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What are some of the basics for handling shipments?

The topic of merchandise shipping is expansive and covers a lot of ground, both metaphorically and literally. Georgian business owners like you will have a lot of details to work out to make sure that your shipping and delivery system is as flaw-free as possible.

First, some basic facts for merchandise shipments. The Federal Trade Commission has an entire section of their website dedicated to the guides and rules for merchandise orders that take place over mail, telephone or the internet. One of the main rules is the order rule. This is also sometimes known as the “30-day rule” due to the fact that you must be able to ship merchandise within 30 days. If you can’t, the customer needs to be notified. They should be immediately refunded for the unshipped merchandise if they don’t agree to wait for a delayed shipment.

One exception is credit applications, which have an extra 20 days for processing. Be sure to check the specifics on whatever item you are shipping as well, as it may also differ from the norm.

If you are shipping through a third-party site, be aware of their rules and regulations. There are different liability agreements on every site. For example, many sites make it so you have to cover any potential differences in shipping out of your own pocket. This means that if you accidentally undercharge for shipping fee, you cannot hit your customer up for the remainder of the money and must instead cover it yourself.

In essence, read up on whatever system you are using for shipments. Make sure that you have an airtight strategy for handling damaged, missing or lost items, as well as refunds. Shipping can be a lot of hassle, but with proper planning, you can make it run more smoothly.

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