Regional Rate Box vs. Flat Rate Box USPS

This is the second in a series about postal rates and Ebay. Regional rate priority mail boxes aren’t well known, but they are a lower-cost, priority mail option that can save you money.

If you haven’t read the first one, I suggest taking a look.

Priority Mail and Priority Mail Flat Rate Boxes

Priority Mail options are more diverse than those Flat Rate Boxes that we all learn when we start selling online.

Consider Priority Mail to be like First Class for parcels. The prices are the same as First Class Retail Ground, but the service is faster. Not only that, but USPS provides free shipping materials, so the sizes become more standardized, and that means volume efficiencies, especially when they automate.

Not only that, but the rates are good: they sometimes match Parcel Select Ground (their discount service), when you buy postage through Ebay.

As a seller, you should offer PSG… and then see if PM is the same price or cheaper.

Additionally, PM is almost always cheaper than the PM Flat Rate Boxes, if the object isn’t heavy.  So offer PM FRB as well.stal rates and Ebay. Regional rate priority mail boxes aren’t well known, but they are a lower-cost, priority mail option that can save you money.

Think about how this works: the customer sees PSG and PM.  They choose “value” or “speed.” The choice might also look like “measured rate parcels” or “fast flat rate”.

When they receive the package, it comes as Priority Mail, even if they chose PSG!  How nice is that?

Not only that, if you figure out the PM game, you will save money if they chose Priority Mail, and that means more money for you!

I Offer Priority Mail

Yeah. I am sacrificing some profit, but the fact is, some things just don’t fit into the fixed rate boxes, and I just want to offer Priority Mail because it says “expedited shipping” in the listing.  I try not to offer the PSG because the price is nearly the same.

As long as you buy postage through the Ebay interface (or the PayPal interface), trying out different services is easy.

Zoned and Regional Rate Priority Mail

If you’re not using priority mail regional rate, it’s something to consider. Answer these questions to see if you can handle it:

  1. Are you comfortable ordering boxes for the flat rate Priority Mail, and using them?
  2. Do you already use Parcel Select Ground?
  3. Do you know about the Parcel Select Ground zones and rates?
  4. Do you already offer your customers the option to use PSG or PM, so they can lower their shipping costs?

I had become comfortable with the above, and then saw a video about zoned PM by BoondoggleBliss, and it all clicked.

  • Zoned PM is like PSG, but faster.
  • Standardized, with standard size boxes, just like Priority Mail flat rate boxes.  So the postage varies by volume.
  • The main difference is that Zoned PM is cheaper, and the postage varies by distance, just like PSG.

So, it’s no wonder few people use this service. It’s like a mishmash of Parcel Select Ground and Priority Mail Flat Rate Boxes.  Despite this, if you ship a lot, you might as well learn it, because the software makes it easy to comparison shop for postage.

Flat rate boxes can go up to 70 pounds. Regional rate boxes are limited to lower weights, like 20 lbs for the Box B.

Box B is roughly the same size as the Medium Flat Rate box.  So, if you have a shipment that fits Medium Flat Rate, try putting it into the B box. You will save money on postage, and can pocket the difference.

To buy postage for the zoned rate Priority Mail, you must buy it through the Ebay or Paypal postage purchasing interfaces.  I don’t know if you can buy them at the retail counter.

USPS Resources

Priority Mail:

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