We list some ways to get significant savings on your postage and supplies. All without having to ship large volumes or negotiate rates.
The best bang for your buck is USPS. Not only are they generally the least expensive shipping option within the United States, it is really easy to get discounts on postage. 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 at the post office counter). Here are a few easy options to get discounted shipping labels:
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 all from the same web interface. 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 through 19 January 2021.
If you only ship occasionally, like during the Christmas season, this is ideal. You get discounted postage that you can print with your own printer, all without a monthly fee. 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 be a company.
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:
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.
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.
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:
Shippo is offering a UPS discount with savings of up to 55%! You will need to sign up for a free Shippo account and apply for the discount through this link. You'll need to be signed into your Shippo account to set up the discount.
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.
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 EASY during the payment process. More details can be found here.
expires on 31 December 2019 is still currently available.
Just in time for Christmas, Staples increased their UPS discount from 20% to 25% off 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).
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 thatyou 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.
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).
If you have an American Express credit card, you can get for discounts with FedEx. Using your Amex credit card to pay for FedEx shipping can get you 20% to 40% back. Link your American Express Business card to your FedEx account.
NEW! The AMEX Business Platinum Card is curently offering a 10% credit for shipping with FedEx.
Limited time. Expires 27 June 2021.
Additionally, all shipping purchases get a $20 per month credit till the end of the year! Details here. American Express is now offering 5 Membership Rewards points for every dollar spent on a shipping purchase (up to 80,000 points). Offer for earning the extra points currently expires 30 June 2021.
Signing up through the above link will also reward you with 95,000 points. (The author of this article will also receive some points for the referral).
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.
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, 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.
If you have a ROLLO label printer (paid link), you can use any of the free 4" x 6" labels shipping carriers often provide to their account holders. ROLLO printers accept all types of thermal labels. You are not forced to buy proprietary labels from them and can use any that are available.
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.
UPS also offers free labels and other supplies. Login with your account here.