1st internet sell

joe

CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2
Joined
Nov 19, 1998
Posts
399
Location
whitewater,wi.53190 usa
Hello all. I just made my first sale on my humble website using my very basic product page. I would like to know from those of you who are experienced at this; how do you ship? Do you use UPS or FEDEX of other carriers? Maybe even the USPS?

Thank you very much...it's late and the wine is good.
 
Hey Joe! Isn't that cool!!! We've had web sales for a couple of years now, but it is still so cool to open e-mails, or answer the phone and it is someone waaaay off somewhere! (They say to me, "I just love your accent!)

We haven't really had the time to work on the site in order to make it really effective, but the fact that a fair amount of sales come in monthly is proof that it does indeed work.

Now, I said that to say this, as far as sales go, we are "tweeners". We're between needing a few boxes every month, and needing to buy boxes in set sizes. Therefore, we save boxes, and hunt for the right size, and packing, and the tape, etc. Try (and I will keep trying) to set up a dedicated place to do all the prep work for shipping.

HEY! These are not used boxes, they are recycled boxes! We even had some stickers made that say "Recycle when possible. This product is shipped in a recycled box."

As for shipping. Right now, we use several ways. Most commonly we use USPS (good ole mailman - or in our case maillady.) Either priority mail or parcel post. And for our books - media mail.

For larger or heavier packages, we use UPS. Since our shop is rural, we have not set up a weekly pick up yet. We take them to a local drpp off point, or if I'm going to be in town, a UPS store (formerly Mailboxes, etc.)

There is another shipper called "Freighters and Craters" that I have read good things about, but haven't used.

We don't use Fedex. I don't even like to receive from Fedex. 99% of the time when we receive from Fedex, they have to call and get directions to our shop. Many times it means that delivery is delayed a day or two while they try to find us first, and then call for directions. (The reason for that is, our mailing address Kodak, TN is mostly in Sevier county with, oh, less than 5 miles in Knox county. We are on the Knox county side, and they just can never get that through to the computer - anyway, other than that, I might check into Fedex.)

We keep UPS and USPS websites bookmarked for ease in determining shipping costs to find the best way. We do have a set "shipping and handling" cost based on price, but if the actual shipping cost is way less, (in other words, very expensive item, but very small) we'll reduce the charge.

I really hope John Ranes weighs in on this discussion. He has one of the best designed sites for e-commerce that I've seen. So I know they must be shipping a lot of stuff.

Again, congrats Joe. Oh, I almost forgot, be sure to track the web sales so that you can judge the overall percentage of your sales that come online.

Betty
 
Congratulations, Joe! You make me even more anxious to set up a website for my shop.

I sell used books via half.com/ebay and I've always been happy with the USPS service. Granted, used books are hard to damage when packed right, but USPS has never lost a shipment and has only been late a couple of times,... out of 150 shipments.

Continued success to you!
Susan
 
Originally posted by joe:
....I would like to know from those of you who are experienced at this; how do you ship? Do you use UPS or FEDEX of other carriers? Maybe even the USPS?.....
Betty,

Thanks for the "Heads Up" email.....I totally missed this thread. I've been busy lately working on the computer doing some web redesign stuff and working on "natural positioning"....more later!

Joe,

Our shopping cart allows us some flexibility in shipping. We can link our shipping charges to weight, price, quantity, etc. We have the option of setting up multiple shipping options, or just one.....quite flexible: Cart 32....there are lots of others out there as well. This just happens to be one that we use.

We have it setup to default to UPS shipping on all US states. It allows us to give buyers options of Ground, 3Day Select, 2nd Day Air, and Next Day Air. If they live in Alaska or Hawaii, we've made the software default to Air shipments only. If the client has an APO address (recently added) or a Canadian customer, the software defaults to USPS.

We found it easiest for us to base UPS shipping costs on $ pricing of the entire order. In general, the more the customer spends on merchandise, then the UPS Ground shipment dimishes to nothing. If the customer selects an Air Shipment, it increases (Dimensional Weight Charges can get quite pricey!)

We're now in year three of our e-commerce store and have a dedicated Shipping & Receiving area in the back of the shop. (Our shrink wrap table doubles as the working space)
We use UPS's dedicated shipping software (Free) and printer ($2/Week), and that includes as many shipping labels as you need. It's the only way to go, if you're shipping anything on a regular basis.

I would honestly think that FEDEX would have a similar setup. (Of note, the majority of our large vendors who domestically ship us fragile glass ornaments, use FEDEX. Not sure if that is great discounted rates, or great handling?)

On International Sales, we have to carry the items to the Post Office. I need to do the investigatory work, but am hoping (wishful) that the USPS would have a similar software setup so that our mailman can just pickup these items at our business.

Please feel free to email me directly if you have any further questions.

Regards,

John
 
Originally posted by joe:
Hello all. I just made my first sale on my humble website using my very basic product page....
Joe,

I just went to visit your website....very nice! When did you add the Prouct Page? When will you be adding more of the other products you show on your site to the product page? Do you plan to link those pages to the product page? If not, I'd be tempted to call your product page, an online shopping page....THIS IS WHERE YOU CAN BUY STUFF!

I especially like your one question to your potential customers, "What Products would Like Us to Carry?". Well done.

John
 
congratulations joe

if it were not for my website, the customer that threatened to drop several grand today would not have come to my door.

if it were not for marketing my website that client would not have visited my website
 
Joe,

I have a small internet business on the side and I have used USPS Priority Mail for shipping most of the time. It's quick, either coast only 3 days from the midwest. The post office also gives you the boxes for free if you mail Priority mail.

It al depends on what you are shipping and how much you are shipping. If you start to ship out a lot of product I would look into getting a UPS account. Like someone mentioned before, you can use their software for free and get a printer for a low cost. As you ship more and more you can then try to get a better rate on your shipping and then use your account for some of your supplies and get just as good or better rates than what you are currently paying.
 
Thanks everyone for the encouragement. I started the product page about two weeks ago. I was contacted by the customer through my website e-mail. He was interested in the Roma frames and I didn't even have them online yet. He waited until I published them and then bought one!

I mailed the frame by USPS Priority mail. It was the fastest way to get this one done.

John I now have links to the product page but the way my domain provider has this set this up is if I publish anything or change anything the html code will drop off.. .for anything I change. That includes my meta tags, meta description, links, etc. I generally add photos through a cpanel. Anyway I need to find a way to get the html code to not delete when I publish new items.
 
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