In recent years, the surge in online shopping has had an impact on every size of business, from corporate sites to small and micro businesses. Many Canadians are selling and shipping products from home, using online tools such as Poshmark, eBay, Instagram and Shopify.
Whether you’ve considered selling your own clothing online, or simply need to send clothing by mail, you may be wondering how to ship clothes.
We’ve put together a few ideas on how to ship clothes to get you started with the basics:
1. Figure Out Internal Protection
Before you ship any kind of clothing, it is important to understand how fragile or delicate the material is. A sequined gown, for example, will require plenty of extra internal packaging, compared to a t-shirt. Will you need layers of tissue to protect your item from damage or perhaps a bag to protect the item from the packaging itself? These are useful details to figure out ahead of time, so that you have the right materials on hand.
2. Choose Your Shipping Materials
There are plenty of ways on how to ship clothes, including boxes, poly bags, flat rate envelopes and more. The more delicate your item, the more likely you will need to send it in a corrugated cardboard box. These products also work well for larger, heavier items or those with an unusual shape.
3. Branded Mailers
If you are shipping clothes as part of your business, you may want to consider upgrading your packaging with either branded or glossy mailers. While glossy mailers can be purchased online, branded mailers would need to be manufactured especially for you. An alternative to branded packaging might simply be the use of a sticker with your logo on plain packaging.
4. Fold and Layer
Whether you are using a box or a soft-sided mailer for shipping clothes, be sure to fold and lay them flat with heaviest items on the bottom. To prevent damage from buttons or zippers catching, be sure to include a layer of tissue paper between each piece of clothing.
5. Remember Your Add Ins
If you are shipping clothes for business, remember to include an invoice to remind your buyer what they purchased and show that you have received payment. You may also want to include promotional items such as discount cards, thank you cards or your business card before sealing your package for shipping. Repeat customers are valuable to any company and will perhaps return to buy more products with some incentive.
6. Set Yourself up for Shipping
If you find yourself shipping clothes regularly and want to skip the post office, look for a shipping scale so you can weigh your packages at home. Some sellers’ sites even handle the shipping labels for you, allowing you to pay online and print shipping labels. You will need to purchase a printer that allows you to clearly print labels, either by printing directly to stickers or printing on paper and then sticking them to your package.
You should also pick a good shipping company with prompt and reliable services. This shipping company will be crucial in delivering your clothes to the desired locations, so make sure you pick wisely.
7. Get Your Timing Right
If you need your package to reach its destination by a specific time, you will likely need to take deliberate steps. You could either weigh your package and print labels at home, then bring them to the post office to have it scanned or you could go straight to a courier and have them look after your shipping needs.
8. Keep Track of Details
No matter whether you end up shipping your package through the post office or a courier, keep your receipts, both to track business expenses and to have shipping estimates / tracking numbers on hand. If your customer is keen to know when their package will arrive, communicate shipping estimates to keep them in the loop.
9. Find Creative Solutions
If you regularly find yourself shipping clothes, or even if you sending something one-off, you may want to consider a creative approach. Using the services of a shipping solutions company can help you save time and money. With a market approach to shipping, these companies will allow you to compare shipping rates across couriers and arrange for pick-up. It may be a creative way to reduce your shipping costs, when sending by courier.
If you are looking for easy, inexpensive shipping solutions, you are not alone. More and more Canadians are selling products online and need to send and track their inventory. Using a cost-effective, reliable method of shipping will give you peace of mind and will help your buyers to track their purchases.
If you’ve been thinking about a new business, or are hoping to start a side-hustle, selling clothes you longer need, be sure to think about the way you will ship and how much it will cost. The last thing you want is for shipping costs to eat into your profit. We hope this list of ideas on how to ship clothes has been helpful as you start or expand your next online adventure.