In a few short months, it’ll be time for students to bid a fond farewell to their families and head off to college. For international students, keeping in touch with friends and family back home is an important way of showing your loved ones you’re thinking of them. A great way to do this is to send them a thoughtful package.
But anyone who’s shipped a parcel internationally knows just how expensive it can get. To help, I’ve gathered the best tips and tricks to getting cheaper postage rates, which will save you time, money and hassle.
Here’s how you can lower your international shipping rates:
Use the Cheapest Options Possible
With a little research, it’s easy to find an affordable shipping company for your needs. Treat shipping as any other product you would shop for online. Look around and see what everybody’s offering. For example, if you want to send a letter or envelope, a provider like USPS First Class Mail may be your best bet. If you want send a larger package, you may be better off with the US Postal Service.
Use Online Cost Calculators
Most shipping companies have cost calculators on their website, which makes pricing shipping easy and fairly pain free. Simply weigh your package and measure its dimensions, then input the information into the calculator. The site will then give you a list of options, and possibly even the option to pay for and print your label online, saving you a trip to the post office.
Check Customs Regulations
Many recipients have received unwelcome customs charges because the sender was unaware of the correct custom regulations. To avoid this, check into your destination country’s customs regulations. For example, items sent to the UK must have the contents declared correctly, in order to avoid the package being seized. Five minutes of research will save you a lot of time and headaches in the future.
It’s likely that you’re also receiving packages from your friends and family. Or if you’re like me, you’ll have a ton of boxes lying around from your Amazon Prime
addiction orders. Save the environment and your money by recycling the packaging they use. Most boxes will be perfectly fine for a return trip, providing you relabel and seal them properly. You can also use household items such as newspaper to pad an item in its box, if it’s not too fragile.
Make Sure Your Package Is Clearly Labelled
German seller Spreadshirt was amazed to find it was losing more than $60,000 on shipping, simply because of invalid customer addresses on labels. You may not be shipping as much as a global company, but it’s worth making sure you’ve labelled your package correctly. If an item can’t make it to its destination, your shipping company may charge to have it shipped back to you. That’s two lots of shipping costs before it even gets to its recipient.
Remember, a little research and care can save you an awful lot of money. Let’s face it, any student is looking to save a few dollars. Find the best service for you, and shipping items back home will be a breeze.