What a beautiful sight it is to see that the whiteboard is filled with business plans. Colorful post-it cards have taken over your office glass divisions; your team is exhilarated with the blueprint--you are finally launching your business!
Along with the excitement are all the financial nitty-gritty details you want to be on top of to ensure that the plans you have will turn to reality and your business will continue to grow.
Let us help you with a financial topic you will surely try to decipher: shipping costs for eCommerce, both local and international deliveries. Read through to know all the details.
Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) Shipping Costs for eCommerce
If you are launching your business primarily on Amazon before expanding it on other eCommerce platforms, you need to familiarize yourself with FBA.
FBA is Amazon’s fulfillment service that offers to pack, store, and ship your products. It is incredibly convenient and advantageous to use this method, but here are the costs associated with it:
Fixed Monthly Fees
Once you decide to use FBA, the first step you need to accomplish is to select between the individual and professional plan.
- Individual plan: No monthly fees, but fees per item sold applies
- Professional plan: $39.99 monthly fee regardless of sales
Fees Per Unit Sold
To calculate fees per unit sold, familiarize yourself with the different categories: small, small oversize, large, medium oversize, and apparel, as you will be charged based on these sizes. Charges begin at $0.40 up to $9.44, depending on the size.
You will also be charged with storage fees, which are determined depending on the space occupied by your products. The rates also change depending on the months of the year, with January-September having $0.69/cubic foot payment only, and it increases to $2.40/cubic foot from October-December.
Long-Term Storage Fees
If your stocks do not move quickly and stay in Amazon warehouses for more than a year, an additional $3.45/cubic foot fee is added to what you need to pay per month.
Repackaging and label adding
If you could not follow the packing guidelines by chance, Amazon needs to step in and repackage your products and even add labels if needed, which will add costs to you.
Customers might have special requests for having their orders gift-wrapped, especially during holiday seasons. Amazon’s got your back with their gift-wrapping service that also comes with fees to make note of.
For a complete list of fees, you may check out Amazon’s complete list of fulfillment fees, and to get an estimate of the costs, you can check Seller Central’s FBA calculator.
Amazon Multi-Channel Fulfillment (MCF)
Amazon MCF is a fulfillment method you can choose once you’ve expanded your business from Amazon to Shopify, eBay, and Etsy. If you have already begun using FBA while selling on Amazon, it will be easier for you to use it continuously, even when selling on other platforms.
The fees you need to pay on MCF depends on the following:
- Delivery speed: 3-5 business days shipping, two business days shipping, or next business day shipping
- Package size with corresponding weight: small standard, large standard, small oversize, medium oversize, large oversize, and medium oversize
- The weight
- Number of units in the package
- Block orders: A 5% surcharge will be added to your cost if you need to block orders processed by Amazon Logistics because the platform you are selling to does not allow it.
Keep in mind to do the measurement and weighing right to get the correct costs you need to pay. You can check out Amazon MCF fees for the complete costs.
What about the packaging? Even though you do not sell on Amazon, the packages will be packed with Amazon branding, which may cause a little confusion to your customers. You have two options: you can look into selling on Amazon too or wait for the eCommerce giant's solution of providing unbranded packaging for MCF users.
FBA Export Program
After figuring out sending orders domestically, it is now time to move on to the other half of your brainstorming output and put them to life--shipping internationally.
Since we are already on FBA and MCF, you can also consider the FBA Export Program as you can enjoy its shipping services as long as you are using FBA and MCF. You may opt to enable your products for international shipping, and you can expand your clients to all the countries where Amazon is available.
Which shipping service is cheapest? If we are talking about costs you cover, FBA Export Program comes at no cost to sellers.
The buyers handle the shipping charges, including customs duties and tax, and delivery fees which may not be enticing to customers.
If you choose these international shipping options, here are the strategies you can enact to ensure you will not scare off customers:
- Show your product’s value: No matter how high the charges are, if customers are willing to buy your product because of the value it brings to their lives, money will be a number.
- Set expectations on fees: Some customers may not be aware that you will pass on the shipping to them, making sure to create that awareness through terms and conditions or social media postings.
- Delivery time heads-up: Since this is international shipping, together with the fees, inform your clients about longer shipping times as well.
Other Couriers to Choose From
If the shipping services you are looking for aren’t provided by the couriers mentioned above, we suggest you take a peak at Stallion Express as they offer international shipping.They are partnered with notable international shipping companies to keep the quality of service that Stallion provides to its customers.
Moving on, whether you are still planning or you will send actual orders now, trusted international couriers will surely be on your list. We recommend these services for when you’re shipping individual small orders (not big bulky items like FBA items).
PostNL is the leading provider of postal and parcel services in the Netherlands. PostNL provides the most far-reaching and credible network for delivery, not only in the Netherlands but also worldwide. However, PostNL is only available for the region of Ontario (not B.C.).
APC Postal Logistics
APC Postal Logistics offers its services from coast to coast to provide the most adept international shipping to more than 200 countries worldwide*. Based in the U.S., they provide multiple options like DDP and DDU to help expedite international shipping and customs.
USPS also ships internationally with delivery arrival of 2 to 10 days, depending on your service choice and destination country. However, it costs more and arrives longer than other shipping options Stallion Express currently offers.
To find out the rates, you can use the calculators available on the Stallion Express website. These three couriers are undeniably well-trusted and offer a wide variety of shipping services. However, if you are looking into long-term international shipping, you may want to look at the next shipping option as they have cheaper offers.
Note that international shipping options above do NOT offer returns - mainly due to local post office authorities and high customs/duties.
Cross-border shippers are shipping partners and are indeed the best option for eCommerce sellers like you. To get started, you need to look for a reliable cross-border shipper to partner with. These shippers also offer complete shipping solutions with US and Canadian returns, multiple carries to choose from, and lowest rates on the market.
Here’s what happens next:
Step 1: Create and buy your postage, which will be your shipping label, alternatively, on US shipments you may choose to use your own label with one of our supported carriers.
Step 2: Drop your package to the cross-border shipper, and pay a shipping fee depending on the weight and dimensions of your package. You may also arrange for a direct pick up, if that’s a service they offer, especially if there are boxes more than you can carry. This service is rendered by some shippers at a minimum fee.
Step 3: They will scan and process your item, and hand it off to the carrier you selected for final mile delivery to your customer, follow the tracking page to see your shipment’s journey.
Step 4: You may also choose to integrate your online store. Integrating it means that tracking events will also be shared with your customer, creating an easy seamless transaction.
Whether you’re a part-time online seller or own an enterprise shipping hundreds of thousand shipments on a regular basis, have a partnership with a shipping company. You can shop multiple shipping carrier options and rates, and choosing Stallion will save you time and money with our easy-to-use website and low-cost options.
Partner With Us!
We might be just the partner you are looking for! We, at Stallion Express, are a cross-border shipper ourselves. We know the ins and outs of sending packages within Canada, to the U.S., and even internationally. Aside from that, we also allow third-party postage (like Amazon FBA), and provide the best service portfolio on the market for you to consider.
Moreover, the cheapest shipping fee, tracking, and Stallion Protection would want you to choose our company more than ever. You won’t only take advantage of the cheapest shipping, but you can also have a dedicated account manager for enterprise clients, friendly support representatives via phone or live chat, and automation tools on our website to help you save time.
To get the in-depth details to feel free to give us a call or send us a message. You may also visit our website. We’d love to discuss our shipping offers with you.