Negotiating UPS Discounts

Author: akecskes
March 22, 2011

Gas prices are up and so are UPS rates. But you can negotiate with UPS if you know how.

When negotiating discount UPS rates it's important to establish a rapport with the manager at the local distribution center. After you have asked them to reduce shipping rates they and their pricing department will analyze your account. Depending on your weekly shipping volume, you may get a UPS discount off the standard tariff rates. This rate may go down even further if you exceed a certain threshold in UPS ground shipping spend.

Further UPS discounts are possible if your hit a higher threshold and meet other variable criteria. Keep in mind that these new negotiated rates will be unpublished. Merchant accounts are negotiated in a similar fashion. To enhance your negotiating position for a good UPS discount, you might use the following tactics:

  • Check the UPS website for seasonal UPS discounts and special offers. UPS may offer deep discounts during high-volume traffic periods. They save on reduced costs per delivery, which they can pass on to you.
  • Check price quotes from competitor shipping companies like FedEx. See if they'll meet or beat the "discount UPS" quote. Convince them that you're shopping for the best rates. Present documented evidence of recent shipments to the UPS account manager and challenge him or her to give you a discounted rate for being a regular, loyal customer. Explain how you expect some loyalty and good-faith UPS discounts in return for your continued patronage.
  • Join the Allied Business Network. In addition to getting a 10 percent discount card (good at almost any UPS Store), you may be eligible for other steep UPS discounts—as much as 28 percent on regular UPS shipping and 70 percent on freight.
  • Other member programs that you can join, include: Join the Advertising Specialty Institute, which can save you as much as 45 percent on your UPS shipping; and the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, which can give you a UPS Discount rate when you set up to ship online.
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