A Guide on When and Why to Use USPS Flat Rate Boxes and Envelopes
Only 15 percent of consumers say they're happy with the shipping options offered by online retailers. Customers expect cheap and fast shipping, but that can eat into your profit margins.
Flat rate shipping is a life (and cost) saver for small business that ship predictable small but heavy items. All you need to do is choose your envelope and pay the flat shipping rate - no matter how much it weighs.
Stop weighing and worrying and start shipping confidently with this complete guide to the uses of flat rate boxes.
What Is Flat Rate Shipping?
Flat rate shipping from USPS allows you to ship a package anywhere in the continental United States for a flat fee and expected arrival of one to three business days.
To use the service, you choose a box or envelope, which as a flat fee assigned to it. It doesn't matter how much the box or envelope weighs; if it fits, it ships.
Though there is an upper limit of 70 pounds. Also, the box or envelope must close naturally so that you can secure it. If it doesn't, you need to scale up to a larger size envelope or box.
Note: the one to three day shipping time is an estimate. It is not a guarantee, and there's no money-back guarantee attached.
Who Can Use Flat Rate Shipping?
Anyone can use flat rate shipping for their business - or even personal - needs.
Flat rate shipping works best for those who sell items that are small but heavy. For example, books fit neatly in envelopes or boxes, but their weight makes them disproportionately expensive when you use standard shipping.
When to Use Flat Rate Shipping
Flat rate shipping is perfect for businesses who want to ship packages quickly but who don't have much to spare when it comes to cost.
The boxes you receive for flat rate shipping are free with the shipping fee, which saves you money. They also ship quickly (usually one to three days), and you can combine packages without worrying about escalating costs for you and your customers.
Because the boxes come with the shipping service and you only need to print the labels, it works best for cost-cutting efficiency.
However, flat rate boxes aren't the best option for every business. Why? Because the system is rigid compared to Priority Mail. Priority Mail is a weight-based shipping method, but it allows more flexibility in packaging.
Rather than sending out your products in USPS-branded packaging, Priority Mail allows you to use whatever branded packaging you like.
Why a Business Uses Flat Rate Boxes to Save Money
Flat rate shipping offers real benefits to anyone who runs to the post office more than twice a week.
Here's how you'll win:
First, merchants who choose flat rate shipping get free boxes and envelopes as part of the package. You can save up to $1 per item when you don't have to pay for the box.
Second, you get priority delivery. Priority delivery is a huge advantage for customers who want fast shipping at reasonable rates. Priority Mail arrives in two to three days, and it goes through a special handling process with USPS so that you can serve customers with confidence.
Third, it opens up more customers. If you can't ship to PO boxes or government addresses, then flat rape shipping opens up a whole new demographic at the same cost as the addresses you already reach.
How to Add Flat Rate Shipping to Your Basket (and Earn More Customers)
The most important gift that flat rate shipping gives you is that it offers customers the benefit of predictability. Being able to predict their shipping costs is a huge consideration, and it sets you apart from your competitors.
Remember that 95 percent of shoppers say shipping impacts their buying choices, and it makes all the difference for approximately 64 percent of those customers.
By using flat rate shipping, you can better mask your shipping fees to encourage more customers.
First, you can add your flat rate costs to your shipping page, so they know the cost of shipping before they fall in love with your product.
Second, you can integrate your shipping costs with the product cost. By taking this route, it appears as though you offer free shipping. However, you still collect the shipping fee, so you don't make a loss to win new customers.
Think the second route sounds complicated? Remember that customers who receive "free shipping" are 10 percent happier on average than customers who pay for shipping.
How to Use Flat Rate Shipping from Your Office
Skip the line at the post office and complete your flat rate shipping orders from home. Here's how to do it:
1. Order Your Boxes and Envelopes
Flat rate shipping boxes and envelopes come in all shapes and sizes. All you need to do is order them.
You can order them online from the USPS shop, or consult your local USPS postmaster to get them offline.
2. Print Your Labels
Once you have your boxes, you print the appropriate labels.
Your labels must contain your sender and receiver as well as the envelope or box type. Because there's no need to weigh it, you'll get your flat shipping rate right away.
Double-check your address (to avoid lost mail fees) and then print.
3. Drop Your Packages at the Post Office
Attach your labels to each order, and then take them to the post office. That's all you need to do to send flat rate shipping envelopes and packages from your office.
Is Flat Rate Shipping Right for You?
A small business uses flat rate boxes to save time and money, but they also do it to set themselves apart from their competition.
Flat rate shipping gives you and your customers' shipping certainty without penalizing either of you for the weight of the box.
Are you looking for shipping and mailing solutions? Get in touch to learn how we can save you money on every postage transaction.