- USPS Priority Mail is one of the cheapest ways to ship small items that weigh more than 1 pound
- UPS SurePost is one of the most cost-efficient ways to ship small items when you want to ship small packages weighing less than 10 pounds
- Whether you are shipping small packages under 1 pound or up to 10 pounds, Easyship gives you the shipping tools you need to find the cheapest way to ship small
It was a long lock down, but one way that many people have passed the time during an otherwise bleak year had been through picking up hobbies. From fire escape gardens and clay earrings, to bread making and knitting, there’s so much you can do inside!
But, to be honest, no one really needs a whole closet full of chunky, hand-knit scarves and hats. Why not turn your hobby into a side hustle with an eCommerce store?
Did you know? The number of active Etsy buyers exploded from 46.35 Million in 2019, to over 95 Million in 2022. As the largest marketplace for handmade and craft-related goods, you can launch your own online store today!
Make things, have fun, sell things, bring joy, earn money. That’s a win-win-win-win. Right? Not entirely. Experienced and novice sellers alike are aware that shipping costs can add up to a small fortune if you're not careful. Even, ironically, for small packages.
Whether you’re shipping domestically within the US or overseas, this article will help you figure out how to ship small items, the different carrier services available. Plus, how you can leverage Easyship's shipping tools to find the cheapest way to mail a small package.
Table of Contents
How to Ship Small Items
Shipping doesn't have to be a hassle. To ensure that you know what you’re doing and are making informed decisions, do your research before even looking at the packing tape.
- Package Your Items Properly: We’re starting at the beginning, as it were.. Though most small items have their own packaging, it is always good to add your own custom packaging to aid in branding efforts and further cushion the item from any form of damage should it be fragile
- Take Measurements: You’ll need to know the exact dimensions of your package when calculating shipping rates for small package shipping. It is especially important that you take accurate measurements so that you know the length, width, and height of your package. When divided by a cubic number, you’re recording the volumetric or dimensional weight. This measures how much space a parcel takes up. For small packages, there is a slimmer margin for error, so accuracy really matters.
- Weigh Your Package: You will need to know the exact weight of your package. Small packages are usually weighed in pounds or ounces given their size. This is called the dead weight, in logistical terms.
- Calculate Rates: Now that you know the exact dimensional and deadweight of your package, all you need to do is enter the weight, origin, and destination address of your package on our shipping rates calculator. This will automatically tabulate full, accurate shipping for you.
- Book and Pay: Once chosen a courier based on price, simply hit the “Ship” button to book your shipment and complete the payment.
- Print Your Shipping Label and Send the Package: The next step is to print your shipping labels, along with any customs paperwork when shipping small packages overseas. Then, you’ll use good quality, transparent adhesive tape to secure your printed shipping labels and customs documents to the side of your package. Finally, drop at the nearest courier location or wait for the next pick up.
Shipping International? Remember to Determine Customs
If you’re shipping internationally, the last thing you want is your goods to be stuck in customs. To circumvent this unfortunate series of events, you’ll want to take care of taxes and duties ahead of time.
There are two kinds: Delivery duty unpaid (DDU) which means the customer is paying those all-dreaded hidden fees and Delivery duty paid (DDP) which means the merchant has it covered. Whichever the case, it’s up to the merchant to decide. If the duties go unpaid, goods will languish in customs until they are paid, meaning delays in delivery and possible customer dissatisfaction.
Shipping Small Items: Available Shipping Solutions
Several shipping solutions will serve you the best when sending out small packages around the world and across the US. Here are some of the more cost-effective ways to do so.
- USPS First Class Mail: This is an excellent option for small package shipping for items under 13 ounces — especially thin, flat items, documents, and letters. It doesn't include package tracking services for small package shipping.
- USPS First-Class Package Service: If you want to find the cheapest way to ship items under 16 ounces for your online store, USPS First-Class Package Service won't let you down. It also includes package tracking services — a necessary competitive feature.
- USPS Priority Mail: Priority Mail is one of the cheapest ways to ship small items that weigh more than 1 pound. It includes package tracking and insurance for your goods.
- UPS SurePost: When you want to ship small packages weighing less than 10lbs, UPS SurePost is one of the most cost-efficient ways to ship small items out there. To make use of it, you must sign a contract with UPS. That said, although you cut costs, delivery times will be relatively longer.\
- FedEx SmartPost: This is another excellent option for shipping small packages that weigh less than 10 pounds. To use this service, you will need to have a contract with FedEx. But be warned: Delivery times will be relatively slow.
- FedEx Overnight: FedEx overnight will offer you the fastest transit time if you have an urgent package that needs to travel within the US overnight. But, as with any other expedited shipping solution, you will have to pay to play!
- DHL eCommerce: DHL eCommerce is one of the cheapest ways to ship small items overseas. With this economic service, delivery times may be anywhere between 10-16 days to most destinations around the world.
- DHL Express 12: If you want a cheap and faster option for shipping small packages overseas within 1-2 days, DHL Express won't let you down.
Now that you have an overview of each service, let’s break down the actual cost, shall we?
Here’s how much it would cost to ship a 2-pound package from Brooklyn to Miami, Florida with the Easyship Shipping Calculator. The dimensions of this package are 5x5x5 inches:
|Courier Service||Lead Time||Tracking||Total Cost|
|USPS - Ground Advantage||2 - 5 working days||Basic||$10.85|
|UPS® Ground||5 working days||Excellent||$10.83|
|USPS - Priority Mail||3 - 4 working days||Basic||$10.85|
|USPS - Ground Advantage Signature||2 - 5 working days||Basic||$11.43|
|USPS - Flat Rate Priority Mail - Medium 1||3 working days||Basic||$14.00|
|UPS 3 Day Select®||3 working days||Excellent||$14.19|
|USPS - Priority Mail Signature||3 - 4 working days||Basic||$14.25|
|UPS 2nd Day Air®||2 working days||Excellent||$18.95|
|UPS 2nd Day Air A.M. ®||2 working days||Excellent||$20.81|
|UPS Next Day Air Saver®||1 working day||Excellent||$40.81|
|UPS Next Day Air®||1 working day||Excellent||$46.99|
|USPS - Priority Mail Express||1 - 2 working days||Basic||$51.15|
|UPS Next Day Air® Early||1 working day||Excellent||$76.99|
The Cheapest Way to Ship a Small Package Internationally
So, how much does it cost to ship a small package? Well, when it comes to finding the cheapest way to mail small packages, there are few things to consider. They include:
- Weight of the package: How much does your package weigh? Is it less than 10 pounds or below 1 pound? The heavier the weight, the more expensive it gets for small items.
- Package dimensions: Does your package require you to use a flat envelope or a box with greater volume? Depending on the dimensions of your package, dimensional weight surcharges may apply.
- Carrier and rates: Different carriers will have their own rates and discounts.
To determine how much it will cost to ship a small package, you will need to use a shipping rates calculator to get an accurate quote depending on the weight and volumetric dimensions of your package.
Let’s look at the cheapest way to mail a small package weighing 2 pounds from Brooklyn to Hong Kong using the Easyship shipping rates calculator.
|Courier Service||Lead Time||Tracking||Total Cost|
|SF Express - Economy Express||5 - 8 working days||Basic||$25.03|
|Asendia - e-PAQ Standard||6 - 15 working days||Basic||$26.77|
|Flat Export||6 - 15 working days||Limited||$26.88|
|USPS - First Class International||8 - 11 working days||Basic||$27.41|
|Asendia - e-PAQ Plus||6 - 15 working days||Regular||$28.05|
|GlobalPost - Economy||10 - 15 working days||Basic||$32.01|
|GlobalPost - Standard||6 - 10 working days||Basic||$33.24|
|APC - Parcel Connect Expedited||10 - 15 working days||Excellent||$35.71|
|UPS Worldwide Expedited®||1 working day||Excellent||$40.22|
|APC - ePMI||10 - 15 working days||Regular||$43.03|
|UPS Worldwide Saver®||1 working day||Excellent||$44.45|
|APC - ePMEI||10 - 15 working days||Regular||$45.07|
|DHL - Express Worldwide||3 - 5 working days||Excellent||$48.62|
|UPS Worldwide Express®||1 working day||Excellent||$48.65|
|USPS - Priority Mail International||11 - 15 working days||Basic||$65.20|
|USPS - Priority Mail Express International||5 - 15 working days||Basic||$73.15|
|USPS - Flat Rate Priority Mail International - Medium 1||3 - 5 working days||Basic||$92.81|
Based on our calculations, the cheapest way to mail a small package overseas from the US to Hong Kong turns out to be SF Express Economy Express at $25.03 in 5-8 business days.
Remember that shipping rates will change based on the weight and destination of your package, so you may need to calculate accordingly.
Find the Best Way to Ship Small Items with Easyship
If you're an online store owner shipping small packages, Easyship has you covered! With our streamlined network of 250+ domestic couriers, we are dedicated to helping ambitious entrepreneurs like you boost profits and scale successfully. Unlock unbeatable discounts for domestic and international shipping:
- Save up to 76% on UPS Domestic Saver®
- Save up to 33% on SF Express Domestic
- Save up to 52% on Asendia - e-PAQ Plus Domestic
- Save up to 73% on DHL Domestic – Express Service
- Save up to 91% on DHL eCommerce Domestic services
Shipping small packages may have its challenges, but with Easyship's user-friendly shipping tools, we've got you covered. Effortlessly provide an exceptional delivery experience that your customers love today. Checkout some of our popular shipping tools:
- Shipping Rate Calculator: Discover the best deals by comparing exclusive rates from over 550+ domestic courier services. Find the most cost-effective shipping options for your small packages
- Insurance: Keep your small packages safe and secure with up to $10,000 in insurance coverage, allowing you to focus on scaling your store without worries
- Tracking: Boost customer satisfaction with custom-branded tracking emails and automatic message alerts throughout the delivery process for your domestic shipments
Remember: The dimension and weight of your package have a significant impact when determining the rates you will get for your small package shipping. So, make sure that you enter these fields correctly to get the best quotes possible.
Whether you are shipping small packages under 1 pound or up to 10 pounds, Easyship gives you the shipping tools you need to find the cheapest way to ship small, lightweight items anywhere in the world.
Sign up for an account today and get discounts up to 91% at any time for your small package shipping.
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