Shipping First Class vs Priority

I have a total Logistics fetish. So after years of just sending things via the “whatever’s cheapest” route, I decided to do some homework and see if I was missing out or limiting myself.

Shippo: Your New Best Friend

Before I really get into it, I want to talk about a service I recently found while looking for shipping label templates. It’s called Shippo. This isn’t sponsored in any way – I just truly love this service and highly recommend it to EVERY US-based seller out there. You can use it to print your labels from home, even First Class! You get a real USPS tracking number and real time updates while your package is on its journey. Plus – and I don’t know how this works – it costs a little less to ship than the Post Office. A $5 package mailed First Class at the Post Office costs $3.67 to send through Shippo. A $7.75 package mailed Priority Flat Rate at the Post Office costs $7.15 through Shippo.

What’s the catch? I honestly can’t find one. Its fees are beyond fair – 5ยข per label (waived through October 1 2020). When your package is all ready to go, hand it to a mail carrier, or drop it into a blue mailbox. I love it.



For the sake of consistency though, I am going to just use USPS prices in my examples in this article, so your mileage may vary. My hope is that you can at least get a good idea of the benefits of each service.

First Class

First Class is the “whatever’s cheapest” option. As of September 12 2020, a small bubble envelope with one pair of panties will run you $5 and take up to 4 days to arrive – maybe longer, thanks to Covid. If you don’t use a shipping service (such as Shippo or stamps.com) you will need to physically visit the Post Office to send it out. Also, you’ll need to provide your own envelope or box, so you may want to consider their costs as they’ll cut into your overall profits.

The more your package weighs, the more it will cost. Up to 9 oz is $5.75, up to 13 oz is $6.50, etc. If you’re sending more than just some panties, you could easily wind up paying more for First Class than with Priority. So always check the prices for all options if your package is on the heavier side.

Priority

Offering Priority shipping sounds appealing. All our buyers would love priority service, wouldn’t they? And they usually know it means that they may get their orders a day sooner, which makes everyone happy.

I recommend using the Flat Rate envelopes and boxes that are available at the post office. They look so much more professional than yellow envelopes. And best of all they are free – you can literally walk in, grab a stack of boxes, and walk out. Yes, the envelopes are huge – but you can actually fold them in half. As long as they are able to seal without using tape (but you can still reinforce with tape), you can fold or bend the envelope however you’d like. I fold mine in half, then go all around with packing tape. (Warning – if you’re grabbing some boxes, make sure they say “Flat Rate”! There might be some that are almost identical, but they’ll cost more to use.)



With priority you can print your labels through the USPS site, then hand it to a mailman or drop it in a blue mailbox. Hello, convenience. Printed labels look so much better, and much more discreet, than handwritten addresses.

A Priority Flat Rate small box costs $8.30 to mail, and a Flat Rate envelope costs $7.75. Both can weigh up to 70 pounds – that’s more than enough for the goodies you’re going to send ๐Ÿ™‚

Justifying The Higher Cost

There are probably lots of ways you can make it work. As for me, I decided to ‘discontinue’ my single day wears, as I felt two day wears were so much better anyway. So instead of charging $30 for one day, for example, let’s charge $35 for two days. This works for me because I don’t usually have many orders at once, so I can get away with almost giving away that second day for the sake of providing a much better product. If I couldn’t, I would have just raised the one day price.

Now let’s do some math.
One day wear ($30) – First Class shipping ($5) = $25 profit (not counting the cost of your own shipping supplies)
Two day wear ($35) – Priority shipping ($7.75) = $27.25 profit

Obviously $35 – $5 would give an even higher profit ($2.75 more). But then when you consider the cost of envelopes and the inconvenience of visits to the Post Office, the uncertainty of the postal service during recent cuts and Covid, and then the appeal to your buyers in getting it sooner and feeling like a priority… I feel that’s worth the $2.75.

In Conclusion…

Everyone is different and all sellers do business in the ways that work best for them. I can only highly recommend what works for me, but I don’t blame anyone at all for doing it differently if that’s what they prefer. This article was just to share my research and experiences in hopes that by doing the hard work for you, you might consider trying new things you never thought of trying before ๐Ÿ™‚