How to Estimate USPS Shipping in Your Craft Business

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One of the emails that I get a lot of through Cutting for Business is: “I just shipping my first package and lost money because shipping was way more expensive than I thought it would be!” Honestly, I hate to hear this because it is completely preventable! The United States Postal Service (USPS) has a shipping cost estimator on their website that you can use to help provide an accurate price quote to your customer. Today, let’s look at where to find it and how to use it.

Where to Find the USPS Postage Price Calculator

Visit https://postcalc.usps.com to access the tool.

How to Use the USPS Postage Price Calculator

  1. Input your zip code, the customer’s zip code, and the date of mailing. (The time isn’t too important.) Then choose whether you will use flat rate mailing boxes or your own box. As a note: Flat rate boxes are great if your item will fit in the box and is heavy, otherwise, choose “Calculate price based on shape and size”. Flat rate boxes are available free through the USPS at this link.
  2. On the next screen, enter the weight of your product and choose the type of package. In most cases, you’ll choose ‘Package’ or ‘Large Package’.
  3. The USPS Postage Price Calculator will now show you pricing for different mailing services that you can use to quote your customer. The retail price is the price you will pay if you walk into a post office and pay at the counter. The Click-N-Ship price is the price you will pay if you print your shipping label at home using your printer. 

Shipping Tips & Tricks

  • If your package weighs less than 15.99 ounces it can ship First Class Mail but you CANNOT ship using Click-N-Ship from home. If you have a Paypal account, you can ship from home using this ‘secret’ link: www.paypal.com/us/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_ship-now
  • If you ship through a marketplace like Etsy, Ebay, Paypal, or third party shipping sites, you’ll qualify for Commercial Base Pricing which provides discounted shipping. The actual discount is between 5% and 55%, but varies from site to site.
  • Prefer to ship through FedEx or UPS? They both have similar calculators on their websites.

No excuses now for inaccurate shipping quotes to your customers! It takes less than 2 minutes to provide an accurate quote.

Need more shipping help? Check out these posts on Cutting for Business.

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