The holidays are here and so are all the festivities and gift-giving! If you’re like many of us with loved ones who live across the country or can’t see them due to current circumstances, you may have to mail your Christmas gifts. Here are shipping tips to know if you’re planning on mailing Christmas gifts.
Give Yourself Time
During the holidays, the post office gets busier than normal. With USPS temporarily increasing its rate, you will want to see if your gifts qualify to be shipped First Class. First Class mail is usually the cheapest service for small packages, starting at $4.30 (or $3.31 for commercial pricing). In comparison, Priority mail starts at $7.95 (or $7.41 for commercial pricing).
However, First Class mail does take longer for delivery than Priority Mail. So you will want to buy yourself a couple of more days for mailing Christmas gifts via First Class. USPS has released its holiday shipping deadline for 2021.
USPS Holiday Shipping Deadline For Lower 48 States
|Domestic Mail Service||Cut Off Date |
(Excluding Alaska & Hawaii)
|USPS Retail Ground||December 15|
|USPS First Class||December 17|
|USPS Priority||December 15|
|USPS Priority Express||December 23|
USPS Holiday Shipping Deadline For Alaska & Hawaii
|Domestic Mail Service||Cut Off Date|
|Cut Off Date|
|USPS Retail Ground||December 2||NA|
|USPS First Class||December 18||December 17|
|USPS Priority||December 18||December 17|
|USPS Priority Express||December 21||December 18|
Buy Your Postage Online
If you ever shipped a package during the holidays, you will know how crazy the post office can get. So save yourself the long lines, frustration, and closed quarters by buying your postage online.
Not only will buying your postage online save you time, you will save money.
Buying your postage online on shipping software such as pirateship.com will give you commercial pricing than paying over the counter at your local post office. Commercial pricing will always be cheaper. As a comparison earlier, First Class mail starts at $3.31 with commercial pricing, instead of the $4.30 retail. Similarly, Priority mail starts at $7.41 instead of $7.95 for retail.
It is completely FREE to use and access commercial shipping rates for USPS through Pirate ship and other similar shipping software such as GoShippo.com. We show you how to buy a shipping label step-by-step below.
Protect Your Packages
If you’re mailing Christmas gifts via USPS Priority Mail, UPS, or FedEx, they come with built-in insurance up to a certain value. If you buy your postage at the retail counter, this amount is up to $50 for Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express. Better yet, the built-in insurance is up to $100 for both Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express if you buy your postage at pirateship.com.
Both UPS and FedEx built-in insurance is typically up to $100. However, it is still a good idea to add additional insurance for packages that are at a higher value than what the built-in insurance provides.
Buying your postage online means you will need to know the weight and dimensions of your package. Investing in a shipping scale and a measuring tape will pay for themselves with the savings you will get. Additionally, a thermal printer will make your shipping process a lot smoother and easier. Not just for the holiday season but for the rest of the year too.