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The "race before the race" - Shipping Your Gear! (*Disclaimer - we are not shipping experts or consultants. If you are looking for expert shipping advice or fulfillment quotes/service, we recommend that you contact your timer or a professional fulfillment company.)
Shipping Timelines: When will your virtual runners receive their gear? View virtual races as e-commerce. If shipping timelines are not clear, your customer service will increase. You can include shipping information on the race page and in the confirmation email.
BATCH SHIPPING: If you are shipping in batches, make it clear how often your batches go out.
MASS SHIPPING: If you are shipping everything in one large batch, make it clear when everything will ship out.
Fulfillment Process: Fulfillment is time consuming and expensive. Here are some tips and tricks to help create a plan.
SHIPPING NOTES: Important factors for budgeting.
WEIGHT: A cheap/fast/efficient way to do bulk mailing is through the United States Postal Service by first class mail. Depending on the weight, the average postage cost will be in the range of $3-5. However, if you go over 13oz, the price increases by quite a bit and/or you will need to ship by Priority Mail.
SHAPE: This one is pretty obvious, but mailing a t-shirt is a completely different process/cost/packaging then mailing a wine glass or a 3-foot poster.
ZONES: In January 2018, the USPS switched to having 8 shipping zones. This means it costs more to mail a package from San Diego to San Francisco than it does to mail a package from San Diego to New York. If you don't want to spend hours in the post office trying to mail hundreds of packages, shipping software can automate the calculation and label printing process for you.
INTERNATIONAL SHIPPING: The prices of international shipping are 5-6x the cost of domestic shipping. Use geographic fees if you plan to allow international shipping.
DIY SHIPPING: Shipping software like Shipstation or ShipEasy is really great and can help you automate your shipping process and postage calculations.
CONTACT YOUR TIMER: We work with many race timers that offer shipping/fulfillment services as part of their business model. If you are a physical race that converted to virtual, check if your timer is able to help you out.
FULFILLMENT COMPANIES: There are also fulfillment companies who specialize in shipping fulfillment. We have a list of vendors here.
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