What Is USPS Parcel Select | The Cheapest Option

Nowadays, finding economical and convenient shipping is mad tough, let alone for large or heavy packages. And we’re not even talking about countrywide shipping options YET!

The sole solution that ticks all the boxes is now known as “USPS Parcel Select Advanced” previously divided into:

  1. USPS First-Class Package Service
  2. USPS Parcel Select Ground
  3. USPS Retail Ground

This service is truly a bang for your buck. However, you need to be a little patient. It is ideal for packages that don’t require immediate delivery…

It also gives you nationwide coverage even in rural areas making it easier for recipients to whom other carriers might not reach.

What Is USPS Parcel Select
What Is USPS Parcel Select

This service is absolutely dominated by Ecommerece giants and online sellers to ship their packages with adequate package tracking, enhancing the overall experience.

Let’s dig deeper and see how much truth resides in this service! And how can you get started?

What Is USPS Parcel Select?

According to USPS, parcel select is a cost-effective ground delivery service for bulk packages.

It’s mainly used by businesses of all sizes, including large retailers, Ecommerce giants, and small businesses that sort their parcels and bring them closer to the destination for delivery.

The delivery time ranges anywhere from 2 to 5 business days in the US.

Under the hood, some private shipping companies often use it to complete the final delivery, especially in rural areas, as the Postal Service delivers to every door six days a week.

A few advantages, we loved:

  • Free USPS tracking
  • No residential, fuel, or Saturday surcharges

Yes, there are a few caveats too that need to be addressed, and we’ll discuss them in a bit. For now, let’s see the requirements…

USPS Parcel Select Requirements

To be eligible for USPS Parcel Select, packages must meet the following criteria:

  1. Weight: 70 pounds or less
  2. Dimensions: 130 inches in length and girth
  3. Packages must be dropped off at any USPS mailbox or post office through a USPS- approved PC Postage system.

FYI: There are no hard volume limits for USPS Parcel Select packages, but if you ship more than 50 pieces or 50 pounds of mail per mailing can qualify for discounted prices.

This is an absolute steal if you’re an Individual who is moving out or shipping large items to another location.

However, to be extra sure about the requirements, contact your local post office for any specific eligibility criteria or restrictions that might apply to certain types of items you’re trying to deliver.

It Is Not Good For You If…

  1. One major concern is the variability in delivery times, if you’re used to 1-2 days deliveries then you might get frustrated or worried. This service lacks a definite delivery timeline for customers who expect prompt delivery.
  1. Likewise, variable delivery times also cause limited tracking updates creating doubts for both parties, so package monitor isn’t their strong side.
  1. Address errors add additional fees for address correction, causing unexpected costs for both the sender and the receiver.
  1. Lastly, the return and refund process for packages sent via USPS Parcel Select is cumbersome, multiple steps are in place causing money back delays or receiving damages for lost items.

Mostly, all of the above problems are in any other shipping service, the most noteworthy points are delivery time variability, and Address Errors fee. If you can deal with it, nobody can allude to any other service with such cost savings.

So, how much does it cost then?

Also Read: What Is a Parcel Locker?

USPS Parcel Select Advanced Cost

The cost varies depending on a few factors of your package:

  1. The weight and dimensions of your package
  2. The distance your package is traveling
  3. The time of year you are shipping

Now, let’s see 2 estimated examples:

  1. A package that weighs 2 pounds and measures 12x12x12 inches will cost ~ $5.85 to ship from New York City to Los Angeles.
  1. A package that weighs 10 pounds and measures 18x18x18 inches will cost ~ $18.65 to ship from New York City to Los Angeles.

But what if you want to ship something lightweight? Hmm. There is another version of this service only for this.

USPS Parcel Select

Parcel Select Lightweight: Overview

Simply, parcel select lightweight is a service for packages that weigh less than 1 pound. The rest of the information is the same except the drop off method.

Parcel Select Lightweight packages must be entered at either a Destination Delivery Unit (DDU), a Sectional Center Facility (SCF), or NDC designated mail entry point.

But still, it comparatively has a slower delivery time.

Here is a table that summarizes the key differences between Parcel Select Lightweight and Parcel Select Advanced:

FeatureParcel Select LightweightParcel Select Advanced
WeightLess than 1 pound1 pound or more
Entry locationsDDU, SCF, or NDCAny USPS location
PriceMore affordableMore expensive
Delivery timeSlowerFaster

Here are 2 estimated examples of how much Parcel Select Lightweight costs:

  • A package that weighs 1 ounce and is shipped within the same zone will cost ~$0.60.
  • A package that weighs 16 ounces and is shipped within the same zone will cost


For the cost of your package, you can also use the USPS Shipping Calculator.

But why go through such trivial calculations and risks when there is Priority Mail at your service with extra benefits included? Let’s see.

Priority Mail Vs Parcel Select

Both services fall under the same umbrella.

Priority Mail is a more expensive option, but it offers a faster delivery time, free shipping,

$100 worth of insurance, free packaging, and the option to purchase flat-rate boxes (precalculated fee discarding weight, size, or destination – provided that everything fits in the supplied packaging).

On the other hand, Parcel Select is a more affordable option, but it has a slower delivery time, no free shipping insurance, and no flat-rate boxes.

Here is a table that summarizes the key differences between Parcel Select and Priority Mail:

FeatureParcel Select GroundPriority Mail
InsuranceFor an additional feeUp to $100 included for free
Flat-rate boxesNoYes
Shipping chargesBased on weight, size, and distanceFlat rate or based on weight and size
Transit time2-5 business days1-3 business days

The best service for you will all comes down to your specific needs. If you need a fast delivery time and free shipping insurance, then Priority Mail is a goto option.

If you are on a budget and don’t care about the fastest delivery time, then Parcel Select is the only option.

Also Check: Where Can I Drop off a Prepaid UPS Package

Final Words

According to BusinessWire Report, ~64% of eCommerce users consider cost the most important part of shipping.

A study from Statista states, the number one reason for cart abandonment in 2022 was due to extra shipping costs alone.

It’s safe to say that offering affordable shipping options is key to the success of your business. Luckily, solutions like USPS Parcel Select are there to help.