Compare Shipping Companies
To save money on shipping you need to choose the shipping company that you will deal with. Look around and compare rates charged by different shipping companies which include USPS, DHL, UPS, FedEx and others. There are numerous websites which you can browse on the internet to compare the rates and services. There are companies that offer discounted rates but in most cases you will have to ask for a discount yourself especially if you are a business. When you use one company for sending and receiving the shipments you will receive discounts and the prices will be lower. You can negotiate for discounts especially if you send large and regular shipments.
Size and Weight
Charges depend on the size, weight and destination of the package and also the extra services offered. There are many shipping methods offered and you will need to choose the most-cost effective method. This will depend on what you are shipping whether they are perishables, documents or durables. Always choose a money-saving service which is also reliable. You need to be sure that you products and documents arrive safely to your destination in good condition.
Some online stores offer free shipping for their products. Amazon offers free super saver shipping on certain eligible items in their website. You will also save money when you buy many purchases at once. Wait until you have numerous purchases and you save on shipping costs. You can also buy the products in bulk and save shipping costs per item. The earlier you buy your online purchases the cheaper the shipping costs will be if you choose the slow shipping option like Media Mail for small size books, CDs and DVDs. If you are flying you can send your luggage in advance. Go for the cheaper option and choose slow-shipping if you want to save money unless you need to ship the products immediately by express mail.
Shipping companies weigh your parcel and also measure its dimensions. Both the weight and the size will determine the charges. To save on shipping you will need to package your parcel in the right package. Pack it as light as possible and in the minimal size to save on shipping. You can ask you local store manager for free cardboards and wrapping materials and save money on packaging. You can also browse recycling centers in your area for free shipping boxes. When packing avoid extra spaces and pack your parcel using light materials in the spaces such as styrofoam peanuts or shredded paper especially for fragile and delicate items.
Buy in Bulk
If you have to buy shipping materials such as tapes, boxes, envelopes, bubblepak, Styrofoam etc. buy in bulk to save on costs. There are companies which provide free packaging materials such as boxes and envelopes in particular sizes. USPS online sends you free boxes and envelopes to use on Priority and Express Mail when you open an account with them. Make your order and they will ship them to you for free. If you have an eBay account you can order without opening an USPS account. You should recycle packing boxes and materials by using what you already have.
When you compare online prices you will need to enter your Zip Code, the destination you are sending the parcel, the size and weight of the package. Use a certified postal scale to weigh the parcel. Buy a good postal scale especially if you are an eBay, Amazon or Etsys seller because you will need to measure the exact weight to get the shipping costs calculation and avoid underestimation. Measure the width, length and height of the parcel and enter the details on the online shipping calculator. The charges will be displayed and you can do this on as many websites as you wish until you get the price that fits your needs and budget. The price charged will also depend on what is being shipped, the destination and the days it takes to arrive. The flat-rate offered by some shipping companies is better for packages that are heavy and bulky. You will be able to save substantially when you pay a flat rate.
Postage and shipping labels
You can print your USPS postage and shipping labels from your computer by downloading the software tools they have provided on their website in order to save money on printing.
USPS, UPS and FedEx have pick-up services which will save you fuel because they will pick the packages from your home or office. USPS carrier pickup service is free unless you need the USPS pickup-on-demand service for packages which you need to be picked immediately which will be charged. FedEx and UPS charge fees for their pickup service.