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What is the cheapest shipping option?

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Finding the best shipping rate isn't always the easiest task. Fortunately, there are some general guidelines that can help you get started. Generally speaking, the cheapest shipping options depends on a few factors, such as:

  • The weight of the shipment: Is it more or less than 1lb?
  • The type of package: Are you using a flat envelope or box with volume?
  • The carrier and rates: Do you have access to any discounts?

USPS

First-Class Mail:
  • Letters that weigh under 1oz: the cheapest option is a USPS First-Class Postage Stamp.
  • Large envelopes that weigh less than 13 ounces: USPS First-Class Mail is the cheapest option. Keep in mind, this service is designed for letters, documents, and thin-flat items. Given it's low price, it does not include tracking.
First-Class Package Service:
  • Packages that weight less than 16 ounces: if you are using an online shipping solution with access to Commercial pricing, USPS First-Class Package Service is the cheapest option that includes tracking. Keep in mind that if you bring the same package to the Post Office, it cannot weight more than 13 ounces if you plan to use First-Class Package Service.
Priority Mail:
  • Packages that weight more than 1 lb: if your package is too heavy for First-Class Package Service, the cheapest option will most likely be USPS Priority Mail. Flat Rate and Regional Rate packaging will get you the best rate. Even then, using properly sized custom packaging is a good value with Priority Mail's included tracking and insurance.

TIP: USPS discounted rates yield even greater savings.

If you use ShippingEasy, you can take advantage of Commercial Pricing, a discounted postage rate offered by USPS. Start a 30-Day free trial of ShippingEasy.

UPS:

UPS SurePost
  • Packages that weigh less than 10 lbs: UPS SurePost is the most cost effective service from UPS for these heavier packages, but delivery will be relatively slow. Keep in mind that you'll need to have a contract with UPS to use this service.

FedEx:

FedEx SmartPost
  • Packages that weigh less than 10 lbs: FedEx SmartPost is an efficient and cost-effective way that FedEx provides for shipping light-weight packages to nearly the entirety of the United States territories. Keep in mind that delivery will be relatively slow, and you'll need to have a contract with FedEx to use this service.

 


Related articles:

Are there services cheaper than flat rate?
How do shipping discounts works?
What rates are available from USPS Click-N-Ship?
What is the cheapest way to ship very heavy things?
What options do I have for domestic shipping?


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