How To Ship Books Priority Mail For The Price Of Media Mail

book selling etsy vintage seller packing and shipping shopify Apr 12, 2021

This week I received back to back messages from customers that their packages were delayed and not showing up on tracking. This has been happening weekly for about 6 weeks now, and the stress is killing me. The post office is taking over a month to deliver Media Mail packages and my customers are rightfully confused and upset by packages that disappear from tracking for weeks at a time.

I decided to ask a Facebook group for Etsy sellers for their experiences. I was hoping to learn whether this is a regional issue or happening all over the country. What I got from so many sellers was that I should stop using Media Mail.

I dismissed this as unwanted advice from sellers who don’t sell books and don’t realize that Media Mail is the only affordable option. But a part of me knew that kind of attitude was also likely to get me nowhere and that dismissing suggestions is often just a sign of pride. Maybe this was a time to think outside the box and try to find a solution to this ongoing problem.

What I decided to do was look into Pirate Ship (a third-party shipping website), as I had been hearing about this service for years but just assumed it wasn’t for me because nobody discounts Media Mail rates.

But my fatal slow in thinking was not considering that they may have OTHER shipping options that were discounted so much that they could compete with Media Mail rates. And that is exactly what I found to be the case.

Pirate Ship offers commercial rate shipping and cubic rate shipping from USPS. Cubic rate shipping is calculated by package size, NOT WEIGHT. I had never even heard of this!

Because of cubic rate shipping, I could ship book orders with 2-3 day Priority Mail, with $100 of insurance, through Pirate Ship for the same price as Media Mail through Etsy or Shopify!

For the sake of comparison, my first order I shipped through Pirate Ship was 14.4 pounds and was in a 10x8x6 box. Media Mail through Etsy would have cost $10.73 and would have taken about a week (or more these days), with no insurance. Instead, I paid $10.60 on Pirate Ship for Priority Mail, which will arrive in 2-3 days and which also has insurance should the package get lost.

How did I not know this for THREE YEARS?!?!

THIS is why I have this blog. There aren’t enough people out there talking about book selling. This one fact could have dramatically improved my customer satisfaction, lowered my stress, and saved me tons of money over the past three years.

All I can do now is rejoice in this discovery and tell everyone I can about it. Pirate Ship is totally free and you can import your orders directly from Shopify, Etsy, eBay, Woo Commerce, and more, with one click. It is so simple. You can also upload orders or do them manually.

It doesn’t always work out as the cheapest option if it’s not a larger order, but I am still getting close enough to Media Mail price to justify upgrading my customers to Priority Mail. That is a HUGE upgrade for my customers and a huge relief to me. Go check them out and let me know if it works out for you!



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