Understanding Flat Rates and Shipping Methods September 17 2018

Printkeg offers many discounted shipping methods and flat rate options to help reduce the burden of shipping expenses to our customers. In the past, we've experimented with free shipping, but that just hasn't been something we could maintain. Since that is the case, we have developed an attractive blend of shipping options. We offer the following services:

  • Flat Rate Shipping
  • USPS Priority Mail
  • USPS First Class Package
  • UPS Ground
  • UPS 3-Day Select
  • UPS 2-Day Air
  • UPS Next Day Air

Each shipping method has advantages and disadvantages and each should be researched and understood - especially if you have a deadline. We discount every service by passing our bulk rates to customers. We do not make any money on shipping and refuse to increase our prices to accommodate shipping expenses. Instead, we try to be as reasonable as possible. Here is a breakdown of each service: 

Flat Shipping Rates - These are discounted rates provided to help keep your shipping costs way down. Most of the time, flat rates offer huge savings. If you select a flat shipping rate, our shipping department will select the least expensive shipping method which may include UPS Ground or any USPS service (including Priority). The method of shipping is at our discretion. The service we use generally depends on the weight of the package.  For now, and after a time period of testing, we have strayed away from UPS SurePost and FedEx SmartPost since those services usually hand off packages to USPS for final delivery which can be confusing. Flat rates are not available for some areas and start at $10.99 (based on order amount).

$0 - $99.99 = $10.99
$100 - $149.99 = $12.99
$150.00 - $249.99 = $14.99
$250.00 - $349.99 = $21.95
$350.00 - $499.99 = $29.99
$500.00 - $999.99 = $39.99
$1000+ = $59.99

Packages under one pound may be offered a low USPS First Class Package option. This service may not yet be offered to all states while we experiment with it. 

Orders to some states may cost an additional $1 to $5 more. Flat rates change based on location.

USPS Priority Mail - While selecting a shipping method, you will be offered a USPS Priority Mail option. The option will either read as "Priority Mail 2-Day" or "Priority Mail 3-Day" but usually not both. For lighter weight packages, USPS Priority Mail is often the least expensive method for expedited delivery and can sometimes be cheaper than the flat rates. This is the most superior shipping method for light packages since it is inexpensive and fast. The problem with this service is the transit time periods are not guaranteed by USPS. Despite reading "USPS Priority 2-Day" that package may not actually reach you in two days. Some customers have better experiences than others. USPS Priority Mail is usually not ideal for heavy packages over eight pounds or stringent deadlines.

USPS First Class Package - This is by far the cheapest shipping rate available for packages under one pound. If your cart's total weight is 15.99 ounces or less, this shipping option will become available. According to Stamps.com, the USPS First Class Package Service offers fast nationwide delivery to any U.S address within 3 days. Again, USPS does not guarantee transit times. For now, we are experimenting with this service and are only offering it to a limited number of states. 

UPS Ground - The slowest and most basic UPS service aside from UPS SurePost (which we do not use), UPS Ground is an excellent choice for heavy packages. Once you hit fifteen pounds, this option will become far more economical than a USPS Priority Mail option. We recommend looking through this map that shows how many days UPS Ground would take to reach you from our facility. Many customers choose a flat rate over UPS Ground for the savings.

UPS 3-Day Select - For a reasonable price, you can purchase a coast-to-coast shipping transit time of three days rather than the standard five or six days offered through UPS Ground. If you are located in central or eastern USA, this service will not be beneficial since UPS Ground will likely make it to you within the same time period. Again, we urge you to look at our UPS Ground map.

UPS 2-Day Air - If your items ship on Tuesday, there is a 99% chance your package will arrive on Thursday no matter where you are located in the United States. This is a premium expedited service by UPS, but we recommend checking our UPS Ground map to ensure you're not wasting money. Many states are only two days away from us using UPS Ground. Many of our customers opt to use USPS Priority 2-Day over this service since it is usually much cheaper. However, it is important to understand that UPS actually guarantees their transit times, so this is the service for important deadlines.

UPS Next Day Air - This is the only service we provide that offers next day delivery. We actually select "UPS Next Day Air Saver" since most customers do not need the delivery by a certain time of the day. If you require an early delivery time, please contact our customer service. Early morning delivery options and prices vary depending on the area. 

A few notes

We offer different UPS and USPS solutions for Canadian and other international orders. 

Flat rates are not available in all areas including Canada, Ireland, UK, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, and Alaska. For lower costs, alternative shipping methods are available for these areas.

Flat rates may not be available for custom orders and/or large orders which cannot be processed through our website due to weight restriction.

If your shipment requires more than one large box or an extra tube, we may contact you about additional shipping. This is mostly a concern when expedited shipping services like UPS Next Day and UPS 2-Day are selected. 

Important message about shipments requiring multiple boxes

If your order requires multiple boxes, there may be an additional charge of $5.99 to $7.99 per extra box for poster tubes. Large heavy orders requiring multiple boxes can cost more. You will be notified at time of shipping if this occurs.