Simple Tips For Saving on Shipping

  • Join an association to get discounts from major shipping carriers. For example, if your business is a member of Green America (a nonprofit devoted to ethical consumerism), you could get a discount from a major carrier like FedEx.  Call your preferred carrier to see what associations they partner with.
  • Be as accurate as possible when weighing and measuring. This way the customer isn’t being overcharged for shipping, or undercharged, resulting in you having to eat the difference.
  • Purchase your shipping labels, shipping boxes, packaging tape, etc. online, in bulk, and in advance. This saves a significant amount of money, compared to buying the supplies over the counter at the post office.
  • Using USPS Priority Mail shipping boxes is also a great way to save money. The shipping time is fast, and the weight limit is 15 pounds, which should accommodate quite a bit for an average online retailer.
  • Reuse the shipping boxes that your inventory comes in. Also, try asking your local newspaper for unusable paper that you can use as packaging.  Some cardboard manufacturers sell scraps that you can also use for packaging.
  • Speak to your carrier service about getting a discount, which will probably be more the more that you are using them. If you are shipping often, than you shouldn’t be paying standard shipping rates.  Don’t be afraid to negotiate!
  • On the other hand, it might be helpful to split carriers. Find which carrier offers the best prices for heavy packages (like FedEx), and which works best for the lighter packages (like the United States Postal Service).


  • Using sites like can save you tons of money on postage.
  • Using an order management system can automatically determine which carrier will be the best option for what you are sending. There are even warehousing and shipping companies that will do the same thing and then package and ship your item for you directly from your warehouse.
  • Some online business websites, like Etsy, offer you the option of printing out your shipping labels directly from their site. This usually saves a lot on postage compared to the post office, and it even sends out a tracking number to customers so that you can mail your packages at any time, regardless of whether or not the post office is open.
  • For drop shippers, ask your manufacturer to ship your product from your account, otherwise they will probably inflate the shipping costs.

In the end, there is no magic rule for how to save money on shipping.  Some will recommend you use multiple carriers, some will recommend that you stick to one.  However, some of the recurring tips are these: weigh and measure each package to get accurate shipping costs, buy shipping supplies in bulk and ahead of time, and pay attention!