It’s not about being the first. It’s about being the best. When it comes to shipping golf clubs, there are a ton of reasons to use Ship Sticks—the five-year old company that specializes in shipping golf clubs to and from resorts for traveling golfers.
Before I delve into the specific reasons, here’s a quick review of how it works.
You simply go online to shipsticks.com, enter your address, where you are going, and they give you an instant quote. If you like the quote (and you will) you place your order and shipping labels are emailed to you to print at home or work. You simply attach the label to your travel case and joila, you’re done (you can use a cardboard box if you want to but it’s not required). Your clubs go to the golf resort and are waiting for you by the first tee. So that’s how it works. And here’s why it’s better than the competition.
Price: Rates for a golf bag up to 48 pounds start at $39 each way for ground shipping ($49 for 3-day, $59 for 2-day, $69 for next day) depending on how far you are going. My friends and I used Ship Sticks during a recent trip to Bandon Dunes—the instantly famous, links-style golf course(s) on Oregon’s Pacific Coast. The one question everyone had, including the shuttle bus driver who drove us from our rooms to the golf course everyday was “how is it so cheap?” “Do they have some incredible deal with UPS.” “What are their margins?” The answer is, I have no idea. But here is an excerpt from a Forbes interview with Ship Sticks CEO Nick Coleman.
“We are about 50% less than using UPS or FedEx yourself on any air service, but we use UPS and FedEx. Our platform finds the fastest routing for the lowest price based on where you live and where you are going. But one thing most people don’t understand is how we track the service. If you ship a bag from New York to Pebble Beach, it’s going to pass through several hubs and scans. We know the routing it is going to take and we track every scan, and if one gets missed we know right away and we call the carrier and if we have to we upgrade the shipping [say from 3-day to overnight] at our expense to get it there on time. No one else in the industry does that. It’s very important to us that the clubs arrive in time and in the rare case bags do get delayed, which can happen, we give the customer a $200 credit for rental clubs, balls, etc. so they can play the day they arrive.”
Web Site Usability: Web site usability matters a lot. Filling out information in a seemingly fluid process where the site knows exactly what information matters, what does not, and what the sequence should be in order to get it all done as quickly and efficiently as possible matters. It makes the process so much less painful and actually gives the consumer a sense of appreciation for the brand before the actual service has even been initiated. Additionally, Ship Sticks will save your locations—not just your home address (or club address), but all of the locations you have shipped to. Your credit card is also saved to prevent repetition when filling out information. So once you’ve used it a couple times the process becomes even easier.
Golf Club Partnerships: I’m not talking about the clubs you hit the ball with but rather the golf clubs that so many golfers belong to. Ship Sticks has built relationships with many/most of these clubs which makes the usability aspect even easier. Yes, their site is extremely intuitive and takes two seconds to use—but calling your club and having THEM do it…that’s even easier.
Reliability: The site gives you a delivery date which is based on the worst case scenario—so your clubs are guaranteed to arrive on or before that date. You are then kept in the loop via email and if there are any hang ups you will receive a phone call from Ship Sticks customer service notifying you of a the problem. You can also call customer service whenever you want and get through to them right away.
Safety in Numbers: Being unique has it’s advantages but when shipping golf clubs, there is something warm and fuzzy about using a service that everyone else is using—and not just your friends but the golf resorts too. In a short amount of time Ship Sticks has managed to make a great name for themselves and steal a huge amount of market share. When your golf buddies are all using the same service and the resort you’re shipping to has an account with them too, it’s calming to the soul.