Moving can be a stressful time whether you’re looking at a new house, sailing off into retirement, or even just making that summer move home until September swings back around for another year of college. The size of any storage unit you need to rent is going to affect how much your pocketbook gets hit. Generally speaking, the smaller the storage unit, the cheaper the price will be. Whatever your reason for shipping important items, there are several great tricks to save on shipping so you can spend less, and store less!
Shipping might not seem like a cost-effective option, but depending on your situation you may find that you have options you didn’t even know about. If shipping a few boxes makes the difference between one trip with a moving truck or two, or a large storage unit versus a smaller one, then it’s worth knowing your options. However, a few tricks of the pros can save you some serious dough on shipping costs. Make sure you take advantage of them!
Do you understand media mail?
Media mail is a special shipping rate that applies to anything that the USPS deems as “media” and can include magazines, books, DVDs, and other similar type of media. If you have a tone of books or a huge movie collection, send it media mail. Media mail is a far discounted rate, and it is far cheaper than what you are going to pay if you have to pay by weight to ship books or anything heavy. See if a few boxes of media mail can help lighten the load for your storage and moving van needs.
Remember that weight matters
When it comes to shipping, weight is often the number one factor in price. If you need to create some space to fit everything else in your vehicle or in a small storage unit, consider shipping boxes of extra clothes, drapes, or other possessions you have that take up space but are lighter in weight. Then store the dumbbells, exercise equipment, or other heavy equipment you have. Mail light kitchenware – keep the Dutch ovens, crock pots, and cast iron in storage since you can ship several boxes for the price that these heavier items would each cost by themselves.
Take advantage of online postage discounts
As long as you have an accurate scale and a good printer, you can print your own postage from home. While this might seem like only a mild convenience, keep in mind there are many online websites that sell postage at a discount from what you get walking into the post office or even offer $5, $10, or $20 in free postage for opening an account with them. If you have the right tools and are going to do a lot of shipping, why not?
Shop around online for freight costs
One thing I can tell you from experience is if you have a special shipping situation (like needing to ship heavy items, furniture, or shipping to or from Alaska, Hawaii, or internationally) then please, for Pete’s sake, do NOT assume that all freight shipping costs are the same! You will find that companies like UPS, FedEX, and professional freight companies will have very different costs for packages that are the same weight or route.
Do your homework, and don’t be afraid to call and negotiate. You have to accept an online price – but you might be surprised how often you can get some expenses waived when you’re talking to a human being.
Follow these tips and you’ll save on your shipping and need less storage space. Finally: happy packing, happy shipping, and happy moving!