Track Your Parcel

10 top tips for packing your parcel

We understand how important every parcel you send is to you and as such are committed to ensuring you parcel reaches its destination intact. We have created 10 top tips for packaging your parcel which will help ensure it arrives in the best possible condition.

Choose the right tools for the job

This may sound obvious but it is remarkable how many items are damaged as they are not packed with the right materials. Jiffy bags, corrugated cardboard boxes, strong parcel tape, parcel straps and triangular tubes for rolled paper are all essential pieced of equipment when you send a variety of parcels. Using the correct size box for the item and ensuring they are not under or over filled should keep your item protected.


Don’t leave any empty spaces

Once you have chosen the best outer packaging it is vital that you also use inner packaging. Material such as bubble wrap, polystyrene chips, polyethylene foam or even shredded paper will cushion your items. This will prevent them from moving around and protect them from damage.

TIP: Put fragile goods in the centre of a package; ensuring they don't touch the sides. Your item should be well cushioned on all sides.


Do not package in delicate materials

Bags made from fabric and cloth can be easily damaged by sharp corners on other parcels and machinery within the sorting warehouses. Ensure packaging is sturdy to protect your goods.


Be careful if reusing old packaging

Unfortunately, once a cardboard box is damaged it becomes weaker and so provides less protection for your parcel. You must be confident that the box is strong and your parcel will be protected. In addition to this, many couriers use automatic systems to read address labels so remove or cover all old labels to ensure that your parcel is sent to the right location. You would be surprised how many times this has happened!


Label clearly

Whether you select a service which requires a printed label, or one that allows a handwritten address to be scribed on the package, ensure that it is positioned centrally, has no tape covering any part of the label, and can be easily understood. We also recommend inserting the delivery details and/or label inside the box just in case the label is damaged and/or falls off.


Do not rely on additional labelling

This includes labels such as fragile. While people are able to read these labels machines are not making them no substitute for strong and effective packaging. This is the case with a variety of labels such as “This way up” and “Heavy”.


Complete all information required

It is important to correctly label the contents and estimated value of your item on our website. This information will be used in the event of a lost or damaged parcel claim. You must also ensure that no further information is required, particularly if you are sending your parcel overseas and will pass through customs.


Do not use attractive packaging

Unfortunately, parcels which have been wrapped as if they are a gift are more at risk for two reasons. Firstly, the paper and ribbon are easy to rip and can get caught by other parcels and machines. Secondly, as parcels can sometimes be left in convenient locations at delivery they are subject to risk from passers-by. Attractive wrapping increases their desirability to people who notice the parcel unattended.


Check prohibited and restricted items list

Prohibited items cannot be sent via any couriers through My Parcel Delivery. These include aerosol cans/sprays, explosives including fireworks and Christmas crackers, Drugs and medicines (including prescription), perishable goods (including food) and many more. Restricted items can be sent but in the event of loss/damage, no compensation claim can be made. You can find a full list of prohibited and restricted items here.


Consider taking compensation cover

To coin an old saying, “prevention is better than cure” and you can prevent possible damage to parcel contents by using the correct type and quality of packaging. In the vast majority of cases, your parcel will arrive at its destination safe and sound. But please don’t be left trusting to hindsight if what’s in the parcel is too valuable to be travelling without compensation cover. 


Posted by Siobhan at 16:37

PayPal – Working Capital Scheme to extend to the UK

New funding option for UK businesses from PayPal

 

As a small business, whether selling via your own ecommerce website or using existing sites such as eBay and Amazon, there are challenges around every corner. Since the start of the crunch in 2007 it has become increasingly difficult for small business to get funding to enable not only the business launch but also growth which is vital for both the business and the British Economy as a whole.

 

Last year, PayPal saw this challenge in America and launched a loans programme which has since provided around $140 million in cash advances to SMEs. They have now announced a similar programme to launch in the UK, initially to specially selected merchants but to become more widely in 2015.

 

We have identified some of the key features that will set PayPal aside from the rest of the finance market as they begin to offer cash advances rather than traditional loans.

  1. Fast approval process as they already have customer data – funds could be available around 5 minutes after the application
  2. Repayment schedule is not set. They will be made as a percentage of future sales revenue
  3. No interest fees or late payment fees
  4. No external credit checks
  5. One fixed charged for programme sign up

 

Cameron McLean believes that it is time for them to make a difference to UK businesses. The Managing Director of PayPal UK said that “Small businesses are the lifeblood of the British economy. But seven years after the start of the credit crunch, many of them are still struggling to get funding.”

 

He went on to comment that “According to the British government, around a third of SMEs rely on retained earnings or the owner’s own finances rather than bank or equity funding. This means that many find it very difficult to finance their present needs or future growth. And the problem is acute for smaller, online businesses. PayPal is well placed to make a difference.”

Are you an eBay seller looking to grow? Why not link your account and start using our free shipping tool. Designed to save you even more time, you can compare a range of courier services and book online in a matter of seconds. Plus, save hours of data entry as description, delivery address and dimensions are automatically uploaded for each of your eBay items.

Posted by Siobhan at 11:43

Delivery Services - Who delivers what, where and when

Here at My Parcel Delivery we make it quick easy for you to find the right delivery service whether you are sending presents to family in Finland, or a vital letter to Larry in Luton. Take a look below to see our delivery services at a glance so that you know which courier will get your parcel to the right place, at the right time, and at the best cost.

Download your FREE "Couriers at a Glance" guide here.

Are you an ecommerce business using our site for your deliveries? This at a glance guide is ideal to help you expand your market and offer more to your customers. You could start to deliver internationally, or simply offer an express delivery service for when they just cannot wait. Take a look at our free to use guide and see your options at a glance. 

Posted by Siobhan at 16:57

Making web design work for e-commerce businesses

Vincent Holt, commercial director at Salford-based 11 Out Of 10 web development agency, got into working with the web after years of project managing IT systems in what became engineering giant, GEC-Alstom.

After seeing a gap in the market for providing a blend of technical web design and sound business advice, he launched 11 Out Of 10 more than a decade ago. Now with 10 staff, the company provides highly specialised design for bespoke websites and e-commerce systems, aimed at companies “wanting an edge over the competition and prepared to pay a bit more to get it”.  Clients have included Walls Refrigeration and PureGym – the latter taken from an initial concept to a multi-million pound business in 3 years. 

My Parcel Delivery grabbed a few minutes with Vince to sample the secrets of web design for successful e-commerce businesses:


HOW FAR HAS E-COMMERCE WEB DESIGN ADVANCED IN RECENT YEARS?

What was expert knowledge 10 years ago is now more widely understood. Off-the-shelf, template systems have improved and can offer a wide range of functionality. But templates aren’t great if you want to create a bespoke e-commerce site. This is important, as marketing is now 10 times more sophisticated than it was and companies need to be better equipped and reactive to compete for online shoppers.


WHAT ARE THE MOST CRITICAL LESSONS FOR BUSINESSES SELLING ONLINE?

The reality is this: it’s becoming winner takes all. That means being able to occupy online the top three spots in your market is becoming more critical. Anything that gives you an edge in the e-commerce environment can make the difference between going broke and making a fortune.

As a guide, SMEs getting into e-commerce need to understand they have to match their web development spend on marketing spend in the first year in order to play the game. That comes as a shock to many, but without capital or innovative marketing it’s difficult to grab the attention needed.


WHAT SHOULD ASPIRING E-COMMERCE BUSINESSES BE THINKING BEFORE LAUNCHING ONLINE?

Be clear about who your audience is. Once that’s established, be sure about what your competitive edge is and what you can offer over and above the rest. As well as retailers, manufacturers are now realising the potential in selling online, which can even involve trade websites for their channel partners to buy from them. More and more manufacturers are now realising they can sell directly to the consumers and increase their margins, by using drop shippers to manage the logistics – which by-passes what was traditionally the role of the wholesaler and distributors.


WHAT ARE THE TYPICAL MISTAKES E-COMMERCE BUSINESSES SHOULD AVOID WHEN THEY START?

Trying to sell everything! It’s better to go for a small, niche range of products. As a starting point it’s easier and lower cost to market a specialism rather than trying to compete with the bigger, more established companies. Aim to attract an audience with your niche product area and build on that.


WHAT DO YOU RECOMMEND FOR MORE ESTABLISHED E-COMMERCE BUSINESSES?

Companies can get complacent. After investing money when the site is built, they tend to think that’s “job done” and squeeze every penny they can out of the site. But they need a longer-term view and strategy. Management might be suspicious because it’s difficult to keep up with the advance of technology but, ideally, a site needs to be reviewed every 2-3 years and investment is needed to keep up with newer technology, such as ensuring their website is mobile device friendly. If a business selling products online is not converting mobile traffic, then creating a mobile site will help sell and this is usually a healthy contribution towards the price of the website overhaul in its own right.


HOW HAS CONSUMER BEHAVIOUR IN E-COMMERCE CHANGED?

Consumers used to be more tolerant of websites and would accept making their way slowly through a transaction process. Today, they are both intolerant and impatient and won’t put up with substandard sites. More than that, the process now has to engage the customer with subtle touches that people will enjoy.

International e-commerce sales are becoming more and more important – in fact, the UK is the biggest exporter via e-commerce – so showing your prices in other currencies is helpful to show overseas customers how much it’s going to cost them.

And consumers are very aware of online customer reviews – 60% of people check out reviews before buying. Reviews are also important also for SEO on the site itself as Google sees them as a nice thing to have.


WHAT DO YOU SEE AS THE NEXT BIG THING?

E-commerce is becoming more joined up. For example – at the bigger end of retail – you buy online and pick up your purchase in a shop at your convenience. Add to that drop-off points for click and collect. Shops are going to function more as showrooms, with shopping for entertainment as much as requirement. Shops may be fewer in number, but they will be more interactive.

While there will be more mobile payment via phone it needs to be slicker process, such as being able to make a mobile purchase without entering card details at check-out.

And there’ll be a complete intolerance of hidden charges when buying online. It’s one of the biggest turn-offs in the process, which currently results in about 70% of shoppers abandoning the cart altogether.

Posted by Shaun at 14:37

Ebay sellers – safety first! Beware the unscrupulous buyers.

Have you ever asked yourself - who is the most at risk? An eBay seller or an eBay buyer?


With over 17 million people logging onto eBay in the UK every month, the site is now responsible for over 15% of the UK’s online shopping (Experian Hitwise, 2011). What once started as a place for people to flog an unwanted gift or a rarely used impulse buy is now a global site for everything from fashion to furniture, and from collectibles to cars! What’s more, thanks to security measures and PayPal guarantees, it is safer than ever to be an eBay buyer but what about being an ebay seller?


There are hundreds of blogs, articles and cautionary tales of eBay buyers ‘scammed’ by unscrupulous sellers who pocket your hard earned money. We hear far fewer stories of hard working eBay sellers ‘scammed’ by buyers who pocket your goods! But how can this happen? Well it seems that the eBay system is weighted in the favour of the buyer rather than the seller. Don’t get me wrong, there are far more instances of undelivered items than false refunds but it is still something to consider as an eBay seller.


The problem seems to be a combination of a few factors. These include an uneven weighting in the number of eBay buyer claims vs eBay seller claims and eBay’s understandable quest to reassure buyers to shop. Furthermore, eBay’s process when investigating seller claims is said to be far too long-winded and time-consuming which has led to incorrect snap judgements being made. Something as simple as losing your postal tracking number could leave you with the difficult, unenviable task of having to prove you have fulfilled an order. But do not fear....there are 3 simple ways to help protect yourself:

  1. Turn your item into a star! More specifically, take plenty of detailed pictures from every angle prior to posting. This is to ensure that you can prove the condition of your item should the buyer submit a claim based on the condition in which it arrived.
  2. Make your own rules. Only you can control who is able to buy your items. Restrictions such as PayPal registration and policy violations may reduce your potential profit by 20p but could also save a lot of time and effort.
  3. Pick the right delivery service. There are plenty of options available to you so why not shop around for a trusted delivery company who can help you send a parcel both in the UK and abroad. Remember to balance your decision between a cheap courier and protecting yourself! The Post Office isn’t always the answer!

Follow these 3 simple steps and you are well on your way to being an ‘unscammable’ eBay Seller.

Posted by Siobhan at 09:00

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