The Cheapest Way to Ship a Soccer Ball

Learn how the size of your soccer ball may affect the cheapest available shipping services you can use
ship a soccer ball
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Soccer is one of the world’s most popular sports, and in recent years, it’s been making quite the resurgence here in the United States. As a result, more sporting goods retailers are finding themselves shipping soccer balls to customers all around the country than before. While it might seem straightforward, sending a soccer ball can be tricky depending on the size of the ball you’re shipping, and the added weight from your packaging may ultimately change the types of shipping services available to you. Let’s get kicking!

Table of Contents

What Size Soccer Ball Are You Shipping?

Before you choose which shipping carrier to use for your shipment, first consider the size of the soccer ball you intend to ship. Is it a youth soccer ball, or made for the professional adult leagues? Is it Size 4 or Size 5? The point is, soccer balls come in smaller and larger sizes…and the smaller a ball is, the less it generally weighs. Since this is the case, the size of the ball you’re sending may affect which shipping service you can use.

USPS Ground Advantage is the Cheapest Service for Sending Smaller Soccer Balls

For balls smaller than size 5, USPS Ground Advantage will be the cheapest service available to you. Ground Advantage is the Postal Service’s most affordable shipping service for sending lightweight packages that weigh less than 1 pound (16 ounces), and overall, the most affordable service that USPS offers. It features delivery timeframes of between 2-5 business days and you must provide your own packaging.

UPS Ground Will Often Be the Cheapest for Large Soccer Balls Due to the Weight of the Packaging

Size 5 soccer balls (which FIFA uses) typically weigh 14 ounces. However, when kept in their original manufacturer’s packaging, the boxes often weigh more than 16 ounces due to the packaging’s added weight. After all, you’ll likely be sending the ball not only inside the original manufacturer’s packaging but inside another outer cardboard box. Those boxes can add a few ounces, and since this is the case, the cheapest service for these types of shipments will often be UPS Ground.

UPS Ground is the cheapest service that UPS offers, and while it’s also the slowest, it isn’t slower than other UPS services by that much. Like USPS Ground Advantage, delivery for UPS Ground shipments takes anywhere between 2-5 business days (according to what UPS advertises). However, we see these packages usually get delivered much faster than that timeframe. UPS even delivers some Ground packages as early as the next day, depending on how close your destination is to you!

You Don’t Need Any Protective Packing Material

The great thing about shipping soccer balls is that these items aren’t fragile by any means. In fact, they’re exactly the opposite! Soccer balls are meant to be kicked and to sustain a lot of pressure and force, so you don’t have to worry about any extra packing material like packing peanuts or air pillows to cushion your ball during transit. Other than sending the ball inside its original packaging (if possible), you don’t need to add anything else.

Your Box May Be Subject to Dimensional Weight Charges

When shipping large soccer balls, keep in mind that you may be subject to dimensional weight charges. Dimensional weight refers to the amount of physical space your package takes up and not its actual weight. Basically, shipping carriers calculate how much room your box will occupy in their trucks when you attempt to buy your label. If your package’s dimensional weight ends up being more than its actual weight, they’ll charge you for shipping based on its dimensional weight…and these rates are often much more expensive than rates calculated using your box’s actual weight.

Conversely, if your package’s actual weight is more than its dimensional weight, shipping carriers will charge you based on its actual weight. They’ll charge you for whichever is greater: your box’s dimensional weight or its actual weight.

Learn more about dimensional weight charges and how to avoid them.

Save Money on Labels by Using Shipping Software

No matter the size of your soccer ball or which service you choose, don’t go to the Post Office or your local UPS Store to ship your box! Instead, use online shipping software to buy discounted labels from both UPS and USPS.

When you use online shipping software, you get access to the deepest available discounts that major carriers typically reserve for huge commercial shippers. In some cases, these discounts can save you up to 86% off what you’d pay to ship the same box via Ground Advantage at your local Post Office. For UPS Ground shipments, you may even save up to 78% off what it would cost to ship the box at the UPS Store!

There are many different options for shipping software out there, and it will benefit you to research which one will net you the most savings when sending your packages. Some have monthly fees, hidden charges, or minimums that you have to meet, and some don’t. Some of them require monthly memberships for you to access those special levels of discounts, and some of them—our favorites—are free.

Looking for the right shipping software for you?

To access the deepest discounts on all USPS services, check out our guide:

Choose the Best Shipping Software

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