So, you ran a successful Kickstarter campaign. So, you’ve got rewards to ship out all over the country. So, you’re freaking out a little bit. If this sounds like you, don’t worry, because you’re not alone. Shipping kickstarter rewards is often the most harrowing part of the whole process, and can end up costing way more money than you thought it would. To make the process easier and less daunting, we decided to put to this guide together to help any shipping newbies send out packages like a seasoned pro…and how to save the most money doing it. Check out our six tips for shipping Kickstarter rewards, listed below.
1. Get the Right Packaging
Start off the right way by getting the right packaging. When shipping out Kickstarter rewards, we suggest making use of as much free packaging as possible. Did you know that USPS offers free boxes that you can use for Priority Mail? It’s true, and you can either get these free boxes on the USPS website, or pick some up at your local Post Office!
That said, the size (and type) of your packaging often factors into how much you’ll pay for postage. Even if it’s free, you want to make sure you’re using the smallest packaging possible for your perks. For example, if you’re shipping a T-shirt or a hoodie, you don’t need to use a larger Priority Mail box. You’ll be just fine if you use an envelope or poly mailer bags that you can get cheaply on Amazon. These poly mailers come in a pack of $100 for only $10.95.
2. Account for Hidden Costs Like Tape and Packing Material
This is a big one that a lot of Kickstarter campaigners overlook when shipping out their rewards. There are going to be some hidden costs that you forgot to account for, plain and simple. Little things such as tape, “thank you” cards, and all the different types of packing material you may include add up in the end. So, don’t forget to budget for these kinds of items before you start shipping your packages. Even if it’s small, it’ll help take the surprise out later when you’re tallying up all the funds you raised.
3. Use Online Shipping Software Instead of Going to the Post Office
Don’t go the Post Office! We’ll say it again: don’t go to the Post Office! If you do, you’ll end up paying way more for shipping than necessary. Not to mention, you’ll have to wait in those pesky lines. Instead, buy and print shipping labels online at home with shipping software.
Online shipping software gives shippers access to special USPS discounts that the Postal Service typically only gives to huge commercial shippers. In some cases, these discounts can save you up to 90% of what you’d pay to ship the same package at the Post Office. If you’re shipping out lots of Kickstarter rewards, trust us when we say that these savings can be make or break!
The cool thing is, all the best shipping software options choose the cheapest shipping service for you once you enter your package weight and dimensions. Most shipping software options also allow you to upload address spreadsheets with all your recipient info in one fell swoop. Whether you’re uploading a spreadsheet or making labels manually, it’s a truly easy process to get started.
4. Choose the Cheapest USPS Mail Class
Speaking of the cheapest shipping service, you should pay attention to certain USPS services you can take advantage of. For example, let’s say you’re shipping books or CD’s. For these kinds of items, the Postal Service offers a mail class called USPS Media Mail that’s by far the cheapest rates you’ll find. Delivery is a bit longer than Priority Mail service, taking anywhere from 2-8 days…but if you can ship out a book for $2.80, who’s complaining?
Keep in mind that some items qualify for Media Mail service, while others don’t. If your products don’t qualify, the cheapest options will likely either be USPS First Class Package or Priority Mail Cubic (only available on shipping software).
5. Offer Free Shipping for Your Kickstarter Rewards
Let’s be honest. Nothing bums out donors who dropped money on your campaign like making them pay for shipping. So, we suggest eating the shipping costs for your perks. That’s why it’s so important to use the right shipping software to buy shipping labels at discounts. If you’re shipping out lots of packages, this can be the difference of saving hundreds of dollars or not!
6. Purchase Shipping Insurance
Lastly, you would do well to purchase shipping insurance for every package you send out as part of your Kickstarter campaign perks. Fortunately, if you’re using shipping software, it’s super cheap and easy to add insurance. All Priority Mail labels actually come with $100 of USPS insurance when you use shipping software, which may cover you in most cases!
Keep in mind that certain services such as USPS Media Mail and USPS First Class Package don’t include built-in insurance. So, if you’re using these two mail classes to ship out your stuff, then we definitely recommend paying a little extra for insurance. It’s usually only a couple of bucks on top of postage, and it’s well worth it in case your packages get lost in transit or arrive damaged.