3 Tips to Help Manage Holiday Shipping Issues for Online Sellers
With the holidays quickly approaching, businesses need to strategize now how they can best prepare for the upcoming influx of shipping… as well as shipping issues that may arise later. Among the potential problems that shippers should be aware of include damaged packages, lost or undeliverable parcels, unexpected surcharges and more. To help your business prepare for the busiest shipping season of the year, consider these three tips.
Tip #1: Know What Your Shipping Options & Expenses Are
Popular carriers such as UPS and FedEx know that when it comes to holiday shipping, they have an opportunity to make more money due to customer demand. The catch? Often their additional charges are not clearly understood by senders and thus, shippers overlook opportunities to avoid these extra charges.
To help your business gain clarity about holiday fees that may impact your business, consider the following:
- From November 19 through December 24, 2018, FedEx will apply additional peak surcharges to shipments that qualify as oversized, unauthorized or require additional handling, in addition to existing charges.
- UPS will apply additional residential surcharges, however FedEx will not apply additional residential surcharges during the holiday season
- UPS and FedEx each take different approaches to peak surcharges.
Remember that to be competitive and save money in your shipping spend, you benefit by understanding the variations among carriers and their shipping charges for different services. A more comprehensive view of holiday charges applied by FedEx and UPS, can be found on our site.
Tip #2: Review Your Carrier Contracts
The fine print details of carrier contracts can be complex – yet despite this, it’s critical that online sellers have a strong understanding of their carrier contract terms. Keeping this in mind, there is no better time than the present to review and react to your carrier contracts – particularly with the holidays just around the corner. Ask yourself the following to begin your contract review efforts:
- When was the last time you benchmarked competitive rates among the carriers you both use to ship and could potentially use to ship?
- What are your most commonly used accessorial fees charged to your shipping spend?
- Did you waive your rights to gain refunds on your current contract?
While these questions can help you get motivated to review your entire contract, consider how letting an expert who excels in this can help you even more. Reviewing the carrier contract proposal will be among the steps involved in this process, as is negotiating with the carriers your final contract terms. If you don’t have full confidence that this is something you can excel in on your own, consider getting support here. After all, this process has proven to save shippers 15-20% a year! That alone is a holiday gift to yourself that any business can appreciate.
Tip #3: Track Your Holiday Shipping Through Parcel Auditing
During the holidays – and all year round – online sellers can benefit from incorporating a parcel auditing strategy into their shipping management. Though analytics and automation, parcel auditing allows your shipping efforts to be monitored, opening up the opportunity to identify strengths, weaknesses and most importantly – the ability to save money. This allows online sellers to not only improve their internal shipping spend and make more informed future shipping decisions, but it also delivers clarity on immediate issues such as over-charges being applied to your shipments, late deliveries that your business deserves refunds for, damaged packages that may also result in you gaining money back and more.
If you ship with popular shipping carriers UPS and FedEx, incorporating parcel auditing into your shipping efforts is a no-risk strategy that costs you nothing upfront and only costs you a percentage of money returned to you from carrier errors, overcharges, and other identified refunds. Get holiday ready by incorporating parcel auditing into your shipping efforts now. Explore more about auditing services for online sellers here.
Finally, the holidays are an exciting time of year online sellers. Embrace this rush now by embracing smarter shipping strategies today.
Brian Gibbs | President of Refund Retriever Brian Gibbs founded Refund Retriever in 2006 while running his first eBay based business and seeing the shortcomings of other shipment auditing companies. Refund Retriever's primary focus is FedEx and UPS parcel invoice auditing. After graduating from Texas A&M University in 2001, he then graduated from the University of Houston in 2004 with a JD and MBA. Gibbs has been featured in Forbes, Entrepreneur and other publications discussing parcel auditing, shipping, e-commerce and more. Learn more at www.refundretriever.com or call (800) 441-8085 for more information.