USPS Flat Rate Boxes & Pricing: eCommerce Businesses

Learn how to save money on shipping costs by using USPS flat rate boxes. You'll also learn about the different types of boxes and their corresponding prices.

USPS Flat Rate Boxes & Pricing: eCommerce Businesses

If you are an owner of an eCommerce store, you already know the hassle of finding convenient and affordable shipping solutions. In today's fast-paced world, consumers want to place their orders and expect to receive them in less time with free shipping. That is why eCommerce businesses opt for USPS flat rate shipping. It allows the eCommerce store owners to ship their products efficiently and affordably. If you plan to leverage this shipping option, complete details about it are essential. 

This post will provide you with a comprehensive idea of flat rate shipping, its benefits, how it works, and other essential details.

What is Flat Rate Shipping?

USPS Flat Rate shipping is just that — USPS branded packaging with flat postage rates, no matter how heavy the package is. If you're shipping heavy, small items, USPS mailing boxes flat rate can be one of the cheapest ways to ship, since the shipping cost remains the same regardless of the package weight or shipping distance. Keeping a supply of these boxes on hand for your fulfillment operations can cut your shipping costs by 50% annually.

Does USPS charge for boxes? USPS offers a variety of flat rate packaging options, including six sizes of envelopes and four types of boxes, to fit your unique shipping needs. How do flat rate boxes work? All supplies are free of charge and can be picked up at your local Postal Office or mailed to you directly through USPS's website. Most shipping software supports flat fee shipping packaging; you have to make sure you chose it when you're creating the label. 


Related: Cheapest Overnight Shipping Options for Retailers

The Pros and Cons of Flat Rate Shipping

USPS flat rate shipping comes with various pros and cons. The most significant benefits and drawbacks are listed below. 

Pros of Flat Rate Shipping

You Know The Exact Shipping Cost Upfront

With flat rate shipping, you will know the exact cost of shipping your product before you even ship it. This gives you the ability to budget for shipping costs and avoid any surprises down the road.

 Flat Rate Shipping Is Often Cheaper Than Traditional Shipping Methods

How much is flat rate shipping? When done right, flat rate shipping can be cheaper than traditional shipping methods like first class or ground shipping. This is because large flat rate box price offers a discounted rate for bulkier shipments.

 Flat Rate Shipping Is Fast And Convenient

Flat rate shipping is one of the fastest and most convenient ways to ship your products. Your customers will appreciate the speedy delivery and you’ll be able to get your products to them faster and with less hassle.

Related: How Late Does USPS Deliver? A Complete Guide

USPS Offers Flat Rate Boxes In A Variety Of Sizes

Where to buy flat rate boxes? The United States Postal Service offers flat rate boxes in a variety of sizes to fit your shipping needs. Whether you’re shipping a few small items or a large item, there’s a flat rate box that will fit your shipment.

You Can Ship Flat Rate Domestically And Internationally

 USPS flat rate boxes sizes applies to both domestic and international shipments. This makes it a great option for businesses that ship products both within the US and to other countries.

Related: USPS Lost My Package: What Do I Do?

Cons of Flat Rate Shipping

There Is A Risk Of Overpaying For Shipping

If you’re not careful, you can end up overpaying for shipping by using flat rate shipping. This is because you’re paying a flat rate box fees for the shipment, regardless of the actual weight or size of the shipment.

Flat Rate Shipping Is Not Always The Cheapest Option

While flat rate shipping can be cheaper than traditional shipping methods, it’s not always the cheapest option. This is because flat rate shipping only offers discounts for bulkier shipments. If you’re shipping a small item, flat rate shipping may not be the best option.

Related: Overnight Shipping: How Does Next Day Shipping Work

You Must Use A Flat Rate Box

 When using flat rate shipping, you must use a flat rate box provided by the USPS. This can be limiting if you need to ship an item that doesn’t fit in one of these USPS prepaid boxes.

 There Are Weight And Size Restrictions

 There are weight and size restrictions for flat rate shipments. This means that you may not be able to ship certain items using free shipping vs flat rate.

Flat Rate Shipping Is Only Available Through The USPS

While flat rate shipping is a great option, it’s only available through the United States Postal Service. This can be limiting for businesses that need to use other shipping carriers.

Related: USPS Priority Mail Vs USPS Flat Rate Service

Why Should I Use Flat-Rate Shipping for My eCommerce Store?

Flat rate shipping can create huge savings when it comes to shipping by having a lower, predictable cost. It doesn't make sense for every eCommerce business but is used most often by small business owners that pack boxes themselves and run to the post office to ship orders.

You can package anything up to 70 pounds

You don't have to worry about weighing and calculating shipping costs for each package. As long as the package is under the 70 lb. limit, then you can ship it with flat rate shipping all for the same cost.

It's automatically insured up to $50 by USPS

Instead of you having to purchase shipping insurance separately, it's already taken care of. Every flat rate package is automatically insured up to $50. If the contents are worth $50 or less, your costs will be covered if lost. You have to file a claim with USPS.

Related: FedEx Vs. USPS - Which Shipping Company Should You Use For Your Online Store?

You can drop it off at any USPS store

When your package is ready to go, you can drop it off at any US Post Office to be shipped out. You can also schedule a pick up online if you have a lot of packages.

USPS tracking is included

You'll need this to send to your customer so they can track their package, and you can confirm delivery. You can enter the package number into USPS's tracker, and you can follow its progress until it's delivered.

Related: What Do the USPS Tracking Status Updates Mean?

USPS Priority Mail Restrictions

You don't have to worry about weight with flat rate shipping, but that doesn't mean you can send anything. The following items are forbidden from being shipped through USPS:

  • Explosives
  • Firearm ammunition
  • Airbags
  • Alcohol
  • Gasoline
  • And more

Related: How to Get Free Shipping Supplies from USPS, UPS, FedEx, and DHL

How Does Flat Rate Shipping Work?

In flat rate shipping, the shipping price is not related to the shape, size, or weight of the item to be shipped. Instead, it is based on the things you can add in the flat rate boxes. Here are the essential steps you need to follow to ship the product through flat rate shipping. 

Step 1: Get a Flat Rate Box

The very first step is to get the USPS boxes flat rate. To ship your items at a flat rate, you need to make use of the branded boxes. There are mainly two ways to get the packages. Where to get flat rate boxes? You can either directly collect the boxes from the local Post Office or order them online. 

When it comes to ordering USPS flat rate shipping box dimensions, you have a variety of options to choose from. You can choose between a small flat rate box, USPS medium flat rate box, and a large flat rate box. A point to note here is that the bigger your parcel size, the more the shipping price will be. The maximum weight that is allowed to be shipped is 70 lbs. 

Step 2: Pack the Items

Once the small or medium flat rate box gets delivered, you must pack the items to be shipped next. You need to pack the items in flat rate shipping boxes. 

Related: Amazon Carrier Facility Updates: Know What They Mean!

Step 3: Add the Delivery Address

Next, the proper address of the package is to be added to the box. Make sure to add the address very carefully to avoid any chances of error in the shipment process. It is always better to follow the best practices of the shipping label. Add the address of your customer in an obvious manner. The label needs to be added to the box to be easily accessible. eCommerce store owners must also consider adding a return address if the package fails to arrive at the intended address. 

Step 4: Ship the Items

After packing the items in the flat rate boxes and adding the correct address, the final step is to get the items shipped. For shipping, you will have to take the flat rate box to the USPS office and send it through Priority Mail. 

Related: Why Did My UPS Package Get Rescheduled?

USPS Flat Rate Boxes and Prices 

The USPS provides several flat rate shipping options to eCommerce business owners. Here are the most common types of services you can get and the prices of each service.

USPS Flat Rate Boxes & Pricing

Situations to Use Flat Rate Shipping

Now that you know the small and medium flat rate box prices, you must know when to use flat rate shipping. Flat rate shipping is a great option for many different types of shipments. If you are shipping items that are all the same size and weight, flat rate shipping can save you a lot of money. Here are some other situations when flat rate shipping may be the best option:

- You are shipping items that are not very fragile and can withstand being packed tightly together.

- You are shipping items to a location that is not very far away.

- You need your items to arrive quickly and flat rate shipping offers faster delivery times than standard shipping options.

- Your eCommerce business deals with the shipping of a lot of small and heavy items.

- Your eCommerce business fulfills the orders in-house.

- Your eCommerce business makes use of a centralized fulfillment strategy.

Related: Compare USPS Priority Mail to Priority Mail Express


So, what are you waiting for? If you're an eCommerce business owner who ships products to your customers, it's time to start using USPS flat rate boxes. Not only will you save money on shipping costs, but you'll also be able to ship your products more efficiently and effectively. Need help fulfilling orders? Get in touch with Simpl Fulfillment today. We would be happy to assist you!

Related: How Long Does USPS Take to Deliver Packages?

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