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Inscale's Guide to Postal Scales

The Coronavirus pandemic has changed consumer behaviour in a way that has not been seen before. In May alone, 33.4% of all UK retail sales were made online – a considerable leap considering they made up roughly 20% the same time last year. As uncertainty continues for much of the business world, it is quite clear that the way in which consumers spend money has changed forever.

This of course means that more businesses than ever are either switching to online for the first time or increasing their ecommerce output. Whether you are selling homemade crafts on Etsy or doing something larger scale, receiving a product on time will always be a key part of customer satisfaction - so it is essential that you get this right. In this article, we will look at how to get the best shipping for your company, including how a simple postal weighing scale can save you time and money.

Inscale stocks a wide selection of postal scales for small and large scale shipping operations - view the full range here.

Why do I need a postal weighing scale?

Having an accurate parcel scale will ensure that all your parcels are the correct weight before postage, and therefore the right price. Any shipment that has been incorrectly weighed is at risk of being returned or being sent with a postage due stamp. Obviously, neither of these outcomes will benefit your company or your customers. It is essential that you get your shipping right if you want your products to arrive on time and without any holdups. As a seller, it is solely up to you to ensure that this is the case.

Parcel scales can also make your shipping processes easier and more efficient. Some scales such as the Cruiser CKT from Adam Equipment come with a display that changes colour depending on whether your packages are under, over, or within the given weight limits. If you send items regularly, then a postal weighing scale like this can really speed up your operations.

Am I paying too much for my postage?

Many sellers are overestimating the weight of their items and therefore overpaying for their postage. It may not be by much, but if your business ships a lot of products regularly, it will certainly add up over time. For smaller businesses that are likely to have smaller profit margins, you will clearly want to avoid any extra expenditure. Having access to an accurate set of parcel scales will ensure that you know exactly how much your item weighs, and therefore can choose the correct weight range or delivery method.

Tips for shipping

Shipping can sometimes be a difficult thing to get right, especially when you are new to it. To get you started, here are some essential tips from Inscale on how to save money, time, and effort.

  • Buy an accurate set of parcel scales and weigh out your parcels before you send.
  • Try several different courier services to see what works for you and your business. Certain couriers will suit smaller businesses whilst some will offer business accounts that fit larger scale operations.
  • Attempt to pack your items into the smallest possible packaging. An obvious one, but crucial if you want to keep costs low.
  • Always use a sufficient amount of padding, especially for selling fragile items! This will ensure that your product arrives in good condition every time.
  • Have a good supply of tape, envelopes, boxes and padding at all times. Running out will cost you time, money and potentially worsen a buyers experience. It can also be very beneficial to buy in bulk too.
  • Think about opening a business account with your chosen courier service. Each company has their own perks and offers, so make sure you do your research here! If your business is beginning to use couriers more regularly, this account can save you money and make things much simpler.

Which courier should I use?

Finding the right courier service for your business can be can quite overwhelming at times. To break it down, you should focus on three main aspects: price, speed and trust. Generally, all major UK courier services can be trusted, although some may offer better tracking options or have more depots should a package not make it to its destination.

It is also important to think about how many packages you will be shipping and whether or not you will be shipping internationally, as this will influence the service you pick. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular services in the UK:

Royal Mail – The largest and arguably the most trusted courier service in the UK. They offer a wide range of services and options for businesses of all sizes, although they are really shine when sending lower weight items.

DHL - As the world’s largest logistics service, DHL provides great international services to over 220 worldwide. More suited to companies that send items daily and can be slightly expensive for smaller packages.

DPD – With DPD you may pay more for your shipping, but you tend to get a very reliable experience. Great technology such as driver tracking, and text updates make this a favourite for buyers all over the world.

Hermes – If pricing is your main concern, Hermes are generally the most affordable option available. They are quick and reliable with an easy to use website, although they lack the options of some competitor companies mentioned above.

Do I need trade approved scales?

If you only intend to use your scale to check the weight of your packages prior to sending, then you do not need a trade approved scale. You will only need a trade approved scale if you are selling any item that has a price based on its weight. If you plan on using your scales for more than just weighing packages, then it is best to know whether you will need trade approved or not. In the UK it is the law to do so and anyone who does not adhere faces fines or even prison sentences. Other countries will have different laws and regulations so be sure to understand what they are wherever your business is based.

Trade approved scales could be used for a range of items, but some common ones are food, alcohol, mechanical parts, or fuel. Good examples of places that use trade approved scales would be fruit and vegetable shops or fishmongers.

Which parcel scale should I buy?

Inscale offer a selection of parcel scales that are reliable and easy to use. Whether you are shipping large boxes or small packages, we are sure to have something that will save you time and money and ultimately improve your business. Before purchasing a postal weighing scale, be sure to know exactly what you want from your device.

IPS Parcel Scale – The IPS Parcel Scale is a reliable product that is perfect for weighing small boxes, envelopes and letters. It has a maximum capacity of 180kg and boasts a 380 x 280mm base which is generally adequate for most products. This is a great product if you are just getting started with shipping as it is simple to use and affordable.

Cruiser CKT Approved Checkweighing Scale – The CKT from Adam Equipment is an industrial checkweighing scale that is versatile and well designed. A simple to use system combined with a backlit display that changes colour when a sample is under, over or within the pre-set limits make this ideal for repetitive weighing tasks.

PT Industrial Floor Standing Platform Scales – For a far more heavy-duty product, the PT Industrial Floor Scale is one of the best. Specifically designed for weighing pallets, crates and containers, the PT is a scale that can withstand the testing day to day motions of warehouses and factories.

For any further information about parcel scales, please feel to contact Inscale by phone 01908 972 660 or Get In Touch.

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Top 5 Tips for Saving Your Business Time and Money with Postage Scales

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