Getting the Lowest Price When Shipping Packages
In this section, we offer a few tips on how to get the lowest price shipping for each of the major carriers without having to get on the phone and negotiate with any of the carrier's account representatives.
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 (you pay the most at the post office counter). Here are a few easy options to get discounted shipping labels:
- USPS Click-and-Ship -
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, and you 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.
- Paypal (BEST OPTION) - You heard right, you can buy discounted postage directly from Paypal! It's a bit hidden and hard to find amongst all the menus, so here is a direct link. From there, you can buy your postage and print it out on your home printer. If you have a package that is less than 16 ounces, you can print a First Class Package label! You'll need to sign-up for a Paypal account if you don't already have one (it's free). Skip going to the post office entirely by scheduling a free pickup from USPS online after you print your label.
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 for free:
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. Learn more about the UPS program here.
- FedEx Save Now Program - 16% discount on select FedEx Express® services, 8% discount on select FedEx Ground® and FedEx Home Delivery® services.
- Your local shipping center may be offering a deal through Yelp.com. 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. 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.