Seeking advice on postage options

Discussion in 'Making Money Online' started by harryballoon, Aug 14, 2013.

  1. harryballoon

    harryballoon
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    Hi everyone.

    I hope you can help us out, we're a small business looking at getting into e-commerce. We've got a high street shop which sells party supplies; balloons, banners, confetti, badges, everything you might want.
    We've been selling successfully on eBay for some time now, and we're about to open our e-commerce website to sell on there too.

    We've hit a bit of a brick wall when it comes to postage options. Specifically for our heavier items. We sell blocks of 250g icing, which is one of our most popular items. As you can imagine, this gets quite costly to send through the post when somebody orders these in a large quantity.

    Originally we had a flat rate of £3.50 postage on everything, but this wouldn't work for the bulkier items. We've considered offering free postage, and adding the postage price into the price of the items.

    Any advice on what would work out best for us would be greatly appreciated, thank you all.

    -Harry
     
  2. Rocky

    Rocky
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    You can ask for the postage proportional to the order size and then add it to the price. This way you would not have to incur any loss on bulkier items. If you consider adding it to the price then it may look to costly for higher quantities and may discourage the buyer.
     
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  3. harryballoon

    harryballoon
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    Thanks for your reply, Rocky
    This would be great, only the technology we're using on the website doesn't allow us to automatically calculate how heavy the item is
     
  4. Dana Franklin

    Dana Franklin
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    To increase your business visibility, you can widen your social media marketing too, its one great way to increase your loyal customers.
     
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  5. Fergal

    Fergal
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    Harry, I agree with Rocky, including the postage cost in your price could make your products appear to be very expensive. Perhaps you could show them separately as text on your website and input the total figure into your e-commerce shopping system. Could that work for you?

    What shopping cart software does your site use?
     
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  6. harryballoon

    harryballoon
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    Thanks for your replies everyone.

    Dana, thanks for the advice. Currently we're on Facebook, with nearly 1000 fans, not bad for a little local shop I think :) . I'm setting up Twitter and Instagram too.

    As for the website software, Fergal, I'm sorry but I don't know. The website was set up by the site designers, then I was brought in by my boss to run it, I don't get involved with the technical workings of it. I've included a screenshot of the UI though, perhaps you might recognise it?
    View attachment 1804

    I think we might have settled on a plan though, let me know if it sounds ridiculous, because its a bit unorthodox. Basically we offer different postage options for different size packages; small envelope, large envelope, small parcel, medium, large, you get the jist. But its up to the customer to choose the postage option at the end. Like I said, if this could be done automatically, it'd be great, but I've been told it can't. If the customer gets it wrong, they're just an email away, to either reimburse them or ask for more money.
    I think its a pretty good compromise, because you guys are right, including the postage in item costs isn't going to work.
    Please, let me know what you think.
    Thanks again
     

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