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I made a bunch of boards, and am trying to figure out pricing the shipping costs.

For a 20×14x4 box shipped via UPS that weighs 20lbs, it would cost over $30 to ship it to Florida (from Missouri).

Surely people don't pay that much to ship cutting boards. What are some ways you've found to reduce cost of shipping?
 

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The USPS flat rate box was my first thought. However, as far as a quick search could reveal the maximum size is a hair under 12" x 24". The 12" sounds a bit small for a cutting board. If this works for you it has to be the cheapest way to ship, unless you have some sort of commercial discount with UPS or FedEx. The USPS may have some options for larger sizes, and you should contact them to see if it works for you. I think a part of the rate is tied to having to work with uniform sizes of packages and with a ceiling on the dimensions. Shippers that handle larger dimension items can, and do, charge a premium.
 

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When I was doing a lot of e-bay stuff, FedEx ground was usually the cheapest for larger heavy items (and UPS was typically the most expensive). A quick look shows that a 20lb box (your packaging) from Springfield to Miami is about $24 and should get there in 3 days. Not great, but a bit cheaper than 'over $30' :) I didn't check their standard sized boxes, so you might be able to get it even cheaper.

Cheers,
Brad
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ok that's not all that bad. Thanks for the info.

Yeah I started noticing that my smaller boards are the only ones that will fit in the 12×24 packaging.
 

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Welcome to the world of designing. I once had the same problems of designing a product, then finding a box to fit. Now I investigate box sizes and shipping costs when designing new and redoing current products.

Sometimes just shaving a 1/2" or in my case and 1/8" there can make a difference in shipping.

The other way to look at this is that if you have a larger design that the customer wants, they will have to pay for it. This helps give you a tiered pricing format. Small, Medium and Large. Pricing goes the same way as dose the shipping cost. May not sell many of the large, but when you do you will properly compensated.
 

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Just a thought: see if you can get a "book rate". Just say "I have this real heavy book…." It will take longer to get there but maybe cheaper.

- SirIrb
In the states the post office calls it "Media Rate" mail and supposedly it is restricted to books, DVDs, CDs, etc. I have shipped a couple of items this way and will be asked what is in the package or be asked to open it. Since I already have it sealed I have offered to open it if they have the packing tape (their expense) to reseal it. Since I normally end up at the post office during their busiest time of the day they decline to have me tie up the line. But someday they might.
 

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its been said, but I'll reiterate. UPS is usually the most expensive, especially for oversized items. I prefer Fedex, easy to deal with and decent rates. Go to a local office and ask to setup a business account - this will save you a bit of money on your shipping.
 

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With regards to using media rate mail for anything other than what's specifically allowed, that doesn't seem like it would be worth the risk. The rules even state the package could be subject to inspection and this likely means any where or time while under the control of the USPS. I don't know what the penalty for falsifying the contents, nor do I want to. Much like bored kids smashing mail boxes don't know they're actually committing a felony, the punishment for shipping something not allowed as media rate postage could be disproportionately severe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
With regards to using media rate mail for anything other than what s specifically allowed, that doesn t seem like it would be worth the risk. The rules even state the package could be subject to inspection and this likely means any where or time while under the control of the USPS. I don t know what the penalty for falsifying the contents, nor do I want to. Much like bored kids smashing mail boxes don t know they re actually committing a felony, the punishment for shipping something not allowed as media rate postage could be disproportionately severe.

- bigblockyeti
I agree 100%
 

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Just cut it in half and include a note, "Some Assembly Required." JK :D

I think the best answer is to size your offerings to fit flat rate boxes and indicate that larger items will require additional shipping charges.
 

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Even if it doesn't fit in a flatrate box, USPS can often be considerably cheaper than UPS or FEDEX. Check them out.

-Brian
 

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In fact, we showed up there one time and the lady actually told us if we switched from a flatrate box to a larger regular priority mail box, it would be cheaper. They seem quite willing to optimize your costs there. Granted that was a lighter item but still, very good service and half the cost of UPS in a lot of cases.

-Brian
 
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