How to deliver very expensive items

Discussion in 'General Business Forum' started by scm5436, Feb 10, 2010.

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  1. scm5436

    scm5436 UKBF Enthusiast Free Member

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    I've just found a quite small but very exclusive - and expensive - range of items, that might possibly sell online.

    They've got an rrp of £8000-9000, and I'd be looking to sell for close to that. The markup is amazing so if I managed to sell a couple of year through a website it would be easy cash. (I'd have to sell 300-1000 of my normal 'good margin' products just to equal one sale of these items!)

    So I don't think I'd sell loads, but I can just set up a site and let it sit there taking an order once in a blue moon and it'll be a nice little earner.

    The only problem I forsee (apart from would people buy these online, even from a very classy, reputable and secure website) would be how to get it to the customer... I don't have premises, so it would have to be delivered. But this isn't the sort of thing I'd want a regular courier to deliver (and leave with a neighbour!)

    Due to the price I'd need some kind of specialist courier - one that's insured, and one that would only put it in the hands of the recipient. And I guess they'd need to see the persons proof of ID.

    Is anyone aware of such a service? or think of another way of dealing with it? Maybe striking a deal with a Bricks and Mortar business in a similar field and cutting them in on the deal in exchange for using their staff/premises?
     
    Posted: Feb 10, 2010 By: scm5436 Member since: Nov 22, 2007
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  2. iwgraphics

    iwgraphics UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    most of the main courier firms offer such services eg. citylink, but you'd need to be doing some volume to get a bespoke contract for checking customer ID i would think. you would also need to pay for the extra insurance they offer.

    if you make as much money as you said, then would it justify you delivering it yourself by car?
     
    Posted: Feb 10, 2010 By: iwgraphics Member since: Feb 7, 2010
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  3. RBS

    RBS UKBF Ace Free Member

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    OP,

    If its in UK, why not drive to customer yourself? With your big profit margin you can do that. Imagine how special he would feel!
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2010
    Posted: Feb 11, 2010 By: RBS Member since: Jul 13, 2009
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  4. Liybpg

    Liybpg UKBF Enthusiast Free Member

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    I'm not sure about driving yourself. Come on, if your are somewhere in Bristol and your customer is in Glasgow or something, how can you drive there yourself? If it is within London, that shouldn't be a problem, on the other hand.
    But either way, the man seems to have a business going on, so having a back up plan for delivery is essential. You can be way to busy to spend half day in a car to deliver an item, plus the buyer can be too far, so going there wouldn't make any sense.
     
    Posted: Feb 11, 2010 By: Liybpg Member since: Nov 8, 2009
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  5. scm5436

    scm5436 UKBF Enthusiast Free Member

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    yes, I'm much too busy to deliver it myself - not to mention the security aspects of wandering around with £8000 worth of luxury item on my person!
     
    Posted: Feb 11, 2010 By: scm5436 Member since: Nov 22, 2007
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  6. sysops

    sysops UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    You're making this out to be more complicated than it actually is. If you're selling at £8000 inc VAT, presumably you're buying at say £4000? Send it Royal Mail Special Delivery, which will cover you up to £2500, and self-insure for the remaining £1500.

    The problem you will have with this is fraud. There is no delivery service that will check IDs in the way you want (the liability shift can't be achieved), so unless you run your own delivery service, you will have to have sufficient security at the payment stage (3DS and only deliver to card address).
     
    Posted: Feb 11, 2010 By: sysops Member since: Feb 1, 2007
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  7. FoxTopper

    FoxTopper UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    I agree with this point. Can relate to it :)
     
    Posted: Feb 11, 2010 By: FoxTopper Member since: Oct 24, 2009
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  8. scm5436

    scm5436 UKBF Enthusiast Free Member

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    The payment isn't the problem I'm worried about - it's more the "but I didn't receive it" fraud. ie. courier (or royal mail) says they delivered it, customer (fraudulently) says they didn't receive it...

    Or of course some theiving postie steals it and forges a signature - but how do I prove that!
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2010
    Posted: Feb 11, 2010 By: scm5436 Member since: Nov 22, 2007
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  9. sysops

    sysops UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    You should be worrying about the payment, as it is directly linked to the above.

    Whatever you send, some will vanish. If you send it RM Special Delivery with extra insurance you reduce this number, and get some compensation when one does vanish.
     
    Posted: Feb 11, 2010 By: sysops Member since: Feb 1, 2007
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  10. scm5436

    scm5436 UKBF Enthusiast Free Member

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    I would only accept payment in advance by BACS, therefore I would have the cash and it could only be revoked if they had fraudulantly used someone elses account. But if they claim they haven't received the item I must legally send another or refund them the money. Therefore, it's vitally important to establish that it genuinely has been recived.


    I belive the insurance would only kick in if the item is lost - not if the postie swears he has delivered it and has some illegable scraw on a piece of paper to 'prove' it.
     
    Posted: Feb 11, 2010 By: scm5436 Member since: Nov 22, 2007
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  11. sysops

    sysops UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    Ok, BACS does cover you better than CC, but it's still not as tight as you think it is.

    As for the "I didn't receive it, it wasn't my signature" issue, there is no way around this using any of the main parcel carriers. A courier company would be able to check ID, but they are not going to accept a liability shift based on this check - it's still going to be you footing the bill.
     
    Posted: Feb 11, 2010 By: sysops Member since: Feb 1, 2007
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  12. scm5436

    scm5436 UKBF Enthusiast Free Member

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    oh I don't think it's tight at all, I have another post knocking about somewhere about the lack of any reliable, irrevokable payment method...
    I'm not necessarily looking for a liabilty shift, just a higher burden of proof required over the receivers identity before handing it over. Just wondered if there were any specialist couriers out there...
     
    Posted: Feb 11, 2010 By: scm5436 Member since: Nov 22, 2007
    #12
  13. KidsBeeHappy

    KidsBeeHappy UKBF Newcomer Full Member

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    You should deliver it with a same day courier. The point that is being missed is that customers paying £9000 for an item don't expect it to turn up in a city link van, or in a special delivery. You choose one (or maybe 3or 4) courier companies local to you, and you give the customer the service that they are looking for and expecting. And if the delivery costs you potentially a couple of hundred quid, as opposed to the £50 or £60 you'll be paying with a parcel carrier after they've added on additional insurance, it will be worth it because it is part of the luxury product that you are selling.

    Also, with using a sameday courier firm you can have tracking, you can inspect their goods in transit certificates, you can do all necessary credit rating checks etc.

    But the point is - what do your customers expect? DHL on a £9k item - no thank you!!
     
    Posted: Feb 11, 2010 By: KidsBeeHappy Member since: Oct 9, 2007
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  14. sysops

    sysops UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    I routinely have £20k worth of hardware delivered by City Link. There are usually footprints on the boxes, but I don't mind too much.

    Customers don't know or care who is delivering. Most of them don't know the difference between Royal Mail and parcel carriers (no joke).
     
    Posted: Feb 11, 2010 By: sysops Member since: Feb 1, 2007
    #14
  15. RBS

    RBS UKBF Ace Free Member

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    OP,

    cant you put huge red label on parcel: ID must be checked before handover.

    ?
     
    Posted: Feb 11, 2010 By: RBS Member since: Jul 13, 2009
    #15
  16. KidsBeeHappy

    KidsBeeHappy UKBF Newcomer Full Member

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    I guess it depends on the nature of the item. If it's a £9k watch, or diamond ring etc. then it's a personal item of sentiment and emotional value, and people like to think that it's being valued. Think of all those expensive jewellers, the white gloves, the locked doors etc are more about making the customer feel that they are getting value for money, that their purchase is significant and being valued. The delivery is part and parcel of all of that. The same way that if you spend £9k on a luxury item you expect proper boxes, packaging etc, not a tatty brown box.

    Whereas yes, if it's hardware then you would probably be less emotionally attached to it :)

    It depends on the item.
     
    Posted: Feb 11, 2010 By: KidsBeeHappy Member since: Oct 9, 2007
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  17. sysops

    sysops UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    I do know what you're saying, I just don't think it's that much money, I wouldn't expect anything special.
     
    Posted: Feb 11, 2010 By: sysops Member since: Feb 1, 2007
    #17
  18. trendy kid

    trendy kid UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    As far as delivery goes you can just organise a same day courier. They all carry goods in transit insurance and you will be able to get them to ring you when they have dropped off. If you where that concerned about it you could even give your punter a ring once the courier has rang you.
     
    Posted: Feb 11, 2010 By: trendy kid Member since: Feb 11, 2009
    #18
  19. CourierCompare

    CourierCompare UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    You should use a sameday courier who has a goods in transit insurance of at least £10,000 and this is usually the minimmum amount a courier would have.

    When using a same day dedicated courier you will ensure security and safety of your goods being transported, as the same courier who collects will be the same courier who delivers and the journey starts from collection to delivery with no detours or other collections or deliveries.
     
    Posted: Feb 11, 2010 By: CourierCompare Member since: Dec 18, 2009
    #19
  20. alphanumeric

    alphanumeric UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    Try these: http://www.asgreenas.com/

    they do quite a bit of high value same day stuff, just let them know i passed on your details :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2010
    Posted: Feb 11, 2010 By: alphanumeric Member since: Jan 26, 2009
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