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Shipping 101


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Go To Great Panes, Kathryn Maloney ©2009
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To figure your shipping rates you need to find out what your items weigh in packaging and then you can use the USPS shipping calculator for shipping rates (if you are in the USA):

http://ircalc.usps.gov

I recommend weighing several packages, writing down the weight and then taking the packages to the Post Office and having the clerk there weigh them too. Compare the weight your scale read to the post office’s scale so you know if your scale is off & how to adjust.


Using the Shipping Calculator

When you use the USPS Shipping Calculator it will ask for zip code. We use a zip code from the farthest zone so that we’ll know the highest rate the shipping can be if we are using a service other than First Class. To find out what zone is the farthest from you, see here:

Shipping Zone Tool

Click the little question mark links on the USPS calculator pages if you need more info as you go.

Be sure to click the “Display All Options” box near the top of the price results page if you want to see any service choices other than the most expensive ones….

Your First Class Domestic Mail will need to be labeled a package to be eligible for Delivery Confirmation (which all packages using Paypal labels automatically gets for a discounted rate). To be labeled a package it needs to be one of these:

• Rigid – does not bend easily
• Not rectangular
• Contain items that cause more than 1/4 inch variation in thickness
• At least 3/4 inch thick

See the rules for delivery confirmation eligibility on the USPS website here: 10.2.2 Eligible Matter

For thin bubble mailers, we just stick a packing peanut in the envelope and that bulks it up enough to meet the requirements.

The largest package you can ship through USPS is 70 lbs and “may not measure more than 108 inches in length and girth combined, except Parcel Post, which may not measure more than 130 inches in length and girth combined”. See more on that including how to measure here:

http://pe.usps.com/text/dmm300/101.htm#1034246

If the box dimensions are large there’s some variation in pricing for International First Class packages:

http://ircalc.usps.gov/PopUps/FCMIParcel.htm

You can also use these rate charts if you prefer–click the name of the service to see the rate chart:

https://www.usps.com/ship/service-chart.htm

I like the charts, but it’s good to be familiar with shipping rules before just using them & not the shipping calculator. (You’ll be there in no time!)


For more shipping tips see our main “Shipping” page–see the gold links on the right or click here:
Shipping

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