If you sell goods online, you know how much shipping costs can vary. Nothing is worse than having estimated a certain amount for shipping only to find that the item actually weighs jusssst over 16 oz and the buyer is 2000 miles away in California! Or trying to ship in a padded flat rate mailer only to find that the items do not fit. Maybe you haven’t bothered to sell those heavy boots because once you pay $18 in shipping, it’s just not worth it, It turns out that there is a much cheaper way to ship large orders. Enter Priority Mail Cubic Shipping Rates with Pirate Ship.
What are Priority Mail Cubic Shipping Rates?
Traditional Priority Mail rates are based primarily on two factors – weight and distance. If you need to ship a 5 lb package that will not fit in a flat rate mailer a good distance away, you could find yourself facing up to a $25 postage charge. Cubic Shipping Rates are bases solely on the package size and distance. As long as the package is under 20 lbs, the weight doesn’t matter. Using a poly mailer and Priority Mail Cubic Shipping Rates, the same 5 lb package costs between $8.46 and $14.17 depending on the size of the mailer! It turns out that using cubic shipping could save sellers a TON of money over Paypal Priority Shipping Rates. These rates are typically only available to those who ship more than 50,000 packages a year, but now you can use Pirate Ship to access these rates for FREE!
What is Pirate Ship?
Pirate Ship is an online shipping service. It is similar to Stamps.com, but is absolutely free. There is no monthly service charge and they do not upcharge their shipping rates (until I found Pirate Ship, I never even knew that happened)! In fact, Pirate Ship is the only way for an average seller to access these preferred rates without incurring any additional cost. So what’s the catch? Actually, there isn’t one. You can sign up for free here and get started right away.
How much better are Priority Mail Cubic Rates?
It totally depends. For smaller priority packages, in many cases a Padded Flat Rate Envelope will still be the best way to ship. But for heavier packages headed greater distances, the savings can be HUGE! Plus you also have greater flexibility in packaging.
Postage Comparison for a 2 lb Package
Padded Flat Rate Envelope: $7.10, Medium Flat Rate Box: $12.85
|Distance||Priority||Cubic 0.1||Cubic 0.2||Cubic 0.3 ||Cubic 0.4|
While the numbers above may not look like impressive savings, there are a couple things to consider. First, Cubic Rates have two packaging options – boxes and soft (poly mailers and padded mailers). The best part about using poly mailers is that the rate is only calculated using the length and width of the mailer, not how thick it is, so you can stuff the mailer in true Buy, Sell Trade Style! Plus you can use even BIGGER mailers! A typical 9×12 poly mailer meets the qualifications for the Cubic 0.1 rate – so if you were shipping a 2 lb package from NY to CA and could fit it in that mailer, you would save almost $10!
What mailers and boxes can be used with Priority Mail Cubic Rates?
The good news is that no special packaging is required AND you can even use USPS Priority Mail boxes (just make sure they aren’t flat rate). Poly mailers offer the greatest flexibility since the measurements are only taken using length & width. For more information on boxes and polymailers that can be used with Cubic Rates, check out Pirate Ship’s article here. Below are some standard box and poly mailer sizes as well as where they fit into the Priority Mail Cubic Rate pricing grid – click on each size for ordering information and options. We also have an Amazon List here to find options for each rate class.
|Rate||Polymailer Size(s)||USPS Box Size(s)|
|Cubic 0.1||6″x9″ and 9″x12″|
|Cubic 0.2||10″x13″||Priority Mail 4|
|Cubic 0.3||12’x15.5″||USPS 1092, USPS 1097|
|Cubic 0.4||14.5″x19″||USPS 1092, USPS Shoe|
This all sounds too good to be true, are you sure it’s legit?
Funny… I wondered the same. Earlier today, I started chatting with Pirate Ship and had the opportunity to jump on a quick call with Jameson, one of Pirate Ship’s founders. Since there is so much savings potential (and the Facebook BST community is so big) I was worried that this was exploiting some loophole that could come back to bite us. Jameson made some great points!
- Pirate Ship is an authorized distributor of United States Postage, a highly regulated government instrument. The company is subject to audits and all sorts of compliance criteria. There is no way they could offer something fraudulent so openly.
- Other shipping companies offer cubic rates, but all others either upcharge or carry a subscription fee. Some even charge regular Priority postage rates while issuing Cubic Rate postage. (kinda sketchy, huh?)
- Is it really totally free? Yes. It is. There is no free trial or gimmick to rope you into something that will cost you more money. The site gets some sort of servicing fees for selling postage (just like any other distributor of services). And while I’m recommending you check it out, I have no skin in the game – they don’t have any sort of referral program. I simply thought that this information would be valuable to the BST community and that it could help offset rapidly increasing postage costs. To be honest, I think it could be pretty big for high volume sellers!
- Is the Priority service any different? Nope. You still get tracking and insurance. In fact, the service is actually BETTER – all Priority Mail packages sent through Pirate Ship carry $100 in included insurance vs the $50 provided when purchased from Paypal and USPS. So even if you are shipping via padded flat rate envelope, it makes sense to use Pirate Ship.
How do I get started with Pirate Ship?
The first step is to open your free account here. If you have been shipping through Paypal, the interface is super easy to use. If you are new to shipping online, definitely check our our post here covering the basics! (Note – it still needs to be updated to reflect this information)