(WHTM) — You may be surprised when you visit your local shipping store and see the prices.

Like many of us this holiday season, Linda Gee sent a package to her brother. She was shipping candy and a photo album in an average-sized box.

When Linda Gee went to the local shipping store, she couldn’t believe the prices.

“Overnight was 400 something, next day was 300 and three-day ground was $183.78,” said Linda Gee.

She ended up choosing ground shipping and had her receipt for proof. Her receipt showed the $183 she paid. It turns out, she was billed for “guaranteed” two-day delivery.

CNET, a tech website, compared the cost of sending a five-pound package halfway across the United States. It found that you’ll pay the following:

  • $17 with the Postal Service ground service
  • $32 with UPS ground
  • $34 with FedEx home delivery
  • $21 with USPS Priority Mail
  • $79 at UPS 3-Day Select
  • $98 with FedEx express saver

That is a lot of money just to send some candy and photos. The key is to ship your packages before Dec. 19, when you’ll have to pay a lot more for expedited delivery.

The bottom line is, as much as we complain about the Post Office, CNET says that it tends to have the lowest shipping rates. But mail early – so you don’t waste your money.