I’ve had to send a few packages over the last week or two, and I was looking for the cheapest way to ship them. Now that we’re in the holiday season, my gut told me some of you might be in the same boat, so I thought a post on the subject might be helpful to some of you.
My specific goal was sending Magic: The Gathering cards across the country. Since I was selling a large quantity of these cards, I wanted to save as much money on shipping as I could. More money saved there meant more profit for me. Time wasn’t an issue. I didn’t need the cards to get to their destination the next day or anything like that.
Do Magic cards count as Media Mail? If so, then I’d be in luck. But Media Mail is very specific. Books (at least 8 pages), CDs, DVDs, manuscripts, printed music, and the like. No advertising. No comic books (they don’t count, randomly). No letters. No board games. Magic cards don’t count, sadly.
They’re also quite heavy. 1.75 grams per card, give or take. Which doesn’t sound like much, but it adds up quickly. The best vehicle I found for shipping a large number was the flat rate boxes with the USPS. I can fit 7,000 cards into a large one of those, and that weighs over 26 pounds. Cost? $13.65 at the post office. Not ideal, but honestly better than anything else I found.
Except you can save even more by shipping it at a commercial rate. (It lops off 80 cents, or 5.86%, bringing it down to $12.85.) You can do this by shipping it with PayPal. Except PayPal makes it obnoxiously difficult to find out exactly how to do that.
No worries, friends. Just click this link to be taken straight to the spot on PayPal’s site. You log in with your PayPal account, select the shipping address, and then select what kind of shipping you’re going to use. You pay online with whatever method you use to pay PayPal, and then you print off the postage. Tape it to the package, and drop it off at your local post office.
It seemed complicated to me the first time I did it, but now that I’ve done it a few times, it’s much more straightforward. The pain point is just remembering how to get to that PayPal page. I’ve got it bookmarked now, though, so I just pull it up automatically.
You can ship all sorts of things via that link. Media Mail. First class parcel. Anything you ship in a box, I think. I highly recommend it, especially since this way, I can just go to the post office knowing all I need to do is drop something off. (I stress about silly things sometimes. Go figure.) And have I mentioned I’ve now shipped over 17,000 Magic cards off? The bulk of them are cards I bought for 1 tenth of a cent per card, and I’m selling them (after paying for shipping) for 3.55 tenths of a cent per card. That might not sound like much to you, so how about I just say I’m selling them for 3.5 times what I bought them for. That sounds much better, right? And that’s after I took a ton of them out that were worth much more. If I’d just sold them all at this rate, I would have made $255 off a $100 investment.
(Just don’t pay any attention to how much time it’s taken me . . .)
Anyway. Maybe that helps some of you. Happy shipping!
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