- If it’s not completely necessary, don’t send it the next day! One of the most straightforward ways to save money on shipping is to avoid choices like 2-day and next-day delivery, often the most costly and, more often than not, avoidable. If you know your shipment needs to arrive by a certain date, make sure to send it out far enough ahead of time to avoid paying the higher cost. One trick is to send everything via USPS Priority Mail. It’s not a guarantee, but based on my experience, your package will most likely arrive in two days, if not three, depending on how far it has to go. A quick and easy-to-remember trick for cheap shipping is to mail your package far enough ahead of time to stop next-day shipping.
- Recycle packaging products and think beyond the box. This is a big one in my home, and I believe it will be the most beneficial. If you receive a shipment and the moving box is still in good condition, keep it! When you need to ship something, that’s one less package you’ll have to buy; remove the label and any tape and store it before you need it. This is also true of shipping bubbles and packing peanuts; why throw them away when they can be recycled? Avoid using items like newspaper, which will increase the weight of your package and force you to pay more postage. When it comes to finding replacements, a little creativity will help. I’ve also heard of people packing with zip-lock bags that have been sealed shut. Cheap shipping is entirely under your control, and all you need is a little ingenuity if you want to save money.
- Make a comparison of shipping costs. This may seem obvious, but I’ve met many people looking for low-cost shipping who only ship with one carrier. I can almost guarantee that one carrier would not be the cheapest in every circumstance, so unless you are shipping to the same address every time, I strongly advise comparing shipping rates. This will not only get you the best deal, but it will also get the package to you as quickly as possible. Shipping Sidekick, for example, will tell you when your shipment is expected to arrive and how much each of the various services will cost. This is a very simple and frequently overlooked phase in obtaining low-cost shipping, and it should never be overlooked.
- Profit from the lower rates. Using special shipping rates, such as media mail, is one of the most cost-effective ways to save money. This is a service provided by the USPS that allows you to ship items such as books, DVDs, and other types of media at a low cost. If you need your shipment to arrive quickly, this is not the option for you; but, if time is not a problem and you want inexpensive shipping, this is the option.
- Think about how you’re going to send it. This is more of a cost-cutting measure than a method of delivering the box. When shipping something, the postage cost isn’t the only thing to consider; you still have to drive to the carrier’s place, wait in line, and then drive away. You will save money in this area if you are strategic about when and how you ship something. Make every effort to ship at non-peak times. Mornings, lunchtime, and right after work are the busiest periods, so try to stop them. If you can’t take a few minutes off work to send a package to the UK, make arrangements for a pick-up. Most services will let you leave your package outside your door and arrange for them to pick it up when they are in the area. This is typically a free service that saves you money and time on petrol.
So, when it comes to low-cost shipping, these are just a few tips that have helped me save money in the past, and I hope that some of them will help you as well.