The Top Shipping Mistakes to Avoid for E-commerce Success

Learn about setting up a returns policy and shipping policies.
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Last update:

June 22, 2023

Shipping is a crucial part of any e-commerce business. It's not just about getting products to customers, it's also about making sure they arrive in a timely fashion and in one piece.

And as you'll see from this list, there are many ways that even the best-intentioned shipping plans can go away, especially when working with courier companies.

So if you're looking for some tips on how to avoid these common mistakes, keep reading!


Not having a system in place for returns

If you have a returns policy and system in place, it will be easier to manage the flow of goods. Your customers will feel more comfortable with their purchase and will be more likely to buy from you again.

Here are some tips:
  • Know your return policy. This can vary depending on what kind of product or service you're selling and how long it has been since they were purchased. For example, if someone buys clothing online but decides they don't like it after wearing it once or twice (or even just trying it on), they might be able to return their item within 30 days of purchase--but only if there's no sign of wear on the garment itself.*
  • Have a system in place for returns.* It's important not only for customer satisfaction but also because returns cost money! If someone buys something from me at $50 and then wants me to pay for shipping back out again when I send them another one (which costs me about $10), that's not fair because now both parties are losing money


Not setting up a shipping policy

A shipping policy is a contract between you and your customers. It outlines how long packages will take to deliver, how much they cost, who pays for what, how returns are handled, and more.

If you don't have one in place, it could be difficult to recover from any mistakes made by carriers or other third parties during the shipping process. For example: if an item gets lost on its way to the customer's door--or arrives damaged--you'll need a clear policy about what happens next (and whether or not you're liable).

A good shipping policy can also help reduce costs by making sure all orders are packed safely and securely before being sent out into the world--which means less time spent fixing broken items after they've been delivered!

Stacking the costs of shipping and handling fees

You are paying for the box, postage, and handling. There are many ways to reduce costs by packaging more efficiently.

For example:
  • Use recycled materials. Recycled packaging is often less expensive than brand-new material because it has been used before and therefore costs less money to manufacture or purchase in bulk. If you're using a service like Amazon Fulfillment or ShipStation that provides free boxes, consider using one of their pre-made boxes instead of ordering custom ones from a vendor like Uline or Box Brothers (who both offer great prices on shipping supplies). You can also find free boxes from top shipping carriers and recycled cardboard at most craft stores like Michael's Arts & Crafts!


Packing products improperly

You can avoid the risk of damage by packing your items properly.
  • Fragile items should be packed in bubble wrap and placed in a box with plenty of room to move around. If you're shipping glass, make sure it's cushioned with foam or other soft material.
  • Heavy items need to be packed so that they don't shift during transit and break anything else in their way! This means using heavy-duty cardboard for heavier items like books or small appliances and making sure things like furniture aren't stacked on top of each other so they won't fall over during transit (or worse yet, crush something else).
  • Smaller items like toys, jewelry pieces, and electronics all have unique requirements for safe shipping--pack them carefully!


Leaving a lot of space in boxes and packaging material

One of the most important things to keep in mind when shipping your packages is that space is everything. It's not just about protecting your items from damage, but also about making sure they fit into the truck and don't cost you extra money on fuel.

If there's too much empty space inside the box or packaging material, it will take up more room in the truck and cost more money for fuel. On top of that, if there isn't enough cushioning material around each item being shipped (such as bubble wrap), then those items could break during transit!

So how do we strike a balance between having enough padding around our products while also keeping them safe on their journey? The answer lies in using custom-sized boxes designed specifically for each product type--and only packing as much around an item as necessary without going overboard with extra padding material

Insufficient labeling on packages

Incorrect labeling is a big mistake that can lead to lost or damaged packages, as well as fines and penalties.

You should make sure that you include:
  • The recipient's name and address are in large, clear letters.
  • A return address so the package can be returned to you if it gets lost in transit. This is especially important if the order is being shipped internationally because customs agents will want to know where it came from and who sent it so they can assess any duties or taxes due on arrival in their country. If there's no return address on an international shipment, chances are good that this valuable piece of information will be lost forever!


Not knowing the laws and regulations regarding shipping items in your state or country

Knowing the laws and regulations regarding shipping items in your state or country is an important step before you begin. There are many customs rules that pertain to importing, exporting, and tax requirements for businesses.

The following information will help you understand how to comply with these laws:
  • Importing and Exporting Regulations - This article covers basic information about importing into the U.S., including what's required by Customs before clearing an item through Customs; what happens when you don't follow proper procedures; penalties for noncompliance (such as fines); how long it takes for an item to clear customs; etc...
  • Taxes & Duties - This article explains how taxes work when importing goods into Canada including GST/HST rebate programs available through the federal government if certain conditions are met by both importer & exporter.

* Customs Clearance Processes - If you have ever done business internationally then chances are good that at some point during your career, someone told them about all sorts of regulations explicitly related to international trade such as those involving customs clearance procedures which include but are not limited to: tariffs rates applied against imported goods into the country where their intended destination resides depending upon type classification system used by governments around the world.

* Import Restrictions - One example could involve restrictions placed upon certain types of commodities such as food products containing meat products due to certain countries' religious beliefs preventing consumption thereof so therefore making it impossible to sell those items overseas without having them modified first (i..e., vegan versions).


Shipping is integral to your e-commerce business, so have a plan in place!

Shipping is an integral part of your e-commerce business. It's more than just an afterthought, it's a crucial part of your customer experience, marketing and branding, and even business growth!

That said, shipping mistakes can be easy to make if you're not careful. That's why we're here to help you avoid them so that you can focus on what matters most: growing your brand!



Shipping is an important part of your e-commerce business, so make sure you have a plan in place. If you're unsure where to start, use ShipSaving to begin your journey! ShipSaving offers the best shipping discounts with your major carriers. If you’d like to save shipping costs, register a free ShipSaving account today!Β 


Written on:

May 17, 2023
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