Q & A ~ Cheapest Way to Mail Your Packages

Things have changed since I wrote this post. You can read a current article detailing the new shipping options and prices here.

My next question comes from someone I know in real life. I am not sure if she will be reading the answer since she just had a baby on Christmas day.

Vanessa asks:

I have a practical question I’ve been meaning to ask…Do you know the cheapest way to mail packages? USPS, UPS, DHL, FedEx?

Unfortunately I don’t have a great answer for this one. It really depends on the size and weight of the package as well as how fast you need it to arrive. The good news is that all of these companies have websites where you can price out the cost of your shipment. You can also pay for and print out shipping labels in your own home. For Vanessa, a mom of two under two this would be a huge time saver.

Kristi recommends this site for comparing shipping prices.

Most of these companies offer package pick-up as well. There is a charge for this, so depending on your season of life this might be worth the money.

There are a few things to think about when mailing items. If you are sending media (which the post office classifies as small and large packages consisting of books, film, manuscripts, sound recordings, video tapes, and computer readable media such as CDs, DVDs, and diskettes) you can get a huge discount on postage by using the post office. Ten pounds of books costs a little over $5. The post office is probably the cheapest option when shipping media.

The post office also offers a discounted APO/FPO shipping rate in special priority mail boxes. You must ship the items in these boxes, but they are available for free and can be delivered to your front door.

UPS includes $100 of insurance when shipping packages through them, while the post office charges for this service. The post office also charges for delivery confirmation and tracking, something that is included in the price of FedEx and UPS.

In order to calculate shipping costs online you will need to know the dimensions of your package as well as the weight. I have a postage scale, but if you don’t have one you can weigh larger packages with a bathroom scale. Weigh yourself and then weigh yourself holding the package. Subtract your weight from the total weight and you will have your package weight. With this information you should be able to find out the cheapest option for shipping your packages.

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Comments

  1. MNKristy says:

    https://iship.com/priceit/price.aspx

    If you enter all your information on your package on this site, it will give you the different rates for different carriers so you can compare and pick the cheapest one :)

  2. Cynthia says:

    Another thing to consider if you’re shipping out of the country is that UPS charges very high brokerage fees. I live in Canada and I’ve had people from the US ship me things through UPS and I’ve paid more in brokerage fees than I paid for the item itself. Very frustrating. I much prefer when people ship through the postal system, and I try to remember to request that when I’m buying something from someone who lives in the US.

  3. Vanessa says:

    I haven’t read your blog since Brielle arrived, but actually looked at it today! Thanks for answering my question!

  4. jollivee says:

    I think that you really should compare the prices for the shipping. I used fedex and the package came fast. Sometimes I’m not considering the cost but the safety of the package that I am sending.. http://marketmailing.com

  5. Reagan says:

    I use the Shipping Sidekick site. It provides rates from a number of shipping companies. I usuually go with Fedex to ship most things. You can see all the different rates and go with the cheapest. The rates are also discounted pretty good. It’s a bit like Hotwire for shipping. I use it weekly to ship fabric to the city.

    I hope this helps and god bless

    -Regs

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