Shipping costs are always a concern to everyone, and needs to be managed to prevent production costs rising to a point where an item is no-longer a cost effective product to retail.
There are a number of solutions to this…

Effective market research before you buy a product in – and a great solution to do this is done using mockups. You can generate a simulated design with any product and use this in promotional advertisements to judge sales and responses without buying anything in. Shipping only takes two to four days plus one day to print/sell the item, and therefore in the customers hand within five days. To the customer in less than seven to ten days in good. Once you have in stock, you can have in the customers hand next day or even sooner.
Buy wisely – obviously to got to pay shipping, and so buying one of an item will severely increase your production costs and your ability to retail this item. Also buying a box will increase shipping, but this cost is spread out over the number of items in the box which is great although occupies your money/profit until all box is sold. Not a huge concern, unless buying larger volumes and tying-up greater amounts of money over a longer period of time, (But what if all these items are just a phase like fashion and go out of style…. You’re now left with items that may, if at all take forever to sell). Don’t get one plastic frp badge, perhaps consider twenty – spread the shipping costs over twenty instead of one. These will always sell and isn’t much money to sit on unsold badges for a short while. Slates or mugs may take just a little longer to sell a box off, depending on your niche/market area. mockup images and designs

Courier Accounts – get yourself an account with any courier you choose! THIS IS IMPORTANT. I have found usps to be good to start with and use the flat rate shipping options for almost everything, no more pricing each order individually. Just select the correct size box and quote the price to fill that box. This is good to send items out to your customers, but you may also want a Fedex and/or Ups account also. These are also used to send items to customers, BUT can also be used on your purchases. With all these account options you get a reduced shipping rate, USE IT! Always ask your supplier is they can ship ‘third party’, meaning they can use your account number to create their shipping label sending items to you. You now, do not paying their shipping rates and instead pay your reduced rate on your own account. ‘Blind shipping’ is also a term used, which means the sender does NOT include ANY markings or literature in or on the package, and also use your address as the return address instead of theirs. This feature allows senders to send items to your customers, without the customer knowing where it really came from…. Except when tracking is used, and it shows that it coming from the other side of the country LOL. In addition these accounts, and the eCommerce facilities (web developer) allow you to add shipping to your own online web cart, using their respective API functions.
usps flat rate shipping boxes

Drop Shipping - Is the term used where your source ships your purchase direct to your customer. Blind Drop shipping, is the same, but also means the sources details are no where to be found. The return address will show as yours and there will not be any literature inside from the source.