Do you own and operate a small business?
In the modern world, most small businesses have to deal with e-commerce to a certain extent to survive. Unfortunately, this means that these enterprises are often faced with high shipping costs, which can eat into profits.
So, in order to remain competitive in the modern market, keeping shipping costs to a minimum is a must. This allows these businesses to offer their customers the best rates around on the products and services they provide.
So, let’s find out about USPS Parcel Select and why it could be a good option for your business.
- About Parcel Select
- How Long Does USPS Parcel Select Take?
- Using Parcel Select with Stamps.com
- Collection by the United States Postal Service
- The Differences Between Retail Ground and Parcel Select
- The Differences Between Priority Mail and Parcel Select
- Got Another USPS Query?
- Final Thoughts
About Parcel Select
Parcel Select is a shipping service that is offered by the United States Postal Service. The service is designed to meet the needs of medium and large shippers. This is a relatively fast and reasonably priced service that is designed to secure repeat business.
How does it do this?
Although this is the slowest shipping service offered, it is also the most economical. This allows small businesses to save money when sending products to customers. However, it is important to weigh up the pros and cons and decide if speed is an important factor.
The USPS began offering this shipping service in 2013. It replaced the Parcel Post service, which was discontinued in the same year. People who use this service can take advantage of some of the lowest shipping prices around.
Accessing the service
Unlike other shipping services, you cannot arrange Parcel select at your local post office branch. And when you head on over to the USPS website, you cannot select this service. Instead, you need to head to the website of a dedicated postage vendor.
There are several online vendors who offer this service, such as stamps.com. When you go to this or other vendors’ websites, you will find full instructions on how to use the service. You can also purchase any postage, packing materials, and other items you need at the same time.
How prices are calculated?
There are several ways of calculating the cost of the packages you want to send. It is usually calculated according to the weight and destination of the items. If you are sending non-machinable packages, the dimensions will also be a determining factor.
What are the limits?
Standard, non-machinable packages that are sent using this service can weigh between one and seventy pounds. If you are sending a machinable package, the weight limit is 35 pounds. But oversized packages come with other restrictions, and it is important to measure these packages carefully.
The starting price for machinable packages that weigh one pound or less is $3.30. If you are sending one that weighs 35 pounds, you will be charged $6.85. This is less than half the cost of sending a small or medium Flat Rate package.
When it comes to non-standard packages…
The fees are slightly higher. But the maximum charge for a non-machinable package is $9.24. If you are sending an oversized seventy-pound package, the maximum cost will be $13.97. And these rates are still much lower than those of other shipping services.
How Long Does USPS Parcel Select Take?
Depending on the distance covered, packages shipped with this service take between two and eight days to arrive.
This is significantly longer than many other shipping services. And this is the main drawback of using the shipping service and is an important point to take into account. So, if you are offering your customers fast package delivery, this is probably not the service for you.
It is essential to note that Parcel Select does not come with the option of Sunday deliveries. For most customers, this is unlikely to pose too much of a problem. Customers can still receive deliveries through this service from Monday through to Saturday.
However, if you do need to offer your customers Sunday delivery for some reason, you will need to choose a different service. First-Class Package, Priority, and Priority Mail Express all come with the option of Sunday deliveries. But you need to pay a little extra if you want to use one of these services.
Even though this is an economical service, it still comes with a range of useful features. One of the features that small business operators are sure to appreciate is built-in tracking. This allows customers to keep track of the packages they send and keep their clients updated on delivery dates.
Do you need to pay more for this?
No, this feature is available at no extra cost and allows both the shipper and receiver to track the package. So, both parties can follow the package on each stage of its journey as it travels towards the destination.
This helps to prevent customers from becoming frustrated if it feels like the package is taking too long to arrive.
Using Parcel Select with Stamps.com
This online retailer offers one of the easiest ways of arranging this shipping service. All you need to do is head on over to the company’s website and take a look at the terms and conditions. You will quickly see that there are no minimum requirements, which makes this service particularly flexible.
Using this Parcel Select on Stamps.com allows you to print your shipping labels while at work or on the move. The service comes with a number of features, including Hold for Pickup. This option allows your customers to collect valuable parcels from their nearest post office branch.
If you have never used stamps.com before, you will need to create an account. Fortunately, this is a very quick and easy process. Plus, new customers are treated to a range of perks to help sweeten the deal and enhance customer loyalty.
The benefits of creating a customer account include:
- Four-week trial period
- $5 in USPS postage to use during the trial period
- Free pound digital scale
- Exclusive rate discounts
- No long-term contracts
- Reasonable monthly rate
Collection by the United States Postal Service
If you use Parcel Select, your package will not be collected by USPS. Instead, you will need to visit your local post office branch or post the package in a street letterbox if it fits.
Alternatively, you can hand over the package to your local mail carrier if you happen to see them.
If you choose not to visit your local post office branch, you need to prepare the package carefully. Make sure that the items you are sending are securely packaged and that you affix the correct postage. Because if you make any errors during the preparation stage, your parcel is likely to be delayed on its journey.
The Differences Between Retail Ground and Parcel Select
Retail Ground is another shipping service that is popular among small business owners. In many ways, these two shipping services are fairly similar. Both come with USPS tracking and identical delivery times. But here are the main ways in which these two shipping services differ.
You can head on over to USPS’s website to arrange the Retail Ground shipping service. You can also visit your local post office branch if you prefer. However, these two options are not available if you choose the Parcel Select shipping service.
Parcel Select is considerably cheaper than Retail Ground in many cases. The former service is only available to a select group of people who regularly send parcels. And people who want to take advantage of this low-cost service have to create an account with a third-party postage retailer.
The Differences Between Priority Mail and Parcel Select
Priority Mail is another popular service among people who regularly send packages. This is one of the main services you might want to consider before choosing the best option. Here are the key differences between these two shipping services.
Priority Mail is much more expensive than Parcel Select. Even though there are several different types of Priority Mail services, each is offered at a higher rate.
Priority Mail is much faster, and recipients can receive their packages in just one day in some cases. If you choose Parcel Select, the average shipping time is typically double. Another key advantage of Priority Mail is that it comes with the option of Sunday delivery for an additional fee.
Priority Mail can be accessed both online and in post office branches. This makes it much more convenient in many ways. If you opt for Priority Mail, you can also take advantage of Scheduled Pickups by USPS.
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Ok, back to today’s USPS business delivery service guide…
The United States Postal Service offers a range of different shipping services at different rates. Each of these services is designed to meet the needs of different types of customers. So, it is important to check out the features of each service carefully when choosing the best option for your needs.
When deciding which to use, it is a good idea to make a shortlist of your priorities. If speed is one of the most important factors, you probably shouldn’t opt for Parcel Select. However, this could be the right shipping service if you want to save your business and your customer’s money.