How to Save on Shipping Costs

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.

Hi Everyone,

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

Comments

  1. Usps price just when up on the 1/27
    first class package.stamps.com
    $1.69 1 to 3 oz
    $1.86 4 oz
    $2.04 5oz
    $2.21 6oz
    $2.39 7oz
    $2.55 8 oz
    $2.73 9oz
    $2.90 10oz
    $3.08 11oz
    $3.23 12z
    $3.38 13oz

  2. I have had no problem so far with re-using old shipping materiel and packaging , I do how ever like the post office & tracking , I have used it on all my auctions with great results ! 🙂

  3. I agree , going to the post office is ALWAYS cheaper then buying online. UNLESS you re shipping a TV LOL.

  4. centuryst0rm says:

    I use Paypal shipping every time and the lady at the post office notices that I am getting a discount. And I do not have a scale attached to my computer. I use a regular digital kitchen scale that I bought for $5. I also reuse shipping materials. The only thing I have to buy is tape, which I get at the dollar store.

    • I get a bigger roll of packing tape that is better quality for my dollar at Walmart ; )
      I also use paypal, and do not have to attach my scale to my computer, ever.
      Thay offer free tracking.

  5. So the cheapest way I have found to send a package with delivery conformation is $2.07 plus $.90 = $2.97 Is there anyway cheaper to send a 3 oz package.

    • I use STAMPS.com — it’s a small monthly subscription of $15 a month, but I never/to rarely go to the post office — my carrier takes everything from my house, –therefore not spending the money on gas running there all the time, delivery confirmation is *greatly* discounted, and I print all my shipping from home. I buy my supplies cheaply off of eBay, instead of from them. They also will give you a bonus package for joining –free postage, some supplies, and a digital postal scale (you only have to pay for the scale shipping if you opt for it –I already had one so didn’t get it when offered)
      Hope this helps!! Hit me up on Lista if you need more help or have other questions 😀

      • Hi Thanks for the information.. have you found any way to send a 1oz to 3 oz package or envelope for less than $1.69 or $2.97 at the post office?

      • Just using stamps .. I have had some one do that .. w/ no return address , and postage due , sorry , I will not pay the postage due .. we both lost that !

    • I just sent a 4 oz package, using PayPal’s shipping option, and selected USPS. The cost for 4 oz was $1.86! As per Listia’s reccomendation in the blog above, they offer discounts. They also ship First Class with free tracking! You do not need a fancy scale, any accurate scale will do so you are providing them with the correct weight…
      Stamps.com does not save you so much in the long run due to their monthly membership fee. Hope this helps, Look me up on Listia for future inquiries.
      KarlyVerse

  6. DAVID PETERS says:

    What happens when you get tracking and the post office never scans the package as delivered? Well Listia will take your credits from you!

    I retunred some fake autographs from a seller on Listia and had tracking on the package, for some reason the package was never scanned and the original seller complained he didn’t get his fake autographs back so Listia refunded him 58,000 some credits and put my Listia account in the hole minus 18,000 some credits.

    Tracking Number: 9400110200883622864396

    I am unable to bid or sell anything now because my account is minus. Meanwhile the seller has sold other fake autographs and at the time of this post has a fake autograph listed.

    I couldn’t insure these items because they were fake. Truthfully they should have never been listed. But it doesn’t matter even if you get tracking as sometimes those tracking numbers are not scanned and if that happens Listia can and will take your credits.

    I am hoping to get this worked out and get my credits back but it has been 15 days already and hardly any response from Listia.

    • I had my credits all tied up over an auction gone bad … it took over a mo. to get it straight .. I sent the item back to the person with tracking and it had to be signed for ! So that confirmed they got it ! But still took almost a mo. and a half to get my credits back , yes It put some fear in me !

  7. Gayle Bally - youthemom says:

    FYI!!!!! NO SATURDAY shipping starting August 1, 2013!!!
    http://www.inquisitr.com/511339/usps-cuts-delivery-on-saturdays/

  8. I’m sticking with the trips to the post office and confirmed tracking # thank you ! Really gonna’ miss Saturday mail 😦

  9. Mailman and Mailwoman Need weekends off too! $16b lost last year..still going to keep the post office open and deliver packages on Saturday.

    • The money they save gonna’ be given away to another country or used for more wars ! Not to feed or house people here in this country that need it ! I’m glad they get what they want .. Through rain sleet and snow as they say .. We pay for the service !

  10. Stamps.com has commercial based pricing, so postage is slightly better, including priority mail costs. Free tracking on first class packages too. You do not have to print on envelopes or blank stamps, most often I use regular paper – it is dependent on the material sent.

    USPS has been run privately for over a decade now, though it keeps up a govt facade. I have worked at USPS on holiday shifts. Fuel costs and great pensions/benefits in addition to electronic mail probably did them in.

    Make sure to package securely… envelopes can easily get damaged,, add cardboard or bubble wrap to ensure the content gets delivered intact.

    Reusable air pillows and peanuts are often listed under free category on craigslist. I have not had to purchase filler material ever. Shredded paper and newsprint will add more weight to your package than the pillows or peanuts.

    Lastly, if you print (on regular paper) and buy your postage from usps.com online (free membership), it will be slightly discounted too, though stamps.com is a bit better.

    Love Listia!

  11. I really enjoy all the wonderful support and advice I have received from your pages I’ve had a chance to read,and of course from all u Listians…Thank you for everything,u all made today really special for me…promise I won’t tell another soul about your “fart” joke.. haha

  12. I’m posting this here because the thread is newer and I’m hoping someone can help me. I always enjoyed this site until recently when I won an auction for over 20,000 credits. Here is the link: http://www.listia.com/auction/7951276-best-stuffed-box-ever-a-must-see-and-a She claims they were all new but one. To make a long story short, I received the items (2 were expired in 2011, the mascara had a hair wrapped around the wand, the eyeshadow was used, AND she didn’t even include everything that was supposed to be in there.) i opened a dispute and I was willing to take back only half my credits but the admin suggested that OR I return everything for a full refund BUT I pay all return shipping. Why should I pay for return shipping when she listed expired, used products and didn’t even provide everything she said? She went against Listia rules and policies and I have to pay out? This has been over a week of me going back and forth with NO support from admins or anything, It’s impossible to reach anyone, they keep closing my case deeming it as solved, and all i can do is sit back and watch? I guess it’s okay to list used things then and reep the benefits of cashing out on the people that chose not to go through the havoc of headache emails and waiting…. any insight anyone?

    • The best way to get a quick response to your ticket if yours is closed, is open another ticket choosing at the beginning I need to report a member. Also, if shipping was paid thru paypal, you can request a refund for shipping fees therefore you end up not really having to dish out shipping charges.

  13. People who send items like keychains in regular envelopes need to stop cause it’s not working…I have received many an empty envelope because it was torn in the mail process…I know it’s cheaper to mail that way but people are not getting their items…

  14. Franklin says:

    postman will pick up if you send priority. Lot of people want it all free. just block the losers.. I charge for shipping it is the best way to keep the idiots away..

    • I never charge for shipping. If I can’t afford to ship it, I don’t list it. I don’t understand your comment about idiots, either. Not very nice.

      • Obviously you have not been on this site long enough then you will get your share just wait.

      • I have ben on this site for years…my name on Listia is c.merchant. I just don’t think that was a very noce comment.

      • bellapazzo says:

        *nice

      • ok maybe the word she used was a little strong but you have to admit there are more people on this site that are clueless at times and that is putting it mildly.Never mind the people who are just down right rude and obnoxious. so if you had to say just one word why not idiots. I have never seen so many people complain on a site as i do this site. I myself love listia so don’t get me wrong, but it can be a hassle to deal with some of these kind of people some times.

    • i wish they just gravitate to my site all the time, drives you crazy.

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  18. Denise thank you so much for your information while very informative, i was told by one of your moderator’s to come here because the said that all Paypal tracking fees are free and that you had that listed here which I could not understand because I have spoke with PayPal and this untrue. Tracking is still charged for .20 on Media Mail online and .90 at the Post Office while First Class is Free online it still cost .90 at the Post Office. I will be escalating a claim about being able to explain to people what I charge and what there money is going to.

    On another note, it would be nice if Paypal and Listia were to get together about their Verified Addresses because i do not know about anyone else but money is more important than credits.

  19. I don’t appreciate the “loser” AND “idiot” words used either by the same person. I, personally have never had anyone complain and most are thankful for messages keeping them updated on issues and are so thankful and understanding. Ebay is another story. Lot’s of complaining.. I’ve met some wonderful people on Listia…

    • i believe that person was not referring to helping people on updating them on issues because i myself have helped a lot of newbies. It was meant for some of the rude people that you get that make comments on your auction sites or after they have won auctions sometime they become very rude. I have my share of them myself. Just because you have not come across some of these type of people do not mean that they are not on this site. I have never seen so many people complain on a site before as i do this site. But on the flip side I have also met some wonderful people who i would never have met if it were not for this site. Like for instance A person who won my first auction the other day contacted me and then sent me a present right out of the blue and surprised me. So there are really special people on this site also. So I guess you can say it balances out sometimes.

      • I want to respond to this again, I have a prime example that have happened recently to push what the person Ray said: A person won An Auction with a Gin that was very clearly marked Exact Shipping Do not Bid if you do not plan on paying shipping. After bidding I receive a no shipping required and a neutral feedback and I have not even written or spoke with the person yet. When asked one if she was going to pick up and why the neutral feedback she responds with “No I am not picking up but I want you to ship for Free”. I just had to tell her that I laughed so hard i fell out of my chair and then proceed to tell her if she wanted to back out of shipping charges that i would re-list and she would forfeit her credits she writes me back stating if i do not send the item then i am stealing and she want’s her credits back. Needless to say the item was re-listed and she has forfeited the credits at least until she tries to dispute the auction. this is one of those type of people that we are talking about. This is just one example that happens often never mind the people who say mean things about peoples auctions. About 6 months ago I even had a stalker who was calling me all kinds of names left and right after the person got off listia probation she came right back to start all over again so listia luckly took care of it again. Unfortunately, there are some strange people in this world today you get all kinds to this site good & bad.

  20. It is always important to research what your shipping costs will be when sending parcels. It is important to make sure that you also look at the reputation of the shipping company too, you don’t want to get caught out with low cost but a poor service.

  21. i really mad right now i cant use my shipping address but my sister can use our address why cant i use it

  22. I am new to Listia, and my shipping address keeps getting declined. A lot of sellers don’t want you to bid if you don’t have a validated shipping address. I’ve lived at my home since 2004, and I don’t know why it keeps saying this. I’ve put two tickets in about this, but I’ve not got a response yet. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks! 🙂

    • Patricia Collette says:

      one i would keep trying to get the moderators to listen to you but also check your address or at least the way you are putting it in with the post office sometimes it is as simple as just an adjustment of the way you are writing it and the post office prefers another version of it but basically the same thing and they reject your version. If you find you have the address correct in every way then keep on the listia moderators to correct the problem.

      • How do u get a moderator involved…I cant find a link anywhere…

      • Scroll to the bottom to any Listia page and click in ‘Member Support’. At the bottom of the list find ‘File a support ticket’. Fill out the form, the first thing to fill out is- you want to click on ‘reason’- account-more-other’. Then go ahead and tell your concerns. Someone will, hopefully, get back to you in a couple of days. I hope this helps! Becky341

  23. Becky Jamin says:

    I’d just like to throw my 2 cents in here. I ALWAYS use tracking. I’ve been on Listia for 2 years and most of the time I never have a problem with the packages I mail through USPS. However, twice, in the last 3 months, tracking has saved my rear! I would have had to refund a total of nearly 100,000 credits if I had NOT used tracking! It may cost me .90, but it’s well worth it!

  24. This is a good post. Thank you so much for giving plenty of awesome information. I appreciate all your work and also providing a lot vital ideas for your readers. Thanks a lot…

  25. bigskinsfan says:

    It would be nice to be able to charge credits for shipping. As a buyer and seller, there are benefits to both parties. There are times where charging for shipping is necessary. As a buyer, using credits to pay for shipping would allow for an easier dispute process. It also helps when you are buying from a new Listian who has little to no feedback.

    • Patricia Collette says:

      This is to say the least and interesting spin to the way to pay for shipping, it would not work for me since i am on disability and still would not have the money to pay for the shipping but for the people that do have the extra money to pay for shipping I think this is a plausible way to help reimburse them for their trouble. Some people just think things should be completely free all the way around but they do not realize the cost to do this.

      • Normally, I start my auctions at 499. This is my way of charging for shipping. I am careful what I put up for auction so that I can always offer free shipping with tracking. The 499 start bid works for me.

      • Patricia Collette says:

        499 credits is less than a dollar-how can that cover anything. granted most my auctions also start at 499 unless it is very small.etc.

      • True, but I’d rather have a start bid that’s not too high. If someone will start bidding it usually goes pretty well. I think if my start bid is higher, it will put people off.

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  30. Just informed that Price for Shipping will be going up again on September 7, 2014. Isn’t it about time that Lisita Change the Minimum Prices they have to reflect the Post Office changes. How do they expect us to send items for the minimum amount that they list when it cost more than that to send. I only have the raised price for the Flat Rate Boxes, do not know what it will be raised to for First Class,Media Mail, or Priority Mail.

    Flat Rate Envelopes————–now 5.60————-new 5.75
    Legal Flat Rate Envelopes——now 5.75————-new 5.90
    Padded Flat Rate Envelopes—now 5.95————-new 6.10
    Small Flat Rate Box—————now 5.80————-new 5.95
    Medium Flat Rate Box————now 12.35———–new 12.65
    Large Flat Rate Box————–now 17.45————new 17.90
    APO/FPO/DPO Large Flat Rate Box—-now 15.45———-new 15.90

    Remember all going up on September 7,2014

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