• Karen Lee

Tips for CHEAP Shipping and Eco-Friendly Packaging Options

Updated: Jan 19


HOW TO SAVE: 4 must-have items to save shipping cost: measuring tape, scale, printer and packing tape.

Must-Haves

Shipping Materials

Where to Buy Labels for Less


4 MUST-HAVES


1) Measuring tape:

You probably already have one somewhere at home. I keep one on my desk at all times because it's an online shopper's best friend.


Option 1: A flexible, soft tailor's measuring tape is easiest to use. If you don't already have one you can get one pretty much anywhere that has a craft section. They usually cost a buck or two.


Option 2: A hardware tape measure is another option.


2) Scale:


Option 1: You can get a cheap shipping scale from Amazon for around $20. Shipping scales can often handle heavier weights (30lb+), and have a slanted or separate display so that you can see the number without the package potentially blocking the screen.


Option 2: Use your existing kitchen scale! Most kitchen scales top out at around 11lbs, but since most products sold on Glou are small items, you should be good. If you don't already have one, Amazon basics has one for $10.99.


I use my dog's raw food scale that can have a max capacity of 22lbs. AKA, it's just kitchen scale with a larger capacity. However, I do wish it had a slanted display because the numbers can be hard to see when stuff is on top.


3) Printer:

For printing labels.


Often times you can print for free at your local library, or print it at work (let's be real, we all do this).


4) A way to attach label to package:


Option 1: Packing Tape $

Since you most likely have packing tape at home already. For your next purchase, consider buying a biodegradable cellulose based tape.


If you are taping a cardboard box, consider using water activated tape as a green alternative. Traditional packing tapes are not recyclable, and commands extra resources to be separated in the recycling process.


Option 2: Packing list/shipping label clear pouches $$

Unfortunately, I could not find any eco-friendly alternative for these. Biodegradable tape is a great alternative, albeit not as convenient.


Option 3: A thermal label printer $$$$

If you use a thermal label printer, please consider using these Zero Waste labels that are 100% recycled and curbside recyclable. They are not compatible with all printers, but it is worth looking into and EcoEnclose will refund you if it doesn't work out.



SHIPPING MATERIALS:


Look, you can't get cheaper than FREE, and you can either get free packing materials from USPS or REUSE what you've already got, which is always the more sustainable option. I always ship stuff in recycled shipping materials. Whenever I buy stuff online, I save all the boxes, padding, bubble wrap, paper, tissue paper, poly-mailers for reuse.


Here is my mini shipping station:




Boxes of all sizes:


How to reuse poly-mailers:

Most mailers have a perforated opening. Once you've taken all your goodies out, if there's a remaining adhesive strip, you can save that bag to be used one more time.

Shipping in mailer bags is a great option because they are lightweight, but make sure you are very generous with the bubble-wrap/padding for any delicate, breakable items, including pressed powders.


If you don't have any shipping materials for reuse, and you have to buy new, please consider buying compostable mailers or boxes made from recycled papers. Some retailers (like Anthropologie) have seasonal mailer bags, and older designs are often thrown out if not used. It's always worth asking if there are any old mailer bags you can have.


Where to Buy Labels for Less:


All sellers have the option to buy a discounted shipping label directly from the Glou platform via the "Get Label" button. The platform uses a Shippo integration, and Glou makes $0 from these shipping labels (unlike our competitors). This feature was included for your convenience, however you can opt to use whatever shipping option you prefer.


Another great place to get cheap labels for small packages is from Pirate Ship.


https://vm.tiktok.com/ZMeWAy2FW/


Here are some tips by @hustleathomemom on TikTok


For packages under 1 lb you can ship First Class in any box/envelope for $3-5


For packages over 1lb:


Padded Flat Rate envelope $8.55 or Regular Flat Rate Envelope $7.95

(Price as of May 2021)


Too big for a Flat Rate envelope? Use a free mailer from USPS and get label from Pirate Ship


Really big items: Fedex Home Delivery