The following shipping tips are brought to you by our team of moderators, who have a lot of experience shipping things at a reduced cost, and the tips were collected and summarized by moderator Denise.
Today’s Listia Tip is about how to ship cheaply and securely.
You have several options when it comes to selecting a shipping carrier, and while some may offer overnight and very speedy options in almost every situation the cheapest option will be granddaddy of them all the U.S. Postal Service. Despite what some people say the USPS is quite dependable and is a bargain compared to UPS, FedEx, DHL, etc. What we want to talk about today is how to get the most for your money when shipping your items through the USPS. We will discuss third party companies that you can buy postage through that are not only cheaper than going to your local Post Office, but also more convenient since your mail carrier can pick up your items from your home or office.
The Listia moderators all use and love Paypal’s shipping feature. Most Listians use Paypal to send or receive shipping payments, but did you know that you can buy postage through them as well? You can even use this service for items that were not paid for through Paypal, so you can list items with Free Shipping and still get discounted shipping through Paypal. To get started visit: https://paypal.com/shipnow
- Pros: Cheap and easy, checks address to make sure it is valid, can request pick up from mail carrier, no need to leave your house.
- Cons: You need to buy a scale that connects to your computer but these can be bought for cheap, or found on Listia for free, you also need a printer to print out the postage.
Another shipping option that is similar to Paypal’s shipping would be Stamps.com. The two services offer very competitive pricing on shipping, but there are of course pros and cons to each service.
- Pros: Prints everything directly onto envelopes, can schedule pick ups, discounts on shipping, can ship internationally, can create address book so shipping to repeat customers is super easy, a scale is required but included for free (you just pay shipping which is around $10)
- Cons: Has a monthly cost of at least $9.99/month, scale needed, and requires a printer that can print on envelopes to get full benefit.
Here is a quick price comparison from different companies, to ship a package that weighs around 4 ounces, like an iPhone case with tracking number.
- Paypal: $1.86
- Stamps.com: $1.64
- USPS.com: $2.42
- UPS: over $10
- FedEx: over $10
Again there are several options when it comes to shipping an item, and while some people may prefer to use to ship items the old fashioned way by taking them into the post office. Listia suggests that when you ship items to always get a tracking number, and that just got easier since USPS is currently offering free tracking on every Priority package. One great way to save on shipping is how you buy the shipping materials you use. You can buy shipping labels and bubble mailers from Amazon or eBay for extremely low prices. You can get 200 shipping labels for less than $10! And you can get 200 bubble mailers for $20. That’s way cheaper than if you were to go to Wal-Mart or a Dollar Store, and don’t forget that plenty of great Listians list these items on Listia as well. While the USPS offers flat rate boxes and envelopes most of the time these options will cost more than if you package the item yourself.
Those packaging peanuts and bubble wrap really add up, so why not use items you have around your house to pad your shipments? If you have old newspapers lying around, those are great for stuffing into packages. Or maybe you have some brown paper sacks from your last grocery trip? You can use those as brown wrapping paper! And if possible, always try to reuse old mailers—recycling is good!
I hope these tips help make shipping a little more affordable for you. Thank you for being such great members and for helping Listia continue to grow.
Moderator Denise and the Mod Team