A little-known and totally unpublicised anomally within Australia Post can save big dollars, for you or your customers!
If you send items in a box (a parcel) to a customer within Australia and the total weight of the parcel exceeds 1kg the shipping price is calculated using what they call "cubic weight" if this is greater than the actual weight. The cubic weight is the parcel's volume in cubic metres multiplied by 250. Cubing may also apply under certain circumstances (not clear what these circumstances might be!) even to parcels over 500grams.
For example, if your parcel measures 450mm x 300mm x 200mm and weighs 1.5kgs the parcel would be 'cubed' and you would be charged as if it weighed 6.75kg
0.45 x 0.3 x 0.2 x 250 = 6.75
If this '6.75kg' parcel were being sent from say Rockingham, Western Australia to Frankston, Victoria it would cost $26.95. ($2.70 x 7 + $8.05)....these are 2008 prices os today it will be even more.
Now, do you want to save some money? Okay, put your parcel inside a bag. Australia Post sell a GL Tough Bag for $1.80* or you can use any other form of 'bag'. You could even make one out of tough plastic sheeting! Anything, provided it no longer looks squarish. Now the parcel will not be 'cubed', it will be weighed normally. You will pay only $13.45 for postage - that's less than half the price! Even allowing for the cost of a bag you are saving a lot of money, and it's better in your pocket, right?
You may find that you do not even need to use a box. Many items can be shipped just inside a bag. If the items are fragile they can be wrapped in bubblewrap for protection. Bubblewrap is lightweight and offers far better protection than a box padded with old newspaper. I ship fragile camera equipment all over the world this way and have never had an item damaged.
Now whether you decide to use this new-found knowledge to boost your bottom line profits or to pass the savings on to your customers is entirely your choice.
All the best, Peter Pickering
* GL bags are around half price if you buy in bulk lots of 100.
NB Bubblewrap is very expensive if bought from Australia Post. I've found the cheapest is found right here at home on eBay.