Using a private parcel service is a quick, easy and hassle-free way to send out items. However, most of these businesses will try to wheedle every last penny out of you! Below is a list of things you should take into consideration when shipping via a private parcel service.
SIZE MATTERS. This old adage is very true when it comes to shipping. Shipping costs depends on several things; size, weight, and destination. If you pack an item yourself, select the smallest possible box (including any room for padding). Also remember that most stores round UP in sizing boxes! 12.3 inches will be rounded up to 13 inches. Often this makes no difference, sometimes it does.
WEIGH MORE, PAY MORE. This is a no-brainer, the heftier your package, the pricier your shipping bill. When shipping through UPS Ground, the weight is often negligible (up to a certain weight.) If shipping through Air (next day or second day), weight is much more important on price. Always try to pack the box as light as possible.
DESTINATION. The further away your destination, the more expensive it is to ship. You really can’t do much about this; however, a Rural Surcharge will be given if a house is not on the regular UPS route. In this case, try to find somewhere on route to ship to (such as a PO Box). When shipping a $5 package to a rural area, a charge of ~$4 is added!
TOGETHER OR APART? If you’re shipping packages to the same place, it’ll often be cheaper to consolidate all the packages into one box–the price of the box would be less than the fuel surcharge of each individual package. This is not always the case. Try using common sense–if you have only three packages, it’s probably cheaper to ship them individually. If they’re pre-boxed, you may be able to have the boxes taped together. This negates redundant fuel surcharges and the price of an additional box! Just watch out for being charged for over-sized packages.
END OF DAY DELIVERY.If you don’t care what time your package gets into its destination, it’s a good idea to ask for the latest time (‘End of Day delivery.’) This will save you just a few dollars, but it’s better than losing a few!
POSTAL SERVICES COST MORE. Want a letter stamped and mailed? It’ll cost more than it will at the post office. Want to buy some stamps? It’ll still cost more. If it’s a service of the USPS, go to the USPS office. It’ll save you money.
PADDED ENVELOPES. The average cheapest price of a UPS package is about $5. If you put, for example, a CD in a padded envelope, it’ll cost at least $5 to ship it. The post office will ship it for $2 or less.
CUSTOM BOXES. Sometimes your item to be shipped is irregularly shaped. Sometimes they just don’t have the box you need. Either way, paying for two or more boxes isn’t usually fun. If you can, buy another box elsewhere or even make your own out of scrap boxes.
DON’T ACCEPT A HIGH PRICE. Sometimes employees at the UPS Store will try and knock a few dollars off for you. If you say, “Go ahead and try, but if you can’t, that’s OK” then you have given them permission to ship your package as is, despite the employee having offered to try and lower the price.