If your business is involved in shipping, you need to do all you can to keep things affordable. Sending out products can get expensive, especially if you aren’t paying attention to where you can cut costs. In order to stay at pace with the competition, you need to have the right methods. Here are four tips to help keep your shipping rates competitive.

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Choose the Right Carrier

You might be sending all your orders through the same carrier. However, it doesn’t have to stay that way. Unless you have a contract with a carrier, you can feel free to go elsewhere. If a price seems higher than you expected, try to negotiate to get it down. If the carrier is unwilling to budge, you can bring your business elsewhere. Determine which one gives you the best prices and overall most-satisfying customer service.

Use Low-Cost Supplies

You need to take stock of your shipping supplies and see if you’re spending more than necessary. You might be going for the most expensive boxes and envelopes, but are they really essential? Make sure the ones you use are affordable and not putting you in a hole. They should also be durable and properly-fitted for your products. See if you can talk to a supplier like Associated Paper & Supply or someone similar about finding a deal on a large number of shipping supplies.

Re-Use Supplies

If you’re sending lots of things out, you’re likely bringing lots of them in as well. Instead of throwing out boxes, envelopes, bubble wrap and more, you should hold onto them. Put them in stock with your other shipping supplies. Don’t re-use anything that’s particular beaten-up. You should also make sure to cover up or remove any leftover shipping labels. Having these supplies can keep you from hunting for others and paying more than you need to.

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Print Labels from Home

Want to save both money and time? You print shipping labels from your home printer. These can be printed off in no time. You can also pay for postage in advance. Once this is taken care of, you can skip the lines at the post office by dropping them off and heading out.

We hope this has given you a great idea of how to keep your shipping rates competitive. You don’t need to have the most thorough understanding of economics. Instead, you just need to be observant and determined. By following these tips, you can help your small business stay competitive.