3 Tips to Lower the Cost of Shipping Jewelry
Shipping jewelry has been a source of frustration within the industry for a very long time. Even with technology continuing to advance there are plenty of times when it doesn’t seem any easier. It's time-consuming to coordinate logistics — and then shipments get delayed. Merchandise can get damaged in transit — or worse, it can be stolen.
Not to mention the cost of shipping isn't cheap, either. Even if you’re content with the rates you’ve been paying, there’s a good chance you can bring your cost down further without sacrificing timeliness or insurance coverage.
Consider these three tips the next time you’re shipping jewelry and want to lower your costs.
Jewelry Shipping Tips
1. Try various carriers to maximize the cost of shipping jewelry
Like most people, jewelers get comfortable with a particular way of doing something. However, if you're afraid to try a different shipping carrier, you could be missing out on cost savings.
Carriers, and their pricing, have evolved drastically in the past few years. A carrier that may have been the most economical five years ago, may now have the highest rate. One carrier may offer the best rate for a package that needs to get to the New York Diamond District in two days and fits in a medium-sized box. However, another carrier could have better rates available for the same package specifics to the diamond district in LA. There are a lot of factors that go into play when a carrier determines the cost of shipping, so it's worth shopping around.
It's also worth noting to not let one bad experience spoil your choices. Unless you've experienced a loss or continual bad service from a particular carrier, you might consider experimenting with lower-cost options more valuable than choosing a carrier by word-of-mouth.
2. Use sensible packaging materials
This tip also breaks a common comfort zone. The adage was to always double-box merchandise and use an adult-sized shoe box as the outer packaging.
Other insurers or carriers may have different recommendations, but Jewelers Mutual® Group believes there are additional effective packaging options.
While it's better to use a box of any size for the outer packaging, a tear-resistant (not cardboard) envelope with a box as the internal protective packaging is a viable option too.
Don't forget to consider the value and destination of your shipment, though. Values below $5,000 going to a business address are good candidates to consider envelope use. What remains the same is how each package gets labeled. Be sure to affix a label to the inner and outer package and never use materials or references that could identify the shipment as containing jewelry or going to a jewelry business.
3. Enter accurate package information
One of the most frustrating experiences in shipping today is carrier reconciliations. This occurs when a carrier adjusts the original package price based on information they collect during package transportation. Carriers collect package information from numerous scales and dimensionalizers. If the data they collect differs from the original information entered to create the label, they adjust the price and apply additional freight charges.
To avoid this pricing reconciliation:
- Measure outer dimensions accurately (dimensions noted on packaging itself are often internal measurements)
- Use a scale to calculate the weight
- Correctly identify/report packaging used
- Use address verification to prevent address correction fees
- If your box is bulging, use the measurement of the thickest point
The best part about using the shipping solution is that it’s on the Zing® marketplace, which means you have access to other core products from Jewelers Mutual, such as a Diamond Marketplace powered by IDEX and a Jewelry Appraisal Solution leveraging the expertise of Gemworld — all in one convenient location.
This post was originally published in 2018 and has been updated.