What is the cheapest way to ship a package? It all depends.
I received the following email from one of my readers. Thank you, you have raised some very good questions. Read my response below in blue:
I stumbled upon your blog and I’ve got to say, it is very helpful. I am a new Ebay seller and am new to this whole shipping business. I was wondering if you could answer a question for me. I use USPS for my shipping; I’ve found it to be cheaper than FedEx and UPS. Priity Mail Flat Rate Options
|Priority Mail Flat Rate Envelope||$4.90||12-1/2″ x 9-1/2″|
|Priority Mail Small Flat Rate Box||$4.95||8-5/8″ x 5-3/8″ x 1-5/8″|
|Priority Mail Medium Flat Rate Box (FRB1)||$10.70||11″ x 8-1/2″ x 5-1/2″|
|Priority Mail Medium Flat Rate Box (FRB2)||$10.70||13-5/8″ x 11-7/8″ x 3-3/8″|
|Priority Mail Large Flat Rate Box (Domestic Addresses)||$14.50||12″ x 12″ x 5-1/2″|
|Priority Mail Large Flat Rate Box (APO/FPO Destinations)||$12.50||12″ x 12″ x 5-1/2″|
- You have a 2-pound package that is shipping to a zone 2 (someplace close). If it fits into the Priority Mail Small Flat Rate Box, you can ship it for $4.95. BUT, if you put it in another box, it would only be $4.90. If you used the bigger Priority Mail Large Flat Rate Box, you could pay $14.50—way more money!
- If you have a 5-pound box, the rating becomes more complex. For a Zone 5, you would pay $11.76. It would be cheaper not to use the Priority Mail Large Flat Rate Box. But the same package going to Zone 8 (cross country) would be $16.37, so it would be cheaper to the Priority Mail Large Flat Rate Box. Now, I could ship that same box with FedEx Home Delivery for $10.59 and save $5.78 with the rates I get from FedEx (email me and I will tell you how).
The bottom line is this: no carrier is the cheapest carrier for every kind of package. The USPS does a great job and is the cheapest for package shipping to residences that weigh less than 2 pounds. My advice is to compare carriers and services.