Over ear headphones have made a huge comeback in recent years, with brands like Bose, JBL, Beats by Dre, and Apple rolling out some great products. Nowadays, you probably see over ear headphones in many more places than just airplanes…and many people prefer them over earbuds! The renewed popularity of these items presents opportunities for online retailers and individuals to reach potential customers all across the country. This guide is all about how to ship over ear headphones, including which services you may be required to use, and how to save the most money on these shipments. Let’s get rockin’!
Table of Contents
- Wireless Over Ear Headphones Contain Lithium-Ion Batteries
- You Must Send Used Over Ear Headphones or Open Manufacturer’s Packaging via Ground Service
- USPS Ground Advantage vs UPS Ground
- Use Shipping Software to Save Money on Headphone Shipments
Wireless Over Ear Headphones Contain Lithium-Ion Batteries
The main thing to keep in mind when shipping over ear headphones is that the wireless models contain lithium-ion batteries that require recharging. Shipping carriers consider lithium-ion batteries as hazardous materials. As such, individuals and businesses need to be aware of certain regulations when shipping items with lithium-ion batteries.
If your headphones are brand new and still in the manufacturer’s packaging, you can use any shipping service to send them. This means that common air-based services such as USPS Priority Mail, UPS 3 Day Select, UPS 2nd Day Air, and UPS Next Day Air are all fair game. In addition, you’re also welcome to opt for more affordable, ground-based services.
When using an air-based service for a shipment containing lithium-ion batteries, you’ll need to affix the outside of your package with the UN3481 Lithium Battery Handling Label.
On the other hand, if your manufacturer’s packaging is open and/or you’re sending used wireless over ear headphones, you can only use ground-based services. This is due to shipping carriers’ and government regulations that prohibit used items containing lithium-ion batteries to travel via air-based services.
You Must Send Used Over Ear Headphones or Open Manufacturer’s Packaging via Ground Service
As we said above, you can only use ground service when sending used headphones or if the manufacturer’s packaging has been opened. The two ground-based services from USPS and UPS are USPS Ground Advantage and UPS Ground, respectively.
When sending a package containing lithium-ion batteries via ground transportation, you must label the outside of your package differently. Here are additional guidelines you’ll need to follow:
- Affix the UN3481 Lithium Battery Handling Label on the package
- Write “Restricted Electronic Device – Surface Transportation Only” on the outside of your packaging
USPS Ground Advantage vs UPS Ground
USPS and UPS are the two premier shipping carriers in the U.S. for eCommerce and smaller, handheld shipments. While USPS Ground Advantage and UPS Ground both provide essentially the same service, there are a few differences to note between the two. We’ve listed those below:
USPS Ground Advantage
- Cheaper than UPS Ground
- Slower delivery, with estimated timeframes of 2-5 business days
- $100 of built-in USPS insurance included with each label
- More expensive than Ground Advantage
- Faster delivery, with estimated timeframes of 1-5 business days
- $100 of carrier liability included with each label
Note: FedEx is the other major carrier in the U.S., and they offer FedEx Ground for these types of shipments. However, FedEx is more expensive than USPS and UPS. FedEx specializes in business deliveries, document shipments, and niche shipments that require special packaging, such as frozen food items.
Use Shipping Software to Save Money on Headphone Shipments
No matter whether you choose USPS or UPS to send your headphones, you shouldn’t go to your local Post Office or UPS Store to ship your package. Instead, you should use online shipping software to purchase discounted postage that will save you the most money possible on your shipment.
When you use shipping software, you get access to special discounts that can save you up to 89% off what you’d pay to ship the same package at the Post Office or UPS Store, in some cases! For USPS, the name Commercial Pricing designates this tier of discounts (when you visit the Post Office or USPS.com, you’ll pay Retail Pricing). Similarly, UPS also partners with shipping software companies to offer customers pre-negotiated discounts typically reserved for huge commercial shippers.
On top of the massive savings, shipping software also saves you time by letting you buy and print shipping labels from your own home or office. You can also schedule pickups from USPS and UPS, who will then come get your package when they typically make deliveries at your address. This way, you never need to wait in line at the Post Office or UPS Store again!