Deciphering the various advantages and disadvantages of the mail system is tough – that is why they employ so many detail oriented folks to help us with this process. However, there are some key pieces of information that will assure you maintain a great standard of fast service while not wasting money doing it. The following are key points:
- Using recycled shipping materials (bring home boxes, packing peanuts or bubble wrap from your workplace that would otherwise be discarded). I have some friends in the IT department let me know when they have some for me. It’s free and better for the environment to be re-used).
- Always give your buyers shipping options. Even if not included in the ad, if they request a different option be sure to give it to them. They should ultimately determine which is more important to them – getting the item fast or paying less.
- For items that weigh less than 11 ounces, 1st Class mail is comparable to Priority Mail in terms of the time it takes for the item to arrive at its destination (both are estimated to take the same amount of time for delivery). When the item is less than 11 ounces First Class Mail is often half the cost of Priority Mail for the same delivery time. Please note that you may NOT use USPS Free packaging supplies to send First Class Mail. An example of the cost savings in sending a silk top that weighs 7 ounces: Priority Mail cost to ship will be $4.40. First Class Mail would be $1.95. Even when you add in the cost of a padded envelope (approximately $1.00) First Class mail is the less expensive option.
- Other domestic mailing bargains through USPS are the Flat Rate Priority Mail envelopes and boxes. In Flat Rate packaging, the item goes for the same rate, no matter what the weight, as long as it fits into the envelope or box. Flat rate envelopes costs $4.04 to mail; the Flat Rate box $8.10 regardless of weight. Of course Flat Rate mailing is available for domestic destinations only. Obviously, if the item you are shipping would cost considerably less as Priority Mail than Flat Rate is not the best value for money. Heavier items, going further are usually great candidates for flat rate shipping. Please visit USPS.com or your local post office for further details.
- Media Mail is astonishingly inexpensive to use in mailing media products (books, CDs, etc.). However, please note that media mail is far slower than other mail options, too. On the two occasions I purchased CDs on eBay they took more than two weeks to arrive rather than the days involved via Priority Mail. An example of Media Mail costs are: a book weighing in at less than 1 pound may be shipped by USPS Media Mail (including delivery confirmation) for only $2.19! A book weighing 1 - 2 pounds goes for $2.67, and a large box of books or CDs weighing 5 pounds may be mailed for as little as $4.11!
- Finally, not all the best tricks belong to USPS. When you find something you like and plan to bid on in an auction, check out the sellers other auctions and store (if they have one). Look for the big money savers offered in "Buy It Now and "Best Offers" in the sellers stores and other auctioned items you may be interested in bidding on. Then check to see if the sell offers combined shipping. Hunt for other items of interest and buy more from a single seller to take advantage of combined shipping. If you can also make Best Offers on items in a sellers store it should all come together to result in significant savings for he or she who dares!
Hope this guide offers you opportunities to save money on your shipping without sacrificing the great service your customers have come to expect.
Pepper120851 (My Store is The Write Place)