Shipping fine jewelry has never been a simple proposition. Even with technological advancements, coordinating logistics is time-consuming, and once items are shipped, delays are common.
The cost of shipping has never been cheap, either. But there’s a good chance you can bring your cost down further without sacrificing timeliness or insurance coverage.
Consider these three tips:
Try various carriers to maximize the cost of shipping jewelry
Like most people, jewelers get comfortable with favorite carriers. But in this arena, shopping around can have its benefits.
Carriers, and their pricing, have evolved drastically in the past few years. For example: A carrier that may have been the most economical five years ago may now have the highest rate; and 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, but another carrier could have better rates available for the same package specifics to the diamond district in LA.
And don’t let one bad experience spoil your choices. Unless you’ve experienced a loss or continual bad service from a particular carrier.
Use sensible packaging materials
This tip also challenges many peoples’ common comfort zones. Best practices of yore say to always double-box merchandise and use an adult-sized shoe box as the outer packaging. But 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 for. 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.
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 to a higher price. 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 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
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