Posted on January 13, 2011 by Dennis Salazar

The Globe Guard “Light Rate” Box is Better Than Free

Recently, we’ve had several opportunities to help customers disprove the old adage that “the best things in life are free.” The fact is that for many shippers a free item may NOT be a good deal, for example when it is a USPS flat rate shipping box.

The USPS Flat Rate Deal

The USPS flat rate program is a marvelous idea, and they do a beautiful job of promoting it. Is there anyone who doesn’t love the TV commercial with the clown doll and the frightened family that is eager to return it? However, what is truly scary is how much that free box can actually wind up costing depending on the weight of the item being shipped.

Their program is fairly simple: “If it fits, it ships anywhere in the country for one low flat rate.” The rate for their smallest 8-1/2” long x 5-3/16” wide x 1-9/16″ high box (actual inside dimensions) has recently increased from $4.95 per box to $5.20 per box. That’s still a heck of a deal for many customers considering they can ship unlimited weight via USPS priority mail, which is typically a three day service. And don’t forget, the box is free.

When Free is Not the Best Deal

Globe Guard Light Rate Box and USPS flat rate box

Globe Guard Light Rate Box and USPS flat rate box

Our Globe Guard box is the same, identical inside dimensions and is also a die cut, mailer design, but we added locking tabs to minimize tape use. It is every bit as strong, much greener (brown 100% recycled content board with minimal printing compared to white, virgin exterior with lots of USPS printing inside and out). It is also light weight at 2.5 ounces, but it is NOT free.

However, if the product or contents you plan to ship weigh less than 10 ounces, you can ship via USPS first class service (3 to 5 days) and save a minimum of $1.34 per box.

Take a look at the math:

USPS flat rate box…………. Free            Globe Guard Light Rate Box…… $.60

Flat Rate Priority postage …$5.20          First Class Postage ……………. $3.26

TOTAL COST ………………. $5.20               TOTAL COST …………..………. $3.86

TOTAL SAVINGS……………………$1.34 per package

If you only occasionally ship a few boxes and buy our Globe Guard Light Rate boxes at our highest one bundle price, this may not appear to be a huge savings. However, if you ship baseball cards, eye glasses, gift cards or any small item weighing less than 10 ounces and you ship out twenty packages a day, the potential savings exceeds $7,000 per year.

In fact, that is the minimum potential savings because with that type of annual volume, if you purchased 500 boxes per month, your cost for our Globe Guard box would drop to $.50 per box and your savings for the same 10-ounce product would approach $8,000 per year.

Also, since the first class rate is based on weight, and every ounce counts, the first class postage for a one-ounce product can be as low as $2.00 per shipment, reducing your overall costs by more than 50%. Then your total annual savings could exceed $13,000. So much for those “free” USPS flat rate boxes.

If your product is more than 10 ounces and/or the longer (3 to 5 days) shipping time is critical, this Globe Guard solution may not be in your best interest. However, if your product is light weight and you are interested in reducing costs, please call us and we will be glad to send you a sample of our Light Rate Box to review and test. However, be advised, the sample will likely ship to you via USPS first class mail.