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Some tips for more affordable postage when shipping in Canada

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Location: Left Coast Canada
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Here's something I wrote elsewhere that I thought might be interesting to Canadian permies who sell online or who are thinking about selling online.


I have lots to say on the topic of shipping from and within Canada.  Your needs will be unique, but I'll put lots down for future readers as well as yourself.

If you are shipping more than once a week, a small Biz account with Canada post is well worth it.  The savings are better than Etsy labels or buying at the counter, and the more you ship, the more you save.

If your item is easily replaceable and can be packed thin enough, and the price difference of shipping is less than the replacement cost of the item, shipping letter mail within Canada is a good way to save money.  I would not recommend doing this for international or cross border sales.  Tracking and insurance are your friends.

Alternatively, if it isn't able to pack small enough for letter mail, the new flat-rate parcels are awesome for domestic shipping.  I'm on the left coast, so if I'm shipping to the other side of Thunder Bay, it's cheaper to use the flat rate box that Canada Post sells.  It has tracking and insurance.

If the item is over 20 kilo and/or over 100cm, and/or more than one box, then another shipping service will more likely be more affordable.  Try using something like e-shipper to get an additional discount - but be careful you understand the packaging requirements as their overage charges are shocking!

Another thing to do to save money is to find out when your local post office is less busy and bring your item into the post office.  The people at the counter are experts at shipping and can help with packaging ideas and the most affordable way of posting the item that matches your needs.  What I do when I'm designing a new item for sale, is to take their advice and then send a test item to a friend or influencer who will report back to me on how well the packaging did to protect the item (and share about the new item with their followers - so it falls under a promotional expense come tax time).

Since your customer is paying the shipping, and Canadians mostly understand that we have some of the highest shipping rates in the world, then the best policy is to be upfront about the shipping cost and let the customer decide.

Last, of all (for now), you may be near ChitChats.  I'm not, so I haven't used them, but I read on Etsy that they are often a very good discount, and often reliable.  

Ps. another source of money-saving is to look at the packaging system you have set up.  Does it take less than 1 min to pack and process the order?  How much does the packaging cost?  Can these be improved?  The actual packaging and handling is often expences that small biz owners don't think about and can add up to quite a lot of money loss.
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