Ship, Ship, Hooray!

Shipping costs are one of jewelers' biggest excess expenses, say retail and shipping experts. "An ungodly amount is spent by jewelers on shipping, and freight in and out," notes consultant Kate Petersen. "It's one of the biggest areas opportune for cost cutting." Robert E. Reetz, Federal Express zone manager for corporate security, agrees. "Shipping is one of the highest controllable overheads of jewelers," he says. Why the excess? There are a number of reasons: too many overnight orders requested too often by too many staffers; not enough planning; and theft of packages carelessly packed and shipped. Meanwhile, the price to ship or mail keeps rising. In a recent JCK survey of 128 businesses across the country, four out of five jewelers (84%) said their shipping costs have gone up in the past year. Only 8% saw this expense decrease. The average small jeweler sends or receives a few p

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