Learn to measure your shipments like a pro! In this article we’ll cover our guiding principles for accurately measuring your shipments and how to avoid underpaying for postage and prevent postage adjustments from the carrier. There are three main considerations for avoiding underpaid postage:

1. Accurately entering the weight and dimensions of the shipment

Always weigh and measure your shipments after packaging them. While your packaging may not weigh very much, a discrepancy of 100 g can make a large difference. Depending on the overall weight and service, your packaging may put your shipment into a different weight class for postage.

Sometimes the dimensions listed on your packaging are the inner dimensions. In order to purchase accurate postage you need to enter the packaging's outer dimensions can be up to half an inch which can impact the price of your postage. We recommend that you double-check your package to ensure the dimensions are accurate as this will avoid any potential postage adjustments.

Accurately measure the length, width and height of your shipments as dimensional weight may apply. For irregularly shaped parcels, dimensions should be measured as if the piece was rectangular.

  • For example, when measuring a tube, its diameter should be used for both the shipment height and width.

Measure the weights of your shipments on an accurate and calibrated package scale. Always round up:

  • To the nearest pound for U.S. postage. i.e. 7.2 lb. should be rounded to 8 lb.
  • To the nearest ounce for international postage and shipments less than 1 lb. i.e. 4.8 oz should be rounded to 5 oz.
  • To the nearest 50 g for Canadian postage i.e. 826 g should be rounded to 850 g.

If you import shipments from your store:

Make sure that the product entries for all of your SKUs contain the correct weights and dimensions including your packaging. 

For example, if you use our Shopify integration for your shipments and you want to ship a 450 g book in a 100 g envelope, your product entry should list this SKU at 550 g.

Verify the accuracy of all information. As a shipper it is your responsibility to provide accurate information. Inaccurate information can result in:

  • Postage adjustments due to insufficient postage
  • Possible shipping delays
  • Undeliverable shipments (returns)
  • Additional administrative fees 

2. Choosing the correct service for your shipment / packaging 

We offer a variety of postage options to fit your specific needs! Each service has its own requirements for maximum weight and dimensions so you can find an option that best suits your package type. 

Remember, if you measure or weigh your shipment inaccurately it can lead to an incorrect postage being used so accuracy is key! Similarly, if your package does not meet the requirements of the postage type selected there is a possibility to incur surcharges or postage adjustments.

Some examples:

  • If you are shipping with Chit Chats U.S. Tracked the package type must be either parcel or thick envelope. This postage type is not suitable for letters, oversized letters or flats.
  • Chit Chats Slim is optimized for thick envelopes or shipments that can fit into a packet or courier bag and is not suitable for letters or parcels.
  • USPS Media Mail can only be purchased for shipments solely containing qualifying media content. *Service availability may vary.
  • We encourage you to learn more on calculating correct postage from USPS or you can check out our tips on how to properly package your shipments.

3. Selecting the correct return address / Chit Chats Region

In the event that your shipment cannot be delivered due to underpaid postage, please verify that you are creating shipments with the correct return address information. Always make sure your account displays the correct Chit Chats region to ensure postage prints with the correct return address for your region. 

We understand that mistakes can happen and our team is always available if you need help with preparing your shipments. We are here to support you as we want to work together to avoid additional fees for your shipments.