Shipping a shirt is easy and affordable, but if you want to spend the very least amount, chances are good using the United States Postal Service is going to be your best bet.
How much does it cost to ship a shirt USPS, though? You have a number of options, and because t-shirts are relatively light, they’re all pretty cheap. Here’s what you need to know!
How Much Does It Cost To Ship a Shirt Through USPS In 2023?
With T-shirts weighing between 3 to 6 ounces, depending on the fabric, a multitude of affordable options are available to ship using the United States Postal Service in 2023. This includes First-Class Mail Large Envelope, which is just $2.16 – and can be covered by four Forever stamps. Faster options also exist, including Flat Rate.
To learn more about all the different options for shipping a shirt, whether USPS or UPS is really cheaper, and much more, keep going!
How Much Does a Shirt Weigh to Ship?
The weight of the shirt you want to ship can make a difference when it comes to your options, particularly how much you are going to pay.
That said, assuming a typical t-shirt, Kalamazoo Spirit Shoppe estimates most basic t-shirts weigh between three ounces on the low end, to six ounces on the high end.
They could weigh even more than six ounces, in some cases, like for extra-large sizes or a very heavy knit.
But it’s safe to assume that a regular tee, like one you might find hanging on a rack at Walmart or Target, will max out around six ounces.
Now, that is important because something that light makes First-Class mail an option.
And while First-Class Mail is one of the slowest ways to ship something, it’s also the most affordable. You might even have the postage on you right now.
Let’s look at that, plus some other shipping options, in the section below.
What Is the Cheapest Way to Ship a Shirt through USPS?
The very cheapest way to ship a shirt with USPS would be to put in an envelope and send it First-Class Large Envelope.
We calculated the cost of sending a six-ounce shirt to a Zone 8 address (that would be like sending it from one coast to the other) and it came out to just $2.15 this way.
I don’t know about you, but I actually have that postage at hand right now – just four Forever stamps (assuming the retail rate is 58 cents).
You’ll overpay that way – you can always take your envelope into the Post Office and purchase exact – but it would save you a trip out if you already have stamps.
Let’s look at some of the other affordable ways you could ship a six-ounce shirt:
- First-Class Package: $5.50 to Zone 8; this option is ideal if you prefer to be able to track your shipment because First-Class Package includes Tracking.
- Retail Ground: $10.25 to Zone 8; includes Tracking but is slower and more expensive than First-Class Package.
- Priority Mail 2-Day Flat Rate: By folding the shirt, it would certainly fit in a small Flat Rate box, which costs just $9.45, or a Flat Rate envelope, at $8.85.
It’s faster than either of the above options, includes $50-worth of insurance, and includes Tracking.
Flat Rate boxes and envelopes can be found for free in Post Office locations or ordered online – completely for free – and delivered by your mail carrier.
- Priority Mail Express or Priority Mail Express Flat Rate: If you’re in a rush, Priority Mail Express next day or two-day can get it there fast.
This is not the cheapest option, obviously; using your own box for Priority Mail Express, it would cost $40.90 to ship to Zone 8.
But because t-shirts can fit in an envelope, you could also take advantage of their Flat Rate envelope, which costs $26.95.
I know the price leap from Priority Mail to Priority Mail Express is rather large, but for next-day or two-day delivery, USPS offers a terrific price.
Is It Cheaper to Ship Clothes with USPS Or UPS?
Wait until you see the price difference between USPS and UPS – the Postal Service is much cheaper.
Assuming a six-ounce shirt once again, UPS Next-Day Air by 10:30 the following day costs a whopping $100.16. Next-Day By End Of Day is still $89.39.
Compare that to USPS’s Priority Mail Express Flat Rate, which costs just $26.95.
UPS 2nd Day costs between $44.82 and $39.09, while 3 Day Select costs $31.83.
And the cheapest option, UPS Ground, which takes about a week, is still $13.18, compared to USPS First-Class Large Envelope, at $2.16.
Some people find UPS more trustworthy or reliable, after a bad experience with USPS; that’s fair and valid.
But to ship a t-shirt, you will spend so much more using UPS. The Postal Service is much cheaper.
Can You Ship a Shirt in a Flat Rate Envelope?
As long as the shirt fits in the envelope – and most will – without needing heaps of tape to keep it closed, you can absolutely use a Flat Rate envelope to ship.
In fact, if it were up to me, this is absolutely the method I would use, as it’s cheaper than shipping a box.
How can you beat Priority Mail 2-Day Flat Rate envelopes, which cost just $8.95 to ship, and include Tracking and insurance?
Plus, t-shirts aren’t fragile or breakable, so you don’t have to worry about the lack of padding or bubble wrap in a regular envelope.
To learn more, you can also see our posts on where can you drop off USPS packages, shipping clothes USPS, and the cheapest USPS shipping method.
Shipping a t-shirt with USPS is super affordable, costing as little as $2.16, or even less if your package is lighter. More expensive options are still well within most budgets, with Flat Rate envelopes making shipping cheaper and faster.