There are a lot of things to take into consideration when shipping your outdoor gear. How fast do you need it to arrive? How large is your package? How much does your package weigh? Does tracking come with it? You will always want to obtain tracking.
Below is a nice list of all the shipping methods and our recommendations.
- First Class – They state that this method arrives in 1-3 days, but there is no guarantee and can take up to 7 days. Your package can only weigh up to 13oz just over ¾ lb and it comes with tracking.
- Parcel Post – This method arrives in 5-7 business days, but could take longer depending on distance, weather, and when you ship it. Tracking doesn’t come with this option, but is available as an add-on. For oversized and heavier items, this is usually one of the cheapest options, but you have to remember to add tracking at the time of purchase.
- Priority Mail – This method is guaranteed to arrive in 3 days and there are no weight restrictions. The post office will have flat rate boxes which are great for smaller items and includes tracking. . This is generally the best shipping option for price and delivery speed. Plus, you get free shipping boxes from the post office!
- Express Mail – This is the post office’s version of next day shipping, but in reality it’s going to take two days. There are no weight limits and it does come with tracking. This is generally the cheapest overnight service.
- UPS Ground Service – This method is said to arrive in 1-5 business days, there are no weight restrictions and the size restrictions are large enough you won’t have to worry about them. They provide tracking for every package and allow for an optional insurance option. This is your best bet for packages weighing over 5lbs.
- UPS 3 Day Select – This shipping method is guaranteed to arrive in 3 days, it is available in 48 of the 50 states. There are no weight or size restrictions and they provide accurate tracking up to time of delivery.
- UPS 2nd Day Air – This is a two part service offering either AM deliver or by 7pm that night, There are no weight or size restrictions and they provide accurate tracking up to time of delivery
- UPS Next Day Air Services – This is a three part service offering 8am, 10:30am, or 3pm delivering the following day. If you fail to receive your package on time they will give you a full refund. There are no weight or size restrictions and they will provide you with accurate tracking up to time of delivery. This gets pricey.
To save us all some time, I’m going to sum up FedEx by stating they have very similar options to UPS as well as very similar pricing. The biggest difference being in their ground shipping method, as they offer two choices, a FedEx home for residential and a FedEx ground for commercial locations.
We want to save you money, here’s a breakdown of what the best shipping method is for you and some examples on common gear sold here on GearTrade.com
Less than 13oz
Anything under 13oz 3/4lb should be shipped USPS First Class, This is the cheapest and fastest way to ship anything short of next day mail. Clothing, Sunglasses, Mountain biking accessories, Winter accessories, and more.
13oz to 5lbs
5lbs to 20lbs
This is where it gets tricky. Oversized items (paddle, ski poles) should go Parcel Post to save money. Choose Priority Mail, UPS Ground, and/or FedEx Home delivery for piece of mind. The last 3 are all pretty close in price. Sleeping bags, Stoves, Camp furniture, Tents, Surf & Wake gear, and more.
Skis and Snowboards will be cheapest sent Parcel Post, but remember to get the tracking and insurance for a few bucks more. For faster delivery, go UPS or FedEx. Road Bikes, Snowboards, Ski’s, Kayaks, Car Racks, Longboards, and more