The Clarity Blog

The Difference Between Priority Mail Express® and Express Mail®


Difference between Priority and Express mail

With endless options for shipping jewelry and numerous opinions on which is best, one of the few things everyone can agree on is how confusing it is.

To add to the confusion, one of the most popular shipping options today has changed slightly over the years.

The Difference Between Priority Mail Express® and Express Mail®

USPS® Priority Mail Express® was previously known as Express Mail® until 2013 and nearly all the included services that existed before the name change remain, such as:

  • Overnight to 2-day delivery
  • Flat rate options
  • Tracking

Fast forward to today and many jewelers are not aware of one crucial difference between Priority Mail Express and Express Mail: confirmation of signature.

USPS’s Signature Confirmation™ is now an add-on service, but the confusion doesn’t stop there.

It is included in the price of Priority Mail Express, but you still need to request it. 

However, it is not included with other USPS shipping options and an additional fee applies when it is requested.

Because you’re shipping jewelry and not items of inconsequential value, you need to consider this service a must-have regardless of which service type you choose. 

When you use JM™ Shipping Solution to ship and insure your packages, the system will automatically request Signature Confirmation with your purchase when using Priority Mail Express.

Whether you print your labels from an online source or go directly to a post office, here are a few more reasons for considering Signature Confirmation:

  • Your insurance policy may require it
  • It may help prevent delivery to the wrong address or person (the recipient must show an ID)
  • Proof of a confirmed signature can help speed up the claims process if an item goes missing

Shipment Details

The classic JM Shipping Solution interface shows available signature options that can be applied to any carrier.

Other Best Practices For Shipping Jewelry

Signature confirmation is just one way to keep your package safe. Knowing how to ship jewelry mistake-free means you also must follow these other basic guidelines:

  • Plan your shipments ahead of time
  • Disguise the shipping label
  • Use two packages: a small box or padded envelop as the inner package and a slightly larger one as the outer package with labels on both
  • Hand your package directly to your carrier and watch them scan it

One final security tip specific to Priority Mail Express: take caution when sending to specific postal codes.

In November 2019, Jewelers Mutual Group identified an abnormally high loss rate in New York’s Diamond District (postal codes 10017 and 10036).

As a result, jewelers were advised to use different services for this particular area.

A Final Note

All carriers can experience situations like this, so remember that the opinions you read online from jewelers in every corner of the country may not be what’s best for you.

Do your own research and develop a system that offers simplicity and convenience, discounts and savings, and peace of mind. It doesn’t have to be confusing when programs are available to make your life easier.

Try JM Shipping SolutionTM to compare options side-by-side, access pricing normally reserved for large enterprises, and save up to 50% of coverage costs when compared to jewelers block policies.