Running a small business is tough no matter what, but it’s especially difficult in the age of Amazon. Consumers have been conditioned to expect their products to be delivered ASAP, which has no doubt made things stressful for small business owners.

Though small business owners may never be able to perfectly replicate Amazon’s delivery service, there are ways to keep shipping costs low and increase shipping rates.

If you own a small business, here are simple ways to improve your shipping experience:

Decrease Shipping Distance 

Businesses end up having to pay more for shipping when they ship to destinations that are far away. In fact, there are shipping zones (spanning from Zone 1 to Zone 8), that determine how much shipping is going to cost.

If you’re concerned about money or are just starting out your business, consider only shipping locally for the first few months. Allow yourself to accrue revenue before expanding your shipping destinations.

Buy in Bulk 

When purchasing boxes, shipping labels, or envelopes, always buy in bulk. Though you may have to pay a little bit more money upfront, you’ll end up saving more money down the road. It’s also a good idea to buy supplies in bulk — such as markers, tape, etc. — so you never run out in the middle of packaging boxes.

Pick the Right Box

This is obvious, but the heavier the box the more shipping costs, right? In order to cut down on shipping costs, make sure you are correctly weighing your boxes and picking the right box for the item. For example, if you’re using too big of a box for a lightweight item, you’ll end up paying more for shipping than you should.

Negotiate Discounted Shipping Rates

Shipping companies offer discounted prices based on shipping volume. If you are shipping a lot of packages a week, it would be a good idea to try and negotiate a volume discount with a specific shipping carrier.

Depending on how many packages you ship per week on average, the shipping company is likely to give you a discount in order to keep you loyal to their company.

Prepay for Shipping

Along with negotiating rates, prepaying for shipping can save you up to 20% off shipping costs. All you have to do is purchase a certain number of shipping labels upfront. If you know your business is going well and that you’re certain to have more orders in the future, it wouldn’t hurt to go the prepaid route.