Do you run a home based business? What source do you use to ship your orders?
When I started my business a few years ago I took a look at all my shipping options. The one that made the most sense for me was the US Postal Service. I looked at all aspects of service from impact on the environment, cost, speed of service and easy to use Internet options.
I live 18 miles from town so the expense of traveling to ship packages is a big factor and this ruled out some of my options. The postal service is already coming to my house 6 days a week. It also means I am not adding any more pollution to the environment by using this service.
I use priority mail service whenever possible. I love that I can ship anywhere in the US in 2-3 business days. I recently sent an items to the UK. Priority mail was cost effective and delivery time was 6-10 days (not 2-3 weeks as is typical to other countries outside of the US).
I can print postage on my home computer using my Internet account and schedule pick ups as late as 2:00 am for the same service day shipment. By printing postage at home I can save a little extra on postage. E-mail tracking of packages for the sender and the recipient is free. It costs an additional $1.70 to choose this option when paying at the post office.
Packing materials can be a costly part of shipping. Most of what I ship needs to be sent in a box. The Postal Service provides free boxes in small quantities of 10-20 pieces for Priority Mail service. These are even delivered to my home free of charge. When I discovered that I was able to save $2.00 per shipment this option made even more sense. Now my only shipping costs are thank you notes, printer paper, packaging tape and tissue paper....
As for tissue paper, I use old sewing patterns to pack my boxes. I purchased 500 patterns from a quilting friends estate sale for $50.00. These patterns would have ended up in a landfill. I have so much fun looking at all the styles from times gone by. Don't you just love the "Purple Rain" jacket pattern in the photo above? The other pattern looks like a dress I wore at my bridal shower in 1988. Last year I used a pattern for down vests from the 1970's. The models looked suspiciously like Starsky, Hutch and Willie Ames.
Please note I am offering free shipping on any of my stained glass and jewelry items purchased from ShadyGroveStudios shop between now and Christmas.
I desperately need to restock my DyeCandy store. I am sold out of almost everything purple (always the first to go). New dye supplies arrived yesterday. I will be dyeing more velvet and one of a kind cotton fabrics first. I have a few yards of fabric already ironed and ready for more experiments in Shibori. Whoo Hoo!
P.S. If you want to take a peak at our local post office I recently wrote a post about it here.