It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner reseller or an expert, shipping will always be an important part of your reselling responsibilities. It’s very common for sellers to feel intimidated or overwhelmed by the shipping process, mainly because there are so many options. Luckily, most marketplaces have simplified this process by giving sellers the option to ship their item using a prepaid shipping label. So, in this blog post we’d like to discuss everything a reseller should know about shipping!
Some sellers prefer to ship items themselves with hopes of saving a few dollars on the shipping costs. Overpaying for shipping can easily cut into a seller’s profit margin, even if it’s only a dollar or two, but after sending lots of items, those few dollars begin to quickly add up.
We all know that Fedex, UPS, and USPS are the main mail carriers that resellers use to ship their items. Compared to their competitors, USPS’s rates are typically best suited for resellers, so for the purpose of this video, let’s focus on this option. USPS offers a variety of free shipping materials, but the key is knowing which one to use, or when to not use them at all.
First Class Mail:
First class mail is the cheapest way to mail something, but it’s also the slowest, usually taking 3-5 business days. Keep in mind that to send an item First Class mail, you cannot use any of the free USPS shipping materials. You’re required to use any kind of unbranded envelope or box. First Class mail also has a weight limit of 13 ounces, which means this shipping method would only work for items as light or lighter than t-shirt.
USPS Priority Shipping:
The next, and most popular option would be USPS Priority shipping. This is a faster and more expensive option than First Class, but automatically includes a tracking number and standard $50 insurance on your package. Priority shipping typically reaches its destination within 1-3 business days. The pricing for Priority packaging is determined by the weight of your item and distance to the destination. If you’re shipping something heavy across the country, this option can get expensive, so USPS offers a variety of Priority Flat Rate options as well.
Flat rate means that each different envelope or box has a set price, and if you can fit your item in it, you’ll only have to pay the set price for that box or envelope. All of the Priority Mail and Flat Rate shipping materials are free at your local post office, and can also be easily ordered for free from the USPS web store. A Flat Rate envelope costs $7.55 to send anywhere in the country, while a padded envelope is $8.15. They also have multiple sizes of boxes, which have set prices ranging from $8.05 to $21.10, depending on the size.
Priority Mail Express:
The next shipping option is Priority Mail Express, which is the fastest, but also most expensive option. This option starts at $26.35, but your item typically reaches its destination overnight. These shipments also come with $100 of insurance.
Now that we’ve covered the various options, let’s quickly discuss another common scenario. It’s often cheaper to send your item in an unbranded box or envelope than in the free USPS packaging materials. Sometimes, you’re sending an item that is lightweight or might not be going very far. You can use the Shipping calculator on the USPS website to determine if shipping the item in a regular box would be cheaper than the set Flat Rate prices.
For example, let’s say I wanted to ship this shoebox across the country from Washington DC to California. This shoebox would only fit in the large Flat Rate box, which would cost about $26 to send, but you could ship it in a regular unmarked box to the same destination for about half that price. As you ship more items, you’ll become familiar with the prices and these scenarios.
Since there are many shipping options in the market, make sure to keep in mind the pros and cons of each.
Do you currently resell and if so, which have you found to be the best shipping options for the products you sell online? Feel free to leave your comments or questions below!