For those interested in what a USPS Regional Rate Box A is for, this box is generally used by online and commercial USPS customers who are utilizing the Merchandise Return Service or the Priority Mail service. The Regional Rate A Boxes are designed for customers who buy their shipping labels online, and they are a low-cost alternative shipping option.
Regional Rate Boxes come in two kinds – A and B. These boxes are then split into different zones, and the cost varies depending on which zone you wish to send your package to. The zones go from one to nine, and have different costs associated with them. Many people can benefit from using this service, but it’s worth checking whether it’s giving you a good deal.
What Is The USPS Regional Rate Box A?
The Priority Mail Regional Rate Boxes are strong cardboard boxes that have been designed for use by customers who purchase labels for shipping online. They are intended for packages that are not traveling long distances, and they are a low cost shipping option.
These boxes are intended as convenience factor for businesses and home sellers who do a lot of shipping.
What Are The Advantages Of Regional Rate A Boxes?
The biggest advantage of using these boxes is that they combine the convenience and speed of using Priority Mail Shipping with the economy of zone pricing. The aim of this is to bring down costs for items that are not traveling very far, allowing users to cut their postage costs without making mailing more complicated.
For a business, this is a big advantage, because it means that customers can still enjoy the benefits of priority shipping, without having to pay as much for the service.
How Much Do Regional Rate A Boxes Cost?
Packs of these boxes can be purchased from either USPS’s website, or from your local post office. You must purchase them in packs of 10 or 25 boxes, rather than as individual boxes.
You can buy as many packs as you want, and the boxes themselves are free to purchase and have delivered. However, you must then pay the relevant mailing fee on each box. These are currently as follow:
- Zone 1: $8.08
- Zone 2: $8.08
- Zone 3: $8.04
- Zone 4: $8.34
- Zone 5: $9.01
- Zone 6: $10.89
- Zone 7: $11.63
- Zone 8: $12.64
- Zone 9: $23.37
How Do You Use A Regional Rate Box A?
So, how do you use one of these boxes? You can simply purchase the boxes from USPS’s website, pack your item(s) into the box, and purchase the appropriate label online. You can then attach this label to the box.
The boxes come in sets of either 10 or 25, and they are printed with the words “Priority Mail” on them so that the service to be used is clear.
The boxes are also tracked and insured, so you really don’t need to do anything but pack them, seal them, and add your shipping label.
Do Regional Rate Boxes Include Tracking?
Yes, these boxes include tracking as part of the Priority Mail service. You do not need to pay extra for this or add anything on.
Where Can I Buy A Regional Rate Box A?
You can purchase these boxes from USPS.com, or you can buy them in packs from your post office. They are generally easy to get hold of and readily available, and you can have them shipped directly to your door if it is not convenient for you to collect them.
How Big Are The Boxes?
A Regional Rate Box A comes in two different sizes. You can get top loading boxes, or side loading boxes. The top loading boxes measure ten inches by seven inches by four and three quarter inches. The side loading boxes measure approximately eleven inches by two and a half inches by thirteen inches.
These two boxes have just over 0.2 cubic feet in terms of their volume.
It’s important to choose a box that works well for what you are going to ship. Many people use the top loading boxes, but a side loading one can be more convenient for certain items, and may help to keep them safer while in transit.
What Weight Can I Post With A Regional Rate Box A?
You can post up to fifteen pounds with a Box A. This is the absolute maximum weight, and there is no option to pay more to upgrade it. It is not suitable for very heavy items, but tends to be used for small, dense objects that need to be shipped quickly.
Note that items sent using a Regional Rate Box A are costed depending on where they are going, rather than by weight. That means you may as well put something heavy in the box, because it will cost you the same amount no matter what it weighs – at least, up to the fifteen pound mark.
If you wish to mail something heavier than fifteen pounds, you may need to choose a Box B. These can be used for items weighing up to twenty pounds, but no higher. If your item weighs more than this, the Regional Rate boxes are not suitable for it, and you must use another shipping method.
There was at one point a Box C, but USPS discontinued this service in 2016, leaving just A and B as options for their customers.
It is very important to note that weights are rounded up as soon as they cross over the limit. A fifteen pound item can be mailed using the service, but if your item weighs even slightly over fifteen pounds, it is rounded up, and will be counted as sixteen pounds.
You should carefully weigh items yourself before you try to mail them, or you may find that you get charged an additional amount, or that your recipient is charged extra.
Is It Cheaper To Use A Regular Box?
As mentioned earlier, there are some instances in which it is cheaper to use a regular box, yes.
This does depend a bit on the situation, and it can be pretty complicated. Just occasionally, if your item would fit into a smaller box and you are shipping to certain zones, you can get a better deal by not using this service.
If you want to try this, you could make use of USPS’s free mailing boxes. Alternatively, you can use your own mailing boxes. In some cases, either of these may be cheaper than the Regional Rate A Box, but only when you are shipping outside Zones 1-4. If you are shipping inside these zones, it should be cheaper to send your mail using the Regional Rate A boxes.
If in doubt, it’s best to ask at your local post office, and to take your package with you. They should be able to advise you on the cheapest shipping options and which is best for your situation.
According to some sources, if your box weighs a pound or less, shipping it with normal priority mail should be less expensive than shipping it using a Regional Rate Box A. If your box weighs two pounds, it should cost the same. At three pounds and more, the Regional Rate Box A will be the cheaper option.
It is very important for businesses to recognize this. Many depend upon the Regional Rate service without actually checking whether it is saving them money, so do check before mailing items out and make sure you are getting the best deal.
Does USPS Charge Me To Buy Boxes Via Their Site?
No, these boxes are free of charge, whether you get them from your local post office or from the USPS site. Although USPS must ship them to you if you buy them from their site, they do not charge for this service. The boxes will be delivered to you free of charge.
Make sure that you “buy” the correct quantity and the type of box that you want. If you want a mixture of side loading and top loading, you will have to request these as separate packs, because the packs do not contain a mixture of the two.
Do I Have To Be A Business To Use USPS’s Regional Rate Box A?
No, you don’t. This service is open to members of the public, and many people use it. In general, it is geared toward people who mail quite a lot of stuff, so sellers on eBay and Etsy may be more likely to make use of it. People who rarely mail things are unlikely to find the service worth using, but it is a good way to keep costs down.
Is This Form Of Shipping Generally The Cheapest?
Not necessarily. As well as the aforementioned situations in which using your own box and sending an item via Priority Mail could prove cheaper, there are other shipping options that are more economical.
For example, if you are able to send packages via Cubic Rate shipping, this tends to be cheaper in many situations. If you are sending items to one of the more expensive regions, this is definitely a preferable option, and most things that can be sent by using a Regional Rate Box A can be sent more cheaply via Cubic Rate shipping.
Is The Regional Rate Box A Service Fast?
Yes, the service being quick is one of its biggest selling points. Often, when you get cheaper mail services, it is because they are significantly slower, but that is not the case here. These items should arrive within one to three working days.
This is a major attraction for many business sellers whose customers want items quickly, but do not want to pay large amounts of money for shipping. Instead of the business having to swallow some of the cost or getting negative feedback for slow shipping, they can have the best of both worlds.
Of course, if you are shipping to one of the further zones, you will probably find that the cost savings are not as appealing, because the rates climb quite steeply. However, the service is still attractive overall, and because USPS has such a good framework throughout the country, most packages arrive very swiftly.
Is It Cheaper To Use Regional Rate B Boxes?
No, it is not cheaper in any of the zones. A Regional Rate Box B allows you to ship increased weights (up to twenty pounds instead of fifteen), but it does cost more because of this.
Shipping to Zone 1 costs $8.23 (whereas a Regional Rate A Box would cost $7.83) and shipping to Zone 9 would cost $42.98 (whereas a Regional Rate A Box would cost $23.37).
Regional Rate B Boxes also come with top loading or side loading options, but the boxes are slightly larger, reflecting the greater weight allowance that these boxes provide.
If you are thinking of shipping bigger or heavier items, or multiple items inside one package, a Regional Rate B Box may prove a better option for you, in spite of the increased cost. However, you should check other shipping options, including Cubic Shipping, to ensure that you are getting a good deal.
The USPS Regional Rate Box A service is an excellent way for some businesses with a lot of mailing to do to simplify their shipping process and reduce their costs. This service combines the convenience of Priority Shipping with the low costs offered by charging regional rates, and so offers the best of both worlds to businesses and their customers.
Anyone who uses the United States Postal Service should consider also taking out a Virtual Mailbox service. This is a great way to make receiving mail easier, ensuring you do not need to be at home (or in the office) to accept deliveries.
You will enjoy increased security, privacy, and convenience, and you can easily digitize your incoming mail, as well as eliminate junk mail. This also makes for a great way to reduce the amount of space that you need to dedicate to paper storage!