Buying home decorations wholesale can save you a lot of money. But you can easily destroy all those potential profits if you do not plan your shipping correctly.
The first step in saving money is deciding if you will ship via a courier like UPS or freight on a pallet with a truck. We will compare the pros and cons of both methods so you know which one is best for your business.
To find the best prices for your shipment you need to speak the language to get an accurate quote.
What is a courier service?
A courier service is a type of shipping that is typically used for business-to-consumer deliveries. However, it is also used for business-to-business shipments such as wholesale home decor companies sending orders out to retail customers.
Courier services charge per box shipped and apply a tracking label to each individual box.
How does a courier service calculate the cost of a box?
Courier companies look at actual weight versus dimensional weight and use the greater of the two.
Actual weight - What the box weighs on a scale
Dimensional weight - (Length x Width x Height) / "The Divisor"
The divisor is a number determined by the courier company and can fluctuate. You will need to check what is the courier's current divisor.
Compare the Actual Weight to the Dimensional Weight. The more expensive of the two is the charge, plus an extra fee if shipping to a residential address.
Pros and Cons of Courier Services for Home Decor
- Lower rates for smaller shipments
- No need for a truck - less time, money, and resources needed to ship
- More control and more flexibility over how the items are shipped. Some courier companies offer special rates that can be negotiated if you have an account or do high volumes of business.
- Normally faster transit times than freight shipments
- Setting up your own account is fairly quick
- Increased chance of damage to individual boxs.
- Higher per box fees for larger shipments
- Size and weight limitations on boxes that can be shipped
- Extra fee per box for a residential address
What is a freight shipment?
In the wholesale home decor industry a freight shipment is a shipment of home decor that is shipped on a pallet via a truck.
A standard pallet is made of wood, is 40" x 48”, and the maximum height for a shipment is around 72". Each freight company has its own rules on this.
The maximum weight (several thousand pounds) allowed is also determined by the trucking company.
Pallets are loaded with your items, wrapped with plastic, and loaded on a truck.
Do you need a liftgate?
A liftgate is a device used for loading and unloading freight onto a truck that does not have access to a freight dock, which is a downward sloping delivery ramp, so the truck can unload freight directly into your store or warehouse.
There will be an extra charge if a liftgate is needed for delivery and this must be considered when calculating costs. If you are delivering to a residential address you will most likely need a liftgate.
A liftgate must be requested when the shipment is booked. If not requested the trucking company will not deliver to you and you will need to pay twice for the shipment.
What is the National Motor Freight Classification (NMFC) category?
Weight class categories are based on a group of factors: density, dimensions, value and liability. The easiest method to determine this cost is to use a freight calculator. A reliable calculator is SAIA's at: https://www.saia.com/tools-and-resources/freight-density-calculator.
Pros and Cons of Freight Delivery for Home Decor
- More cost-effective for bulkier boxes
- Able to mix heavy and bulk items
- Average unit cost for shipping decreases if you can maximize pallet use
- Protect items in transit due to less handling
- Lower chance of boxes being lost in transit
- Extra fees for lift gates or residential deliveries
- It may be limited to only commercial location delivery
- Reordering from your home decor supplier may be less frequent with larger orders
- Requires a larger minimum order quantity to be cost-effective
How to determine which service to use?
First, ask your supplier if they ship via courier and which one do they use? Most home decor suppliers use a nominated courier service. For example, ELC Designs Group uses UPS for our shipments. By consolidating into one service with a contract wholesalers will get a better rate, which in turn means you will get a better rate as long as they pass that savings on to you.
Some retailers ship enough out on their own through e-commerce channels that they open their own account and provide the account number to their home decor wholesale partner.
Does your supplier ship via freight? Can they help to arrange freight on your behalf or will you be responsible for making your own booking?
If you are new to freight will your supplier walk you through the process and connect you to a freight company or arrange delivery on your behalf?
If everything looks good from your home decor supplier and freight is an option let's look at how to make it happen.
How do you take advantage of freight savings?
Based on our data and having assisted our customers with freight orders, we can provide you some general guidelines on how to get the biggest savings out of your freight order.
- Order at least 12 cases (Doesn't have to be the same item)
- The total weight should be more than 150 lbs.
- Consolidate several smaller orders into a larger order
- Plan on a 10 day transit time
- Mix different types of items (i.e. pillows and slate) to balance out between weight and dimensions for smaller shops
Looking at the above it does not take a lot of items or high quantities reduce your shipping costs with a freight order.
If ordering a full case from your home decor wholesale supplier forces you to commit to a quantity larger of stock than you think you can sell, just to go freight, look for an item with a smaller case count.
Saving on freight, but later discounting an item because you bought more than you wanted to, will hurt more than it helps.
Preparing for A Freight Quote
Either you or your supplier will need to provide the freight company with the weight and dimensions so the freight rate can be calculated correctly. Below is an example of the type of form you can submit to receive a price quote.
Now that you know what options are available to you for shipping home decor, the next step is to find a supplier who can deliver on your terms.
Looking for a Wholesale Home Decor Supplier that Understands Freight?
ELC Designs Group understands your needs and the challenges of shipping outlined above. We designed our products with your store's needs in mind.
- No minimum order quantity
- Small case packs for variety and handling safety
- Customer service reps will arrange freight on your behalf or walk you through the process if you are new to purchasing wholesale home decor.
To learn more about ELC Designs Group products check out "ELC Designs Group: A Leader in the Wholesale Home Decor and Gift Industry" or to view our online store or place an order there are...
3 Easy Ways to Order Home Decorations Wholesale from ELC Designs Group
Ordering with ELC Designs Group could not be easier or more flexible. We have three ways to place your order.
Just a quick reminder. ELC Designs Group is a wholesale home decor supplier and only sells to businesses with a tax id or EIN number.
Sales representatives to order those items that will work amazingly in your store.
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Ordering Over the Phone
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