Blog – ELEXtensions https://elextensions.com Top Quality Plugins Developed by WordPress & WooCommerce Experts Wed, 12 May 2021 06:03:04 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.18 https://elextensions.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/cropped-ELEX-Logo-Blue-Background-32x32.pngBlog – ELEXtensionshttps://elextensions.com 32 32 How to Ship Alcohol with FedEx, USPS, & UPShttps://elextensions.com/ship-alcohol-with-fedex-usps-ups/ https://elextensions.com/ship-alcohol-with-fedex-usps-ups/#respond Wed, 12 May 2021 00:29:28 +0000 https://elextensions.com/?p=47151 Shipping alcohol doesn’t mean you can just ship it by mail or any other package. It is not impossible though, all you need to do is follow certain rules and regulations. It is not just the rules and regulations by the shipping carrier you have to adhere to, but you need to pay attention to…

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Shipping alcohol doesn’t mean you can just ship it by mail or any other package. It is not impossible though, all you need to do is follow certain rules and regulations. It is not just the rules and regulations by the shipping carrier you have to adhere to, but you need to pay attention to the rules and regulations to the country you are shipping to as well. And yes, they are all different.

In the earlier years, shipping alcohol was indeed prohibited, and maybe that’s why most of the shipping carriers are rejecting to take alcohol as shipment. You can’t just go take a bottle of wine and ask the shipping carrier to pack it and ship it. 

Each shipping carrier, like USPS, UPS and FedEx, has its own set of rules and regulations, which you must know to ship alcohol with them. 

Can I Ship Alcohol?

If you are an individual or a store with no liquor licence to sell or ship alcohol, then you are not likely entitled to ship alcohol. The capability for shipping alcohol depends on several aspects concerning the laws of the state where the shipper resides and even the laws of the state where the receiver resides.

Is It Illegal To Ship Alcohol?

It is not illegal to ship alcohol, as long as you are complying with certain relevant laws for the transfer or shipping or sale of alcohol. These factors vary with state. Here are some of the questions you need to check before you qualify for the same:

  • Do you own a business, retail, or even a wholesale liquor license?
  • To which locations and to whom are you shipping alcohol?
  • What type of alcohol are you shipping?
  • How much alcohol are you shipping?

Certain organizations are legally allowed to obtain a liquor license. However, it depends on the type of business you own and the way the local government allows the shipping of alcohol. When you are shipping alcohol, certain locations do not allow you to ship alcohol to their regions. It is important to know what kind of items are prohibited, restricted or even considered hazardous. Beer and wine are commonly allowed to ship to most parts, but alcohol as such is not allowed in most countries. Again there are limits in quantity when it comes to shipping, and you are not allowed to ship beyond the required amount allowed by the government.

How to get the permit from your local state board?

It is important to know and understand your eligibility when it comes to shipping alcohol. Get to know whether you are eligible to ship alcohol or not.

The next important thing to do is find out what kind of alcohol you are eligible to ship. Here is a list of alcohol licence types:

  • Restaurant Retail Liquor
  • Liquor Wholesale
  • Retail Beer (on or off-premises)
  • Club Liquor—Classes I and II
  • Wholesale Beer

You can choose the type of license you need and then contact the alcohol board.

Shipping Alcohol with USPS

It’s a clear big No from USPS, as they do not allow shipping alcohol domestically or internationally. 

Shipping Alcohol with UPS

UPS does allow shipping alcohol, but with certain caveats. Here are a few of them:

  • Own a UPS account.
  • Make an alcohol agreement with UPS
  • Get a license to ship alcohol according to Federal and state laws.
  • Make sure you abide by the state-wise rules and regulations while shipping alcohol. 
  • Use proper packaging. Make sure that the inner packing is done by EPS foam, folded corrugated tray, or moulded fibre tray. Always ensure that while packing the bottle is secured towards the center of the pack, away from the sidewalls of the container. And the container must be sturdy.
  • Label the package correctly as per the UPS guidelines, and origin/destination guidelines.
  • Label the shipment as alcohol.
  • Make sure you need an adult signature at the time of delivery.

Shipping Alcohol with FedEx

FedEx also allows shipping alcohol, with certain restrictions.

  • You need to have an account with FedEx.
  • You also need to have an alcohol shipment agreement with FedEx.
  • Always use sturdy containers and packaging must be intact. Always secure the bottle keeping it right at the center of the container and with packaging components like a folded corrugated tray, EPS foam or molded fiber tray.
  • Make sure you label the packages correctly.
  • Always ensure you are sending the package with the necessary documents.
  • Also, you need an adult signature at the time of receiving the package.

How does the WooCommerce Shipping plugin help ship alcohol?

The ELEX EasyPost (FedEx, UPS, Canada Post & USPS) Shipping & Label Printing Plugin for WooCommerce is the one source for all your shipping needs. Using this shipping plugin, both small and big shop owners can make shipping alcohol easy.

To ensure that the product is shipped under the special guidelines to ship alcohol, you need to mention the same on the product details in the WooCommerce store. You can mark the product as perishable or even inflammable in the store beforehand. You can group the items depending on the class and type and choose the default service option for shipping as shown in the image below:

ship alcohol

You need to specify the UN number also while marking the product details on the WooCommerce product page.

ship alcohol

For shipping alcohol, you need to choose the packing carefully to ensure that your bottles are not hitting each other, or handled carelessly. To choose an appropriate packing option, you can make use of the plugin, which provides three options to pack efficiently as shown in the image below.

ship alcohol

The shipping plugin works with a unique bin packing algorithm, which will help you pack the items carefully and economically. Once done, you can also print the specific shipping labels, to ensure that the packages containing alcohol are shipped carefully.

ship alcohol

Visit the product page to know more about the plugin.

Final Thoughts…

Shipping alcohol can be made easy, by following the guidelines specified by the shipping carriers. Another important aspect to consider is the customs clearance process, as it might be different for different countries. Hence you need to be extra vigilant about the duties and taxes applicable while shipping alcohol. 

Further Reading:

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What’s the Cheapest Way to Ship to India?https://elextensions.com/cheapest-way-to-ship-to-india/ https://elextensions.com/cheapest-way-to-ship-to-india/#respond Wed, 12 May 2021 00:28:01 +0000 https://elextensions.com/?p=47057 Do you want to send something to India? Shipping anything to any country is not the same process always, as each country differs in the way they deal with a shipment. Shipping something from one country to another may seem a little expensive, as it is not as easy as electronically transferring money. Luckily we…

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Do you want to send something to India? Shipping anything to any country is not the same process always, as each country differs in the way they deal with a shipment. Shipping something from one country to another may seem a little expensive, as it is not as easy as electronically transferring money. Luckily we can find some shipping carriers who do offer you cheap methods to ship to India. Go through this article to find the cheapest way to ship to India.

Tips for the Cheapest Way to Ship to India

Before we go about choosing how to find the cheapest way to ship to India, we better take a look at some tips that can be handy.

  1. Try Out Multiple Couriers

Always look for multiple options to ship. Look for reliable services from varied shipping services instead of sticking on to one single service. In that way, you get the one that fits your needs and your budget.

  1. Determine the Needs of Your Customers

It is important to determine what your customers are expecting. Are they cost-conscious? Do they need the package delivered urgently? Depending on the need of your customers you can choose the best shipping service to ship to India.

  1. Maximize Packaging

It is always important to pack the items snuggly so that you do not waste space while packing. Also, make sure you don’t use unnecessary packing materials that could increase the weight or size.

  1. Properly Plan Deliveries

To save money on the deliveries, align the delivery schedule with the cheaper options. For example, to go for a lower-cost option, you can choose ocean freight as it saves a lot compared to air. 

  1. Reuse Packaging supplies

You can always reuse the items used for packaging be it shipping to India or elsewhere. You can always reuse the bubble wrap that you use for one shipping for another. Or else you need to depend on several other options wherein you can avail free or cheaper packaging options.

Information while you Ship to India

Here is some important information to keep in mind while shipping to India from anywhere.

  • If you are looking for top services that are shipping to India, a few of them include Hong Kong Post – AirMailTracking, DHL – Express Worldwide and TNT – Express.
  • Make sure you pack the items very well. Read through our packaging guidelines.
  • The common payment options available are cash on delivery, Bank transfer, etc.
  • Most of the merchants do offer free shipping, or with a minimal charge on shipping.
  • You also get Saturday and Sunday deliveries if your expected delivery date falls on it.
  • Public holidays are non-working days.
  • Remember the tax calculation is done using the CIF method.
  • The major documents included in the package are the Commercial Invoice, Battery Statement and Shipping documents, and tax-related documents.

For more information on shipping to India, you can always refer to the guidelines mentioned in shipping guidelines by the Government of India, and The Central Board of Indirect Tax & Customs.

How to Calculate the cost of shipping to India?

The cost of shipping to India completely depends on the shipment’s weight and dimensions, the origin and destination as well as the shipping service you choose to ship the item. Popular shipping carriers like USPS, UPS, DHL and FedEx do offer delivery services to India. If you are looking for the right shipping options and the charges it will incur for shipping from one location to another, then you can make use of the shipping calculator. It helps to find and compare the shipping rates and derive at one rate which is economical and efficient.

cheapest way to ship to India

What are the charges for shipping a Gift from Canada to India?

When you are shipping gifts to India you will incur duties and taxes. There will be a customs duty total of 77.28%  which includes 10% Social Welfare Surcharge (SWS) + 35% Basic Customs Duty (BCD) + 28% Integrated Goods and Service Tax (IGST).

Before you start, remember that, 

  • Gifts can include drugs or medical equipment, which will not be charged any duty.
  • Gifts can be accepted by an individual, corporate bodies, societies or even by institutions like schools and colleges, but are intended for personal use.
  • Remember you cannot send restricted or prohibited goods as gifts.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when you are shipping a gift.

  • A commercial invoice must be accompanied by the gift.
  • The terms “Unsolicited Gift” or “Gift Shipment” must be included in the commercial invoice.
  • Make sure you are listing the items in the package clearly with their value.
  • If you are sending more than one gift, then wrap each one and tag each of them separately.

What are the charges for importing to India?

Basically, if you are importing any used items, there are no charges or any additional import taxes. Even for defective items that are sent to India for repair, no import duty is required. India also gives a pass to some shipments that are meant for filmmaking, theatrical productions or for mountain expeditions. You can also send engineering prototypes and even commercial samples without paying any duty.

If you are sending used personal effects to India, then you need special customs clearance.

Customs Information While Shipping to India

Importing to India from anywhere requires you to adhere to the country’s import rules and regulations by the Central Board of Excise and Customs. In India, the customs formalities are quite strict and hence can expect some in-depth checks for your packages. To reduce any kind of delay at customs while shipping, it is ideal to follow the rules mentioned by the authorities in India. It is important to ensure you complete the customs declaration forms, providing the accurate value of the items being shipped, and even detailing the contents of the shipment.

What cannot be shipped to India?

Here are some items, which are restricted in India:

  • Cultural Heritage Goods
  • Currency
  • Drugs
  • Endangered Animals
  • Explosives
  • Firearms
  • Objectionable Publications
  • Radio Transmitters

USPS Shipping to India

USPS does allow shipping to India at a reasonable rate. The following are some of the services you can make use of for shipping to India via USPS.

  • USPS Priority Mail International,
  • USPS Priority Mail Express

If you are looking to incorporate these USPS services into your WooCommerce store, you can make use of one of these plugins, which make the process easy.

Here you can choose the required service and then show live shipping rates on the checkout page.

cheapest way to ship to India

UPS Shipping to India

UPS shipping allows you to ship to India from locations like the US. You can make use of the UPS Worldwide Expedited service. The expected delivery date is within 2-5 business days.

How to Prepare Your Shipping Box

The very first thing you do when you are shipping is preparing the box for shipping. You can’t just place it as such in a box and stick a label and send it across. There are several guidelines for packing an item for shipping. Here are some tips to prepare your box correctly for shipping to India.

  • Always double-ply your boxes when you are packing things to ship.
  • If you are packing something fragile, ensure you are marking it correctly.
  • Ensure that you get an estimate about the shipment rates.
  • Some shipments cannot be delivered to the destination directly, so you can even opt for the center close to the destination.
  • Find out more about door-to-door, port-port, door-to-port, or port-to-door shipping is necessary.
  • Get the best quotes for your shipping.
  • Make sure you pack it well and check the weight of the package.

To Conclude

Get the best feasible shipping options to ship to India by making use of multiple shipping services in your store. Do work on the various methods wherein you can reduce the shipping cost invariably.  

Further Reading:

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How to Manage Overnight Shipping for your Online Store Orders?https://elextensions.com/overnight-shipping/ https://elextensions.com/overnight-shipping/#respond Thu, 06 May 2021 15:18:24 +0000 https://elextensions.com/?p=47310 Being able to deliver the orders at a lightning speed could indeed be a game-changer for your eCommerce business. According to the Arvato survey, almost 53% of online shoppers consider the speed of delivery as the most important factor when it comes to online order fulfilment. Shoppers tend to look for the estimated delivery date…

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Being able to deliver the orders at a lightning speed could indeed be a game-changer for your eCommerce business. According to the Arvato survey, almost 53% of online shoppers consider the speed of delivery as the most important factor when it comes to online order fulfilment. Shoppers tend to look for the estimated delivery date of the order before placing the order online. No shopper likes a delayed order or an order that delivers on a date beyond their expected date of delivery. For example, if you are looking for a product on Amazon or any other popular online store, definitely after a look at the price the very next thing that grabs our attention is the expected delivery date. Amazon Prime does deliver on the same day or in a day or two, which has become a norm for many shoppers. So how do other online stores compete with the same? Overnight shipping is an answer to it. 

What if you are searching for an item, and you need it the very next day? It is indeed hard to get the orders placed and get fulfilled on the very same day. But thanks to some popular shipping carriers who are ready to make deliveries overnight. When the delivery service is beyond the expectations, there are chances of random customers becoming potential customers. But again to get something at an express speed like overnight delivery, you are likely going to end up paying a little more than the nominal charges. 

What is Overnight Shipping?

The quickest option to deliver packages is Overnight shipping. It assures that your customer receives the package on the very next business day. You can see that different shipping services offer varied overnight shipping service depending on the time your customer wants to receive the item. Popular overnight shipping services are USPS Overnight Shipping, UPS Overnight Shipping, DHL Overnight Shipping and FedEx Overnight Shipping. Let’s take a look at them closely.

USPS Overnight Shipping

USPS offers overnight delivery options using the USPS Priority Mail Express Services. Priority Express offers overnight to 2-day delivery services and with a money-back guarantee. With Priority Mail Express Flat Rate you can ship packages that are up to 70 lbs to any state at the same price. The pricing starts from $26.35.

Features include:

  • Fastest delivery times: overnight — 2 days with a money-back guarantee.
  • You can get overnight delivery within the delivery time by 10:30 am, Sundays as well as on holidays at additional fees.
  • They also offer a free package pickup service.
  • The service includes USPS tracking and also insurance up to $100 for most shipments.
  • The price is inclusive of proof of delivery signature record.
  • The packaged weight must be a maximum of 70 lbs.
  • The total length and girth combine must be 108″.

FedEx Overnight Shipping

FedEx offers three services within the US locations that allow shippers to get pickup options and customize delivery.

FedEx First Overnight: This option offers delivery the next business day morning by 8 AM, 8:30 AM, 9 AM or 9:30 AM to most of the areas in the US. Utmost the maximum delivery time available is up to 2 PM.

FedEx Priority Overnight: This delivery option offers delivery by the next business day by 10:30 AM to most businesses located in the contiguous U.S. and by noon or 4:30 PM to residences and other rural areas.

FedEx Standard Overnight: This delivery option offers delivery by the next business day by 4:30 PM to U.S. businesses and by 8 PM to residences.

Features include:

  • They offer Monday- Friday delivery options. Saturday delivery is available at an extra cost.
  • You can ship packages that weigh up to 150 lbs. each, up to 119″ in length, 165″ in length plus girth.
  • Delivery is available throughout the United States. For certain deliveries to and from the selected zip codes in Alaska and Hawaii, the delivery time may differ from the time in the contiguous U.S.
  • The drop off time for packages at the FedEx locations differ concerning the locations.
  • For shipping, you need not create an account.
  • You get cold shipping boxes to ship items that need to be delivered the very next day. It can maintain a constant 2–8°C (35.6–46.4°F) temperature.

UPS Overnight Shipping

UPS also offers three overnight shipping options for delivering overnight.

  • UPS Next Day Air Early: Most expensive option, but offer guaranteed package delivery on the next business day by 8 AM. Ideal for time-critical shipments. 
  • UPS Next Day Air: Delivery is guaranteed by the next business day by 10:30 AM. This is ideal for day-definite shipments.
  • UPS Next Day Air Saver: Least expensive option, and guarantees package delivery on the next business day by 3 PM. This offers deliveries by the end of the next business day.

Features include:

  • Fastest delivery option.
  • Tracking included.
  • All include free UPS packaging options.

DHL Overnight Shipping

If you are looking for delivering shipments internationally overnight, then DHL is the ideal choice. It is expensive though. The services are ideal for mission-critical shipments that also need immediate pickup and delivery option within the shortest time frame.

DHL Sameday Jetline: This delivery option chooses the very next flight out and delivers door-to-door within the shortest span of time. 

DHL Sameday Sprintline: This delivery option uses the very next available truck or van delivery option and delivers door-to-door.

Features:

  • Suitable for any emergency delivery options.
  • Has a certain cut off time. If you miss the cut off time, the delivery will be conducted on the next available option.
  • In some cases, there are limitations concerning the weight and dimensions of the package.
  • Global coverage is available from certain countries.
  • Complete flexible arrangements for emergency shipments.
  • Excellent for business to business needs.

How Does Overnight Shipping Work?

In most cases for overnight delivery, the packages are shipped during the night on the day of booking, so it arrives on the very next day at the desired locations. Typically the shipment takes a night and a few hours for delivery. It is indeed hard at times when the shipment gets delayed due to unprecedented causes. However, when shipments are offered guaranteed delivery, if your shipments are not reaching on time, you get money back. For most of the shipments, the cut-off time is 6 PM and 7 PM. Once the cut-off time is crossed, the shipments will be shipped at the next available hours. For both UPS and FedEx shipping services, only Saturday pickups and deliveries are available for an additional charge. Residential and fuel surcharges also apply in the case of both UPS and FedEx.

How Much Does Overnight Shipping Cost?

If you are determining the cost of shipping for overnight shipping, then there are no one size fits all. So here are some factors that do determine the cost of overnight shipping. They are:

Dimension: In the case of considering the dimension for determining the price, the overall package dimension is considered.

Time Frame for delivery: You need to pay more, for faster delivery.

Weight of the package: The heavier the package, the greater will be the cost. The cost is actually determined upon the actual weight or dimensional weight.

Shipping distance: The cost is calculated based on origin and destination.

Carrier Shipping agreements: Some shipping carriers offer discounted shipping rates for shipping larger volumes to small scale businesses.

Let us consider the shipping cost for shipping a package weighing a 2lb package sized 10” x 5” x 5” from Brooklyn, New York, to Miami, Florida.

Courier ServicePrice
USPS Priority Mail Express$46.20
UPS Next Day Air Early$114.74
UPS Next Day Air$84.51
FedEx First Overnight$106.94
FedEx Priority Overnight$64.44
FedEx Standard Overnight$60.80

As you can see in this example, USPS Priority Mail Express is the cheapest overnight shipping option.

How to Integrate these Overnight Services on your WooCommerce store?

If you are looking for integrating USPS, UPS, FedEx and DHL overnight services, you can do so using these plugins:

Using these plugins, it becomes easy to list the shipping services at the checkout page for easily allowing the customers to choose the services as per their choice.

overnight shipping

As you can see, the overnight delivery options for UPS, USPS and FedEx are listed for customers to choose the one that suits their needs.

Learn more about the plugin from the product page.

For DHL, you can choose a quick delivery option using the plugin which lists many services offered by DHL.

overnight shipping

Upon choosing the desired services from the plugin in the backend, you can display them on the checkout page. 

overnight shipping

It is also easy to provide the cut-off time for shipping services here.

Learn more about the ELEX DHL Shipping plugin from the product page.

Use Overnight Shipping and Keep your Customers Happy

Offering faster delivery options is trending in eCommerce now. To compete with popular eCommerce options like Amazon, eBay, etc., eCommerce businesses are bringing up better services that provide quick deliveries. Luckily the popular shipping services are offering their helping hand in facilitating such speedy deliveries across locations. You can always go for the cheapest options to deliver, but again, faster options do help to build a brand for your eCommerce business.

Further Reading:

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How to Ship Perfumes and Makeup Accessories Safelyhttps://elextensions.com/ship-perfumes-and-makeup-accessories/ https://elextensions.com/ship-perfumes-and-makeup-accessories/#respond Wed, 05 May 2021 22:19:38 +0000 https://elextensions.com/?p=46807 Perfumes and makeup accessories are some everyday items, but do you know they are considered dangerous while shipping? If you are selling these products, then you need to be extra careful while shipping them. Hence as retailers, it is essential to know how to ship perfumes and makeup accessories safely.  It is important to know…

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Perfumes and makeup accessories are some everyday items, but do you know they are considered dangerous while shipping? If you are selling these products, then you need to be extra careful while shipping them. Hence as retailers, it is essential to know how to ship perfumes and makeup accessories safely. 

It is important to know the guidelines when it comes to shipping perfumes and makeup as there might be several risks while shipping them. Hence it is crucial to know all the essential details while shipping, packing and delivering perfumes and makeup accessories. Here we take a look at the details on how to ship perfume and makeup accessories safely and securely.

What are Cosmetics?

Cosmetics mostly constitute chemical compounds derived from natural sources or synthetically created ones. It is created for skincare, hair care, etc. The ones like serums, toners, cleansers etc., are used for skin care to exfoliate, moisturize, cleanse and protect the skin. Some makeup accessories are used to hide the blemishes on the skin. Others are used for eye care and hair care too. 

In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which regulates cosmetics encompasses cosmetics as products “intended to be applied to the human body for cleansing, beautifying, promoting attractiveness, or altering the appearance without affecting the body’s structure or functions“. 

Some of these cosmetics contain preservatives such as parabens, salicylic acid, benzyl alcohol, tetrasodium EDTA  (ethylenediamine tetra-acetic acid) and formaldehyde.

According to HAZMAT regulations, some of the cosmetic items and perfumes are considered hazardous. It is considered that a liquid is flammable if it has a flashpoint of 199.4 °F (93 °C) or below. Also if the flashpoint is 141°F or lower, then it is considered a hazardous material. Moreover, when cosmetic or perfume products are stored under pressure, the stored energy will escape as thrust when punctured causing problems while shipping.

What are Perfumes?

Perfumes, colognes, etc., are fragrances that contain varying levels of ethyl alcohol, which can be flammable. You can ship perfumes that fall under certain exemptions though. Special Permit 9275 (SP9275) does allow shipping perfumes domestically for those perfume products that have less than 70% ethyl alcohol.

Why are Perfumes and Cosmetics Hazardous?

Even though cosmetics may seem harmless, they are hazardous materials. These are everyday items in use, but while shipping and storing these items, it does pose several risks like product drops, breaks, spills, or when they come in contact with another substance might cause other risks. Majorly these items fall into Class 2 Gases or Class 3 Flammable Liquids. That does not mean all perfumes or makeup accessories are hazardous, it depends on the composition of these items. Here are some of the hazardous items in perfumes and cosmetics:

Aerosol sprays: Any kind of spray item that is packed in an aerosol can is considered hazardous. For example, hairspray, shampoo, deos, etc.

Fragrances: Alcohol-based perfumes, colognes, aftershave etc., fall under this category.

Pressurised cream or foams: Shaving creams or foams that are stored under pressure are also termed hazardous because they are stored under pressure.

Nail Polish and Nail Polish Remover: These fall in the category of flammable stuff, hence they are considered hazardous.

Most of the cosmetics items are flammable. Transporting these items needs to be done with proper precautions as there is a risk of ignition. 

Can You Mail Cosmetics and Perfumes?

Mailing cosmetics should be done cautiously as the rules and regulations for each shipping carrier might be different. Here are some quick rules by USPS, UPS, DHL and FedEx.

Rules of USPS:

  • You can send non-flammable and non-hazardous liquids via USPS, but it has to be packed in a waterproof container that is sealed well.
  • The package must be marked with orientation arrows and also need to mention the type of liquid that is packed on the label.
  • If the quantity is more than 4 ounces then the packaging must be made three times safer. Always pack the container initially with a padding material to avoid breaking. Then you need to place it in a leak-proof packaging material, which can help absorb the item in case of damage or spill. Finally, it must be placed in a sturdy box, which is specially made for shipping such items. 
  • If the perfumes contain traces of alcohol then they should not be shipped internationally or domestically. If you are shipping such perfumes, then you can do it via road or rail using USPS.

Rules of FedEx:

  • To ship perfumes, waterproof containers for liquids with a sealable lid must be used. The bottle should be wrapped enough with a padded material. If you are packing more than one such similar bottle, then each bottle should be wrapped individually and also insulation must be wrapped around each bottle.
  • Any kind of absorbent materials like insulators must be used as well as inner packing too.
  • Use waterproof or leak proof material while packing.
  • Always use sturdy and rigid outer packing to prevent the bottles from any external damages.

Rules of UPS:

UPS has laid no specific rules when it comes to shipping perfumes and makeup accessories. They follow similar guidelines to that of FedEx. UPS requires a special contract to ship such items. Anything that is termed as “dangerous goods” must be shipped following the ADR regulations.

Rules of DHL:

DHL does have their expertise in shipping dangerous goods under the guidance of Dangerous Goods experts who guide how to ship these items safely. 

What Are The Rules And Regulations For Shipping Cosmetics And Perfumes?

If you are shipping cosmetics or perfumes, there are certain rules and regulations laid by the U.S, the Department of Transportation (DOT).  Here are some major points to keep in mind.

  • Anyone who is shipping cosmetics and perfumes to anyone must be registered and have paid the appropriate fees to ship such items.
  • The items must be packed well and must clearly be labelled with proper descriptions.
  • The paperwork must be clear and precise.

How Do You Package Perfume and Makeup Accessories for Shipping?

Packing beauty products, perfumes and makeup items in the right way is essential and key to proper shipping. Here are some tips to do it rightly.

Packing Materials Needed:

  • Cardboard box: Always use a rigid and sturdy box that will be the outermost layer of the packaging. Make sure it is a bit larger so you can easily put insulation against the walls.
  • Thermal bubble wrap: Most of the cosmetics are temperature-sensitive items, hence you need to protect them from any temperature changes during transit.
  • Leak-proof and sealed containers: These are used to protect bottles of liquids.
  • Proper Packaging material: You need to make use of materials like packing peanuts, crumpled paper, and corrugated crumpled cardboard to prevent the container from any unexpected movement in transit.
  • Adhesive tape and scissors.

How to Pack Perfumes and Makeup items Safely

Here are some methods to keep in mind to ship perfumes and makeup items safely.

  • It is important to mention the ingredients of the shipment carefully on the shipping labels especially when it comes to international shipping. It is important as most shipping carriers do not allow the shipping of hazardous items via air.
  • The Shipping services are usually limited to the weight and volume of the item. Hence, if you want to ship anything specific, ensure that you restrict the volume of the items carefully.
  • Every country has their own set of rules and regulations, hence it is important to know about them beforehand. 
  • Make use of symbolic labels that will ensure that your items are safely handled when in transit.
  • Remember that you need to pay extra, for special handling charges for hazardous and dangerous items.
  • Make sure you use the right marking and descriptions on the shipping label while shipping.

How to Ship Perfumes and Makeup accessories

Here are some steps to ensure you ship perfumes and makeup accessories safely.

  1. Pack the perfumes and cosmetics carefully.
  2. Find the rules and regulations of the shipping origin and destination countries.
  3. Find out the best shipping rates and choose wisely for shipping. You can make use of shipping calculators to find out the shipping rates.

Perfumes and makeup accessories fall under hazardous items, hence it is important to ensure that you provide the HS Tariff number in the product information settings, in your store before you sell them. 

ship perfumes and makeup accessories safely

Once these data are provided for the products, you can also enable the items for special shipping services, which can be chosen in your store easily.

ship perfumes and makeup accessories safely

Once the items are classified into these special categories, you can ship them as per the guidelines mentioned in the shipping rules and regulations. You can also add the specific UN Number for the product to categorize them very specifically.

ship perfumes and makeup accessories safely

These UN numbers can be mentioned on the shipping labels.

ship perfumes and makeup accessories safely

You can achieve these by automating the shipping process in your WooCommerce store using several shipping plugins like:

Each of these plugins can help you ship hazardous, prohibited items strictly following the rules and regulations as per the shipping guidelines domestically and internationally.

Final Thoughts…

Shipping liquids like perfumes and other makeup accessories is quite a task, but again not impossible when following the right rules and regulations. Following the shipping guidelines as suggested by the shipping carriers will help you ship such dangerous and hazardous items safely.

Further Reading:

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FedEx Ground vs. UPS Groundhttps://elextensions.com/fedex-ground-vs-ups-ground/ https://elextensions.com/fedex-ground-vs-ups-ground/#respond Wed, 05 May 2021 22:18:50 +0000 https://elextensions.com/?p=46875 In this article, we are going to compare the two best ground shipping services, FedEx Ground vs. UPS Ground. Earlier we did a comparative study on UPS Vs FedEx too. What is Ground Shipping? Ground shipping refers to a shipping model, where the packages are shipped via ground. To deliver across locations, these services use…

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In this article, we are going to compare the two best ground shipping services, FedEx Ground vs. UPS Ground. Earlier we did a comparative study on UPS Vs FedEx too.

What is Ground Shipping?

Ground shipping refers to a shipping model, where the packages are shipped via ground. To deliver across locations, these services use vans and delivery trucks. Here we are comparing two popular ground shipping services – FedEx Ground and UPS Ground.

Before we go ahead, here are a few things to keep in mind while using ground shipping:

  • UPS Ground and FedEx Ground can be used to ship all kinds of items, be it small or large. The only thing you are not allowed to ship is freight, for which you need to make use of specialized freight services. 
  • Using Ground shipping, you are not allowed to ship hazardous items to certain locations. For example, you are not allowed to ship hazardous items to and from Alaska and Hawaii. The charges are higher for shipping hazardous or restricted items. You can always go for FedEx Express or any such services that can deliver you the items overnight in a secured manner, but the shipping and handling charges will be higher.
  • This service is ideal for small to medium-sized businesses and will be cost-effective if they use their own packaging options. You can also go for weight-based packaging options, which do minimize the cost to a greater extent.

What is FedEx Ground?

FedEx Ground offers quick ground shipping options throughout the US. This was established in 1985 as a small package delivery company called Roadway Package System. Later it was acquired by the FDX Corporation in 1998 and was rebranded as FedEx Ground in 2000. Now it offers the best quick and affordable delivery option for numerous customers throughout the US locations using ground services.

FedEx Ground Services

Let us get to know some of the features of FedEx Ground service. Here are some of them:

  • Estimated delivery time ranges from 1-5 business days in the US and 3-7 days for Hawaii and Alaska.
  • The service is available from Monday to Friday.
  • Sadly no weekend deliveries.
  • Deliveries are available in 50 US states.
  • The weight limit is 150 pounds whereas length must be 108 inches and girth must be 10 inches.
  • The service offers guaranteed delivery.
  • Do not offer P.O Box deliveries.
  • Offers better tracking options.
  • Offer up to $100 guaranteed insurance.
  • You also get a scheduled delivery option.
  • The service offers paid package pickup.
  • It offers a maximum of three delivery attempts.
  • Offer paid pick-up for packages.
  • The import taxes can be made payable by sender and receiver.

What is UPS Ground?

The UPS Ground is yet another reliable ground shipping option available. It is the most economic option, which helps you ship items to anywhere in the US within a few days.

UPS Ground Service Details

UPS Ground services also have some specific features that you need to know about:

  • Estimated delivery is about 1-6 days in the US.
  • The maximum weight limit is 150 pounds.
  • The delivery is available all over 50 states.
  • Delivery is available from Monday to Friday.
  • They do not offer weekend deliveries.
  • Offer guaranteed delivery.
  • The P.O Box deliveries are not available.
  • You get $100 worth of insurance.
  • Offer a maximum of three delivery attempts when not available at the desired address.
  • Do not offer to pick up services or scheduled delivery options.
  • No handling of import taxes.

Is FedEx Ground Cheaper Than UPS Ground?

It is hard to compare both these services, and their rates, as the rates purely depend on the weight and dimensions of the package as well as the destination. You can make use of the shipping calculator to find out the shipping rates between different regions with popular shipping carriers. This will help you find what best suits you.

Is UPS Ground or FedEx Ground Faster?

If you are comparing the speed of delivery, then you should know the expanse of the area to which they deliver. If you see, FedEx does provide an online virtual map, which shows the estimated delivery time and area of the shipments. The map is quite beneficial when it comes to finding out the number of days it takes to deliver in an area.

FedEx Ground vs. UPS Ground

UPS also has an option for its customers to know the estimated time of delivery in the US locations. All you need to do is enter the date of shipping and the zip code. It will show the time transit map for UPS Ground shipping.

FedEx Ground vs. UPS Ground

The map gives complete details regarding the transit time from one zip code to another.

FedEx Ground vs. UPS Ground

Does WooCommerce allow shipping using FedEx Ground and UPS Ground?

Directly WooCommerce does not allow shipping with FedEx Ground and UPS Ground, but yes you can make use of external shipping plugins that will help you integrate these shipping options on your WooCommerce store. WooCommerce shipping features can be extended with the help of premium shipping plugins.

Here to include FedEX Ground and UPS Ground shipping, we can make use of ELEX EasyPost (FedEx, UPS, Canada Post & USPS) Shipping & Label Printing Plugin for WooCommerce.

The plugin lets you include these shipping services on your WooCommerce store. You can fetch live shipping rates on your store easily. Moreover, you can also print shipping labels and also track the shipment easily right from the store. The plugin also lets you list out other services offered by FedEx and UPS and then choose what suits you the best.

FedEx Ground vs. UPS Ground

Learn more about the shipping plugin on their product page.

FedEx Ground vs UPS Ground: Choose the Shipping Solution That Works for You

If you are looking for affordable ground shipping options, then FedEx Ground and UPS Ground are two popular shipping options for you. The main advantage of FedEx Ground over UPS Ground is that it has a superior tracking system, which makes it an ideal choice for many eCommerce companies. FedEx Ground also offers pickup options and scheduled delivery options. However, for time-sensitive delivery, UPS is a better option.

Further Reading:

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UPS SurePost: What You Need to Knowhttps://elextensions.com/ups-surepost/ https://elextensions.com/ups-surepost/#respond Wed, 28 Apr 2021 00:07:41 +0000 https://elextensions.com/?p=46459 eCommerce has grown incredibly popular in 2020 with the majority of retail shoppers purchasing from online stores, according to online surveys. This has contributed to the need for reliable and fast shipping services. UPS SurePost is one of the best known UPS shipping services, which is an affordable, residential ground service. Here we get to…

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eCommerce has grown incredibly popular in 2020 with the majority of retail shoppers purchasing from online stores, according to online surveys. This has contributed to the need for reliable and fast shipping services. UPS SurePost is one of the best known UPS shipping services, which is an affordable, residential ground service. Here we get to know in detail about UPS SurePost. 

What is UPS SurePost?

UPS SurePost is a fast, reliable and affordable option for eCommerce businesses. It combines the reliability of UPS and the final delivery is offered by USPS. It is like a hybrid of both USPS and UPS as it combines features of both shipping services. This service is mostly used by retailers who ship orders weighing less than 10 pounds.

This service also offers post office pickups and even delivery of packages right at the doorstep of the customer. The shipments can be sent from 48 contiguous states of the US to all 50 American states, as well as Puerto Rico and other US territories also military destinations, and PO boxes. However, the UPS SurePost services are available beyond the borders to international destinations.

How Much Do You Save Using UPS SurePost?

UPS SurePost rates are quite affordable as the services are mostly meant to be for domestic delivery only. The charges levied by them include:

  • UPS SurePost Less – this allows sending parcels that weigh less than 1lb and also do not exceed 130” in volume.
  • UPS SurePost 1lb or Greater – these services are meant for heavier packages, but should not exceed 130” in volume.
  • UPS SurePost Bound Printed Matter – this service is used specifically for shipping books and printed materials.
  • UPS SurePost Media – this service is meant for packages weighing between 50lbs-70lbs and is restricted to send only binders, films, and medical binders.

Let’s take a look at the charges roughly applied for UPS SurePost while:

Shipping from Florida to NewYork

  • UPS Ground Residential – $13.64
  • UPS SurePost Residential – $10.52
  • Saving – $3.12

Shipping from Florida to California

  • UPS Ground Residential – $15.04
  • UPS SurePost – $11.92
  • Saving – $3.12

Find more about the shipping rates while shipping with UPS SurePost here.

Remember you need to pay extra charges when your package weight exceeds the weight limitations mentioned by UPS. For example, if the package’s dimensions are more than 17 inches but less than 30 inches, you need to pay an additional $2.50 approximately. But the best part of this service is that it doesn’t charge you extra for weekend deliveries.

How Long Does UPS SurePost Take to Deliver?

Timely delivery is an important aspect when it comes to eCommerce. Most online business owners are looking for options to deliver goods timely without compromising the quality of the service. UPS SurePost does deliver within 2-7 days apart from other regular deliveries. It also offers weekend (Saturday) delivery services to most of the locations.

How Do I Track UPS SurePost?

UPS SurePost offers delivery in conjunction with USPS across locations. Hence the tracking service is also done in conjunction with USPS. While in the case of FedEx shipping service once the package is handed over to USPS, the tracking number needs to be changed, but with UPS SurePost, this is not required as the tracking can be done using the UPS tracking number itself.

Normally in the case of UPS shipping, a signature is required while delivering the package, but in the case of this service, a signature is not mandatory. The delivery happens securely at the given address. Before sending the package for delivery, the customers are notified about the package being sent for delivery.

Few Things to do before using UPS SurePost

Here are a few things that you need to ensure before using the service.

  1. Choose a shipper and a perfect profile.
  2. Mention the address to which the item is shipped to.
  3. Provide the address from which the item is being shipped from.
  4. Enter the package weight and dimensions.
  5. Choose the service type and endorsement type (if applicable).
  6. Mention the reference numbers for shipping.
  7. Enter the package description clearly on the box.
  8. Mention if in any special instructions to be followed.
  9. Enter package ID on the package.
  10. Get printouts of the UPS SurePost label for your package and Customs Declaration CN 22 form (if this box is checked).

If these above-mentioned steps are followed, it will help you track any UPS SurePost lost packages also. Ensure that you mention the return policies on the package on the shipping label. It is also important to indicate who bears the transportation cost, the shipper or the receiver. 

Who Should Use This Service?

For any business, before choosing the shipping option, it is important to check whether by using this service the business is benefitting or not. The next thing you need to make sure of is whether you need to use ground service or UPS SurePost. The UPS SurePost Services works for businesses if any of the following applies:

  • You are shipping a large number of packages every week
  • When the last-mile delivery costs are more
  • Your shipments are not urgent

Pros and Cons of this Service

Like all other services, UPS SurePost also has its pros and cons. Here are a few things to be considered.

Pros:

  • No extra costs for Saturday delivery.
  • Increased weekly spend.
  • Unified tracking services for packages.
  • Reduced shipping costs.

Cons:

  • Slower delivery time, compared to other services.
  • Shipping items must be packed in your boxes.
  • The unified tracking can be confusing at times.
  • Do not allow to ship from outside the contiguous 48 US states.

UPS SurePost Vs Other Services

If you compare the UPS SurePost services with other UPS Ground services, then you can see that the speed of delivery, the tracking, as well as the cost and the packaging, are better in the case of other UPS Ground services. If you are looking for last-mile delivery options in a cost-effective manner, then UPS SurePost is ideal as it offers services just like FedEx SmartPost services.

How to Integrate UPS Services into your WooCommerce store?

If you are looking to offer UPS services to your customers, then you can easily include the UPS shipping services using the ELEX EasyPost (FedEx, UPS, Canada Post & USPS) Shipping & Label Printing Plugin for WooCommerce.

The plugin is ideal for providing real-time shipping rates for your customers and helping them choose the right service according to their needs.

UPS SurePost

Also, as shown in the image above, you can show the estimated delivery dates along with the service and the overall cost of the shipment.  Moreover, the plugin also helps you track the shipment in transit as well as print requisite shipping labels for the package.

UPS SurePost

If you want to include UPS services in the list of services you can choose the service from the UPS services listed in the plugin.

UPS SurePost

Currently, UPS SurePost service is not available with us, but if you would like to obtain the service for your WooCommerce store, you can always contact ELEX Support.

Use UPS SurePost for your Business Rightly

After careful consideration from the above factors, you can see that UPS SurePost does seem to be an economical option for businesses to consider for their shipping needs. The UPS SurePost has its own merits and demerits, but again it is the most affordable option that is ideal for last-mile delivery and also if you require Saturday deliveries.

Further Reading:

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How to Set Up a Simple & Efficient Open Source Help Desk Management System for Insurance and Registration Agencies?https://elextensions.com/open-source-help-desk-system-insurance-registration-agencies/ https://elextensions.com/open-source-help-desk-system-insurance-registration-agencies/#respond Tue, 27 Apr 2021 14:49:56 +0000 https://elextensions.com/?p=46913 Nurturing a great relationship with customers would make a great impact in the growth of your business. When it comes to insurance organizations, customers need to connect with the agents frequently regarding the policies, payments, agreements, etc. So it is necessary to provide a portal for customers to connect with the insurance company. Customers would…

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Nurturing a great relationship with customers would make a great impact in the growth of your business. When it comes to insurance organizations, customers need to connect with the agents frequently regarding the policies, payments, agreements, etc. So it is necessary to provide a portal for customers to connect with the insurance company.

Customers would reach you through multiple sources such as email, phone calls, SMS, etc., if they have any queries to ask. Mostly, when it comes to insurance companies, customers depend on email and phone calls to connect with the support team. These queries through multiple resources must be coordinated in a single platform to provide solutions to them one by one based on the priority and urgency. So, the queries must be converted into trackable tickets and passed to a platform for solving them systematically. That is why all organizations require a help desk system!

Why is a help desk system necessary for your insurance or registration agency?

In insurance companies, there will be new policyholders, customers who would like to take a new policy, those who need to renew the existing policy, and so on.

When a person needs to take an insurance policy, they need to sit with an insurance agent to discuss their requirements and the purpose of taking the policy. Nowadays, customers send their concerns online rather than visiting the office. Hence, if you leave a portal on your website, they can leave the query through using a help desk system. They can schedule an appointment with the agent and discuss the policy. The agent can give the full details of different policies and help them to pick the best suitable one. Similarly, the agents need to assist them in payment, renewal of the policy, regarding the interest, legal procedures, and so on. Hence, with a help desk system, the customers and agents can communicate in a systematic manner.

Help desk systems convert these queries into tickets and list them on an intuitive interface from where your agents can take up the queries. You can assign support team members as agents and add them to the help desk system. Or, the admin can check a query and assign it to the right person who is dealing with that specific department.

Other benefits of using a help desk system are as follows:

  • Agents can log in to a single platform and receive queries from multiple resources.
  • Agents or admin can create tickets on behalf of customers who are not technically skilled.
  • Can keep a digital record of conversation and communication between the customers.
  • Customers, as well as admin, can track the status of the ticket as and when required.
  • Can trigger timely notifications to the agents to close the tickets within a specific time, etc.

As you know, insurance companies need to pass confidential details to customers and vise versa. So, the communication must be protected and must ensure 100% security. So, you can assign role-based access to certain tickets to ensure they are handled by specific agents only. So, customers can pass their data through the system safely.

There are many more benefits of using a help desk system in insurance and other registration agencies. You can choose any help desk system in the market, which satisfies all your requirements.

But, all help desk systems come with a default set of features. So, there is a chance that the help desk system you choose may not contain a feature you require. Or, your profession is totally different from other professions as no help desk system is available to accommodate the features needed for your organization. In such a case, you can go for an open source help desk system.

So, what is an open source help desk system? And, how does it differ from a normal help desk system available in the market?

How does an open source help desk system differ from normal help desk systems in the market?

Open source help desk systems’ source code will be freely available for the public to download, tweak, and use according to specific needs. Other help desk systems available in the market may not be flexible enough to alter according to customers’ requirements and accommodate a custom feature they need in their organization.

Open source help desk systems can be personalized according to the client’s requirements. The source code can be obtained from the help desk team or from the repository where they have published for the public. With the help of an in-house developer or third party, you can tweak the code as you require.

But, there will be some drawbacks if you alter the system with a third-party or developer who was not a part of the basic development of the open source help desk system. There, systems like Open Source HelpDesk & Customer Support Ticketing System – Simple & Flexible helps customers to personalize the help desk system by their expert team.

It will be good if a help desk system is tweaked by its developer itself. They would know the nitty-gritty detailing of the open source help desk system, which will be helpful to personalize the system according to the client’s requirements.

Open Source HelpDesk & Customer Support Ticketing System – Simple & Flexible

This open source help desk system is highly flexible to alter according to the customers’ requirements and profession. You can even change the system from scratch using coding. It works well on any website platform such as WordPress, Wix, WooCommerce, Shopify, etc. And, with the help of the expert team behind the system, you can incorporate any third-party tools and software. If you are currently using any help desk system and need a migration, you can do that with the help of their team without losing a single ticket.

Its IMAP and Google OAuth integration will help you to seamlessly convert the queries received in multiple email IDs to tickets and pass them to the help desk system. Its efficient ticket management is worth mentioning.

You can reach them 24/7 if you encounter any technical glitches or need assistance to solve any issues. Other features of this open source help desk system are as follows:

  • Unlimited agents.
  • Allows storing the customers’ data on their own server.
  • Helps to deploy the system as a subdomain of the main website.
  • Can also be used as an out-of-the-box solution if you are convinced with its default features.
  • Efficient knowledge base integration.
  • 24/7 expert consultation.
  • Option to choose the managed hosting plan.

Based on the number of tickets you need to manage in a day, you can choose a subscription plan such as Starter, Pro, or Ultimate.

Open-Source-Helpdesk-System-Pricing-Chart

Let us check an example of an open source help desk system configured for an insurance company.

Step 1: Install the WSDesk – ELEX WordPress Helpdesk & Customer Support Ticket System plugin.

To know more about the subscription, installation, and activation of the plugin, refer to the article: How to set up WSDesk – WordPress Helpdesk Plugin?

Step 2: Create a form to be featured on your website.

For that, go to the Plugin Settings > Ticket Settings > Ticket Fields > Add required fields under Active Fields > Click Save Changes.

Check the screenshot below:

As you can see, I have added fields for name, email, subject, phone, and description to be filled up by the customers. And, I have added a drop-down pick-up list to choose a concern for asking questions regarding that topic. Also, added a field for choosing a date for scheduling an appointment with the agent. This form would display on the website as in the screenshot below:

How to Set Up a Simple & Efficient Open Source Help Desk Management System for Insurance and Registration Agencies? | example of form

Check an example of a filled up form by the customer in the screenshot below:

How to Set Up a Simple & Efficient Open Source Help Desk Management System for Insurance and Registration Agencies? | filled up form

This customer needs to know about new policies available. Hence, they have chosen the ‘New Policy’ option and chosen a date to fix the appointment.

They can click the Submit Request button after filling up the form.

Step 3: Assign the tickets to agents and solve them.

The tickets submitted by the customers will be received on the help desk dashboard from where you can open and assign the tickets to the concerned agent. Check the screenshot below:

How to Set Up a Simple & Efficient Open Source Help Desk Management System for Insurance and Registration Agencies? | ticket view

You can open the ticket and assign it to the concerned agent. Check the screenshot below:

You can enter the response and send them with the status. Here, I have chosen the status ‘Solved’. Check the screenshot below:

How to Set Up a Simple & Efficient Open Source Help Desk Management System for Insurance and Registration Agencies? | sending reply

The ticket raiser can check the status of the existing tickets and all previous tickets they have raised on the portal as in the screenshot below:

How to Set Up a Simple & Efficient Open Source Help Desk Management System for Insurance and Registration Agencies? | existing ticket status

When they click on the link, they will be redirected to the page on which they can continue the communication. Check the screenshot below:

How to Set Up a Simple & Efficient Open Source Help Desk Management System for Insurance and Registration Agencies? | communication portal

This is how it works. You can set up a help desk system according to your requirements by discussing it with the support team.

To sum up,

Customer support is an integral part of insurance organizations. You need to assist customers to choose a perfect policy for them and continue the support till their policy duration expires. Or, even after the expiry of the policy, you need to be with them while completing the procedures. With this open source help desk system, you can configure a support platform that will completely satisfy your customers.

Further Reading:

 

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How to Correctly Fill Out a Customs Form For International Shippinghttps://elextensions.com/customs-form-for-international-shipping/ https://elextensions.com/customs-form-for-international-shipping/#respond Fri, 23 Apr 2021 15:30:09 +0000 https://elextensions.com/?p=46330 If you want to get your shipments to clear the customs process, it is important to fill out a customs form for international shipping correctly. When it comes to international shipments, the paperwork is huge, but it is worth the focus. Hence you need to be careful while filling out a customs form for international…

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If you want to get your shipments to clear the customs process, it is important to fill out a customs form for international shipping correctly. When it comes to international shipments, the paperwork is huge, but it is worth the focus. Hence you need to be careful while filling out a customs form for international shipping.

The best part of correctly filling out a customs form for international shipping is that it will reach your customers across borders safely. With any unclear and wrong documents attached with the packages, there might be problems arising and might cause unwanted delays.

Why Are Customs Forms Used in International Shipping Procedures?

Customs forms are used to declare the value of goods, the contents, etc. It is also considered as an act of your acknowledgement that you comply with the shipping laws of both the origin and the destination countries. It is important to know that any item that enters a country is subject to inspection by the local customs. As part of the scrutiny, they examine everything about the package and their duties and taxes. In short, the customs form is the passport for your packages to enter the country.

Always ensure that the information you enter in the customs forms is accurate and legible. If any information goes amiss, then your package will be held for further inspection. And if they suspect any foul play, they even destroy the package or keep it for further detailed investigations. Any goods that enter the country are subject to customs and duties and the authorities decide upon the charges and whether they need to be applied to the packages after careful consideration.

Do All Carriers Require a Customs Form?

Yes. All the shipping carriers have their own set of rules and regulations when it comes to customs and duties. The customs form is a prime requisite when it comes to international shipping. The only exception is Switzerland and the European Union, wherein if you ship between the countries in these regions, you don’t need a customs form. It is important to fill out all these forms before you send any parcels via shipping services internationally. You can make use of proper shipping plugins that will help you automatically generate shipping documents without many hassles.

USPS

USPS is one of the commonly used shipping options in the US to ship domestically and internationally. USPS needs a customs form to be filled for every package that is shipped. There are again exceptions like for example when shipping a package that weighs less than 16oz through First Class Mail International you won’t need any customs form since they are mostly shipping documents. You can easily get the customs form printed from the USPS online. Or else you can make use of ELEX WooCommerce USPS Shipping Plugin with Print Label and print shipping labels and customs forms from within WooCommerce.

Customs Form For International Shipping

Make sure you research the customs criteria for each country before you ship anything.

You can print and attach the label generated on the package or in a plastic envelope outside the package carefully.

FedEx

FedEx is known for its quick and fast delivery options. It also requires you to fill out the basic customs related forms before you send any shipment via FedEx. For shipping, you need to put in the right quantity of packaged items, like the number of items packed, why you are sending them and even what it is worth. Please remember, vague information is not gonna help you deliver the package to your customers. If you want to ensure your FedEx documents are clear and precise, you can automate the process of printing the labels from your store, where you can easily include all the necessary data regarding the package fetched from the store onto the shipping label.

Customs Form For International Shipping

For example, as shown in the above shipping label, if you are shipping some item that requires dry ice, then you can also mention the same on the shipping label, without hiding the same. The shipping plugin like ELEX EasyPost Shipping Method Plugin for WooCommerce helps to print the necessary information you need for your package to be delivered to your customers without being held at the customs.

UPS

UPS is again a popular shipping option when it comes to international shipping. It also has a set of customs clearance processes that lets you deliver the packages without much delay or penalties ensuring complete customs compliance. By making use of ELEX EasyPost Shipping Method Plugin for WooCommerce to print necessary shipping documents like shipping labels right from your online store, you will be able to provide necessary documents mentioned by UPS for shipping internationally. 

Customs Form For International Shipping

DHL

DHL shipping does comply with every country they offer to ship. Hence it is important to make clear and precise declarations for all the packages you are shipping via DHL. You need to provide the basic information required for your items. You can do so by including the very important HS Tariff Number for your products that is mandatory for international shipping.

Customs Form For International Shipping

As you can see, in the above image,  you can provide the HS tariff number, the country of manufacturer, the signature options and even mention special services for DHL shipping for your product.  There are various DHL special Services offered which can also be clearly chosen for your product depending upon what you are shipping.

Customs Form For International Shipping

Depending on the special service chosen, the shipping label will also contain the specific code or UN number printed to ensure that the package is adhering to the customs guidelines. The ELEX WooCommerce DHL Express / eCommerce / Paket Shipping Plugin with Print Label helps you print a fully compliant waybill for your WooCommerce store which looks like as shown in the image below:

Customs Form For International Shipping

If the shipping item is among prohibited or restricted ones, then the shipping label will also show the same.

Customs Form For International Shipping

And finally, the plugin has an option to print a Commercial Invoice and contains details as required by competent authorities.

Customs Form For International Shipping

The commercial invoice is an important document when it comes to shipping internationally.

How to Fill Out a Customs Form For International Shipping

You need to be quite focused when you are filling out customs forms for international shipments. The customs clearance process involves stringent checks. Hence you need to be extremely cautious while filling out the form. Here are some of the required details:

  • Name and complete address of the sender
  • Complete address and name of the receiver
  • Item description(s) (if there are several different products in the same package, list them all separately)
  • Quantity of items packed
  • Value of each item(s)
  • Weight and dimensions of the package
  • Date of sending the package
  • Invoice number for the package
  • Terms of payment for the items
  • Procedure to follow for non-deliverable parcels

The above-mentioned data can be either included in the commercial invoice or the shipping label or any of the dedicated customs documents for the package.

Special Requirements for Customs

The export-import laws differ with countries. Hence you need to take care of additional special requirements when it comes to shipping to such countries.

  • US, Canada, Mexico, and the Philippines require Automated Manifest System (AMS) declaration.
  • All EU countries require an Entry Summary Declaration (ENS).
  • Australia, the US, Japan, Canada, Korea, Brazil, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Israel, Panama, Chile requires the fumigation of wood products.
  • Cambodia, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Doha, UAE, Canada, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka require an origin certificate declaration.

Mistakes to Avoid With Your Customs Labels

It is important to be very diligent when you are filling out customs forms. Always ensure to be careful and honest when you are filling out the details, as it decides your credibility when you are shipping internationally. 

Here are some mistakes to avoid:

  • Incorrect information about the sender or receiver or value of the item you are shipping.
  • Wrong declaration of items that are packaged, especially the item code and the quantity.
  • Avoid providing the wrong value of the packaged item, as it will be considered fraud.
  • Entering incorrect product information can also cause shipment delays.
  • Wrong information on hazardous and even restricted goods.
  • Attaching the barcode or forms incorrectly on the items.

Ship Globally with Accurate information on Customs Forms

Grow your business internationally with accurate international shipping. When you are shipping internationally, it is also important to know and understand the duties and taxes for each country. Also, ensure that your items are not getting stuck at the customs by following the essential international shipping guidelines

Further Reading:

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How to Bulk Convert Simple Products to Variable Products on your WooCommerce Site?https://elextensions.com/bulk-convert-simple-products-to-variable-products-woocommerce/ https://elextensions.com/bulk-convert-simple-products-to-variable-products-woocommerce/#respond Fri, 23 Apr 2021 12:04:05 +0000 https://elextensions.com/?p=46802 Simple products and variable products are the most common product types in the WooCommerce ecosystem. Simple products are unique and stand-alone products that you can sell through WooCommerce stores. Variable products will allow you to sell different variations of the same product with control over price, stock, image, etc. It is quite easy to convert…

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Simple products and variable products are the most common product types in the WooCommerce ecosystem. Simple products are unique and stand-alone products that you can sell through WooCommerce stores. Variable products will allow you to sell different variations of the same product with control over price, stock, image, etc.

It is quite easy to convert a simple product to a variable product and vise versa for individual products. You can simply go to the product page dashboard and configure it. Check the following example.

In this example, let us check how we can convert an individual simple product into a variable product.

Go to the product page dashboard and navigate to the Product data meta box. Check the below screenshot:

How to Bulk Convert Simple Products to Variable Products on your WooCommerce Site? | simple product dashboard

As you can see in the above screenshot, you can click the drop-down pick-up list and choose the Variable product.

The next step is to add the variations. For that, you need to choose the attributes and values added to your WooCommerce store. Go to the Attributes tab. Check the screenshot below:

How to Bulk Convert Simple Products to Variable Products on your WooCommerce Site? | add attributes

Here, you can either add custom product attributes and/or add the global attributes available in your WooCommerce store.

If you choose the Custom product attribute, you can add the attribute name and their values separated by the pipeline(|) symbol. Check the screenshot below:

How to Bulk Convert Simple Products to Variable Products on your WooCommerce Site? | new custom attribute

As you can see, I have added a custom attribute Style and added the values as Sweat T-Shirt and T-Shirt since the product is a hoodie.

Then enable the options Visible on the product page and Used for variations. After adding the details, click the Save attributes button.

If you choose a global attribute, you can simply choose the required attribute values from the drop-down pick-up list. Check an example in the screenshot below:

How to Bulk Convert Simple Products to Variable Products on your WooCommerce Site? | adding a global attribute

As you can see, I have chosen the attribute Size and chosen the values Large, Medium, and Small.

After adding the required attributes, click Save attributes.

Then, you can go to the Variations tab.

How to Bulk Convert Simple product to Variable product on your WooCommerce Site? | creating variations

There you can add variations according to your requirements by choosing the Add variation option. Check the screenshot below:

How to Bulk Convert Simple product to Variable product on your WooCommerce Site? | creating variations

You can choose the required attribute values one by one and create the variations. If you need to create all possible combinations of attributes, you can choose to Create variations from all attributes. It will generate all combinations of attributes as in the screenshot below:

How to Bulk Convert Simple product to Variable product on your WooCommerce Site? | all combination of attributes

You can click each row of attribute combinations and add the required values such as their individual price, stock availability, etc. Check the screenshot below:

How to Bulk Convert Simple product to Variable product on your WooCommerce Site? | individual variation details

You can add the price and details of each variation one by one and update the product page.

It will reflect on the product page as in the screenshot below:

Customers can choose a variation by selecting the attribute values on the product page.

This is how you can convert a simple product into a variable using the WooCommerce default option. But if you need to convert a large number of products, you need to use a bulk edit plugin since there is no default bulk conversion option in WooCommerce.

Now, let us check how to bulk convert simple products to variable products using a WooCommerce bulk edit plugin – ELEX WooCommerce Advanced Bulk Edit Products, Prices & Attributes.

Bulk Convert Simple Products to Variable Products with ELEX WooCommerce Advanced Bulk Edit Products, Prices & Attributes

This bulk edit plugin comes with a number of advanced filtering options to bulk edit selected products. You can seamlessly bulk edit different product attributes along with custom attributes. Also, you can execute the bulk edit operation immediately, or schedule it for a future date. And, you can set a frequency to repeat the execution as well as a date to revert to the previous values.

ELEX WooCommerce Advanced Bulk Edit Products, Prices & Attributes

You can filter the products based on the following attributes:

  • Product Title
  • Product Tags
  • Product Types
  • Stock Status
  • Product Categories
  • Product Regular Price
  • Description
  • Short Description
  • Product Attributes
  • Custom Attributes

You can bulk edit the following product attributes with this plugin:

  • Product title
  • Product SKU
  • Product Visibility
  • Featured Product
  • Product Type
  • Shipping class
  • Product Visibility Status
  • Sale Price and Regular Price
  • Managing stocks
  • Stock quantity
  • Allowing backorders
  • Stock status
  • Product Length, Width, Height, and Weight
  • Global product attributes
  • Product variations
  • Featured Product
  • Description Action
  • Short Description Action
  • Product Image
  • Product Gallery Images Action
  • Tax Status & Tax Class
  • Interchange Attribute Values of Product Variations
  • Create Variations from All Attributes
  • Delete Action

To know how to subscribe, install and activate the plugin on your WooCommerce store, refer to the article: How to set up ELEX Bulk Edit Products, Prices & Attributes for WooCommerce plugin?

After the activation of the plugin, the first step is to filter the products.

Here, we need to filter simple products. You can also add additional filters as per your requirements. Check the screenshot below:

How to Bulk Convert Simple product to Variable product on your WooCommerce Site? | filtering simple products

In the Product Types, you can choose Simple. Then click Preview Filtered Products.

You would see all filtered simple products with their basic details in a tab. You can remove some products from the bulk update if required before proceeding to the next step. Check the screenshot below:

How to Bulk Convert Simple product to Variable product on your WooCommerce Site? | preview page

If you are satisfied with the list, click Continue.

In the next step, you can bulk edit the product attributes. Check the screenshot below:

How to Bulk Convert Simple product to Variable product on your WooCommerce Site? | change product type

You can go to the Change Product Type and choose the Variable option. Then click Continue.

The next step is to execute the bulk edit. You can enable the options to save the update as a job, revert to the last update for making the Undo option available, and creating a log file. You can also enter a name for the update if required. Check the screenshot below:

How to Bulk Convert Simple product to Variable product on your WooCommerce Site? | perform bulk edit immediately

You can also schedule the bulk edit on a future date. You can choose a future date and time to execute the bulk update and revert back to the previous values. Also, there is an option to choose a frequency of update as Daily, Weekly, or Monthly. You can enable the option to save it as a job and create a log file for the update. Check the screenshot below:

How to Bulk Convert Simple product to Variable product on your WooCommerce Site? | Scheduling update for later

Click Finish to complete the bulk edit process.

Now, you need to add variations to the products. For that, you can go to each product page dashboard and add the details as we discussed earlier in this article.

But, if you need to bulk update the variations, you can use this plugin itself. With this plugin, you can generate all possible combinations of attributes to create variations in bulk. Also, you can add a fixed regular price and sale price for the product variations.

To bulk update variations, filter the Variable products as we have done before. Check the screenshot below:

How to Bulk Convert Simple product to Variable product on your WooCommerce Site? | filtering variable products

After previewing the product, you can go to the bulk edit tab. There you can navigate to the Create Variations section.

There you can enable the option Create variations from all attributes and add regular price and sale price as per requirement. After that, proceed to update the bulk edit as we discussed above.

To know more about creating variations in bulk, refer to the article – How to Create Variations in Bulk on Your WooCommerce Site?

This is how you can bulk convert simple products to variable products.

Wrap Up

Sometimes you may have to convert simple products to variable products and vise versa according to the stock and product availability in your WooCommerce store. With this plugin, you can convert product types from one to another in a couple of clicks.

 

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Customs Clearance Process – All you need to Knowhttps://elextensions.com/customs-clearance-process/ https://elextensions.com/customs-clearance-process/#respond Thu, 22 Apr 2021 14:28:51 +0000 https://elextensions.com/?p=46092 Shopping from anywhere in the world has become easier with the internet. Most of the store owners are diligently working to ensure that they are adhering to the shipping rules and regulations. Getting through customs is one big hurdle, which needs to be done quite vigilantly. Hence before you start shipping internationally, you need to…

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Shopping from anywhere in the world has become easier with the internet. Most of the store owners are diligently working to ensure that they are adhering to the shipping rules and regulations. Getting through customs is one big hurdle, which needs to be done quite vigilantly. Hence before you start shipping internationally, you need to know more about the customs clearance process. So let’s take a look at it.

What is the Customs Clearance Process?

Any international shipment needs to go through customs before it is delivered to the customer. Customs clearance process is simply the act of moving goods through customs so that they can enter the country and reach the customer. Every country has its own rules and regulations when it comes to shipping. They have their import duties and taxes on goods that are crossing the border. These rules help to protect local businesses as well as earn revenue and protect the economy as well as the environment.

But again, what exactly happens at the customs office is something that remains an unanswered question in the minds of many merchants. All you need is a few sets of documents and some major things to keep in mind.

The Customs Clearance Process

Here are 4 major steps to get your packages through customs without much effort.

Firstly a customs officer examines your customs paperwork:

The customs officer examines the documents that are attached with the package, like the shipping label, the commercial invoice, etc. These documents must be accurate and complete. The commercial invoice is the most crucial one because it lists the contact information for the shipper, the receiver, as well as the export date and airway bill number. Here are some of the important documents that need to be present along with the package when you are shipping:

  • Purchase order
  • Commercial Invoice
  • Bill of Lading 
  • Export Packaging list
  • Airway Bill 
  • Letter of Credit
  • Dock/Warehouse Receipt
  • Certificate of origin
  • Insurance Certificate 
  • Export Licence

A Commercial invoice looks like as shown in the image below :

Customs Clearance Process

You can easily get a commercial invoice printed right from your WooCommerce store, for your DHL shipping service using the right integrating tool like the ELEX WooCommerce DHL Express / eCommerce / Paket Shipping Plugin with Print Label.

Remember to self assess your documents that you are affixing with the export items. It is important to self classify the items, their rate of duty, claim the exception notifications and the value of the goods.

Import duties and taxes are evaluated using the customs paperwork

The import duties and taxes vary according to the products, their type, their value and even the specific regulations concerning the receiving country. For import goods, the duties are assessed for the goods which exceed the de minimis value, or the minimum taxable threshold.

The shipping bills are then processed by the Risk Management System of the customs department, to ensure the correctness of the documents and then once verified will be given the Let Export Order (LEO). LEO is a green signal given by the customs authorities to the exporter when they have verified the shipment and are satisfied with the results.

Customs requests payment for taxes and duties, if it is applicable

When your item value exceeds the tax threshold, the customs officer checks whether the duty and taxes are paid or not. Again if the item falls under prohibited, restricted goods, then the charges may differ again regardless of their value. Another factor that needs to be determined is whether shipping is done with Delivery Duty Unpaid (DDU) and Delivery Duty Paid (DDP).

If you are processing your shipment with DDU, then for shipping carriers like FedEx, you can seek the help of customs brokers who can process the payment on behalf of the vendor and then get the package pass through customs. The custom brokerage charges are higher, as it includes storage fees, late payments and even the brokerage charges.

Get to know more about DDU Vs DDP.

Your shipment cleared customs once all duties are paid

Once the above steps are cleared, your shipment is ready to be sent to the customer. Shipments usually don’t get stuck at the customs, but again if it does, it is merely because they lack certain documents. Here’s what you need to do when your shipments get stuck at the customs.

How much time does your customs clearance take?

Usually, the customs clearance takes almost 24 hours. However, if your shipment lacks some paperwork, then it will take several days to get the package through customs clearance. 

Tips to avoid the delay in Customs Clearance Process

Here are some tips to avoid any kind of delay in the customs clearance process:

  1. Always declare the accurate value of the item.
  2. Keep multiple piece shipments together and label them individually.
  3. Ensure you attach all the necessary documents along with your shipment.
  4. Keep all the information consistent across all documents.
  5. List out each commodity separately and explain them with accurate description.
  6. Get a clear print of items origin /manufacturer details.
  7. Mention the contact details for both the consignee and the sender.

Final Stage of Customs Clearance Process 

The final stage of customs clearance includes the following:

  • Checking all the quantity of goods arrived, which includes the packing list, relevant documents and the invoice.
  • Verification of goods arrived and updating the same in the system.
  • Examining the goods as per customs norms.
  • In the case of certain goods like perishable or dangerous goods, samples can be taken for tests to be conducted.
  • LEO shall be provided for goods that fall under customs norms.
  • Any items to be shipped under preventive supervision must be sealed and given a “Shipped on Board” seal.

How to ensure you can print all the necessary shipping documents right from your store?

When you are shipping internationally, it is important to know what shipping documents are to be attached with the international shipment. When you are shipping, it is ideal to let your customer choose the right international shipping service that suits their needs and budget. Using the right shipping plugin will help you solve the problem. You can make use of the premium ELEX Shipping plugins, which will let you incorporate services of popular shipping carriers like DHL, UPS, USPS, FedEx etc. 

Customs Clearance Process

Is Customs Clearance ideal for your Business?

It is important to get your customs clearance done right if you are keen to expand your business internationally. Ace your international shipping with a clear and organized customs clearance process. When you develop a clear and in-depth understanding of the shipping documentation process, it will help you streamline fulfilment, and also helps to rule out any potential delay in shipping.

Further Reading :

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