Whether you’re moving or you’ve ended up with someone else’s luggage, and now you need to mail it back to them, shipping luggage is a fairly straightforward process.
Therefore, You’re probably aware that you can ship luggage with FedEx, UPS, and DHL, all of whom offer speedy delivery for a price. However, you may wonder- Does the Postal Service allow for shipping something like luggage? Here is what you need to know!
Can You Mail a Suitcase With USPS?
You can mail a suitcase via the United States Postal Service, either with a box or without, provided it weighs less than 70 lbs. After 70 lbs. you will have to look into another shipping company. Suitcases can be shipped via Priority Mail Express, Priority Mail, or Retail Ground, and the price varies widely in 2023.
To learn more about what the best way is to ship a suitcase via USPS, whether you can ship a suitcase without a box, and even if you can mail a suitcase internationally with the Postal Service, keep reading!
What Is the Best Way to Ship a Suitcase?
The best way to ship a suitcase with USPS depends on your budget and the speed at which you want the suitcase to reach its destination.
You can ship your suitcase via the following:
Priority Mail Express: The most expensive option, but also the fastest. Depending on your destination, delivery will be fulfilled overnight or with second-day delivery.
PME comes with a money-back guarantee that your package will reach its destination by the date and time given.
So, if it doesn’t make the deadline, you can apply for a refund.
As well, Priority Mail Express comes with $100-worth of insurance – which you can add to, up to $5,000 – and Tracking.
Additionally, you can purchase the postage for Priority Mail Express online, using USPS’s Click-N-Ship tool.
Priority Mail: The second most expensive option, and the second-fastest. Depending on your destination, delivery will be within one to three days.
Priority Mail doesn’t come with any money-back guarantee, so if your package gets stalled anywhere on its journey, you are not entitled to a refund.
However, this mail class comes with $50-worth of insurance (which you can, again, add onto) and Tracking.
You can also use USPS’s online tool, Click-N-Ship, to purchase the postage for this shipping class.
Retail Ground: The cheapest shipping method, but also the slowest, Retail Ground can take up to eight business days.
As with the other shipping classes, price is determined based on weight and the distance to its destination.
This shipping class includes Tracking, and you can add on Insurance (which isn’t a bad idea).
For this shipping class, you must visit your Post Office; you cannot purchase the postage for Retail Ground online.
While you don’t technically need a box to ship your luggage, if you can find one that’s large enough, we would recommend it.
And, of course, you must be sure that your suitcase doesn’t exceed the 70 lb. maximum for shipping with USPS.
(One way to weigh your suitcase at home is to step on a scale without it, then step on the scale again while holding the suitcase. The difference is your suitcase’s weight.)
Can You Ship a Suitcase Without a Box?
You can ship a suitcase without a box if you’re using the Postal Service, but if you can find a box that fits your suitcase, that is also acceptable.
Overall, the main thing when shipping a suitcase, assuming it’s full of items, is that you’re not trying to mail anything that is considered illegal or not eligible for mailing.
Such items include the following:
- Marijuana (CBD is allowed but restricted)
- Tobacco products
- Hand sanitizer (can only be shipped using Retail Ground)
- Lithium batteries
- Prescription drugs
- Nail polish
Now, while this doesn’t necessarily include all types of these items, you will want to check the USPS Domestically Restricted Items list for a better understanding of what is allowed.
How Much Does It Cost to Ship a 50-Pound Suitcase?
Let’s break down how much it would cost to ship a 50 lb. suitcase via USPS since 50 lbs. is where most airlines max out (before you incur overweight fees).
It’s important to note that the price depends not just on the weight, but on the distance, the suitcase has to travel – that’s called Zoned pricing.
For the full price list, including every Zone for each shipping class, visit this page here.
Priority Mail Express
Priority Mail Express starts at $140.80 for shipping locally and then to Zones 1 and 2.
It maxes out at $494.15 for Zone 9, which is most U.S. territories.
Therefore, chances are good if you’re shipping domestically, you’re only going to Zone 8 at the most, which is priced at $362.75.
Priority Mail, which is a bit slower than Priority Mail Express, and thus a bit more affordable, starts at $38.55 for a 50-lb. suitcase traveling Locally, or to Zones 1 and 2.
Zone 9 costs $286.25, while Zone 8, which is where most domestic shipments are going to max out, costs just $146.15.
Retail Ground is of course much slower, but it’s also a little bit more affordable.
This option starts at just $38.35 – 20 cents cheaper than Priority Mail – for shipping Locally, and to Zones 1 and 2.
It maxes out at $120.60 for both Zones 8 and 9.
However, that is just $26 cheaper for a much slower shipping class.
All told, Priority Mail might be the best option for many, as it’s a mix of affordability and speed.
Can You Mail a Suitcase Internationally?
You can mail a suitcase internationally with USPS, and while the agency is still priced favorably compared to UPS or FedEx, it’s still going to cost you.
You can ship using the following services:
Global Express Guaranteed: The delivery window is 1-3 business days, with a money-back guarantee.
A 50-lb. suitcase starts at $366.70 and ranges up to $794.10.
Priority Mail Express International: The delivery window is 3-5 business days, with a money-back guarantee for some countries.
A 50-lb. suitcase starts at $297.65 and ranges up to $423.10.
Priority Mail International: 6 to 10 business days; as the slowest shipping class that allows weight up to 70 lbs., it’s also the most affordable.
A 50-lb. suitcase starts at $205.20 and ranges up to $347.60.
You can mail a suitcase using the United States Postal Service, whether you choose to use a box or not. Domestically, you can choose from Priority Mail Express, Priority Mail, and Retail Ground, though we think the best value is Priority Mail.