The Ultimate Guide to Shipping Clothes with USPS: Cost, Options, Packing Tips, and More

Whether you‘re a casual seller mailing a few t-shirts or an online boutique shipping out dresses every day, USPS is one of the most convenient and affordable ways to get your clothing orders to your customers. With a variety of services, detailed tracking, and prices starting under $5, it‘s no wonder so many people rely on USPS to ship clothes.

But with all the options available, figuring out the best way to mail your apparel can seem overwhelming. How much will it cost to ship a blouse or a pair of jeans with USPS? What‘s the quickest way to get a dress delivered? How do you keep clothes from getting damaged in transit?

Don‘t worry – in this comprehensive guide, we‘ll break down everything you need to know to successfully ship clothing with USPS. You‘ll learn what services are available, how to package items correctly, how much it will cost, and insider tips to save time and money. Let‘s dive in!

USPS Services and Pricing for Shipping Clothes

The cost to ship clothing with USPS depends on the service you choose, which is based on how fast you need the item to arrive and the weight and size of the package. Here are the main options for shipping apparel:

First-Class Mail: The cheapest option for clothing under 13 ounces. Prices start at $2.74 for a 3 oz package and go up to $5.19 for 13 oz. Delivery takes 1-3 business days.

For example, shipping a single t-shirt or blouse would likely fall into this category and could cost under $5. Great for lightweight items and casual sellers.

First-Class Package: Similar to First-Class Mail but for items up to 15.999 ounces. Prices range from $4 to around $7 by weight and distance. Delivery takes 1-3 business days. Tracking is included.

Choose this for heavier clothing items like jeans, sweaters, or multiple lighter garments under 1 lb. Provides a good balance of speed and cost.

Priority Mail: The best choice for clothing packages over 1 lb and when faster 1-3 day delivery is desired. Prices start around $8 and increase by weight and distance. Tracking and some insurance are included.

For instance, shipping a few pairs of pants or a heavier coat would likely require Priority Mail. A 5 lb package going to Zone 8 (the farthest distance) costs about $27. Most clothing orders fall within the 1-10 lb range.

Priority Mail also offers Flat Rate boxes where you pay one price regardless of weight (up to 70 lbs) or destination. A Medium Flat Rate Box, which can fit several clothing items, costs $16.10 to ship anywhere in the US.

Priority Mail Express: The fastest option for time-sensitive clothing shipments. Provides overnight to 2-day delivery with prices starting around $27 for a 1 lb package. Includes tracking and $100 of insurance.

Unless you‘re shipping a designer dress or tuxedo for a last-minute event, you likely don‘t need to spring for Express. Stick with First-Class or Priority for most clothing orders.

How to Properly Package Clothes for USPS Shipping

Now that you know what service to use, let‘s talk about how to get your clothing items ready for their journey through the postal system. Proper packaging is essential to ensure your garments arrive looking as good as when they left your hands.

For casual items like t-shirts, shorts, or lightweight blouses, you can simply fold them neatly, place them in a clear plastic poly mailer or bubble mailer for a bit of extra protection, and seal the bag. Make sure to squeeze out excess air to minimize the package size. If mailing multiple items, use a larger Tyvek or padded envelope.

For fancier apparel like formal dresses and suit jackets, it‘s worth taking some extra precautions. Start by placing the garment on a hanger and covering it with a plastic dry cleaning bag. Fold the bottom of the bag up and tape it closed.

Next, lay the garment flat in a sturdy corrugated box with the hanger at the top. Use tissue paper or foam sheets above and below the clothing for padding. If there are embellishments or delicate areas, wrap them with additional tissue or bubble wrap. Aim for a snug fit so the item can‘t move around but don‘t squish it.

When shipping heavy coats or bulky items, compress them as much as possible to reduce dimensional weight charges. USPS Flat Rate boxes are also a smart option since you won‘t be charged more for heavier items.

Remember, USPS has a 70 lb weight limit per package, so if your clothing bundle is approaching that, consider splitting it into multiple boxes. It‘s a good idea to weigh and measure your package at home so you know what to expect at the post office.

Purchasing Postage and Shipping Labels

Once your garments are securely packaged, it‘s time to get them labeled and ready to send. The easiest way is to use USPS‘s Click-N-Ship tool to buy postage and print labels from home.

Go to, enter your package details (destination, weight, dimensions), and choose your desired shipping service. You can pay with a credit card or PayPal and then print the label on regular paper and tape it to your package. Or if you have an adhesive label printer, even better.

Not only does this save you a trip to the post office, but you also get a small discount for buying online. Plus, USPS offers free package pickup from your home or office, so you don‘t even have to drop it off.

If you ship a lot of clothing orders, consider signing up for a postage provider like or investing in a thermal label printer to streamline the process even more.

Tracking and Insurance for Clothing Shipments

A great perk of using USPS to mail clothes is that most services come with free tracking so you can keep an eye on your package‘s journey. The tracking number will be on your shipping label and you can enter it on the USPS website or sign up for text alerts to notify you of any updates.

In the rare event that a clothing shipment gets lost or damaged, having insurance can provide peace of mind and recoup your costs. Priority Mail comes with $100 of built-in insurance and Priority Mail Express increases that to $200.

You can add up to $5,000 of additional insurance to any USPS service for a small fee. For example, adding $200 of insurance to a First-Class Package costs about $3. Worth it for more expensive clothing items.

If an item does get lost or damaged, you‘ll need to file a claim with USPS within 60 days and provide proof of value. Having photos of the clothing and packaging can be helpful as supporting evidence.

Tips for Shipping Clothes with USPS Internationally

Mailing clothing internationally adds a few extra steps and costs but USPS still makes it relatively easy. Most apparel can be shipped worldwide using First-Class Package International (for items under 4 lbs) or Priority Mail International.

In addition to the customs form that lists the contents and value of the package, some countries have specific import requirements or restrictions on used clothing to be aware of. Check the USPS International Shipping page for details.

Rates vary by destination country but as an example, shipping a 2 lb dress to Canada or the UK would cost around $30 with First-Class International or $48 with Priority Mail International. Delivery times are longer, typically 1-4 weeks.

Saving Money When Shipping Clothes with USPS

Finally, here are some insider tips to get the best bang for your buck when using USPS to send apparel:

  • Use Flat Rate boxes and envelopes for heavier items or large quantities. You‘ll pay the same price regardless of weight.

  • Buy postage online at for a discount and free package pickup.

  • Stock up on free Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express boxes and envelopes at the post office.

  • Reuse boxes and packing materials when possible to cut costs.

  • Take advantage of seasonal shipping promotions and discounts, especially around the holidays.

With this detailed guide and savvy strategies, you‘re ready to ship clothing with USPS like a pro without breaking the bank. Remember, the key is choosing the right service level, packaging items securely, and streamlining the labeling process. Here‘s to your apparel arriving safe, stylish, and swiftly to your eagerly waiting customers!