Expedited shipping costs more, so if you know you need to get a package somewhere by a specific date, get it shipped as soon as possible. Need an extra nudge towards the post office? Consider this: a small, two-pound package mailed from New York City to Los Angeles costs just $5.20 to send Priority Mail, but a whopping $34.70 to send Express Mail!
2012 USPS Holiday Shipping Deadlines:
Parcel Post - December 14
First Class Mail - December 20
Priority Mail - December 21
For Military Mail and International shipping deadlines go here.
Shipping rates can vary widely from one company to the next. Figure out who has the best deal by plugging your shipping information into a comparison site like shippingsidekick.com. It will show you all the available shipping rates from FedEx, UPS and the USPS. Pretty slick!
Print Your Own Postage
Planning to ship via USPS? Print your own shipping label at home and they'll give you a discount (as much as 15%), plus pick your package up for free.
Take Advantage of Free Shipping Deals
Ordering online (or from catalogs) is the ultimate time saver, but the shipping costs can be exorbitant. Before you place an order, do a quick web search for free shipping deals. "Store name free shipping" or "store name promo code" should return the results you're after.
Tip: National Free Shipping Day takes place on December 16, 2011 this year. To celebrate, thousands of retailers will be offering free shipping promotions. If you have Christmas shopping to do, this is the perfect day to do it. View participating stores.
Avoid Oversized Boxes
All of the carrier have size and weight restrictions. Exceed these limits, and you'll pay more to send your package lots more. Fortunately, avoiding oversized package fees could be as simple as choosing a smaller box. Know what you're up against, before you start packing that box.
Carrier Size and Weight Limits
Ship By Bus
Have an oversized package or something that you need to ship fast? Dodge the big shipping bill by sending it for a bus ride. It's a little known fact, but most bus lines accept freight, as well as passengers. As long as you have someone who can pick your package up when it arrives at its destination, it's a great way to save.
Bus Shipping Services:
Snag the Corporate Rate
The best shipping rates go to the people who ship the most stuff. That's great news, if you're a high-volume business, but it doesn't do much for the little guy. At least, until now. If you want to get the same rates as the big dogs, just use a shipping service like shipnex.com or eshipper.com. They ship enough packages with each of the major carriers to get some of the best rates around (as much as 60% off, according to NEX Worldwide Express), and they pass those discounts on to you, the little guy.
Ship to a Business Address
Residential deliveries cost more, so send your packages to work when you can. Just consider it an addition to your benefits package.