UPS 3 Day Select: What You Need to Know

Learn about the time-definitive service UPS 3 Day Select and why UPS Ground might be the better option for your business
UPS 3 Day Select
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If you’re a shipper who wants your packages delivered quickly without breaking the bank, then UPS 3 Day Select may be the perfect service for you. 3 Day select is one of the most popular air-based services that UPS offers, but depending on how far your package needs to travel to reach your recipient, there may be a better service for you that’s cheaper with an even quicker delivery timeframe!

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3 Day Select is Ideal for Shippers Who Want to Save Money but Have Packages Delivered Quickly

In a nutshell, 3 Day Select is a popular “middle of the road” service from UPS that caters to shippers who don’t want to spend too much money, but still want their packages delivered in a timely manner. For most packages sent via this service, delivery takes place within 3 business days. However, if your package doesn’t need to travel a long distance, UPS sometimes delivers these parcels earlier than expected. This is the exception and not the norm, though; most times, UPS will actually wait the full 3 business days to carry out delivery for packages sent via this service…which can be frustrating, especially when your shipment doesn’t need to travel a long way to reach its final destination.

UPS Ground May Be a Better Option (Depending on Where You’re Shipping)

Here’s one thing to keep in mind about this particular service: depending on where you’re shipping, UPS Ground might be the better deal! UPS Ground is the cheapest service that UPS offers, and as a result, it’s always cheaper than 3 Day Select—even if it’s just by a dollar and some change. You shouldn’t discount these small savings, though…because when your small business sends out a lot of packages each month, every dollar you save counts towards your bottom line!

When Should I Choose Ground over 3 Day Select?

The principle of choosing UPS Ground over 3 Day Select really only applies when you’re shipping relatively close to your origin address. For instance, if you’re sending a package a few miles away from Manhattan to Brooklyn in New York, then UPS Ground will not only be the cheaper service, but will also get your package there faster! This is because UPS often waits the full 3 business days to carry out delivery for 3 Day Select. UPS Ground shipments, conversely, get delivered as quickly as possible.

On the other hand, if your shipment needs to travel across the country (from Los Angeles to New York, as an example), then 3 Day Select will likely get your package to your recipient faster than Ground service would. In this case, 3 Day Select is the better choice for you!

Save Money on All UPS Labels with Online Shipping Software

No matter which UPS service you decide to go with, you should never buy your labels at your local UPS Store. If you do this, you’ll end up paying way more than you need to! Instead, use shipping software to buy discounted labels online.

When you use shipping software, you don’t just give yourself the ability to buy and print your own UPS labels from the comfort of your home or office. You also gain special access to deep discounts that the major carriers typically reserve for huge shippers. For UPS, this level of discounts is known as the Digital Access Program…and in some cases, this level of discounts lets you save up to 64% off of what you’d pay for 3 Day Select postage at retail rates!

Pro Tip: There a lot of different shipping software options out there, and each one has its own set of strengths and weaknesses. If you want to start saving money on your shipping labels but aren’t sure where to start, check out our Reviews page for some ideas!

Frequently Asked Questions: UPS 3 Day Select

We’ve answered three of the most frequently asked questions around 3 Day Select below.

How Much Does 3 Day Select Cost?

The cost of 3 Day Select depends on the size of your package, as well as its weight, and the distance it needs to travel. Generally speaking, the smaller your package is, the less it weighs, and the shorter distance it has to travel, the less it will be to ship it. When you use shipping software to purchase discounted UPS labels through the UPS Digital Access Program, you can save up to 64% off of what you’d pay to ship the same 3 Day Select package at your local UPS Store. With shipping software offering deeply-discounted postage rates, UPS 3 Day Select prices generally start a little over $8 per package and go up from there.

When Does UPS Deliver 3 Day Select Packages?

In most cases, UPS delivers 3 Day Select packages within 3 business days, no matter where you’re shipping in the United States. If your package doesn’t need to travel a far distance to reach your recipient, there are certain instances when UPS might deliver it sooner. However, UPS doesn’t do this nearly as often with 3 Day Select packages as they do with Ground shipments. When you use 3 Day Select, it isn’t uncommon for UPS to wait the full 3 days to deliver your package…even if you’re just sending a parcel to the other side of your city.

Is UPS Ground Better?

Sometimes, UPS Ground may be a better option than 3 Day Select because the price might be much cheaper, and delivery may take place within 3 business days or sooner. UPS Ground is faster than ever, and unlike 3 Day Select, UPS will always deliver Ground packages early if they can. However, this principle applies only if you’re shipping to destinations that are relatively close to your origin address; if your package needs to travel a long distance, then it may not make sense to choose Ground as your shipping service. The best way to compare whether or not Ground is the better option over 3 Day Select is to use a real-time rate calculator on whichever shipping software you choose. A real-time rate calculator will display how much both service costs, along with the expected delivery date for each option.

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