Reducing Mailing Costs

QCP Emblem 02When you’re a published author operating your own writing business or a small publishing company, you’re always looking for ways to save money and cut costs.

One of the expenses I have with Quarter Castle Publishing is postage rates. I mail books across Canada, the United States and sometimes to the United Kingdom. If I can save a dollar here and a dollar there, it adds up over the year.

Not only do I save, I can pass these savings onto my readers when they buy books.

One way to save money immediately, whether you’re a company or an individual mailing a parcel, is to go to the post office; the real post office, not one of those outlets inside a grocery store or drug store. Real post offices charge the actual price for mailing a parcel. The outlets charge the actual price plus a wee bit more to cover their costs.

Don’t believe me? Take a package to an outlet, get a price and then take it to a real post office. If you don’t save money, let me know.

The second tip for saving money also applies to companies and individuals. When packaging a book or similar-shaped item, put it in a bubble envelope instead of a box. The box adds thickness you don’t want (unless the contents need to stay rigid; books are more flexible).

The goal is to be able to slip the package through the measuring slot at the post office. If it goes through, the charge will be for a letter instead of a package. The price will still be more than a one-stamp letter, but it will be substantially less than if it went as a package. I often save $3.00 to $5.00 when I’m able to do this.

If you’ve never seen this measuring slot before, ask to see it the next time you visit the post office. The ones I’ve seen are clear plastic, but here’s a sample I found online. It’s for the UK, so the dimensions might be different in Canada. The opening is around one inch wide.

The downside of shipping a book as an over-sized letter is there is no tracking. Shipping it as a package does include tracking.

The thickness of the book matters in shipping. Think about this when deciding if the dimensions of your book will be 5 inches x 8 inches or 6 inches x 9 inches. The larger size will cost less to produce through CreateSpace because size doesn’t matter; the number of pages does. Check out the Pricing Books at CreateSpace post to get a better idea of this.

So if your book is thin to begin with, you have a better chance of getting it through the slot.

The third tip to saving money is specific to small companies, ie publishing companies like me. Canada Post offers discounts to small companies through the Solutions for Small Business program. Savings include up to 28% on parcels shipped domestically, and up to 40% on parcels shipped outside Canada.

Currently, I get 5% off shipping, but I just signed up (just found out about it) last week.

You can sign up to the program at the post office or online. And guess what? It’s FREE!

NOTE: This information applies to Canada only. Some of these money-saving tips may apply in other countries, but you’ll have to check it out to see if they do.

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5 thoughts on “Reducing Mailing Costs

  1. Fantastic post Di! Yes, I’m well aware of the those ‘variety’ store postal outlets hiking the prices. I learned that ‘bubble wrap’ trick a long time ago, great share! 🙂

    • Thanks, Debby. There are a lot of people out there who don’t know about the ‘variety’ store postal outlets. A few weeks ago, there was a story in our local newspaper about it because a woman had ‘just discovered it’.

      I assumed everyone knew, but I guess people either don’t mail as much as me or they don’t pay attention to the price they’re paying. I think it’s more of the latter because people are so quick to whip out a credit card or tap their debit, that they don’t have a clue about the total of their purchase. If they had to count out the bills, they’d know.

      I love bubble wrap! And my kids love popping the bubbles. My twelve-year-old asked for a sheet of bubble wrap for Christmas. I just have to laugh. The funny thing is, his 16 and 17-year old siblings will fight him for it.

  2. All good advice once again. I also recently discovered that program — actually it was the post office that recommended it to me. But our postage rates in Canada are completely out of control. US has media mail which can be dirt cheap. Our letter cost 85 cents and $1.20 to US. I

    • I completely agree, Judy. Postal rates are crazy in Canada. It’s cheaper for me to mail a book to the US than to Newfoundland. So if I can save a few dollars, I take the opportunity. Thanks for visiting.

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