USPS Flat-Rate Shipping = Flat Ripoff?

I’m sure by now everybody has seen the commercials for the United States Post Office’s Flat-Rate Shipping. You know, “If it fits, it ships.” Sounds great in theory, but what most people DO NOT know is that unless your package weighs a certain amount, it can actually still be CHEAPER to send it through a private carrier, such as UPS or Fed Ex. Here is a better explanation:

As an example, let us say that a customer has an average size package (about 12″ by 9″ by 6″) going somewhere relatively close in proximity (1-2 days transit time, via Ground Shipping). The ‘Flat-Rate’ shipping cost for this size package is $10.70.  Sounds pretty good, until you realize that unless the package weighs 15 POUNDS (think of your average bowling ball), it is less expensive to ship it through Fed Ex, PLUS you get the added services of tracking and up to $100 of shipping insurance!  Now, Fed Ex rates will increase the farther away the destination is, but even for the farthest destinations (for this test we used rates from Florida to California), the package would still have to weigh over 7 pounds before the Flat Rate cost becomes a better deal than Fed Ex’s standard Ground Rate.  It gets worse, for the USPS Large Flat-Rate box, it would have to weigh almost 30 POUNDS before the USPS Rate is better! The only real exceptions to these rates are destinations outside the continental US, like Alaska and Hawaii–it will almost always be cheaper to go through the USPS. 

Your best bet? Always make sure you go to a Postal Service that has access to not just one carrier, such as the Post Office, UPS, or Fed Ex Stores.  Franchises like Goin’ Postal offer all services, and can give you all the rates–so you can  compare them and decide how you would like to ship your package. If you are in the Big Bend area of Florida, Goin’ Postal Tallahassee offers all these services–without the long lines!  Visit us at our store at 3491 Thomasville Road in Tallahassee, or on the web at and one of our expert staff will give you help with your shipments.


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