In my previous post, The Cheapest Way to Ship Clothing: Polyvinyl Envelops, I talked about lightweight, plastic envelops and the USPS First Class shipping service. But what about clothing that is fragile, heavy, or rigid? That’s where the USPS Flat Rate Envelop, Regional Rate, and Medium Flat rate boxes come in handy.
The USPS includes these envelops and boxes as part of the cost of Priority Flat Rate shipping services. This means they are not “free”, they are included in the price of the service. If you use them without buying the priority service they were meant for, you’re stealing and that’s illegal, people. You’d be amazed what you can cram into a Flat Rate or Legal Flat Rate envelop! As long as you can close the original adhesive seal (which, by the way, you can reinforce with tape), and it weighs under 70 pounds, the PO will ship it for $6.45 (even less if you print your labels from Ebay!).
The Regional Rate Box A & A2 (same rate boxes, different shapes) has variable cost scale based on the distance of shipping, or “zone”. For zone 1, it’s about $6, and it goes all the way up to zone 9, at $15. These boxes can be the cheapest method to ship if your item is heavy and doesn’t fit in a Flat Rate Envelop.
Although your local Post Office will carry some of these priority boxes and envelops, they won’t carry all of them. It’s easier to go to the USPS website and order what you need. Delivery is free and your credit card information is not required to make an order.
Here’s my recommended Ebay Fashion Reseller USPS Shipping Starter Kit:
- 10 Flat Rate Envelops
- 10 Legal Flat Rate Envelops
- 5 Regional Rate A boxes
- 5 Regional Rate A2 boxes
- 5 Medium Flat Rate Boxes
The PO can take up to 2 weeks to get everything to you, so don’t wait until a customer places an order to get your boxes–order in advance.
But what about all those other services? Priority, media rate, FedEx SmartPost, Parcel Select– read The Cheapest Way to Ship Clothing #3: Heavy Items. For info on shipping lightweight items, read my previous post The Cheapest Way to Ship Clothing #1: Polyvinyl Envelops.