Sometimes those heavy items can mean big piles of dollars: men’s work boots, winter coats, and multiple orders. They also mean you need something bigger and sturdier than a polyvinyl or Flat Rate envelop. Here are your choices:
- USPS Priority Rate
- USPS Parcel Select
- FedEx Smart Post
- FedEx Home Delivery
The Ebay label printing service drop down menu “Compare Services” is the quickest way to find the best shipment for your package. And when you look at the list of services and the prices, you’ll ask:
“But what about media rate? It’s super cheap!”
Yes it is. And it is exclusively for MEDIA–books, CDs, videos, DVDs. Clothes do not qualify. If you try to use Media Rate service, the PO will figure it out and and send your package back to you, and you’ll have to buy another label. You cheater, you.
FedEx and Priority Rate can be similarly priced if the shipping distance isn’t far. FedEx SmartPost is usually a little cheaper than Priority, but it can take up to 2 weeks to ship since it is an economy service. One major caveat is that you cannot ship to or from a PO Box–you must have physical addresses. You also need to use your own packaging.
If your buyer needs an item quickly, don’t use FedEx Smart Post. Go with Priority. The great thing about Priority is that the USPS offers a wide variety of boxes with the cost of the service, available through the USPS website. Your credit card information is not required and delivery is free, so if I use Priority rate, I save money on packaging by using USPS Priority Boxes. Go ahead and order a few boxes now because delivery can take up to 2 weeks. I recommend ordering 5 shoeboxes and 5 large mailing boxes.
As for USPS Parcel Select, I’ve never used it. It is an economy service, so the delivery estimates are longer than Priority and it’s still more expensive than FedEx SmartPost.
FedEx Home Delivery and UPS services are only for really big, heavy shipments. I don’t believe I’ve ever needed to use them for a clothing shipment, although I had used them to ship china, several strollers, and large electronic equipment. If you need to ship bulk lots, you may need to use these services. The good news is they are both very reliable and usually pretty quick, with an average delivery time of 3-4 business days.
Questions about shipping lightweight items? Try The Cheapest Way to Ship Clothing #1: Polyvinyl Envelops and The Cheapest Way to Ship Clothing #2: USPS Flat Rate Priority.