Finding the best and most economical way to ship!

Updated: Mar 12, 2021

Affordable Shipping Options to Consider

Here's what you need to know to minimize costs and determine the cheapest way to ship a package.

By Kristin McGrath, Contributor SeptIf you're looking to save money, here are some of the cheapest ways to ship packages:

  • Cheapest shipping option for tiny packages: The U.S. Postal Service's First-Class Package Service (by weight).

  • Cheapest shipping option for small packages: U.S. Postal Service's Priority Mail.

  • Best shipping option for medium to large packages: The Postal Service's Priority Mail.

  • Best shipping option for very large packages: FedEx Ground or UPS Ground.

  • Cheapest option for overnight shipping: Postal Service Priority Mail Express.

Note that your costs will vary, depending on where you are shipping from, where you are shipping to, the date you ship, whether you are dropping off or requesting pickup, whether you need delivery confirmation, whether you are purchasing insurance and whether you use your own packaging. The advice below offers a general guide – but it's smart to input your specifics (weight, origin, destination, drop-off date) into delivery services' websites to get your actual price. For this guide, we assumed that the shipper will drop the package off at a retail location or post office, or prepay and drop it into a collection bin, rather than requesting pickup service. This helps minimize costs, as a pickup (if the delivery service provides it) costs extra. The Postal Service will allow you to use its first-class mail service for lightweight envelopes and packages up to 13 ounces. Prices start at $3.80 for the lightest packages. That beats FedEx's and UPS's flat-rate pricing for small packages by several dollars. Your delivery will arrive in one to three business days. Cheapest Shipping Option for Small Packages: U.S. Postal Service's Priority Mail What you're shipping: Think a coffee mug, T-shirt, or book. The Postal Service's Priority mail prices start at $7.50 for domestically mailed packages 70 pounds and under. You must use a flat-rate box. Your shipment will arrive in one to three business days. Best Shipping Option for Medium to Large Packages: The Postal Service's Priority Mail What you're shipping: Think a volleyball, scrapbook, large care package or small appliance. Rates for the Postal Service's Priority Mail starting at $15.05 for packages around this size, but you must buy a flat-rate box. Your package will arrive in one to three business days. If you're shipping something between 651 and 1,728 cubic inches (and under 50 lbs), UPS Ground with Simple Rate pricing starts at $17.50 per package. Your packaging will arrive in one to five days. The Postal Service taps out at 70 pounds in weight (and at 108 inches in combined length and width), so it's between UPS and FedEx for the largest packages. UPS and FedEx both go up to 150 pounds (up to 165 inches in combined length and width). Whether FedEx or UPS wins on cost depends on your destination and the package's origin. In some cases, FedEx will be less expensive. In some cases, UPS will be. So be sure to input your exact destination address to calculate the price, because the price difference can be significant at this weight class. #smallbusinessshipping #packagerascal #packagingandpostagesolutions

Karen's Takeaway:

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