Who feels like they are pulling, packing, and shipping constantly? That used to be me. Before ShopTheRoe, I was so worried about overselling that I would constantly run to make sure I had the items before I would send each invoice. I never was really certain about what I still had on hand. At that time, I would go ahead and pull the items, and put them in plastic bags (for protection during shipping) while waiting for the invoice to be paid. I would get so frustrated when customers wouldn’t pay, because then I would have to put these items back. Since using ShopTheRoe, that doubt has been erased. My processes have been streamlined and my time has become mine again! I stopped pulling the items before invoicing. If I question if I have an item, I double check, but that is rare now. If you haven’t already reclaimed your time, now is the time to do it!
One of the best things you can do to reclaim your time with this process is to make yourself a schedule! I have set times each day/sale that I send invoices and set days/times that I pull, pack, and ship packages. Once I’m ready to start sending invoices, I simply go to the “sales” tab to look at the claimed items and check for those that are done shopping. I will also send invoices for those that didn’t check “done shopping” if the party is over or if it’s been more than 3 hours since they claimed their item. The clipboard feature for copy/pasting the customer’s name and email make sending invoices fast and painless. I mark the items as “invoiced” right after I copy the email address. Once the invoices are paid, I verify the shipping address on the email receipt with the address in STR, just to be sure I am shipping to the correct address. This is when I mark the items as “paid” in STR. For those rare occasions when I claim the item for the customer, this is when I add their address to their claim, so I don’t have to do it later. If there is something that doesn’t match, I reach out to the customer to make sure I am shipping to the correct address.
Once I’m ready to go, I pull my items and pack everything up, I take my laptop to the basement (where all my LuLaRoe is stored) so I can pull my items. I have all my shipping supplies right there in the room with me. I pull the items off the racks, pack them up, seal the packages, and write the customers names on the outside of the packages. Then, I go back upstairs to my desk to weigh packages and print my shipping labels.
Printing shipping labels through ShopTheRoe has been amazing! No more downloading/importing csv forms or copy/pasting addresses into shipping programs. Instead, I simply go to my “sales” tab, sort by paid items, select the items I have packaged up, and then scroll down and select “buy shipping labels for selected”. On the next screen, I can enter the weights or select priority shipping. Once I buy the labels, I simply download them and print. I personally use a Dymo and love it, but there are many other options for printing your shipping labels as well. I can also send my customers a customized e-mail with their tracking number. ShopTheRoe even saves the customized e-mail for future use! I put the label on the packages (over where I wrote the customers names) and meet my mail carrier at the mail box. Once I have given the packages to my mail carrier or dropped them at the post office, I mark them as “shipped” in STR. Please note, as of right now, ShopTheRoe only prints shipping labels for the current date. That works great for me as my mail carrier comes in the afternoon, but for those of you prepping the night before, you will want to print your labels in the morning as many post offices are cracking down on accepting postage printed the day before.
No matter what your process is for pulling, packing, and shipping orders, one of the best pieces of advice I should offer is to get to know your postal workers. They may have information for you that could help you that you aren’t aware of. My mail carrier is amazing. She is awesome about picking up packages at my house, even if I didn’t schedule it in advance. She also gave me an extra tip that if I miss the post office hours, they are usually there until later and I can go around back and ring the bell to drop off my packages if I need to. Priceless information, especially this time of year! Last, but certainly not least, know your recommended shipping dates for the holidays and I’d still cutoff a few days before those in case of delays!