USPS Postage Rate Cheat Sheet Comparison

This is a diagram or parcel postal rate charts that helps you figure out how to price your shipping for eBay, or what the shipping costs will be if you pass them on to the consumer.

It helps you answer questions like:

  • If I offer free shipping, can my profit get wiped out?
  • Will passing on the cost of shipping help lower the total price?
  • At what weight does Priority Mail become cheaper than First Class or Parcel Select Ground?
  • Just how much do Californians pay when they ship a package to Florida? (Oh, wow, that’s a lot.)
  • How much will this Priority Mail Shoebox cost to mail?

Free Shipping is Risky

Offering free shipping is risky – prices increase with distance for First Class and Priority Mail, and the difference can be around $10.  First Class and Priority Mail are the same thing, by the way, and have the same postal rate for the most part.

Priority Mail Fixed Rate packages are a way to standardize packaging, and, in many cases, save money when you ship in excess of around 15 pounds. However, at around 2 and 3 pounds, the price to mail a parcel varies greatly depending on the distance: the difference can be over $10.  These variations in postal rates must be factored into pricing if you are going to offer “free” shipping – and they can raise the price of a product and make it non-competitive in the local market.

The Diagrams Help You Learn the Rates

These diagrams, derived from USPS rate tables, will help you understand when USPS Priority Mail Fixed price packages are a big win, and when they are going to raise your prices so high that the prices are non-competitive.  You can use them to optimize product selection to fit into specific size or weight ranges.  The color areas represent when a fixed-rate package has a better postal rate than the metered rate.  The blank area in the lower right is the area where the Large Box is cheaper than metered.

Note that I’m not factoring in the price of a box when you ship without Priority Mail.  Boxes typically cost from $1 to $5.