8 Ways to Reduce Your Shipping Costs

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Welcome to Money Saving Monday where we remind ourselves that community is the greatest money saving resource we have.

Each month, you’ll have a chance to win one of two $15 Amazon gift cards.  Simply leave your tips and suggestions, and if it is a top pick of the month, you’ll get a $15.00 gift card.

By the way, with just a handful of comments each day, you’ve got a great opportunity to win this prize.

8 Ways to Reduce Your Shipping Costs

With Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Christmas all fast approaching, we have to be careful with our spending. Many of us will search for hours to find the best deal on travel, lodging, and gifts, but we will neglect shipping. Well, here are a few tips to help us save big on shipping – not just for Christmas, but all year long:

  1. Free Shipping Supplies from USPS – This is something that I found out about while selling items on eBay. Anyone who is a registered eBay user can order free boxes from the USPS. I’m not sure if the post office does this for every customer, since I always get them through eBay.
  2. Amazon.com – Amazon offers free shipping on all orders of $25 when you buy directly from them. Also, if you have an Amazon Prime account, you get 2-day shipping free on all Amazon orders!
  3. Use Shredded Paper – Use shredded paper instead of buying packing peanuts and other shipping peripherals.
  4. Combine Shipping – If you know that several family members are buying a gift for your nephew who is out of state, then ship all the gifts in one box and split the cost!
  5. Buy Online – Besides Amazon, there are plenty of online retailers that offer free shipping. Just check out freeshipping.org before you shop.
  6. Free Shipping Day – According to freeshippingday.com, “On Friday, December 17, an estimated 1,000+ participating merchants will offer free shipping with delivery by Christmas Eve.”
  7. Auction off Your Shipping NeedsuShip is a service that will allow you to place your shipping needs into an auction and allows shippers to bid on it. They even have feedback ratings so you can see how others have made out with each shipper!
  8. Time – Don’t wait until the last minute to ship your item! That’s when you get desperate and end up paying $30 to overnight a gift across the country. Instead, give yourself enough time to choose the cheapest shipping option available.

Bonus Tip – Many online stores will allow you to have a gift shipped directly to its recipient from their warehouse at no additional charge. Just give them their name and address, and you’re done! Some will even wrap the gift and include a message from you.

What are your tips for saving money on shipping costs?

Remember, if you leave a comment you have a chance to win one of two $15 Amazon gift cards.


  1. says

    These are great tips Khaleef!

    When I ship books (or anything really) I try to make a custom box for the item by using cereal boxes or scrap boxes from other items I’ve ordered. With a few minutes, I can shape a box that saves me money and time.

    I would caution a reader to do a little research before buying a flat rate USPS box for everything because you might get a better deal by shipping a different way. It’s usually a good deal, but it can be worth it to see what it costs by other means.


  2. says

    Khaleef, Great tips! If you’re shipping the item yourself (versus buying from a store), it may be cheaper to deliver the item yourself (if you’re local).

    Or if you’re buying from a store and there is a local prescense (e.g. Walmart or Home Depot) why not have the item delivered to the store to save costs.

  3. Brightnina says

    Thank you very much for the post on free shipping, it taught me a few things I did not know. I’ve enjoyed shopping on line for monthly essentials, often a $100 minimum to get free shipping is just too much. I’m excited about the December 17th free shipping day. Thank you, Nina

  4. Margaret says

    As an active ebayer, I was surprised to learn I was not participating in one way to save shipping costs … use of a free application called ValueShip. It allows the ebayer to ship small Priority packages (up to 3 pounds) at a cost savings. You must first add $25 (presumably from your associated PayPal account) to your ValueShip account, but once there, it is the account from which you will pay for the shipping. So you haven’t really lost any money, just dedicated it to this purpose. Also, I once had to cancel a label (the buyer wanted it shipped to a new address), and I easily accomplished this task on ValueShip, and they refunded to me immediately the value of the cancelled label. If you’ve shipped with Paypal or other shipping services before, you will know that this is normally not the case, and you must usually wait up to two weeks or longer for the Postal Service to refund your payment on a voided label. So I really like this application. I’ve saved $3 to $5 on my first $25 worth of shipping. I think it’s worth it.

    • says

      Thanks for introducing us to ValueShip. I’ve never heard of them so hopefully your tip will help some people save money!
      Thanks for commenting.

  5. Margaret says

    I also forgot to mention that even if you are not shipping an ebay order, you may use this application to create a shipping label. Instructions for shipping a non-ebay order are given once you open the application. I believe you can use ValueShip to ship larger packages, but the money savings seems to be up to 3 pounds for Priority shipping, as I understand it. On most labels, I save $1+ change. To me, this is worth it.

  6. says

    @ Tim, that is a very good point about the flat rate boxes. You can’t just assume that it’s always a better deal.

    @ Car Negotiation Coach, having the item delivered to the store is a great way to avoid shipping costs. I know that Walmart pushes that option a lot in their online store.

    @ Brightnina, I’m excited about it as well. I do most of my shopping online!

    @ Margaret, that is a great tip! I think that eBay needs to do a much better job of marketing their shipping solutions to sellers!

  7. Margaret says

    New suggestion on saving money shipping:

    IF you own a postal scale and are shipping items that are NOT Priority, you can still save money by using the U.S. Postal Service’s software called “Shipping Assistant.” You can find it on the homepage of http://www.usps.com under Print a Shipping Label, beneath Domestic and International Services. Shipping Assistant allows you to prepare and print your own shipping labels, then take your packages to the post office and pay for your postage. You save money on Delivery Confirmation, which is only 19 cents online and is now…? some 78 ? cents at the P.O. Also, your packages will be re-weighed, so if there’s a mistake in the weight, you might stand to gain further savings… I saved an addition 19 cents on the postal service’s accurate scales. It’s a handy thing to do if you need to send a package and want to know how much it’s going to be (or about that) before you’re standing in line. Also, it allows you to pay cash for the postage OR use a credit or debit card at your post office. It’s not quite the savings of ValueShip (see above…) but I about fell over one day when the clerk at the post office told me Delivery Confirmation was 78 cents! So there’s a definite savings there!

    You can also prepare international shipments, using the Shipping Assistant, for example First Class International, and know in advance of your trip to the post office “about” what your shipping total will be. It’s much easier to fill out the online Customs form than the in-person form at the post office, and it takes less time, too.

    • Margaret says

      You may also prepare Priority and Express Mail labels with Shipping Assistant. However, the money savings is in Delivery Confirmation.

      • Margaret says

        This is me correcting me… Today while using ValueShip, an ebay application, I saved $1 on cost of shipping a Medium Flat Rate Priority Shipping Box, so there is a cost savings on flat-rate shipping also. In my first $35 to $40 worth of shipping done with ValueShip, I have saved $6.98. That’s significant. I will admit though that there may be times when it will be difficult to just “add” $25 from one’s Paypal account. I do wish they would allow you to add say, $10 or $15. So that might be a drawback…

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