The first step for business owners is knowing your options, and the costs.
When it comes to sending mail and packages, it’s easy to wind up overpaying. There are so many services and so many service providers, it’s simple to choose the wrong one if you don’t understand all of the details.
“Historically, companies have overspent on shipping by about 13 percent annually,” says Jamie Cohen, Senior Manager of Product Marketing at Pitney Bowes. “With shipping rates increasing, new fees and surcharges being added throughout the year, and the number of packages shipped each year on the rise overspending on shipping is likely to increase.”
For small businesses, every dollar counts. Most expenses like salaries, rent, and insurance are fixed, so it’s important for business owners to make the most of every dollar and save wherever they can. “Shipping is a great place to reduce costs and when the optimal shipping choices are made can deliver significant savings,” Cohen says.
Thankfully, a shipping solution like SendPro Online from Pitney Bowes can help businesses save money in numerous ways. Here, Cohen outlines differences between First-Class Mail® services and Priority Mail® services and explains how business owners can save money on shipping.
Smaller mail and packages: First-Class Mail services
First-Class Mail services include most types of mail that you’d find in your mailbox, from postcards and letters, to flats and lightweight parcels. “It’s an affordable service for standard-sized, single-piece envelopes weighing up to 3.5 oz (First-Class Mail) and large envelopes and small packages weighing up to 15.9 oz (First-Class Package Service) with delivery in four business days or less,” Cohen explains.
If you’re sending a package via First-Class Mail, USPS Tracking® is included. Insurance is also available, at an additional cost.
Pricing for First-Class Mail services is based on size, shape and weight, not by distance, Cohen says. “So, you’ll pay the same price no matter how many U.S. zip codes the mail crosses.”
The retail price for small packages starts at $3.80. However, you can save up to 25 percent1 with commercial-based pricing available when you use an online postage solution like SendPro Online, Cohen says.
Larger shipments, plus more: Priority Mail
If your mail piece weighs more than 15.9 ounces and you’re shipping with USPS, it must be sent via Priority Mail® services. “Priority Mail combines value and speed, with free package pickup service at your home or office, $50 of included insurance and USPS Tracking included when you mail online or at retail,” Cohen explains.
Pricing is generally based on weight and zone and starts at a retail rate of $7.50. Those shipping with an online postage solution like SendPro Online can unlock commercial-based rates and save up to 38.4 percent off retail prices.2
Business owners also have the option to use Priority Mail Flat Rate® packaging, where you pay one price across all zip codes. “There’s no need to weigh parcels or calculate postage for any parcel up to 70 pounds,” Cohen explains. “Simply add a pre-printed barcode label or full shipping label, and you’re ready to send.”
Pricing begins at $7.75 and shippers can unlock savings up to 12 percent off Priority Mail Flat Rate® shipments with commercial-based rates available in online postage solutions.3
The service you select for your business’ needs will likely be determined by specific criteria like weight, size, destination, and delivery time requirements. “While First-Class Mail services offer the best price for mail and packages that weighs less than 15.9 ounces, there are some benefits Priority Mail services offer shipper that First-Class Mail services does not including free boxes and envelopes, free insurance up to $100 and for Priority Mail Express delivery on Sundays in certain areas,” Cohen says.
When it comes to delivery time, First-Class Mail® and Priority Mail® delivery typically takes up to four days. If you’re looking for expedited services, Cohen says Priority Mail Express offers an overnight guarantee (all other carriers except USPS have suspended this) starting at $26.35 for retail rates and $24.25 for commercial-based rates available in online postage solutions like SendPro Online.https://28bda7a73b14cf574688017790f8bf81.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html
“SendPro Online takes the guesswork out of shipping with the USPS for you,” Cohen says. “It presents you with the available service options based upon your package dimensions and also unlocks commercial based prices,” offering small businesses big savings on mailing and shipping.