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Some ideas for managing delivery costs for on-line retail businesses

July 24, 2011

If you have an on-line retail business you probably have to contend with parcel delivery costs. Deciding how to manage these costs can be a headache so here are some ideas to get you started.

  1. Offer free P&P but factor the cost of this into your product price (your ability to do this is going to depend on how much your items typically cost to despatch.
  2. Offer free P&P if the customer places an order above a certain threshold (for example offers free delivery on packaging supplies brought from our on-line store if you spend over £35).
  3. Give customers the choice of a delivery option. If they want a Next Day delivery they pay more than a longer delivery window.
  4. Shop around and find the best price depending on the size and weight of the parcel you are sending. For example:
    Royal Mail
    is a good bet if your parcel is <2kg (although this won’t guarantee a Next Day service and there is no tracking on a 1st class mail product).
    City Link lets you post a Next Day parcel up to 20kg from £6.99 + VAT (that’s a good price).
  5. Get cheap parcel delivery by using a middleman service such as It’s a great way to access and compare the delivery products of a range of major UK couriers from just one website.

If you’ve got some other ideas why not share them by leaving a comment.


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