I found out you can actually use PayPal Shipping to send a package from the convenience of your home plus save a little bit on postage. This time I’m sharing a bit more details on the weight-based services (starting at under $3) plus some weight examples for your reference.
Priority Mail flat rate boxes have been around for a while and everyone knows how to use them, usually stuffing them to the brim for HWEP. You can actually pay for and print the postage at home through PayPal with a tiny discount, then get your packages picked up from home or skip the line and just drop them off at the counter of your post office. Then there are weight-based package services that allow more flexibility in package size and postage price. The two main USPS services relevant to us are First-Class Packages/Parcels for small packages and then Parcel Select Ground for heavier/bulkier shipments.
Normally at the post office, First Class Packages are limited to 13oz (about 10 loose HW, ignoring package weight) at the retail rate of $5.50. After that, it jumps directly to the Retail Ground service, starting at $7.77 or you could switch to Priority Flat Rate at $7.20 or more depending on how it fits the box
When postage is purchased online under Commercial rules, First Class allows up to 15.9oz at $4.94, allowing two more mainlines to be shipped at a lower price. The same 13oz comes out to $4.10 at the Commercial rate. You typically need a paid membership at a shipping solutions site to get these Commercial rates but luckily most of us already have a PayPal account that gives us these same discounts.
In terms of package size, I generally stick with the rule that it needs to be rectangular and all the sides have to be less than 12 inches. The actual rule for Commercial First Class is “Length + Girth = Under 108 inches” but 12 inches makes things easier. A 12”x12”x12” cardboard box and small bubble envelope are both under the same umbrella, as long as they are both under 13oz for Retail and 15.9 for Commercial. If you’re only shipping one or two Hot Wheels, you still need to meet the minimum size dimensions.
I don’t have as much experience with Ground services but that is for packages that weigh more than the First Class limit. Retail Ground is offered at the post office and Parcel Select Ground is the name of the commercial/online service which starts at $7.10 when exceeding 1lb. There’s barely any difference in cost if you continue adding a few pounds of weight until one side of your package exceeds 27 x 17 x17 incheslong, wide, or high so you can keep on packing by making a larger Franken-box that’s within size limits. It ships a bit slower but a lot cheaper than Priority rates. And as a reminder, it doesn’t come with insurance unless you add it.
That’s about all I need to say about USPS weight-based Commercial shipping. Here’s some helpful weight estimates to reference so you can get an idea of how much your proposed package would weigh, measured conservatively. Hopefully it gives you an idea of whether shipping by weight would be worth the price and whether to invest in a pocket scale for a few dollars to be more accurate. These are just estimates so I would recommend purchasing a few oz above your calculations and not getting too close to 1lb just to be safe.
This post was the result of being bored and stuck at home on a Friday evening
baby grannysitting while everyone else is out of town. I want cookies but I can’t leave the house.