What is the cheapest way to ship one T shirt?

I have to deliver T shirts, one at a time, to folks who ordered from me online. I would like to do this for the cheapest price available.

Here’s the terms:

  • the shirt itself weighs next to nothing
  • time is not an issue, when it gets there, it gets there
  • none of the purchasers are more than 150 miles from me

What is the service I should use? What is the cheapest way to pack them? I am new to this game of shipping and don’t want to cut into the sales price too much.

TIA for any help you folks can offer.

Post would seem obvious, but with no time constraint, could you save up orders in different areas and deliver them yourself?

Thanks Bob, but that wouldn’t work. I have 50 shirts total sold, the gas itself would kill my margin.

Post office is probably the cheapest and easiest. You’ll need some sort of large envelope, paper or tyvek. The nice thing about shipping shirts or jeans is that they cannot really get damaged by crush of the mail, unlike many other things.

USPS is the cheapest imo. I used to ship them in plastic/tyvec envelopes.

Ohhhhh Stamps.com says the tyvek envelopes are free at USPS too. Gonna go the post office at lunch and see what they’ll give me.

I think the free Tyvek envelopes that are free at the post office are only for Priority Mail service. I think sending the envelopes using first-class mail will be cheaper.

Yes, thank you, you are correct. And Priority Mail is much more expensive than first class. Now gotta figure out a way to score envelopes on the cheap…

Honestly, probably the simplest (not necessarily cheapest) way to do so would be to buy a pack of 50 or 100 envelopes from Staples or Costco. And on a Google search, Uline might be even cheaper.

Would need to know exact weight. USPS Priority Mail flat-rate envelopes or flat-rate boxes are probably the simplest option, they will supply the envelopes/boxes. It would probably be about $6.50 per package and 2-3 days transit time.

If the weight is low enough then First-Class thick envelope/package would be cheaper, maybe $3 or $4.
ETA: Uline is good and fast for supplies, but their shipping charges are oppressive in my experience. I do everything I can to avoid them due to the shipping charges. I use Quill or Amazon mostly.

I have sold hundreds of t-shirts on ebay. The easiest and cheapest way to ship them is by USPS first class parcel. You can ship up to 13 ounces for less than $3 in most cases, it depends where you are. The plus is it only takes 3 or 4 days for delivery. I get my envelopes for this at my local Dollar Tree, I use 10x14 envelopes, I get 4 for a $1. Another source for cheap envelopes is thrift stores. I once scored a box of 100 11x15 manila envelopes for only $3.

Nice! Thank you racer, awesome info!

Be careful using Uline unless you are buying a LOT of stuff. They advertise free shipping if you purchase more than $300 in merchandise; however, they won’t tell you the costs if you buy less.

Assuming you are shipping within the US, your best option is to purchase discounted postage online either through Paypal Shipnow (you need to login with a PayPal account to access the page, but it’s difficult to locate the page without having a direct link) or through a site like PirateShip.com.

Until late this month you should be able to ship at a fixed First Class rate to any location in the US based on the weight; probably around $3.50 if you are shipping in poly bags. In late January, the rates go up and USPS moves to regional rates for First Class.

You can get about 100 poly bags (at least 50 microns in thickness) online for about $10-$14. This is generally the cheapest and best packaging to ship clothing in.

Thank you all for your help!

I was able to liberate some “inter department delivery” 11 x 14 envelopes from their workplace purgatory, so the packing was free. Just came back from the post office, it was $3.75/each for first class mail!

Nice and cheap! Thanks again.

Just for clarification, are you selling with free shipping included? Otherwise, the buyer is paying for shipping so…not really a cost issue?

The T shirts were made as a fundraiser for the family of a firefighter in our city who died in the line of duty. I was trying to maximize funds raised by minimizing shipping costs. So, yes you could say that shipping was included in the sales price.