Instantly compare shipping rates across UPS, FedEx, and USPS.

Hello, Etsy Sellers!

As fellow small business owners, we understand the need for watching every dollar. That’s why we got frustrated with how wild the rates varied between UPS, FedEx and USPS. In an effort to always find the best price, we started being much more aggressive about comparing costs for each item we shipped.

We’ve learned a lot on how to reduce shipping costs, and want to share with you. First, a few general tips.

  • The slowest option is the cheapest, and generally the slowest option is only a few days later than the fastest and most expensive one. So if you can spare the few days, slowest is best.
  • Save boxes and packaging materials to reuse. Boxes can get expensive, so reusing them will go a long way. What boxes and materials you do buy, be sure to buy in bulk.
  • Always pack well. It doesn’t matter who the carrier is—they all have upset employees. You’re bound to get handled by one no matter who you choose, so pack well to prevent damage to the contents.
  • Generally speaking, tracking is only worth it if you want a guarantee, and insurance is rarely worth it.

We also picked up a few things about the three carriers, USPS, UPS and FedEx.

  • The Post Office is almost always the best option for small items when you don’t care about speed of delivery. It’s tough to compete against it’s price.
  • The Priority Mail option from USPS is their best competition against the speed offered from UPS and FedEx. Consider it if you want both speed and affordability.
  • There isn’t much difference between UPS and FedEx except for overnight options. Delivering in less than 24 hours is FedEx’s speciality and will generally be the cheapest option. But, with almost any combination of speed and size, the distance matters most and both carriers will differ—sometimes UPS is cheaper, sometimes FedEx is cheaper. The important thing is to check both!

We’re sharing some tips in hopes of getting a few from you in return. Shipmate has this idea that Etsy sellers care about finding the cheapest shipping rate possible. We don’t want to sell you anything. We only want you to tell us if we’re crazy or on to something.

If interested, let us know by signing up for our email list. Matt, Kevin or Kris will reach out personally. Again, we aren't looking to sell anything, only to learn from you. We hope you can help us build a great tool!

In addition, you can check out Shipmate today to instantly compare shipping rates.

Thanks for your time!

— The Shipmate Crew