The Problem with Freight Shipping According to both UPS and FedEx, anything exceeding 70 lbs. is considered freight. The price for shipping anything that falls into that “freight” category often exceeds the value of the item itself. For this reason, most eBiz owners don’t deal in large or heavy items. And most consumers walk away when the shipping for their online purchase exceeds 20% of the item’s cost. If you do ship sizeable items—cars, boats, pianos—you have to deal with other logistical problems with freight companies: • They’re set up to deliver business to business—most freight companies have their goods palletized and their drivers are used to having loading docks to load and unload their goods. You can’t back a freight truck up to an apartment. • They usually charge even more when they have to deliver your goods beyond the curb. If you want them to put the item in your customer’s living room, that extra service may cost you several hundred dollars. • They’re used to dealing with big boxes all day, not high-end furniture or fragile antiques: therefore, your packages may get less-than-optimum treatment. Ship Big, Pay Little What you may not know is that a great number of small to medium sized moving companies can deliver your items for significantly less than what you’d pay for freight shipping. They’re always moving people cross-country and are usually driving back empty. So they’re more than happy to go a little out of their way to pick up your item and make their return trip profitable. How Do I Find the Best Deal? Rather than contact every moving company in your area to get a dozen rate quotes, you can simply list your items with an alternative freight quote company, such as • In anywhere from minutes to, at most, a few days, you can expect to receive bids from any number of more than 20,000 moving companies. • You can compare bids until you find one you are happy with. Unlike eBay, there’s no expiration on the bidding; it isn’t over ‘til you’re happy. • Matt Chasen, founder and CEO of uShip says, “Generally the process takes about seven days from the time where you’d list the item…It’s kind of like a reverse auction process.” You should plan accordingly and let your customer know what to expect. Sellers can also offer an alternative freight shipper as an option to their buyers and allow the buyers to make those choices. The best part is the listing service comes at no charge to the customer: the moving company whose bid is accepted pays the transaction fee! Chasen believes having a feedback system is a big part of the high customer satisfaction rate that alternative freight quote companies achieve. When considering a moving company, a customer can see what kind of experience other customers have had with them. Says Chasen, “I think moving companies tend to go above and beyond the call of duty for [our] customers because they know they can leave feedback. I think people are getting even better service than if they’d gone with the same moving company offline.”

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