“Ten Rules for Maker Businesses” by Wired’s Chris Anderson — Rule #10

Your second most important relationship is with your package carrier.

Real businesses don’t pay retail. If you don’t get business discounts on your shipping, the prices will be as much as twice that of your competitors. And since it’s the one thing customers can compare across retailers, they’re super sensitive to shipping rates.

They’re so used to getting ripped off on shipping from eBay merchants that they suspect that high shipping rates are really part of your profit strategy. And when it come to international shipping, if you don’t get this right shipping costs can add up to more than the price of your goods, effectively closing off much of your international market.

So get to know your Fedex sales rep, and become an expert in carriers. You’ll also need to select an ecommerce platform that works well with the FedEx, UPS and USPS website APIs. Give customers a range of shipping options, and make clear that if they use the ones that don’t come with tracking numbers, you’re not responsible if the package doesn’t show up.

For international shipping, give people an option to declare a value of less than the price of the goods; in many countries import duties, which are based on stated value, can be as much as the price of the goods themselves.

#1 Make a profit.
#2 It takes lots of cash to stay in stock.
#3 Buy smart.
#4 Basic business rules still apply.
#5 You get no leeway for being a maker.
#6 Be as open as you can.
#7 Create a community to support and enhance your products.
#8 Design for manufacturability.
#9 Marketing is your job.
#10 Your second most important relationship is with your package carrier.

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One Response to ““Ten Rules for Maker Businesses” by Wired’s Chris Anderson — Rule #10”

  1. Ponoko: 3d printing and rules for maker businesses : Artisanal Electronics Says:

    [...] to support and enhance your products. #8 Design for manufacturability. #9 Marketing is your job. #10 Your second most important relationship is with your package carrier. Category: [...]