USPS Priority Mail or Parcel Select?

When I initially started this business, I would do all my listing defaulting to USPS Priority Shipping for packages over 1lb and offer USPS Parcel Select Ground as an option at checkout. One of the main reasons was that the Priority mail was discounted and the discount would help offset the eBay fees. While it is a little faster, it often is maybe a day more typically, so the reality is the timing is not that important if you get it out the door in a timely manner. It is important to note that the Priority does come with $100 of included insurance, however, the claim process is so painful and it has never yielded a positive result and thus it has no value to me. So I don’t do claims and just refund and treat it as a cost of business.

Now I list most everything as Parcel Select by default that would have been Priority. It allows my items to have a lower overall price and has helped increase sales, albeit not by that much. The downside is that it is not insured and that there is no eBay discount on it, so technically I am making less overall money, but selling more items at ultimately lower margins. Not to mention I have to use my own boxes and cannot use the free Priority mail boxes (sorta, often Priority Cubic is so cheap, I use that…see below).

There is an occasional savings for small heavy items which can qualify for Priority Select Cubic rate (which I have to go through PirateShip)…so even if you don’t do Parcel Select for everything, consider it as an attractive option if it meets the Cubic rate requirements, the discounts are pretty significant.

But yet, I still do Parcel Select by default. The higher volume keeps me busy longer and gives the customers greater value on their end. So I will keep using it for most of the items I sell.

Now, I am a big fan of They have integrations for all the eCommerce platforms and offer Parcel Select and Priority Cubic rates. So, for smaller packages approximately .5 cubic feet, it is significantly cheaper, and often the Priority Cubic is just a few cents more and I get free boxes. I will often  ship small packages which would normally be Parcel Select through PirateShip with one of the Cubic rates and still make a Buck or two.



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