What I've learned shipping hundreds of boxes out of my house
Published: 17 Sep 2020
Modified: 17 Sep 2020
Are you ready to ditch those long USPS lines? Yeah me too. I wish someone had told me these things years ago!
I often get people asking me about shipping and how I do it. I'm not a super expert but I do ship dozens of packages most months with Rainier Watch, so here's my tips that have saved me money and time! 💰
The printer (and scale) 🖨
Get a label printer. Like yesterday. If you are printing even several times a month I think it's a worthwhile investment. I have this Rollo thermal printer thanks to Rami (check out his epic sock company!) that I love. Because it's a thermal printer it doesn't use or ever need ink replaced. Woohoo! The Rollo is easy to setup and easy to use. Definitely worth the $200ish investment.
Also important to this process is a scale (and measuring tape) so you can calculate the exact size and weight of your packages. There's dozens of options on amazon, just search for "shipping or mail scale". Whatever shipping platform you use will ask for measurements and weight. Unless you are shipping pianos, anvils, or bricks a flat rate box generally isn't a cost effective approach.
The shipping platform to save you money
Chances are if you are running an ecommerce business you are using Etsy or Shopify or Woocommerce. And in that case you are already getting commercial shipping rates (woohoo!).
But if you are still paying normal rates for USPS shipping then here's a secret: you don't have to be! There's a lot of platforms like ShipStation and Shippo that offer commercial shipping rates (in addition to other features). I prefer Shippo because it's user interface is better but check em both out if you ship a lot.
You can easily save $1-3 per package with commercial rates. And if you aren't shipping enough to pay for a monthly service or aren't running an ecommerce business then you need to be using PirateShip! Its free and is a great way to save money per shipment. Another alternative is Sendle although I've found PirateShip to be slightly cheaper.
Shipping materials 🌎
I was using USPS supplies (the flat rate boxes and regional boxes which you can get for free) before migrating to Eco Enclose. And I wish I'd done it sooner. Eco Enclose has a plethora of amazing, super earth friendly shipping supplies and materials for any needs you have.
My favorite products are their custom boxes for my shipments, a custom designed card for including in the boxes, and their zero waste labels! I use the custom boxes for an exact fit on my products which allows me to save money on shipping so I think they are worth it if you are shipping many times a month.
Seriously go check them out and earth will thank you!
The headache free pickup
I don't remember the last time I went to the USPS store to wait in their never ending line to ship a package. Here's a little known secret: Did you know USPS can pickup packages from your home? Its super easy to schedule a pickup so you don't even have to leave the house! Go here and schedule a pickup.
Only caveat is that it must be the day before, which has caught me a few times. Once I started using this free service, I never went back and you won't either!
That's it! Super quick and easy 🔥 tips.
In summary or in case you hate reading (thanks Buzzfeed), do this:
- Invest in a label printer
- Get a mail scale (and measuring tape)
- Use commercial shipping rates (free account at PirateShip.com)
- Save the earth with packing supplies from Eco Enclose
- Schedule your pickups via USPS
Did I miss anything you do? Hit me up on Twitter. Now get out there and start saving!