Who doesn’t love a good cup of tea? There’s nothing better than enjoying a nice, steaming cup on a rainy day (or a sunny day!), and relaxing. Since tea is so popular with almost every culture in the world, it’s one of the more popular items to ship, both domestically and internationally. Tea boxes are very lightweight, but still, they’re also a little bit bulky, and this combination can present a unique challenge when it comes time to ship them. This guide is all about the cheapest ways to ship tea, and why using the right kind of packaging is so important. Let’s get to steeping!
USPS First Class Package is By Far the Cheapest Way to Ship Tea
Boxes of tea packets only ever weigh a couple of ounces. Even if you’re sending multiple boxes, the chances they’ll weigh more than 1 lb in total are slim to none. Therefore, the cheapest way to send boxes of tea is to use USPS First Class Package Service. First Class Package is one of the US Postal Service’s most popular shipping services, designated for lightweight packages under 1 lb (or 15.99 ounces). Delivery occurs anywhere from 1-4 business days, and it comes with full door-to-door tracking. It doesn’t include any built-in insurance, however, but since tea boxes aren’t usually of a higher value, anyway, this doesn’t pose much of a problem with shippers.
Pro Tip: When you ship with First Class Package service, you need to provide your own packaging. USPS doesn’t provide any free boxes for this service, so you’re on your own. The packaging you use can either be custom-branded, or generic. If you’re looking for a place to pick up small, generic boxes, the ULINE website has a ton of great options.
Tea Boxes Won’t Fit Inside the Priority Mail Small Flat Rate Box
When researching options for sending your tea, you may find yourself tempted to ship Priority Mail Flat Rate. However, the most economical flat rate service is the Priority Mail Small Flat Rate Box, and these boxes are too small for tea boxes to fit inside. Unfortunately, the height on those particular flat rates boxes is only 1 & 3/4 inches…and most tea boxes are at least three inches or so thick.
Assuming you don’t want to take your packets out of the boxes, you’ll need to find a different option, with packaging big enough for the tea boxes to fit. That’s why using your own boxes with First Class Package is the best way to go here.
For International Shipments, Check the Individual Country Listings
If you plan on sending tea internationally, you should keep in mind that every country has different restrictions in terms of what they allow to be imported. For example, some countries may not allow particular types of tea to be sent through their customs departments, because they want to preserve the tea industry within their borders.
Therefore, before you send tea anywhere outside of the United States, you should make a point to check the USPS Individual Country Listings. Search the country you plan on shipping to, and you’ll be able to see if you can send your tea there, or not.
Get Yourself the Deepest USPS Discounts with USPS Online Shipping Software
When you’re ready to buy your First Class Package labels, do yourself a favor and don’t go to your local Post Office! You’re going to have to wait in line there, and it’s going to cost more than you’d have to pay with other options. There’s a way you can print your own labels from home for much cheaper than the Post Office, and that’s to use shipping software to buy discounted postage online.
When you use shipping software to buy USPS postage, you gain access to the same level of discounts USPS typically reserves for huge shippers sending out 50,000 or more packages per year. These discounts apply to both domestic labels, as well as labels for your international shipments (although shipping internationally will always cost you more money). On top of offering the best discounts on labels around, most shipping software companies also allow you to schedule free pickups from your letter carrier. That way, you don’t ever need to go to the Post Office again, if you don’t want to!
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To get the deepest discounts on USPS First Class Package Service, check out our guide: