In yesterday’s post, I blogged about the USPS rate changes that took effect May 14th. With the new higher rates that you may have to pass along to your customers, it’s even more important now for you to get the shipping charges correct.
For smaller, lighter items that you must ship, you’ll need a shipping scale if you don’t already have one. Shipping scales can be found at any office supply store and fortunately, they aren’t that expensive.
A first choice you must make is the weight limit of the scale. A 5 pound scale is usually a good overall choice. You can buy scales going all the way to the 2 hundred pound range but the cost of scales above 5 pounds increases significantly. Things that you ship via USPS must be weighed exactly (down to the ounce). Around 5 pounds is where USPS starts to become less cost effective. Generally speaking, when you get to 5 pounds UPS or FedEx is usually a more economical choice. Those shipping services don’t bother with ounces and you just round to the next pound. Usually for heavier items like these, you can get the weight from the supplier anyway.
Another thing to consider with a shipping scale is the platform area. Sometimes, you can have a fairly large box that weighs under 5 pounds. If you buy too small a scale and place a larger box on its platform, it may cover up the display or throw the weight off. Make sure there’s enough room to accommodate any larger packages that you might place on it.
A 3rd consideration is mobility. Do you need to use the scale in some place that doesn’t have power? If so, consider a scale that runs off battery as well as A/C power.
A 4th consideration is digital versus mechanical. Mechanical scales tend to be less expensive but they use springs and moving parts they tend to get out of calibration quicker and need adjustment.
Making sure you get the right shipping scale will help ensure that you get your shipping charges correct — especially important with USPS charges where every ounce counts.
Tags: Shipping Scale, Digital Scale, USPS Shipping, Postal Scale