First-time shipper? Or do you need a refresher? Whichever it is, it’s best to know the correct way to ship a package.
We’re talking Shipping 101; shipping made easy.
Shipping isn’t as complicated as it seems. You’re good to go once you know the proper way to pack, the shipping options, and the postage format.
See also: How to Ship a Package
Shipping a Package
Shipping a package involves many steps, and doing them the right way saves time and money.
These steps include:
- Measuring your package.
- Wrapping your package.
- Choosing a mail service.
- Addressing your package.
- Calculating and applying postage.
- Shipping your package.
Measure your Package
Knowing the weight of your package beforehand will save you embarrassment at processing units when asked to pay extra. It would be best to weigh your package because it determines the shipping cost.
You can measure the dimensions of a package using a measuring tape. To check weight:
- Weigh the package.
- Weigh yourself while holding the package.
- Subtract both values.
- Subtract your weight from that of you and the package to be cocksure.
After measurement, you can wrap your package, but first, you’ll have to choose and pack your box.
See Also: How to Ship Golf Clubs
Wrap your Package
The size of your package determines the size of the box. Use a box that fits to escape paying extra. Also, don’t reuse a box used to ship a package, except you’ll cover and erase all labels and addresses.
Once you’ve noted the size and weight of the package, the next step is to order packing supplies and wrap your package.
Here’s a list of packing essentials you’ll need:
After wrapping, stuff packing material in free spaces to help cushion impact and keep the package in place. Once packed tight enough—make sure not to overstuff—close the flaps and reinforce them with strong tape.
Choose a Mail Service
After readying your package, there are factors to consider when choosing a mail service:
- Size and weight of the package
- Package contents
- Delivery time
- Special handling and insurance
- Confirmation receipts
USPS has a host of mail services: Priority Mail Express, Priority Mail, First-Class Package Service-Retail, USPS Retail Ground, and Media Mail.
Priority Mail Express
Priority Mail offers a flat-rate payment, which is constant regardless of your package’s weight.
A flat rate means the weight of your package doesn’t matter, provided it fits the USPS standard box, and priority Mail saves you weighing time.
Your shipment has free tracking and will get delivered within 1-3 days.
USPS Retail Ground
Retail Ground (formerly Standard Post) is the cheapest shipping option via USPS. It’s as slow as it’s cheap, and it’s the best option for shippers who have “all year” to deliver their shipment.
The maximum weight for Retail Ground shipping is 70 pounds, and delivery takes up to 14 days.
Sometimes, insurance is necessary when shipping a package; some valuables get insured with up to $5,000.
We recommend Certified Mail if you prefer a delivery confirmation service to verify if delivery was successful.
Note: Before taking out all the shipping steps. Check USPS to confirm if it’s not a restricted & prohibited item and doesn’t have mailing restrictions.
Address your Package
Addressing your package is the first step to shipping. You can copy the address format for envelopes; it’s the same for shipping.
Ensure your address labels are written or printed clearly, then attach both addresses to the box. But if you’re writing the address yourself, use a permanent marker or ink that doesn’t spatter.
Don’t forget to add a return address for you and your recipient to be safe.
Note: A postal label shows mail handlers and carriers the services—mail or extra services—you’ve purchased.
Calculate and Apply Postage
After packing, take your package to the post office for weighing and inspection. The postal worker calculates postage using size and weight. Postal workers also supply shipping options for you to compare and choose from.
You can check postage prices for different services online via the USPS Postage Calculator. The calculator sums up accurate shipping costs and postage calculations and calculates weights. All you need to do is enter your package information.
Attach postage to the package using transparent and waterproof tape. It’ll still be scannable via a barcode if the package gets wet. Please remember that postage goes in the top-right corner of your package.
Don’t underpay postage; else, the package will be returned, or the recipient will pay.
Ship a Package
You can ship a package using two methods:
Follow the steps below to ship packages .5-inch thick and weighing less than 10 oz (ounce).
You can either:
- Drop it in your mailbox for carrier pickup.
- Request a free pickup.
- Drop it in the main slot of a Post office lobby or blue collection.
Note: If it’s bigger than 10 oz, the carrier will leave it in your mailbox or return it.
Go to a Post Office counter if you’re using postage stamps or shipping weighty packages. You can buy stamps via the Post Office Self-Service Kiosk.
- Attach stamps to your package.
- Hand your package to the postal worker at the retail desk.
- Confirm the package’s preparation and postage.
- The postal worker will scan the package and process it for delivery. Make sure you collect a confirmation or receipt of the transaction.
USPS offers free package pickups and gets delivered that day or another. But you’ll have to pay if you want your package to be picked up at a specific time within two hours.
Although tracking may cost more, it’s a must-have when shipping valued items. Tracking shows evidence and gives repose to you [the shipper]. The tracking number allows you to monitor the package in transit.
See Also: How to Ship a Guitar
Tips for Shipping a Package
- Package fragile items in sturdy boxes.
- Use scotch tape instead of duct tape.
- Never secure your packages with cords, twine, or strings. They might get stuck on equipment.
- Slip a note bearing vital details like the packing slip, destination address, zip codes, and return addresses inside the box.
- Print a mailing label instead of a separate address label.
- Print the labels and attach them to your package.
- Using Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express gets you free boxes. You can get them online with free delivery or pick them up from the Post Office.
- You can pay for your flat rate Priority and Priority Express Mail postage online.
You’re ready for shipment! We hope these tips come in handy.