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Etsy Store Shipping for 2 lbs or less – Should you use the U.S. Postal System Priority Mail or “Regional” Priority Mail?

Shipping.  Ah shipping….

When you offer the same objects — or even one hundred objects — with similar shapes, sizes and weight to sell in your Etsy store, then shipping is EASY.

4 Elephants Tile Trivet

However,  if you have a vintage shop (like mine) where you sell all sorts of items, from a tiny Artesania Rinconada animal figurine (or the easy to ship 6″ round decorative tile trivet, pictured above) to a 3 ft. long metal wall organizer (photo below)… then shipping can be a challenge.

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Eventually, I’ll post a more detailed article on what I’ve learned about shipping since opening up my Etsy shop.

For today, I wanted to document this interesting find.


When I opened the shop, I read a blog article about the U.S. Post Office’s Priority Mail “Regional Rate Priority Box” option.

My understanding from the article was it was usually the best option if shipping by U.S. Post Office, especially for destinations within your geographical region.

But If you have an object that is less than 2 lbs, the priority mail Regional Rate Box option is not always the best (e.g., economical — CHEAP!) option.

I had 2 orders this morning, and both items were less than 2 lbs.

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The example I’ll use for this post is a maple leaf ceramic  bakeware item that is heading to the East Coast (from the West Coast, where I am based).

The item was small enough, so I could have chosen the “Regional Rate Box Box A” option, for this price:

Box A Regional rate shipping under 2 lbs HL

But I did not think there was enough room to add the cardboard and extra packing paper to protect the object for its long journey to the East Coast.

I am especially careful  since last month, I had an item that unfortunately arrived in pieces by the time it got to Missouri, despite thinking that I had packed the item very well.

So I was definitely NOT comfortable shipping this item in “Box A”.

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If I elected to use the next larger size “Regional Rate Box B”, then the price jumped by $6.31 — and would be more than what I estimated when I listed the item in the store.

Box B Regional rate shipping under 2 lbs HL

So, while there is certainly more room to protect the item in “Box B”the jump in pricing was not good.

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A third option was to use a similarly sized box as the “Box B” (using my own recycled box packaging and not the USPS provided box)…

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The box dimension was essentially the same as the Post Office “Box B” option, but because I was using my own recycled box packaging, the shipping price dropped down as if I was using the “Box A” option.

Under 2 lbs using my own box

This turned out to be the most economical way to ship the item — provided of course, you keep extra boxes around to re-use.

How interesting to learn this!

I’m happy with the much better pricing, which was well within my shipping charge for the item.

Plus, I feel much better shipping a ceramic piece in a bigger box with added protection for the item.

Do you use the Regional Rate option when shipping by U.S. Post Office through Etsy?  Is it a good option for you, or did you have the same experience as I did?


Note:  Shipping costs for this post was through Etsy, within the Etsy website’s store order / sold items process.  Etsy has their own discounted pricing agreements with the U.S. Post Office.


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Related Market Tales Blog Posts (Shipping Series):  Should you ship UPS Ground or U.S. Postal Service for a cube box under 8 lbs?

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