New 2011 USPS Priority Shipping Rates -- Thinking Outside the Box

Posted by Holly 01/02/2011 0 Comment(s)

For those who ship primarily through the U.S. postal service, we now all know that the postal rates have (unfortunately) gone up once again, with this increase affecting only those items shipped priority mail. One thing the thrifty shipper (or shopper) may not know is that parcel post may not always be the most cost effective way to go.


I’m now looking to ship a 3-lb. package within the same zone and find that priority shipping provides a savings of $0.24 over parcel post, and that’s not including the supplies and service cost savings to me on the new cardboard box that I don't need to use or the $0.19 delivery confirmation that I don't have to pay.


If getting to the bottom line on priority over parcel post isn’t confusing enough, the USPS has just added four more box sizes and two more priority shipping box options, as well as padded priority envelopes and more, to strain the brains and clutter the closets of commercial base customers, such as those who use Click-N-Ship. Now more than ever, shop owners who ship via USPS will need to keep shipping options and box (or envelope) sizes in mind when adding an item to their online inventory.


To help drive this point home, consider this possibility. You have a pair of sad irons for sale, rather compact in size but heavier than heck. The shipping cost alone could make a person sad. Shipping them packed at 20 pounds to a bordering state would run just under $20.00 via priority mail, with a large flat-rate box costing $14.20, and parcel post around $14.50. Fortunately, their combined weight falls within the 20-lb. limit of the priority regional rate Box B, which puts your customer at a happy cost under $7.00. Shipping the same package a few states away would run approximately $42.50 priority, $14.20 for a large flat-rate box, $22.50 parcel post, and just over $13.00 using Box B – priority regional rate service again being the most economic choice for commercial base customers.


This example is, of course, one of the more extreme shipping situations. However, in test comparing prices on even the average-size package, I’m finding that in many instances the regional rate boxes put the cost within reach of the parcel post cost, providing shoppers the opportunity to truly choose savings over speed (and safer transit) or safer transit over savings.


With variables of item size and weight needing to fit within the USPS limitations on priority flat-rate and regional rate boxes, shop owners who don't roll shipping costs into the item price will now likely find themselves needing to review all of their listings, selecting all of the viable shipping options, parcel post included. And if you’re not yet a commercial base customer using Click-n-Ship or some other recognized commercial-base shipping means, now is without a doubt the time to start, and in the process, hopefully transform that listing into a budget-fitting sale. 

Tags: Shipping USPS

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