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eco2you eco2you is offline
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Cornwall
Posts: 856
Delivery Courier or Post? Costing etc

Ok, I bet you've answered this question a milllllion times before! I've looked through the threads but wanted some more information.

Here's my situation- new business start up going to be selling online.. as in eccommerce- ha wish me luck!

Anyway, I'm going to be selling eco friendly and locally produced products. Not thinking i'll be sending loads to start with, but i really need a reliable courier.

How would you go about pricing postage on items, the website has an automatic way of calculating weight at checkout, and can incoperate into Royal Mail, but having heard so much bad news about them, and the overall cost for next day if over 1kg seems it maybe a bad option?

I May have one or two lines with glass in, not sure.

Also ive just joined the FSB - to make use of the very good rates of the Merchant account they do, anyone know if its worth checking there for couriers?

Any suggestions really, really appreciated


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MarkusMaximus MarkusMaximus is offline
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: England, UK
Posts: 60
Depending on what you mean by eco-friendly but if you mean that your products are environmentally friendly using a courier is certainly not that. Compared to the Royal Mail who deliver millions of letters and parcels, couriers deal with far fewer and therefore as a proportional will use more fuel per package. I'm not going to lecture to you about CO2 or being carbon neutral, it for you to decide whether or not this bothers you if it fits in with your eco-friendly image you are trying to portray.

That aside couriers work out more expensive than carriers like Royal Mail, but it's a trade off based on speed of delivery. You will need to consider whether your customers are looking for fast swift delivery at a premium or whether they prefer to wait longer for a cheaper service. You'll probably find if you are dealing with trade they'll want the faster service the courier offers and are willing to pay extra for it. Whereas when selling to the public the majority will opt for an option that will save them money and won't mind waiting a little bit longer for delivery.

When costing P&P, most companies will charge a flat fee no matter the number of items ordered. Some companies prefer to add the cost into the items they sell and instead off free P&P which isn't free at all, you've paid for it in the cost of the item. Offering 'free' P&P can sometimes give you the edge over a competitor but if it makes the items you sell look expensive due to extra you have to add onto each item avoid it and charge a flat fee instead. I'd keep the flat the fee below £5. The £5 threshold is that 'magic' limit where at the moment if it below it people will just pay it and think nothing of it even if its only a couple of pence below £5. If however, you go above £5 even by a few pence people it puts people off and they think the charge is too expensive. People like change for some reason even if it's virtually nothing. Charging a flat fee (or offering free P&P) has another benefit. Customers can work out easily what they are going to pay. When you have sites which work at the P&P at the checkout stage, it will put some people off even getting to that stage, because they want to know beforehand what the total cost is likely to be. People don't like what they consider hidden charges or charges when they don't understand why they've been charged that amount. Even if you charges are fair, if people don't understand how you got to the amount they feel ripped off. This can therefore could affect repeat business for you.
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eco2you eco2you is offline
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Cornwall
Posts: 856
Hi Markus!

Thanks for the suggestion

We are going to be Carbon Neutral, and will employ local sourcing policies, along with enviromental and sustainable policies.... especially with our packaging... we have something else.

Intially I was going to use Royal Mail.......exsisting network etc, but after reading more and more about them, lost deliveries etc it seems like courier maybe more likely.

A possibilty of offering both at checkout did pop into my mind, or perhaps free postage 2nd class on spends over....

But then if someone buys somthing do they want it 7 days later, having been thrown around a number of sorting offices?

As for the delivery miles themselves...we are ( I am..that is) working on something pretty exciting for that, but at the moment I'm waiting for a desicion from someone else.


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