Cheapest Way to Ship a Package – In 3 Easy Steps

I have shipped thousands of packages over the years on many different platforms and I have condensed my knowledge down to 3 easy steps which I call The Max Cost Shipping Method.

USPS is the cheapest way to ship a package in the United States (for smallish items). This guide will not cover ALL shipping methods that USPS has to offer, just the ones that cover most of my shipping needs.

Flat Rate Boxes - Cheapest Way to Ship a Package
Flat Rate Boxes – Cheapest Way to Ship a Package

1. Media Mail – Max $14.00

Price Range – A 3 lbs book would cost me $4.00 to ship across the United States. The price range for 1 oz to 70 lbs is $3 to $35 respectively. If the price of your package goes over $14, scroll down to the Priority Mail Flat Rate shipping methods.

Maximum Weight is 70 lbs.

Delivery Time 2 to 8 business days.

Tracking is included.

Insurance is not included.

Shipping Supplies: Use your own packaging.

Eligible Items include but are not limited to:

Books.

CD’s.

DVD’s.

Film.

Ineligible Items include but are not limited to:

Video Games including disc based games.

Computer Drives.

Digital Drives.

Media Mail is the cheapest way to ship a package but only a handful of items qualify to be shipped in this service. Don’t be tempted to ship non media items with this service. When shipping via Media Mail, you agree to allow USPS to open your box and inspect the items inside. If they find that the item you are shipping does NOT qualify for Media Mail, they will stop your package and your client will NOT receive it.

2. First Class Mail – Max $6.00

Price Range – An 8 oz toy would cost me $3.64 to ship across the United States. The price range for 1 oz to 16 ozĀ  is $3 to $6 respectively.

Maximum Weight is 16 oz (16 oz = 1 pound). If the weight of your package goes over 16 oz, use one of the next shipping methods.

Delivery Time 1 to 3 business days.

Tracking is included.

Insurance is not included but can be purchased.

Shipping Supplies: Use your own packaging.

3. Priority Mail Flat Rate – Max $19.00

Price Range – $7, $14 and $19 depending on the size of the item you are shipping. Flat Rate means that the shipping cost is the same to ship anywhere in the US. Shipping a 2 lbs laptop would cost the same if I were to ship it across the United States as to someone down the block.

Priority Mail Padded Flat Rate Envelope – $7.00

Envelope Size – 9.5 x 12.5 inches

Priority Mail Medium Flat Rate Box – $14.00

Box 1 Size – 11 x 8.5 x 5.5

Box 2 Size – 11.88 x 3.38 x 13.63

Priority Mail Large Flat Rate Box – $19.00

Box 1 Size – 12 x 12 x 5.5

Board Game Box Size – 23..69 x 11.75 x 3

Maximum Weight is 70 lbs.

Delivery Time 1 to 3 business days.

Tracking is included.

Includes $50 of insurance. You can also purchase more.

Shipping Supplies: USPS provides Priority Shipping Material for free.

Shipping prices increase every year, so the above prices will be out of date soon but the order of the shipping service will stay the same. So The cheapest way to ship a package will always be Media Mail then First Class Mail then Priority Mail.

Knowing the Max price for shipping is very important especial when having to estimate shipping cost. When I go on buying trips, I don’t have the luxury of bringing a scale with me to weigh goods. I guess the weight of the item and that tells me which shipping method I will be using to mail it. I then use the Max cost of that shipping method to determine if that product will be profitable, eg: Price of item for Sale on my platform $15 – Item cost $2 – Max Shipping Cost $6 = $7.00. I would profit at least $7 and if the item weighs less then what I estimated, my profit would go up.

It also helps me when listing my items for sale. Everyone of my items has free shipping. In order to know how much to price my item for, I have to roughly know what the shipping costs are so that I don’t price them so low that I would lose money. Memorizing the above shipping categorizes was easy and essential for me early on in my selling career.

If your going to be shipping a lot of packages over time, make sure you get shipping discounts. At the end of the year when I do my taxes, I go over all my fees and Shipping is the BIGGEST by far! Anything you can do to reduce those costs are mandatory in order to stay in businesses and stay competitive. There are online shipping services where you can buy shipping at discount rates. Companies like Stamps.com have special agreements with USPS, FedEx and UPS where you can get up to 20% off shipping costs.

If your interested in How to Sell iPhones Cases check out my article. I also talk about how to dropship products.

 

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