Sendle, an Australian courier company, has recently launched in the United States as an alternative to USPS shipping software…and people are highly curious. Admittedly, we saw the low flat rates they advertise on their website (well below USPS Commercial Pricing) and it piqued our interest. Shipping an 8-pound box to anywhere in the country for just $8.29 sounded pretty good! However, the more time we spent on the platform, the more we noticed several key issues that ended up being dealbreakers. While Sendle may look like a better deal than regular USPS shipping software on the surface, a deeper dive proves otherwise.
Why Online USPS Shipping Software is a Better Deal than Sendle
Below, we’ve listed several reasons why it’s better to use online shipping software to buy discounted USPS labels than to make the switch to Sendle.
Sendle Blends the Country Into Averages, Instead of Focusing on the Zone-Based Rates to Every Destination
The biggest issue with Sendle is that it blends all packages into prices based on nationwide averages, instead of offering the cheapest rates to each USPS zone. Most shipping software options offer lower prices the closer you ship to your origin address. It’s common sense, really—the shorter the distance that USPS has to haul the package, the cheaper it is to ship it. However, this isn’t the case with Sendle.
Based on Sendle’s model, all destinations in the country cost the same price, and the price is only affected by how much your package weighs. That means sometimes you’ll end up paying less than Commercial Pricing rates for shipping on Sendle…but other times, you’ll pay much more.
If all of your packages need to travel far distances to your customers, then Sendle may be a fine option to save you some cash. However, if your customers are spread out throughout the country, with some closer to you and some further away, then you’re going to want to stick with regular shipping software.
A Quick Example
Here’s an example to illustrate a situation where Sendle’s average-based model could get you into trouble.
Let’s say you’re shipping a small, heavy box, with dimensions of 12 x 8 x 8″, and a total weight of 20 pounds. You plan to ship this package within the same state, from Los Angeles to San Diego (the distance between these two points falls into Zone 2, based on the different USPS zones). With Sendle, this package will cost you $18.25 to send, since it’s on the heavier side, and it’s nearing the maximum dimensions that the platform allows.
However, with other shipping software options that offer discounted dimension-based services like USPS Priority Mail Cubic and zone-based rates, this package would only cost $8.74 to send.
Between those two different quotes, that’s a difference of $9.51—double the cost of postage from the second shipping software option!
USPS Shipping Software Offers More Services and More Integration Options
Simply put, Sendle only offers a single flat-rate service based on the weight of your box. As a result, it doesn’t have nearly as many services as regular shipping software does. For example, Sendle doesn’t offer Media Mail, Parcel Select Ground, nor Priority Mail Express service. So, if you’re trying to ship books for cheap, or ship something like perishable items overnight, you’re out of luck. You also can’t send any items that require ground-based transportation, or any time-sensitive legal documents using the Priority Mail Express Legal Envelope, either.
In terms of integrations, Sendle also falls somewhat short compared to competitors. Sendle currently offers a pathway to integrate storefronts on Etsy, eBay, and Shopify. However, it doesn’t yet offer integrations with other popular eCommerce platforms, such as BigCommerce, WooCommerce, BigCartel, and more. That boxes out a ton of small business owners who rely on those other platforms to sell their items.
The Maximum Package Size and Weight is Extremely Limiting
The biggest dimensions Sendle allows for packages is 864 cubic inches, or 0.5 cubic feet. Needless to say, this is highly limiting for shippers who need bigger boxes for sending their items.
To give you some context, here are some common dimensions of boxes that equal out to just under 864 cubic inches in volume:
- 12 x 8 x 8″
- 10 x 9.5 x 9″
- 18 x 8 x 6″
- 15 x 7.5 x 7.5″
This particular size restriction means you can’t send any packages larger than these examples on their platform, while other shipping software options allow for you to do so.
Lastly, Sendle doesn’t allow for any packages over 20 pounds. This is also extremely limiting, since all USPS Priority Mail services (excluding Priority Mail Cubic) that you can access with shipping software allow for a maximum weight of 70 pounds.
Sendle Doesn’t Allow Shippers to Send Common Items Containing Hazardous Materials
Lastly, the kinds of items you’re allowed to send on Sendle’s platform is also quite restrictive. For example, you need to agree and acknowledge when you sign up that you’ll never send any packages containing hazardous materials. That includes common items such as lithium ion batteries, hand sanitizer, and aerosols. On the other hand, you can ship all of these kinds of items with USPS shipping software, as long as you choose Parcel Select Ground service.
As we mentioned earlier, Sendle simply can’t offer Parcel Select Ground, because the way they structured their average-based rates only allows them to ship standard Priority Mail service.
You Can’t Add Extra Third-Party Insurance
From what we could tell, Sendle also doesn’t allow you to add third-party insurance to protect your packages. That means that if anything happens to your package, like if it gets lost or damaged during transit, you’re stuck with filing USPS insurance. USPS insurance only comes with $100 of protection, and also won’t cover any missing packages marked as “Delivered.” Needless to say, other online shipping software options give you much more protection by allowing you to add insurance and declare values for your packages up to $5,000.
Give Sendle a Shot to Rate Shop…It’s Free!
The bottom line is: it’s free to sign up and give Sendle a shot. However, before buying any labels, we suggest that you do your due diligence and rate shop for the cheapest quotes for your packages. You may find that a little bit of homework goes a long way, and puts more money back in your pocket. There are a ton of different shipping software options out there…and we’d hate to see you miss out on the best rates by not doing the proper research.
Looking for the right shipping software for you?
To get the deepest discounts and the most USPS shipping services, check out our guide: