Getting the Lowest Cost Shipping

We list some ways to get significant savings on your postage and supplies. All without having to ship large volumes or negotiate rates.

USPS Discounts

The best bang for your buck is generally USPS. Not only are they usually the least expensive shipping option within the United States, it doesn't take much effort to get discounts on postage. Many services sell USPS postage. Look for one that doesn't charge you a monthly fee while still offering discount commercial rates. To get discount rates such as Commercial Base or Commercial Plus prices, you'll need an account at an online service that lets you purchase postage through the computer (you pay the most in-person at the post office counter). Here are a few easy options to get discounted shipping labels without needing to ship in high volumes:

01. Shippo

BEST OPTION - No Fees! Link.
Shippo offers an easy to use interface and gives you discounted USPS commercial pricing as soon as you sign up (Save up to 88%). You are also able to print labels from other carriers like DHL, UPS, and FedEx (which are also discounted by Shippo) all from a single web interface. This allows you to choose the cheapest option for whatever destination or parcel weight you are shipping at the time.

Their basic account requires no monthly fees, and a label is only the cost of postage, which is the discounted USPS commercial rate.

Shippo has removed all fees for its default carriers (USPS, UPS, DHL Express).

If you only ship occasionally, like during the Christmas season, having an account with no monthly fee is ideal. You get discounted postage that you can print with your own printer, all with just the cost of postage. If you ever find yourself shipping more, they offer a shipping API and e-commerce integration if you need to automate your shipments. You can also easily upload a CSV file to buy labels in batch. It's a powerful service that anyone can sign up to and use. You don't need to have a company to sign up.

Skip going to the post office entirely by scheduling a free pickup from USPS after you've packed your shipment.

Shippo is currently running some promotions. Use the following codes:

  • Ship two packages, get a $10 credit: JUSTSHIPIT
  • 3 free months of the Professional Plan: PRO6PE is also a good alternative for online postage. They provide discounted commercial rates for both USPS and UPS.

shippo logo

02. Paypal

Better Option - Link.
Chances are you already have a Paypal account, but didn't know about the postage feature. The postage option is a bit hard to find amongst all the menus, so here is a direct link to Paypal shipping.

From there, you can buy your postage and print it out on your home printer. You'll need to sign-up for a Paypal account if you don't already have one (it's free). It's pretty convenient for one or two labels at a time, but the user interface can start to get cumbersome if you need to print a bit more.

paypal logo

03. USPS Click-and-Ship

Good Option - Link.
Signing up at the official United States Postal Service site allows you to buy labels online. They will be slightly less expensive than buying from the physical post office location, but you don't get any discounted commercial rates like you do with Shippo. Though, you do get to avoid standing in line at the post office line by printing out your shipping label at home. You don't need a self-adhesive label, just simply print the label on regular printer paper and tape it to your shipping box. One drawback is that the USPS site only lets you print Priority Mail labels. You will not be able to buy First-Class postage labels. Look to Shippo or Paypal for those.

If you ship exclusively with USPS, take a look at the USPS Loyalty Program. For every $500 spent using Click-N-Ship, you can earn $40 in credit with additional credit tiers the more you spend. Click-N-Ship is targeted at small businesses that has decent volume, though you'd want to weigh it against the price of using a service that provides you with commercial rates like Shippo.

usps logo

UPS Discounts

FedEx and UPS discount rates can be applied to your account if you ship enough volume. You just need to call a representative that services your region and negotiate a bit. However, if you only ship out packages occasionally, like only during the holiday season, here are some options that let you get discounts by applying online:

01. Shippo and UPS

Shippo is offering a UPS discount with savings of up to 55%! You will need to sign up for a free Shippo account. Discounts are automatically applied as soon as you sign up to Shippo. This is the easiest and fastest way to get a UPS discount. No need for UPS promo codes in 2022.

screenshot of shippo's ups discount of up to 55%

02. Ebay

Associating your UPS account with eBay can provide up to 34% in savings. You'll need an eBay and UPS account (both free). Sign up to eBay here. Sign up to the UPS program here. You will need your eBay ID in order to sign up. You can get one for free by creating an account on eBay here.

ebay plus ups logo

03. Promo codes

UPS will occasionally offer a promotional code for savings. They are currently offering 20% off UPS Ground Shipments and 40% Air shipments when you enter the promo code SOAR during the payment process. More details and latest promo code can be found here.

The offer expires on 31 December 2019 is still currently available.

UPS logo

04. Staples Discount

Staples has a current UPS discount of 20% off of expedited UPS shipments. This means ground shipping does not qualify for the discount, only speedier 2-day and next-day shipments. For discounts on ground shipments, sign up to Shippo (above).

You can find the printable coupon here. It is currently set to expire on Auguest 27, 2022. You can occasionally find other discounts on Staples shippng services page.

staple's store logo

FedEx Discounts

FedEx has a variety of ways to save. They partner with a variety of other companies so it may take a bit of research to find the best deal that you qualify for.

FedEx is offering good discounts just for signing up to their online account. You'll get up to 40% off FedEx package services compared to their published rates. You don't need to apply for any discounts, it is a special they are running. You can take advantage it by creating an account on their site.

01. FedEx Advantage Program

Other discounts are available. Such as up to 29% off FedEx Express shipping and up to 20% off FedEx Ground shipping. You'll also get discounts on FedEx Office services, like printing. You can enroll online here.

Sign up to multiple accounts and compare the prices

It may take a couple of days before the offer is approved and applied to your account. The promo is associated with Shippo, so be sure to have an account with them first (it's free).

fedex logo

02. American Express offers

If you have an American Express credit card, you can get discounts when you use the card to pay for your FedEx shipment. Using your Amex credit card to pay for FedEx shipping can currently get you 10% back for both freight and parcel shipping. Link your American Express Business card to your FedEx account.

The AMEX Business Platinum Card is curently offering a nice 45% credit for shipping with FedEx. Previous credits were 10%, then increased to 50%, and have now been revised to 45%. Still a great deal!

amex deals fedex deals

Limited time. Expires 30 June 2023.

Signing up through the above link will also reward you with 120,000 points. (The author of this article will also receive some points for the referral).

american express logo

03. USAA members

Members of USAA can get savings of up to 28% on US shipping services, and 36% on internatinal FedEx Express. Sign-up to the program online or call FedEx at 800-256-6717 and have your USAA member number in hand.

usaa logo

Courier Discounts

There are many courier services in operation, but it can be difficult to figure out which one to use. They often specialize in specific regions or destinations, and may not cover shipping across the whole United States. This makes it difficult to find the one that will best serve your needs.

sendle logo

Free Premium Sendle account

Get a free premuium account with this link!!!

Sendle is a new service that taps into their large delivery network of shipping providers and handles getting you the best price with the best courier. They also utilize other shipping services including the USPS. However, their biggest selling point is their service is 100% carbon neutral.

They have pricing starting as low as $3.45. OnlineShippingCalculator has worked with Sendle to provide our readers a free Premium account. You'll be able to get their discounted prices that are usually reserved for high volume shippers. You will not to send any minimums number of packages and there are no monthly fees. Usually, their Premium account requires you send 20 packages a month. You can sign up here.

Yelp Discounts

Your local shipping center may be offering a deal through Buying a deal through Yelp will get you a voucher that you can then use in-store. Discounts vary by location. Shipping prices will also vary wildly as some shipping and mailbox centers will add their own service fees on top of carrier fees, so you may not always be getting the best deal. The screenshot below shows the results of the search "shipping centers" after a filter is applied to only show locations that are offering a deal.

yelp shipping discounts screenshots

Free Shipping Supplies

If you have a thermal shipping label printer that supports non-proprietary labels, you can use any of the free 4" x 6" labels shipping carriers provide to their account holders. Our can help you choose the best shipping label printer for your needs.You are not forced to buy proprietary labels from them and can use any that are available.

01. Free FedEx Labels

Order free FedEx labels here. You will need a FedEx account. There are many types of labels you can choose from, as well as FedEx boxes and pouches.

screenshot of free shipping labels on fedex site

02. Free UPS Labels

UPS also offers free labels and other supplies. Login with your account here.

Once you're signed in, navigate to the “Packaging and Shipping Supplies” link and then choose “Labels and Stickers.”

If you have a laser or inkjet printer, search for the "WorldShip Peel and Stick Label". Instead of the 4" x 6.25" inch roll of labels, you'll get 50 letter sized sheets with 2 self-adhesive 8.5″ x 5.5″ labels on them.

Even though these labels ship free from UPS, you will still need to set up an account number and have a credit card on file with UPS.

screenshot of free shipping labels on ups site

03. Free USPS shipping boxes and labels

The United States Postal Service provides free boxes, envelopes and labels for their Priority and Express Mail services. This includes their flat rate boxes. Your local post office will often have a few varieties in stock, but for the shoe boxes, mailing tubes, cremated remains kit, or board game boxes, you may have to order them online. They all ship free and do not cost anything. You can only use them with USPS postage. You cannot stick a FedEx or UPS label on them.

Free USPS shipping supplies are available here

screenshot of free shipping labels on ups site