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All Things Shipping | April 16, 2015

4 Tips to Simplify Your E-Commerce Shipping – Part II

1) Schedule A Pickup

Schedule a Pickup

Have a lot of packages to ship? Schedule a *free* pickup with your carrier ahead of time so that you don’t have to lug your packages out for shipment:

If you ship a high volume frequently, you can set up a regular pick-up schedule (e.g. every Tuesday at noon).

If you’re shipping via USPS, don’t forget to create a Scan form!

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2) Country-Specific Customs Rules

Customs agencies at border control use the commodity, quantity, value, country of manufacture, and other factors to determine duties & taxes charges when they receive packages. These fees are difficult to calculate in advance and are typically not included in a shipping label’s cost.

Here’s a useful tool that will help you determine a ballpark figure for your customs fees.

UPS also has an incredibly comprehensive tool accessible here for better understanding country-specific customs rules. Shipping toys, rubber products, or textiles to Argentina from Brooklyn, for example? They’ve got special rules for each of your products all laid out in a neat list.

 

3) Demystifying DDU & DDP

Customs fees (duties & taxes) are fully calculated upon a package’s arrival at the receiving country’s customs agency.

You have two options to pay these fees: DDP & DDU, which stand for Delivery Duties Paid and Delivery Duties Unpaid. By default, the package’s recipient pays for duties & taxes (DDU) – when the package arrives, the recipient has to pay the amount due or he/she will not receive the package.

If you, as the merchant, would like to cover all charges for customs fees, then you can choose DDP. In this case, the duties & taxes will be calculated and charged to your carrier account approximately 3 weeks after the package’s arrival in the destination country.

Learn how to access these options in your Shippo account here.

 

4) Create Scan-Based Return Labels

Scan-based return labels are a special kind of return label that you’re not charged for unless your customer uses them. We like to call this “pay when shipped.” This option adds a few cents to your label cost upfront (e.g. $.25 more if shipping USPS, $.50 more if shipping FedEx and UPS), however, it makes for a better customer experience. Consider including return labels in your outbound shipments so customers can easily return items, if necessary. Just another step in the process of simplifying your customer’s buying cycle!

Learn more about scan-based return labels and how to create them in your Shippo account here.


Shippo is a multi-carrier API and web app that helps retailers, marketplaces and platforms connect to a global network of carriers. Businesses use Shippo to get real-time rates, print labels, automate international paperwork, track packages and facilitate returns. Shippo provides the tools to help businesses succeed through shipping.

Shan Lian does Product Marketing at Shippo

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