How To Ship Clothes the Most Affordable Way

Discover affordable ways to ship clothes. Learn about shipping costs, packaging, carriers, discounts, and the role of fulfillment partners.

Jim Sharkey
October 23, 2023
Discover affordable ways to ship clothes. Learn about shipping costs, packaging, carriers, discounts, and the role of fulfillment partners.

Shipping clothes can be a complex task, especially when the goal is to keep costs low without compromising on the quality of service.

In the highly competitive world of apparel retail, the cost of shipping can significantly impact profit margins. That’s why understanding the most affordable ways to ship clothes becomes critical to managing an apparel business.

When shipping clothes, businesses need to consider the nature of the garments. Are they heavy or light? Delicate or durable? High-value or low-cost? The answers to these questions will guide the shipping strategy. What’s more, businesses must understand their customers' expectations. Are they willing to wait for longer shipping times for lower costs, or do they value speed and are willing to pay for it?

Understanding these factors helps businesses make informed decisions to ship clothes more affordably and efficiently. Let’s look at how to ship clothes in the best and most affordable way for you and your customers.

How Much Does It Cost To Ship Clothes?

Understanding what goes into shipping costs is the first step to evaluating ways to ship clothes more affordably. Shipping costs are influenced by several factors. Ask yourself these questions as you find the answer.

What’s in the Package?

Package weight and dimensions can significantly impact cost. Lighter and smaller packages are usually cheaper to ship than heavier and larger ones. Efficient packaging that reduces weight and size without compromising the protection of the clothes can result in significant savings.

Where Is It Going?

The shipping distance, or the distance between the point of origin and the destination, also influences the cost. Shipping domestically is typically less expensive than shipping internationally. For shipments covering long distances, businesses may need to consider a variety of shipping methods to find the most cost-effective solution.

How Is It Getting There?

The shipping method is another crucial factor. Options range from standard ground shipping to expedited or overnight delivery. While faster methods provide quicker delivery, they are also more expensive. Businesses need to choose the one that best balances cost, delivery speed, and customer expectations.

What Carrier Should You Choose?

Lastly, you should consider several carriers' rates and fees. Understanding these can help you choose the most affordable option. Remember that the cheapest carrier may not always be the best choice, as service quality, reliability, and customer service should factor into your decision.

What Should You Consider When Shipping Clothes?

Even minor changes in packaging materials and techniques can significantly affect shipping costs. When shipping clothes, your goal should be to use packaging that protects the items, is lightweight and compact, and presents the product attractively.

Here are some other considerations:

Types of Packaging Materials

Various types of packaging materials are suitable for clothes. Poly mailers are popular for their durability and lightweight. They are waterproof and tear-resistant, making them ideal for lightweight clothing items like T-shirts or leggings.

For more delicate or high-value items, boxes might be a better choice as they offer more protection. Using tissue paper or other protective materials can prevent damage from friction.

Cost-Benefit Analysis

While boxes offer better protection, they are heavier and larger, leading to higher shipping costs. Poly mailers are cheaper and lighter but may not sufficiently protect some items. You need to analyze the trade-off between cost and protection to choose the most suitable packaging for your bottom line.

Efficient Packaging Techniques

Using efficient packaging techniques can reduce the package's weight and size. For example, folding clothes neatly and compactly can minimize the package size. Using a box size that fits the item as closely as possible can eliminate unnecessary weight and space.

It’s also important to consider the unboxing experience for the customer. A well-packaged item can enhance customer satisfaction and encourage repeat purchases.


Today’s customers are environmentally conscious and appreciate eco-friendly packaging. Using recyclable or biodegradable materials can not only reduce environmental impact but also improve your brand image.

How Can You Choose the Right Shipping Carrier?

One of the most critical decisions when shipping clothes is choosing the right carrier. Different carriers offer varying rates, services, and delivery times, making it essential to understand these factors to select the most affordable and reliable option.

The major shipping carriers include USPS, UPS, FedEx, and DHL. Each brings something slightly different to the table. For example, USPS tends to be an affordable option for small packages, making it a good choice for shipping individual clothing items. UPS and FedEx, on the other hand, might be more cost-effective for larger shipments or when faster delivery times are necessary.

When you’re choosing a carrier, compare their costs and services carefully. Consider not only the shipping rates but also any additional services, such as tracking, insurance, and guaranteed delivery times.

The right carrier for your business will depend on various factors, including the size and weight of your packages and the volume of your shipments. You should also keep in mind your customers' delivery expectations as well as your brand promise.

Making Use of Shipping Discounts and Promotions

Shipping carriers often offer discounts and promotions that can help reduce shipping costs. These may include volume discounts, seasonal promotions, or discounted rates for regular business shipments:

  • Volume discounts: Most carriers offer discounts for businesses that ship many packages. The more you ship, the more you save. If your business has a high shipping volume, it's worth negotiating with carriers for better rates.
  • Seasonal promotions: Carriers sometimes offer promotions during certain times of the year. Keeping an eye out for these promotions can help you save on shipping costs.
  • Regular shipping discounts: Some carriers may offer discounted rates if you ship regularly. These discounts can significantly reduce your overall shipping costs.
  • Membership programs: Some carriers like FedEx offer membership programs and business accounts that come with benefits like discounted shipping rates, free supplies, and faster shipping options.

Taking advantage of these discounts requires staying informed about the offerings of different carriers and being willing to switch carriers if a better deal is available. It's also important to read the terms and conditions carefully to ensure the discount applies to your specific shipping needs.

How Mochila Makes It Easy

While understanding and managing all these factors can be daunting, a reliable fulfillment partner can significantly ease the process. A fulfillment partner like Mochila can help manage the complexities of shipping apparel, from optimizing packaging to ensuring you get the best rates, all while offering efficient and timely delivery.

A good fulfillment partner brings expertise and experience, allowing you to focus on core operations with the knowledge that customers will receive their orders promptly and in excellent condition. What’s more, we tailor our strategies to your needs and work closely with you to find the best fulfillment solutions.

Ultimately, shipping clothes affordably is all about finding the right balance between cost, speed, and reliability. If you need help achieving this balance, give us a call. We’ll help you with any fulfillment challenges you have.


How Soaring Shipping Costs Raise Prices Around the World | International Monetary Fund

Are compostable and biodegradable plastics better for the environment than regular plastics? | Environment America

What Is A Brand Promise, And How Can You Create One? | Forbes

Open an Account | FedEx

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