Monthly Archives: January 2021

Sending Packages in 2021

We all have had to really work on a new model for life as the year has changed.  It is more complicated to go shopping in person and that is why eCommerce has really changed the whole game for the United States.  The times are getting a little crazy as retail stores have had to change.  The Covid-19 Pandemic has systematically altered the American Economy and many stores are having to adapt quickly.  Lots of stores have gone from open storefronts to only being allowed to operate as e-commerce companies.  What the unforeseen effects have been is that now every item is being shipped instead of having a customer pick it up in the store.  This is creating lots of extra costs in many different areas.  

Many companies are really learning to flex and become more online-focused.  This is not the easiest transition though and truly the unforeseen cost in all of this is time.  Changing a company from a brick and mortar store to an e-commerce business takes lots of time.  Now entire departments have to be created or changed in order to actually ship out orders. There now is no longer a cash register but a computer telling you to gather up an individual’s order.  This could be lots of products from all around a store.  There now has to be essentially a new position of shopper created to gather all the orders. This takes time away from current employees doing their normal jobs because the orders have to actually be gathered and then moved into a new shipping area. 

It is also true that you can help survive in this new time by being wise and learning to cut costs anywhere possible.  One area that many stores did not quantity in their change to becoming e-commerce retailers is the cost of shipping supplies.  Products that were once going to be sold directly on-off the store shelf and put into a bag are having to be packaged into shipping bags or boxes. Each and every box or bag now comes with separate costs.  The retail stores purchase the shipping back or box.  Some products require extra cost due to their weight.  Some heavy-duty boxes cost between10and 200 dollars just for the box.  Then each package must then be sealed.  The costs go up because many different types of tapes have to be used.  Before they can be sealed some products are fragile and have to be packaged with extra materials.  So stores must now purchase packing peanuts or air bubble products, and in some cases massive amounts of paper to make sure products won’t shift during shipping.  

Now don’t get caught up in other people’s issues.  See their failings as an opportunity to jump into the market with full force and heart.  The shipping supplies stores are having trouble keeping up with demand.  Amazon just hired 100,000 workers in order to keep up with demand and now prominent packaging stores are struggling to create enough boxes and packages themselves to ship to all these new e-commerce retailers. So take into account that there will be extra time for supplies to reach you. Try to keep up with the correct quantity of orders coming in and purchase ahead of time. And know that you are in the best possible place and that is supplying where others stores are simply failing. 

How do you eCommerce in 2021?

Now that the pandemic is full-blown rather it is or not has let us know that shopping online is the new normal.  We have to because of all the regulations being put in place.  The change in shopping has also left us with a change in how packages arrive.  Goods that are shipped across the country and internationally are something relatively new in the history of trade. It was only a century ago that most things were bought and sold in a brick and mortar shop. Sure, people would send items long-distance, but those were almost exclusively to friends or family members, not for business.

Now that times have changed and the whole industry is different it is pretty cool.  The problem wasn’t that we didn’t have the technology to ship containers or boxes or parcels. It was the technology of payment that was lacking. Think about it. Why would a company want to send you a product if you couldn’t pay them until after you received it? Similarly, why would you want to pay for something across the country and only be sent it after they received your check or cash? The whole international shipping and legal side of life were really working hard then. 

But with times comes change.  The internet, however, has solved this problem. Credit cards make it easy to put in your payment information in a matter of seconds, and before you know it, your items are being packaged in shipping supplies and loaded up in a truck to start their journey to your house. This has left us now in the pandemic with hundreds of boxes per house to get rid of. 

But bad things will always happen and the fact is that it’s taken quite a bit of time for our conception of trade to evolve to the state it has, but it begs the question: What will our business model be like in another 50 or 100 years? Will shipping be twice as quick? Will things remain as they are since our transportation is a pretty high speed and efficient as it can get as is? It’s too early to tell what will happen, but I can bet that autonomous vehicles will be a cog in the system that speeds the process up even more. Sure, everyone seems to be a bit timid or even afraid of the idea of vehicles driving themselves, but by taking the human component out of the model, business is actually faster, more efficient, and more objective. Yes, we’re gonna leave the whole can of worms that is jobs vs. AI out of this article.  That is simply something we don’t want to touch. 

Now when it comes to this whole new eCommerce world what do you think? Will our idea of shipping supplies evolve in the next century, too? Will cardboard be outdated by a newer, cheaper, sturdier substance that is just as eco-friendly? Will shipping become a cheaper thing overall, or will prices rise simply because the efficiency will increase? Has it really worked or have we just left our economy and also our environment in a bigger hole. If only we could peer just a few decades into the future, I’m sure a lot of these questions would be answered in a short fashion. But life is hard and the world keeps moving on.  

Holiday Packing Supplies that help

This is my favorite time of year.  The winter is here and the holidays bring about the best of times for most people in the United States.  This is also the time that you stock up on office supplies, many of those including stuff you can use to ship items, and then the supplies sit there unused for years. You forget about them, much like other home essentials that have been untouched for ages and they continue to sit there.  But really this is a time to take an account of all the things that matter. If you’re going to spend the money on supplies, you surely meant to use them at some point, right? It is wise to make the most out of what you have and where you are going to be getting them from so you don’t waste hard-earned cash.

In 2020 this is the time to get your eCommerce supplies in gear and spending too much is simply not an option.  Well, we all have good intentions for most of our purchases. Shipping supplies are no different. Life just gets in the way. But luckily, there are ways to make use of those supplies you once intended to use, and you can have fun using them this holiday season, too. It may take a tad bit of work on your end, but it almost always guarantees to make someone else (and yourself!) happy around this time of year.

Don’t forget to be thoughtful.  When life gets in the way of your household and items you don’t use, it also tends to impede close friendships. People move away. You fall out of touch. What better way to rekindle a friendship than to randomly send a small bauble or a book as a gift to an old-time friend of yours? Pack it in a box, tape it up, wrap it, label it, and ship it out. They’ll be surprised and see that you cared enough to think of them.

Keep in touch with your family.  Whether you choose to send one of these to your elder family members that you can’t always visit, family friends, coworkers, or someone you know who’s away at college, family Christmas letters are nice little surprises for people that may not always be able to keep up with your life. These also show you care when you send them to someone close, and it’s a great way to show off the family and home!

Take the extra gear and have some fun with it.  Use your scissors, tape, twine, and packing paper this year to spice up your decorations, whether you’re wrapping “fake” gifts as decorations with packing paper or using twine as draping on your trees.

And for the decorations that don’t make it up this year, think about using some of your cardboard boxes and packaging tape to store what you don’t use. You can simply box up the clutter and store it in the attic, basement, or a closet, especially since it’s tough to throw certain things away.  There you have it. Three simple ways to repurpose the shipping supplies you once bought but never got around to using. Whether you’re making an old friend’s day, touching base with a distant family member, or decorating your home, you can be sure to get some use out of these common items that you’ve neglected for too long. Just remember to have fun!