How to Ship Packages with FedEx, UPS Ground and
the Postal Service
October 6th 2005
Choose a Shipping
There are some tricks you need to know for selling on eBay, but there
are also some practical things you need to know, one of them being how
to ship packages. What shipping company should you use? Should you use
UPS, FedEx, DHL or the old Postal Service?
Typically, if an item weighs less than 2 pounds then it is better to
ship it USPS Priority Mail. The postal service will give you the boxes
saving you between 50 cents and a buck on each package. Take advantage
Several years ago we shipped everything that weighed under 5 pounds
Priority Mail. Then the Postal Service raised their rates. They also
created shipping zones for anything over two pounds similar to FedEx and UPS. So
if you are in California and want to ship a package to New York it costs
more than if you were shipping it to Las Vegas. We calculated that in
most cases it was cheaper to ship UPS or FedEx Ground for anything over
You will want to get a large-base digital shipping scale. Bite the
bullet and buy a good one. Remember if a package weighs 1 pound and 1
ounce, the postal service considers it 2 pounds. The postal service
uses accurate scales and is diligent in their measurements. UPS and
FedEx Ground are less diligent.
The postal service does not pay for 1st class packaging like
the do for Priority Mail. In many instances it is cheaper to stick the
item in a Priority Mail box than buy your own padded envelope and ship
it first class. Every penny counts.
There are services that allow easy printing of postal labels. Endicia is a popular company that you can sign up with to print postal
labels. You can also import the customer list into their Dazzle program
saving you from typing in the address for each label.
The Postal Service also offers an online service. As of yet they do not
have an import function so that you can import the customer list, but
you will save the monthly service fee you would normally pay with Endicia. Weigh the benefits and decide for yourself which is best.
Both accept payment via credit card or debit card.
packages over 2 pounds you can choose between UPS, FedEx and DHL. We
have not used DHL so I canít describe their service for a comparison.
We did compare FedEx to UPS and found that UPS damaged more of our
This is what you want to do. Start shipping with FedEx or UPS. They
both have a program you can install on your PC to print shipping
labels. You can import the customer list into either program. The
import list can be generated by one of the eBay selling tools we
described in another article. It will usually come out as a spread
sheet file or .CSV file.
Open the file in Excel and save it as an import file. If this sounds
complicated donít worry, both FedEx Ground and UPS have tech support
teams that can walk you through the whole process. They use toll free
numbers and are friendly. The whole point to this is that you donít
want to have to type in every address, phone number etc. You type in a
customer number and immediately the address, email address and
everything is pre-filled. Then look at the scale and input the weight.
Some programs allow for direct weight measurement form the scale and you
donít even need to fill that in if your scale is hooked to the
computer. But remember, these two companies are more forgiving. If the
package weighs 5.3 pounds you will likely be able to call it a 5 pound
package, unlike the post office.
FedEx will give you a Zebra Label Printer after you have been with them
for a year. UPS does not do that. UPS will charge you a monthly fee
for theirs forever. That is another advantage to FedEx.
after you have been shipping with these companies for a year and have
built up some numbers, ask them for a discount. There will be a sales
rep assigned to you, ask him or her. They will usually take a few days
and come back with a plan. Take those numbers to the competitor and see
if they can beat it. Do a little negotiating; this could save you
thousands of dollars a year.
a future article we will tell you how to
box your package.
Best Syndication Staff Writer
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