Understanding Our New Pricing Model: Pay-As-You-Go

If you’re a ShipEngine superfan, or have been with us since the beginning, you are likely already aware of these changes. But for everyone else: we wanted to outline and better explain the features of our new Pay-As-You-Go Plan, which went into effect at the beginning of last month. To help you better understand how this new pricing model impacts you and your business, we’ve included the benefits, as well as a breakdown of how we compare to others in the industry. 

As always, feel free to reach out with any questions that come up while reading—and, if you’re new, be sure to take advantage of our risk-free trial with several freebies (including your first 250 label generations free).

What are the benefits of pay-as-you-go pricing? 

Simply put, you only pay for what you use. 

Our new pay-as-you-go plan will help make a Shipping API more accessible for businesses with any monthly shipment volume. Not to mention, more affordable and customizable than our competitors—and who wouldn’t love that? 

This plan also makes it convenient for passing along the added shipping cost to your users. 

How does this compare to the pricing of other Shipping APIs on the market? 

Subscription plans can seem more convenient and efficient initially, but keep in mind that you pay not only for the price of convenience, but also likely—at some point—for more services than you end up needing. This can be particularly true during the holiday seasons.

Nearly all e-commerce businesses experience an (expected or unexpected) increase in shipment volume at some point. Unfortunately, a subscription plan locks you into a certain volume and price for at least a 30-day cycle. With our pay-as-you-go plan, you’re not charged until you generate a billable action within the API. 

Of course, we understand that price is not everything when it comes to investing in a new tool. It’s equally (if not more) important that the Shipping API you choose is also built to last and that it integrates the right platforms with the right carriers for your business. 

If the company you choose can’t fulfill these last two requirements, you’re not likely to stick around anyway. Cheap is still too expensive if the service doesn’t benefit your business in the long run.

With nearly 30 carrier partnerships, including the three major cross-border carriers (UPS, FedEx, and DHL), and more than 20 marketplace integrations, we’re confident that ShipEngine will be able to revolutionize the way you ship.

But you don’t have to take our word for it. The chart below makes it as easy as possible to see how ShipEngine compares to other Shipping API providers.

Side-by-Side Analysis: How ShipEngine Outperforms The Competition

side by side comparison of Shipping APIs: ShipEngine vs Shippo, ShipEngine vs EasyPost, ShipEngine vs ShipHawk

Let’s Break It Down

Hypothetically speaking, let’s say your business plans to ship 200 domestic packages. For each package, you want your shipping API to do the following:

  1. verify the customer’s address, 
  2. compare carrier rates to help you choose the best price and turnaround time, 
  3. and generate your carrier label

With ShipEngine’s Pay-As-You-Go plan, your total out of pocket cost in this scenario would be: 

$10 per month!

Now, let’s compare that to our competitors’ basic subscription and pay-as-you-go plans:

With other pay-as-you-go plans, domestic shipments in this scenario would cost you the same as ShipEngine—however, there are important differences to note between these options. As you can tell from the chart above, the non-ShipEngine plans do not provide for multi-piece shipments or a dedicated support + integrations team to help you get things up and running. 

You can gain back some of these services through their subscription plan, which provides you with the same level of support… but at a steeper monthly price. 

With Shippo, this Pro tiered subscription-based plan allows you to ship anywhere between 200–450 shipments per month for $35. However, it does not take into account whether you process fewer or more shipments that month than allotted to you. Not to mention, you will still be charged an additional $0.08 per international address validation on top of your monthly subscription costs, and still won’t have access to batch orders or multi-piece shipments.

With a projected 2 billion-plus e-commerce shoppers in the market by 2021— 57% of which make purchases from overseas—these features simply can’t be ignored, even if you have not yet expanded to offer international shipping. 

ShipEngine’s other main differentiator with most competitor plans, is the ability to make a la carte API calls. Other APIs tend to operate their pricing models with an all-or-nothing mindset. Meaning, in order to independently track a package or validate an address, you must first generate the label within their platform. If you were to request these API services independently from label generation, some competitors require a completely separate monthly subscription plan for that particular service.

There are also other shipping API companies that start their subscription plans at a threshold of 10,000 packages per month. This approach sets you up for a true goldilocks predicament—one size does not fit all.
At ShipEngine, our primary goal is to make running your business easier by solving shipping logistics, no matter the volume. We’re hyper-focused on scalability, so whether you ship 50 or 50,000 packages per month, we’re here to help encourage business growth—not penalize it with arbitrary caps or minimums.

Do You Offer High-Volume Discounts? 

Yes! For brands, platforms and 3PLs that experience monthly shipment volumes in excess of 10,000 packages per month, we’ve created what we like to call a Committed-Use Discount” plan. Unlike our Pay-As-You-Go option, this is a contract-based plan that allows you to save up to 40% off carrier rates—as well as a percentage off each billable action. 

More volume = more savings! 

Of course, if you have your own discounted shipping rates through a preferred carrier, you’re more than welcome to bring those discounts with you when you integrate with ShipEngine. This option is available to all of our users, whether or not you’re on the Committed-Use plan.

If you’re an e-commerce platform or 3PL, you may be interested in leveraging the power of a Shipping API to better serve users and add a competitive advantage. At ShipEngine we offer the ability to completely white-label our API on the backend. We’re proud of the fact that several big-name marketplaces have integrated our API to make the shipping process less manual for their users.

All of this is to say: We’re committed to maintaining a mutually beneficial and supportive relationship. This new pricing model is meant to reinforce that commitment to our users, both large and small.

If we can help answer any questions about pricing or the technical capabilities of our APIs, feel free to reach out to our team!

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