Shipping costs are a burden for any business that is hard to get around. Worse yet, as your store grows, you’ll likely spend more and more on it! Ultimately, you come to two options: keep spending an arm and a leg on shipping, or come up with a strategy to keep shipping costs low.
Luckily you don’t have to be at the mercy of your grace carrier—as you know how to send smart! In this blog post, we’ll walk you through some strategies to reduce shipping costs with one of our most popular carriers, USPS. Read on to find the cheapest ways to ship that work, no matter what you’re selling.
Use lighter packaging when shipping with First class Mail
The shipping costs depend not only on the destination of the package, but also on the weight. You may already know that. But did you know that in some cases carriers round up the weight of a package?
When looking for the cheapest shipping method, sellers often choose: First class Mail via USPS for lightweight shipments. This option has different price ranges for packages over 4 oz, 8 oz or 12 oz. The weight is rounded up to the next highest rank. So if your package is 5 oz, it will be shipped at the price of 8 oz. plot.
To save shipping costs with First class Mail via USPS, use light packaging. For example, poly mailers instead of boxes:
If you sell fragile products, use padded shipping rolls:
With this tip, you can save some hard-earned bucks on every shipment. The difference may not seem significant, but if you’re selling for a decent clip, it all adds up very quickly. Don’t believe us? Calculate your monthly shipping costs. Take 25 cents off any shipment now and try again.
Use Free Shipping Supplies
When you ship with USPS, you can stock up on free shipping deliveries to save money on packaging.
In addition to boxes, envelopes and bags, you can also order other useful things, such as: ??Fragile?? labels. Stick one on your package to increase the chances of it reaching a customer intact, avoiding refunds for broken items.
If you use your own packaging material, you can order free labels to mark your packages. For example, if you’re sending with Priority Mail, use a special label to help postmen identify your package as urgent.
Use regional rate boxes A and B for heavy items
If you need to ship a dense package over a short distance, you can save with USPS Priority Mail’s regional rate. For example, the rates of the package are based on the distance travelled. Note: This method requires the use of: USPS brand packaging (boxes A and B).
Box A allows you to ship up to £15 for domestic orders and up to £10 for international orders.
Box B allows you to ship up to £20 for both domestic and international orders. Both boxes come in different sizes, so you have several options to choose from.
This option can be the cheapest way to ship a heavy but small package. For example, consider dumbbells. The heavier your package, the more you save.
For more tips on shipping with regional rate slots A and B, watch this video:
Mailing boxes with flat-rate envelopes
A flat rate is a flat payment rate (as in, a rate that stays the same no matter what you send). It’s good to cut costs as it is, and sometimes it can be the absolute cheapest way to ship a package, but we’ve got more tricks up our sleeve than just that.
What if you need an extra layer of protection for your package, but want to save on shipping costs? Here’s a hack for you: box your product and put the box in a flat-rate envelope (try a padded envelope for even more protection!)
You can use your own box or order a free box from USPS. Bewildered? Try a Small flat rate box. It fits snugly into most USPS flat rate envelopes:
Obviously this tip won’t work for every product, but if your item fits in a box and envelope, you can ship it flat and save some money. As the saying goes, if it fits, it will ship!
Use Padded Flat Rate Envelopes
USPS offers many flat rates packages—from small envelopes to large boxes. But the Priority Mail Padded Flat Rate Envelope really caught our attention. It’s lined with bubble padding and thick enough to protect your product, whatever it is (well, reasonably speaking).
That means you can ship relatively large items with padded envelopes, as long as they fit. This can be a good option for things like clothes, books, or wooden artwork.
This video shows how padded envelopes are flexible enough for larger products:
Buy discounted shipping labels through Ecwid
Tips and tricks for saving on consumables and optimizing packaging are great. But what if you could pay less overall to ship than going to your local post office?
If you run an Ecwid store, you can buy discounted shipping labels right in your Control Panel. These offer the cheapest shipping rates – lower than store rates at the post office!
By printing your own labels you not only save on shipping costs, but you also save time. Buy a label, print it out, stick it on your package and drop it off at your local post office, no waiting in line. You can even skip going to a post office (and add gas savings to your list) — just request a home collection and a postal worker will pick up your package on their normal route.
International shipping rates tend to be the highest, but Ecwid makes international shipping affordable shipping as you can also buy discounted labels for international shipping.
That’s how you do that buy discount shipping labels with Ecwid.
Start saving on shipping
We hope these cheap shipping tips helped you far – ordinary remember: they may not work for every situation or location. We present you a number of options so that you can determine which ones work best for you.
If you’re looking for more resources for optimizing your shipping, the Ecwid Blog has plenty of articles, videos, and podcasts on the subject. For example:
Do you have any other tips or tricks for the cheapest shipping for a small business? Share them with fellow sellers in the comments. And happy shipping!
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of salesground.org and salesground.org does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.