose thousands on packaging purchases this year

With the new eCommerce economic boom in 2021, you need to make sure you are competing with your competition.  Our habits have now been influenced by the pandemic and even more and more people are shopping online.  Everyone is getting packaging sent to their home on nearly a daily basis.  With where I work now I have seen so many eCommerce companies succeed and also fail with the unfortunate circumstances of bad choices.  This is something that I really don’t like to see.  So today I want to go over some things that I saw failing companies do and areas they ignored which actually ended up costing them enough money to begin a downward spiral.  The thing is that where you shop for bags and boxes can have a massive impact on your bottom line.  If you are new to the industry than you will find that packaging is expensive and will be a huge expense.

It seems like an easy concept, but it doesn’t hit home to many people that in eCommerce every item they sell will be shipped.  They all laugh and think I am talking really basic, but I then like to go into the fact that shipping supplies make and break companies.  When competition is tight and maybe you are facing thousands of people in the same industry then you need to be able to stay ahead of be competitive.  So how do you do this? What if those thousands of companies are all purchasing the same items from the places you are?  Well, then you have to cut corners and find ways to stay ahead to either sell at a lower price or offer a better shipping rate or discount.  If you don’t keep up or stay ahead of the game, then you will eventually be put out of business.

Understanding where to get the best price and service on shipping supplies will make your company thrive.  Most people fail right here and at this point.  They simply do not search hard enough for the best company.  Or they don’t negotiate enough for the best deal and they end up losing lots of margins on each and every single item they sell.  It certainly is hard to stay competitive when every item you sell loses you some money.  There are a few places that inevitably that people will go. 

Local stores are an obvious first choice for many.  It is really nice to put that you only shop locally and all your products are shipped with local goods.  People like this and it can be a selling point.  The fact is that it is usually only successful if your local store is an industry leader and able to give you the same discounts and rates as a large nationwide company.  This is why most little companies that shop locally end up losing because their rates are twice as high and their options are usually lower. 

There is always Amazon and it still may not be the best option. This is where most people shop and if you are doing this for an office and picking up regular supplies more power to you. But the costs are still higher than you can get elsewhere and people simply give up and concede that convenience is worth more to them. Find a major manufacturer online instead and negotiate until you crush amazon prices.  Do your own research and take a day or two and find some profitable places that are willing to work with you on prices. 

Lessons from Management and Boxes

If you are in the U.S. than you know that the economy has changed.  We are now massivly focused on online and getting packages through the mail.  Due to the massive amount of different regulations from state to state companies are struggling to keep up with the change.  Many companies have moved from a brick-and-mortar store to a more e-commerce focused business almost overnight. This has changed the backend and in many cases the front end of many stores.  If this change is happening to your company or you are pondering moving to a larger e-commerce focused business then I want to go over some things that could save your business because they worked for mine.

Foot traffic is going to be lowered for most of the country in all of these brick-and-mortar stores.  In our business, this meant a total revamp of our company.  We ended up moving many of our staff into different positions and at different times in order to allow us to keep our staff. Since our front-end staff was no longer needed to sell directly to customers we transitioned them into working on our newly focused e-commerce section.  This was not as easy as we imagined it would be.  We have to not only train these employees to do shipping but we need the safe space.

Delivery concept. Boxes on pallet in the warehouse. 3d

When you are limited by rules and space is an issue you have to find a way to overcome that.  We now moved from foot traffic sales to almost all online.  This big switch meant that we needed to move our front-end store into a much smaller section.  The easiest way was to get a hold of the landlord and make sure it was fine to put in a temporary wall that took the floor space on the front end and made it much smaller.  We lowered the floor space by about half and started to create more space for everyone involved and the things we needed to place there.

We knew that we had to change and we made a priority to be able to store the products more efficiently and be able to find and move them in and out of our system more reliably.  See with a brick and mortar store display and showing products correctly takes priority.  The other thing to think about is to eliminate inventory issues such as theft.  That can ruin your number fast.  So in order to do this, we ended up ordering lots of shipping supplies in order to organize our new back-end store better. We looked up some articles and other staff remembered that most big box stores simply use cardboard bins that they ordered as shipping supplies.  It was a good plan. 

It is all about making things easy and workable.  So, we move the back end of the store into aisles that allowed us to use a numbering and letter system to categorize each product in more detail.  We had a good system but since our inventory was going to double and need to be a bit more efficient it was necessary.  The staff understood the system really quickly.  This was a wonderful thing because the alphabetical aisles and numbers for each shelf sped up each order gatherer in finding a product. With any luck, these tips will help you out.

Packaging Items for the home

This year has been a bit of a wild ride so far.  The local lockdowns in 2021 are still happening and the economy is an absolute wreck.  Unemployment is on the rise and our new president is tanking our economy even worse.  I work from home now thanks to draconian laws and so does my wife.  This means that we also spend lots of time working on the home as well since we have so much extra time on our hands.  This has taught us many lessons. From working on bathrooms to cabinets we have learned that there are some items that are a must-have for the house.  Shopping smart is key and going online and purchasing from a shipping supplies store has been the best pricing we have found.

When things go wrong sometimes you need a quick fix and that is all. Many situations have to have quick solutions to save disaster from happening.  If you want to not waste a day shopping for a part at a big box store or simply watch your house start to flood, quick fixes are important.  One of the things you need to have on hand and lots of types of it is tape.  The amount of problems you can solve with tape is incredible.  In the end, the quick fix can save hours, money, and sanity. 

So let me begin by telling a story.  This last year we painted the exterior of our home.   It was a terrible task and took many weekends.  The time came when we had just gotten back from the store and began painting.  We broke an extendable pole and were unable to reach the top of the home to paint.  This was because the part that broke was what screwed into brushes and rollers.  Instead of taking an hour of the day and forty bucks for the part we instead improvised.  I pulled out some trusty duct tape and went to town putting a brush on the end of that pole.  It took five minutes and a total of a few cents.  We were right at it again and that part of the house was painted just fine.  This was not only a time and money win, but a psychological win as well.  The more these problems don’t get fixed quickly the more disheartened you get and the less likely you are to do more projects.  So the best place to get this product and all tape is actually at shipping supplies stores.  Just batch order it all and save some cash that way too.

It doesn’t matter what you are ordering, do it all at the same time and ask for a discount.  It usually works and is a great way to save money. We wanted to make sure our attic was stored and ordered correctly. But plastic cartons cost a lot of money when you need 20 of them.  Instead, when we ordered tape we added thick heavy rated boxes to the list.  These were pretty cheap in bulk purchasing of twenty and they did not flex at all getting heavy items up the attic ladder and stored away.  Plus they will help keep out bad things and keep the items safer because they are a bit thicker and deal with the weather a little bit better. 

Cutting your budget on boxes, tape, and bubble wrap

This year has made everyone think about things a little differently.  We are now all forced to wear masks or be arrested in almost every part of the United States.  We can no longer even shop in person without one.  It has changed the fundamentals of freedom and enjoyment of the United States.  This is all over a virus that is 99/7% survivable to everyone.  That is pretty sad and to survive the rules and regulations and no go bankrupt the people and not the politicians have had to pivot to survive.  Thinking about boxes and tape is something that I never thought could help stay afloat.  The reality is that our company has made a whole lot of changes and our entire marketing section just was told to do everything in the house.  That means that we are working on projects that we never have and are learning just like major marketing companies how to purchase items from the best location in order to keep costs low and our business sales high.  

Our company started where we knew it was important and that was corporate gifting.  We knew we needed our products to be of high quality and they had to look fancy.  This is a complicated task when it comes to making regular cardboard look good.  This meant being smart and methodical. 

We started off by knowing our needs.  We looked at what we had purchased last quarter from marketing companies and had sent out previously to see what products we would have to purchase.  So we learned that we needed a specific type of box, filling, and tape.  Those were the three main items to send these gifts which we would order separately depending on the company we were gifting to.  Now that we knew what we needed the plan was to find the best price, shipping, and availability.  That was a certainly complicated task but worth the time invested due to the cost savings we could get each quarter.  The goal was to save money so we knew we needed to get all of these shipping supplies cheap and fast. 

Obviously we started on Amazon.  The idea was to find something that we could ship within two days and get in high quantity for a good price.  This was indeed what we found, but the shipping for large quantities actually was about a week because it was not on prime for most of the products we needed.  The other thing was that the custom great looking boxes were really not available.  This was a viable option and I kept all of the prices in the cart because I like to be precise.  We gave local stores a try as well. 

The local options were not really that great.  The convenience was nice because if we had an issue we could get any box, tape, or filing right away by driving down the road.  But options are flat-out limitations if there are few and that is what we found.  The prices were also much higher than Amazon and that was a sad thing.  There were issues with the cost and that was not worth it to us for limited options. So we went online instead and that is because we had to in order to survive.