Shipping Clothes – USPS vs UPS vs FedEx

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59% of online shoppers bought clothes in 2021. Although the pandemic kept many of us home in sweatpants, many Americans spent time online shopping – picking out the perfect outfits for when they could finally return to life outside the home. As a retail eCommerce brand that sends a large number of clothing items, you want to make sure to pick a shipping option that is fast, dependable, convenient, and of course, cost-effective. 

With many shipping companies to choose from, it can be hard to know which one will best suit all your needs. Before choosing the first option you find – or even your usual go-to company –  it is best to do some research to see what each one offers and compare prices.

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The three most popular options for shipping in the United States are USPS, UPS and FedEx.  Let’s take a look and see what each one offers for shipping clothing.


Shipping Clothes – USPS

USPS shipping offers First Class option, that has become a popular choice for sending clothing to customers. It takes 2 – 3 days to reach First-Class Mail & Postage the destination and it is quite affordable with prices ranging from $2.66 – $5.54. 

Items have to fit into the large envelope provided without any issues closing it and the weight does need to be under 1 pound (It’s a good thing most clothes are relatively light). It is a perfect affordable option for those sending smaller and lighter items. If the items you are sending are going to be over 1 pound, USPS Priority Mail Express may alternatively be a good option for you. 

Next-day delivery is available to most locations in the US and it is a 2 day by 6 pm delivery guaranteed for all other locations in the US. They offer Flat Rate Envelopes and you are able to send packages weighing up to 70 lbs. Prices start at $26.35 and go up from there depending on the size and location.


Shipping Clothes – UPS

Using UPS shipping is another popular choice for clothing and retail items. They do offer some cheaper options for sending clothing and are particularly good for sending larger or heavier packages since they don’t have as many size weight limits as USPS. They offer the UPS Ground Shipping option which is very affordable and takes 1 – 5 days for delivery. The cost to send a 2 lbs package will only be around $2.47.

If you are needing a faster service the price goes up. The UPS 2nd Day Air guarantees delivery to all 50 states by the end of the second business day with prices starting at $20.86 for a 2 lbs package with the cost varying depending on the delivery location and weight.


Shipping Clothes – FedEx

FedEx shipping offers a ground shipping option that is affordable and shipping time is 1-5 business days within the contiguous US or 3-7 business days to Alaska and Hawaii. Anything under 150 lbs in weight can be shipped using this option. Prices start at $9.42 for a 2 lbs package and go up from there depending on the delivery location.

If you are needing a quicker service you can go with FedEx 2-Day which will be delivered on the second day by 4:30 pm. The price for this option starts at $20.85 for a 2 lbs package and goes up depending on the delivery location and weight.


Shipping Clothes – Do’s & Don’ts

Shipping clothing comes with its own unique challenges when compared to other items. Considerations such as the speed in which you want the items to arrive, how you want to present your items, and your branding are all important factors. Comparing multiple shipping options based on a specific, popular item can help you decide – especially if you’re looking for the cheapest way to ship clothes in the US.

A T-Shirt, for example, sent as a small parcel via USPS, FedEx, or UPS could gather the following costs:

  • USPS First Class arrives in about 2 days and costs approx. $2.66 – $5.54
  • UPS Ground arrives in 4 days and costs approx. $11 depending on the size and location of delivery
  • FedEx Ground also arrives in 4 days and costs about $11 as well

Choosing a shipping company for your retail business based on simply the cheapest method of delivery, your best option would then likely be USPS. Other factors do come into play though, so it’s important to really do your research prior to committing to one shipping option. This is when choosing a multi-carrier option comes in handy. PluginHive is an excellent method of allowing from multiple carriers with the added bonus of so many other tools and features to streamline your shipping process. 

Interested in finding out how PluginHive can integrate the best shipping services, like real-time shipping rates, order tracking and multi-carrier shipping, right into your Shopify, WooCommerce, or another eCommerce platform? Reach out to our customer support team now!

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