When deciding to use Universe Shipping, you are presented with options from the United States Postal Service (USPS) and UPS. Both services have options that vary based on the type of package and shipping speed. We’ll go over a few best practices to help you determine the right option for your package.

Weigh your products

Shipping rates are based on the total weight of what you’re shipping. Your items may be returned to you if you do not properly determine the weight of your items. You can use an ordinary home body weight scale for larger items, or a food scale for smaller items. We recommend weighing more than once to ensure you have the right weight. Be sure to account for any extra packing materials like dry ice!

The slider on the shipping screen in the Universe app calculates by the pound, so you may need to do some quick math if your product isn’t an exact weight. For example, a package weighing 2 pounds, 8 ounces would be 2.5 pounds on our scale.

Determine shipping speed

Generally, the faster the shipping speed, the more it will cost to ship. If you’re shipping food or other perishables, a 2-day or next day shipping speed is typically recommended.

Ground shipping options are the most common choice and usually arrive within just a few days.

Evaluate what you are shipping

Some items may be prohibited by a shipping service, meaning you cannot send them through the mail under any circumstances. Restricted items can sometimes still be shipped, but may require special packaging or labeling.

Prohibited items for USPS are:

  • Air Bags
  • Ammunition
  • Explosives
  • Gasoline
  • Marijuana (medical or otherwise)

A longer list with restrictions can be found here.

UPS’s list of prohibited items include:

  • Fireworks
  • Marijuana (medical or otherwise)
  • Watches exceeding $500 in value
  • Postage Stamps

The full list of criteria for restricted items can be found here.

Additionally, some package types like Media Mail or First-Class Mail via USPS should only be chosen when shipping a specific kind of product or a package of a specific weight.

Per the USPS, with Media Mail you are able to send:

  • Books
  • 16-millimeter or narrower width films
  • Printed music and test materials
  • Video and sound recordings
  • Playscripts and manuscripts
  • Printed educational reference charts
  • Medical loose-leaf pages and binders
  • Computer-readable media

NOTE: Video games, computer drives, and digital drives do not qualify for Media Mail.

You are also limited to a shipping weight of 70 pounds or less via Media Mail.

For more on the shipping standards of Media Mail, you can read more from USPS here.

First-Class Mail non-letter envelopes and parcels have a weight limit of 13 ounces. More information can be found here.

🌟If you need more help or have further questions about Universe Shipping, feel free to reach out to us via chat in the app or by sending an email to [email protected].

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