4 Tips to Lower the Cost of Shipping Jewelry
Shipping jewelry has been a source of frustration within the industry long before the days of the internet. Then again, there are plenty of times when it doesn’t seem that much easier today.
It's time-consuming to coordinate logistics — and then shipments get delayed.
Merchandise can get damaged in transit — or worse, it can be stolen.
To top it all off, 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 four tips the next time you’re shipping jewelry and want to lower your costs.
Tips for Shipping Jewelry
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.
One carrier may offer the best rate today 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 tomorrow to fulfill the same shipment. 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 old 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 believes that there are more effective packaging options.
As long as merchandise is layered in two secure packages, you're just as well off. It's better to use a box of any size for the outer packaging, but a tear-resistant envelope will work with protective internal packaging, too.
Don't forget to consider the value of your shipment, though.
If you're sending $1,000 in merchandise, you might feel comfortable saving a bit on packaging materials. If the amount is $10,000, it's probably worth paying more for a sturdier option.
While there's no cutoff line for using certain types of packaging materials over others, use your best judgment and play it safe if you're unsure which option to choose.
What remains the same is how each package gets labeled. There should never be anything identifying the shipment as containing jewelry or going to a jewelry business.
3. Don't require an adult signature (most of the time)
Carriers upcharge for an "adult" signature service, but how many minors do you know that are working at a jewelry business?
The exception to this rule is if you're sending to a residential address, such as a consumer or home-based business. It's better to be safe than sorry in that situation.
4. Use software to help you compare choices
Imagine booking travel online and having to check individual carriers for different flights. You'd probably give up on searching before finding the lowest price or an option that fits all of your needs.
With JM™ Shipping Solution, you can apply the same type of convenience and cost-saving benefits to shipping jewelry. It has an easy-to-use interface that lets you enter the origin, destination and details of your packages. Then, it gathers prices from major carriers and lets you sort to find the ones that fit your needs and budget.
Watch this video to get a better idea of how it works.
The best part about using the shipping solution is that it’s on the Zing™ platform, which means you have access to other core products from Jewelers Mutual Group, 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.