Thursday, May 3, 2012

Priority vs First Class Shipping

I've been doing a little online shopping  browsing today. And while I found some cool tees and prints that I will buy once I make my decisions, I was disappointed in a lot of stores shipping prices. I've had this discussion with friends before, even as recent as today. Priority vs first class...
Priority is about 5-6 bucks. cool, I guess. First class is 2 bucks for 5 oz (a t-shirt). Sounds like a no-brainer right? Nah, not so much. There are so many variables that there is no "please all" answer.

When using Priority one of the benefits is time. Priority has a 2-3 day turnaround, that's always a plus. The downside is the price. Call me cheap, but when I buy a $20 the, I am not exactly thrilled about adding 25% just for shipping and then tax. Now if I am buying more than one tee, Priority it is. Another benefit is the packaging. USPS provide mailers for priority shipping. This can be a huge deal when starting your brand.

When choosing First Class shipping, the price is always best. 2 bucks for a tee, sign me up. The downside to First Class is, of course, the turnaround. The USPS says a typical turnaround is 2-7 days. Seven days kind of sucks. I have done some investigation on the shipping times. What I found was: when shipping in state (Texas) there was little to no difference in the arrival time. I sent two packages from Dallas to San Antonio, one Priority and the other First Class, they both got there on the same day. Now this was done in March, so that is not to say that during Christmas your packages are going to arrive on the same day. However, I thought this was a good enough reason to use First Class when shipping my tees.

Another bad thing about First Class is that you must provide your own packaging. As far as I know, the USPS does not offer mailers for First Class like they do for Priority. For more established brands, this may not be a problem. Some brands go above and beyond on packaging and can offer their customers the benefits of the low costs of First Class.

Like I said, to each his own, there is no right or wrong answer for everyone.Whether you are a customer or a brand owner these are a few things to consider when buying/selling tees. Word.


  1. Ive also been dealing with this and I think the best option is to give the customer the option (of course if the shop you are using let you offer different shipping options). I like priority best, but I do agree that sometimes that shipping cost kills some of your sales. The only downside to the first class is not being able to track it. But I have found that anything local or most Texas cities receive their packages within 2-3 days, same as priority.

    1. I agree about giving the customer an option, my store, right now, doesnt give the option. I am looking into that though. I have heard people say they can't track with first class before, but I just tracked a first class package I sent last night. Do you use paypal to ship? that what I use.

  2. Na, i need to get the labels so that I can do that, still doing it at the P.O., automated machine but still have to drive and stuff.