Shipping and handling are critical components of any reselling business. They can significantly impact customer satisfaction, repeat business, and ultimately, your bottom line. Efficient and cost-effective shipping strategies not only save you money but also enhance your reputation as a reliable seller. This comprehensive guide will provide best practices for shipping and handling, tailored to help you streamline your operations. We'll also reference how tools like the Resell Calendar can aid in planning and optimizing your shipping strategy.

Understanding Shipping Costs

Before diving into strategies, it's essential to understand the factors that influence shipping costs. These include package weight, dimensions, destination, delivery speed, and the carrier you choose. Being aware of these can help you make more informed decisions and find areas where you can reduce costs.

1. Know Your Carriers and Services

Each shipping carrier, whether it's USPS, UPS, FedEx, or others, offers a range of services with different rates and delivery times. Familiarize yourself with the options, and consider negotiating for better rates if you have high shipping volumes. Use comparison tools to find the best rates for each package.

2. Efficient Packaging

Effective packaging is about more than just protection; it's also about cost control. Use lightweight materials to reduce shipping costs and choose the right size of packaging to avoid paying for unused space. Consider custom or branded packaging to enhance the customer experience, but balance this with cost-effectiveness.

3. Buy Postage Online

Buying postage online often comes with discounts that you wouldn't get at the post office. Many platforms and services offer discounted rates and the convenience of printing shipping labels from your office or home.

4. Offer Combined Shipping

For customers purchasing multiple items, offer combined shipping to reduce their costs and encourage larger orders. This not only provides value to the customer but also streamlines your shipping process.

5. Consider a Fulfillment Service

If your business is scaling up, it might be time to consider using a fulfillment service. These services handle storage, packing, and shipping for you, freeing up your time and potentially reducing costs through their economies of scale.

6. Insurance and Tracking

For valuable items, insurance and tracking are worth the extra cost. They protect you and the customer in case of lost or damaged items and provide peace of mind and transparency throughout the shipping process.

7. Be Clear About Shipping Policies

Transparency is key. Clearly communicate your shipping times, costs, and policies to customers before they purchase. This can prevent misunderstandings and negative reviews. Use your shipping policy to set realistic expectations and potentially edge out competitors.

8. Optimize for International Shipping

If you're shipping internationally, understand the customs processes, fees, and delivery times. Use harmonized system codes to identify your products and ensure all customs paperwork is complete and accurate to avoid delays.

9. Leverage Technology

Use shipping and inventory management software to automate and track your process. Many tools can help you compare rates, print labels, track packages, and manage orders efficiently. Integrating these systems can save time and reduce errors.

10. Regularly Review Your Shipping Strategy

As your business grows and evolves, so should your shipping strategy. Regularly review your carriers, costs, and policies to ensure they still serve your business effectively. Stay informed about changes in shipping rates and services.

11. Provide Exceptional Customer Service

Shipping is a significant part of the customer experience. Ensure your team is trained to handle inquiries and issues effectively. Quick responses and resolutions can turn a potential negative experience into a positive one.

12. Plan for Peak Seasons

During peak shipping times, like the holidays, plan ahead to ensure you can meet increased demand. Stock up on supplies, schedule extra pick-ups, and consider hiring temporary help. Tools like Resell Calendar can help you anticipate these busy periods.

13. Sustainable Shipping Options

As customers become more environmentally conscious, offering sustainable shipping options can set your business apart. This might include recyclable materials, carbon-neutral delivery options, or a returns program for packaging.

14. Encourage Feedback

Encourage customers to give feedback on their shipping experience. This information can be invaluable in identifying issues and areas for improvement.

15. Handle Returns Gracefully

Returns are an inevitable part of the reselling business. Have a clear, easy-to-understand return policy and process. Making returns hassle-free can encourage repeat business and positive reviews.


In the reselling business, shipping and handling are not just about getting the product to the customer. They're an integral part of the customer experience and a significant factor in your business's profitability and reputation. By implementing the best practices outlined above, you can ensure that your shipping and handling processes are as efficient and cost-effective as possible. Remember, tools like the Resell Calendar can provide valuable insights into market trends and help you optimize your shipping strategy. Stay flexible, continuously seek improvements, and always prioritize the customer experience. With a solid shipping strategy, your reselling business can thrive in a competitive market.