s/h overcharging!
Post new topic Reply to topic Page 3 of 41, 2, 3, 4
Author


Sage Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 2884
Joined: Nov 04, 2004
Last Visit: May 09, 2020

Post Posted: Fri Dec 31, 2004 7:47 pm 
 

deimos3428 wrote:Guys, chill.


Amen, brother. Why does this keep getting brought to the forums? First Darkseraphim gets publicly called out, now this. Are we going to lose ANOTHER member (Dark, you are greatly missed) because of what should have been a private discussion?

E-mail or PM is the way to go, not public forums.

 WWW  

User avatar

Verbose Collector
Valuation Board

Posts: 1883
Joined: Nov 16, 2002
Last Visit: Jan 21, 2021
Location: Ohio, The land without sun

Post Posted: Fri Dec 31, 2004 8:18 pm 
 

I agree.  Although I can sympathize with some of the issues that have arisen it's better to keep your issues related to eBay sellers/buyers out of here.  It just clutters up the forums and should be resolved privately or through other channels.

  

User avatar

Grandstanding Collector
JG Valuation Board
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 5029
Joined: Oct 11, 2004
Last Visit: Jan 16, 2017
Location: Texas

Post Posted: Mon Jan 03, 2005 12:08 pm 
 

Hey folks. Here is an update on the highest shipping rates on E-Bay and in I think anywhere this side of the moon.

After winning a couple of additional stray listings after the initial auctions from my posts above: Here is the total invoice now due, for all of the items I had bid on before I knew what he meant by combining shipping costs..........

Item #  Item Title  Qty.   Price  
5945289380  AD&D Al-Qadim Lot - All NEW  1   US $46.00  
5945286772  DRAGONS - Valor & Snarl  1   US $10.50  
5945246088  Mark of Amber - Audio CD Adventure  1   US $5.00  
5945245345  AD&D Red Steel - 2 boxed sets NEW  1   US $20.50  
5945244078  AD&D Tomes - The Rod of Seven Parts  1   US $20.55  

Subtotal:   US $102.55  
Shipping and handling via US Postal Service Media Mail: US $43.50   8O  8O  8O  8O  8O
Total:   US $146.05

Aa an answer to my last E-Mail to him he gave me a phone number for at his store. I have called the number several times in the past few days with no answer. He stated that his hours at the store are from 10 AM to 10 PM mountain time. :?


"Guys, I am starting to think Tegel Manor might be haunted..."
Stated by me as a PC during a run of Tegel Manor DMed by killjoy at NTRPGCon 2010

Charter Member of the ATM

  


Prolific Collector

Posts: 269
Joined: Apr 11, 2004
Last Visit: Mar 24, 2008
Location: Clementon, NJ

Post Posted: Mon Jan 03, 2005 4:06 pm 
 

I was looking at those auctions.  if it were me that had this happening i would f*** all the auctions not pay and not buy from him anymore.  As a matter of fact I alreay have taken negative feedakcs from a seller in which I refused to cave in to ridiculous shipping cost demands.

besides its not like that kind of stuff is super rare, it pops up every other month or so and you should be used to sellers banning you from their auctions by now (sorry i couldnt resist teehee).

Aneoth wrote:Hey folks. Here is an update on the highest shipping rates on E-Bay and in I think anywhere this side of the moon.

After winning a couple of additional stray listings after the initial auctions from my posts above: Here is the total invoice now due, for all of the items I had bid on before I knew what he meant by combining shipping costs..........

Item #  Item Title  Qty.   Price  
5945289380  AD&D Al-Qadim Lot - All NEW  1   US $46.00  
5945286772  DRAGONS - Valor & Snarl  1   US $10.50  
5945246088  Mark of Amber - Audio CD Adventure  1   US $5.00  
5945245345  AD&D Red Steel - 2 boxed sets NEW  1   US $20.50  
5945244078  AD&D Tomes - The Rod of Seven Parts  1   US $20.55  

Subtotal:   US $102.55  
Shipping and handling via US Postal Service Media Mail: US $43.50   8O  8O  8O  8O  8O
Total:   US $146.05

Aa an answer to my last E-Mail to him he gave me a phone number for at his store. I have called the number several times in the past few days with no answer. He stated that his hours at the store are from 10 AM to 10 PM mountain time. :?


"What can I get for $10?"

"Mint Rare and Shrinkwrapped-just pick that bar of soap up for us pls, we love you long time!"

 YIM  


Sage Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 2884
Joined: Nov 04, 2004
Last Visit: May 09, 2020

Post Posted: Mon Jan 03, 2005 4:46 pm 
 

Aneoth wrote:5945289380  AD&D Al-Qadim Lot - All NEW  1   US $46.00  
5945286772  DRAGONS - Valor & Snarl  1   US $10.50  
5945246088  Mark of Amber - Audio CD Adventure  1   US $5.00  
5945245345  AD&D Red Steel - 2 boxed sets NEW  1   US $20.50  
5945244078  AD&D Tomes - The Rod of Seven Parts  1   US $20.55  

Subtotal:   US $102.55  
Shipping and handling via US Postal Service Media Mail: US $43.50   8O  8O  8O  8O  8O
Total:   US $146.05


Okay, we're getting a lot of mileage out of this, but an important question is not being asked: why, when the shipping costs were clearly labeled, was anyone bidding on these items in the first place?

Let me be clear: I'm NOT a big fan of this seller. The official USPS Media Mail chart ENDS at $22.84, which is the cost to send SEVENTY pounds of material. For $43.50, one could, presumably, ship a Yugo. Clearly, this seller is a shameless shipping profiteer of the first order. And Aneoth has done us all a service by warning us about a seller who, without a doubt, does not have their buyers' interests at heart.

However, that's not the whole story. This seller — again, a stone idiot — did indicate, within the listings, the (ridiculous) shipping costs of all of the these auctions, whether it was $10 for a boxed set or $7 for a CD-ROM (Jesus wept). Given that these costs, taken separately, are patently absurd, why would anyone think this seller would suddenly provide a huge savings for multiple wins :?:  :?:  :?: I'm going to steal a line from John Cleese's Sir Lancelot here: such a thing is obviously not part of this seller's idiom. You're not going to get a bargain from a rip-off artist, especially after the sale has been made.

Sorry, but there were warning signs (including specified shipping costs) all over these auctions — anyone who proceeded to place a bid did so at their own risk. As I mentioned in another post, I don't enjoy defending moronic sellers, but we haven't been telling the whole story here.

 WWW  

User avatar

Grandstanding Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 7942
Joined: Jun 23, 2003
Last Visit: Jan 19, 2021
Location: DFW TX

Post Posted: Mon Jan 03, 2005 5:31 pm 
 

Aneoth wrote:Hey folks. Here is an update on the highest shipping rates on E-Bay and in I think anywhere this side of the moon.

After winning a couple of additional stray listings after the initial auctions from my posts above: Here is the total invoice now due, for all of the items I had bid on before I knew what he meant by combining shipping costs..........

Item #  Item Title  Qty.   Price  
5945289380  AD&D Al-Qadim Lot - All NEW  1   US $46.00  
5945286772  DRAGONS - Valor & Snarl  1   US $10.50  
5945246088  Mark of Amber - Audio CD Adventure  1   US $5.00  
5945245345  AD&D Red Steel - 2 boxed sets NEW  1   US $20.50  
5945244078  AD&D Tomes - The Rod of Seven Parts  1   US $20.55  

Subtotal:   US $102.55  
Shipping and handling via US Postal Service Media Mail: US $43.50   8O  8O  8O  8O  8O
Total:   US $146.05

Aa an answer to my last E-Mail to him he gave me a phone number for at his store. I have called the number several times in the past few days with no answer. He stated that his hours at the store are from 10 AM to 10 PM mountain time. :?


There's about, what, 10 or so boxed sets in there?  Even so, you're being overcharged around $20 or more on shipping, particularly if he's going media mail. I would offer to pay the amount (the mistake is yours since you didn't double check his shipping amounts, I've done the same thing before) but make very clear you will leave NEGATIVE feedback for each and every item purchased because you will be unhappy with the final transaction if the shipping charged is substantially more than what is on the box when you recieve it.  Whether or not you follow up on the threat is up to you; hopefully this will lead to working out a solution that is less onerous monetarily. I noticed he has not had a negative in almost a year, perhaps he would like to keep his feedback clear.  Also, I noticed he mentioned "combined shipping for discount" in the description: did he indeed do this?

Mike B.

 WWW  

User avatar

Grandstanding Collector
JG Valuation Board
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 5029
Joined: Oct 11, 2004
Last Visit: Jan 16, 2017
Location: Texas

Post Posted: Mon Jan 03, 2005 5:34 pm 
 

He returned an E-Mail today and I learned that the shop is closed on Mondays, so that is why no answer on the phone. He did not tell me in his previous E-Mail that his store would be closed on Monday.

It was not JUST the shipping costs alone that tick me off here, though they are indeed ludicrous by themselves.

He states in all of the listings and in all of the invoices sent to me that he ships using parcel post, then says in the SAME invoice that the items will be sent out by Media Mail. They are most certainly not the same things.

Also, he stated to me BEFORE I bid on multiple items of his that he would combine shipping costs........and lower costs considerably. Admittedly his idea of considerable is far from my own.


"Guys, I am starting to think Tegel Manor might be haunted..."
Stated by me as a PC during a run of Tegel Manor DMed by killjoy at NTRPGCon 2010

Charter Member of the ATM

  

User avatar

Grandstanding Collector

Posts: 5613
Joined: Jun 30, 2003
Last Visit: Jan 15, 2021
Location: New Hampsha

Post Posted: Mon Jan 03, 2005 6:00 pm 
 

Again....
Have him ship the items one at a time and pay for the next item after the first is received.


If you hit a Rowsdower, you get to keep it.

 WWW  

User avatar

Grandstanding Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 7942
Joined: Jun 23, 2003
Last Visit: Jan 19, 2021
Location: DFW TX

Post Posted: Mon Jan 03, 2005 7:02 pm 
 

Aneoth wrote:He returned an E-Mail today and I learned that the shop is closed on Mondays, so that is why no answer on the phone. He did not tell me in his previous E-Mail that his store would be closed on Monday.

It was not JUST the shipping costs alone that tick me off here, though they are indeed ludicrous by themselves.

He states in all of the listings and in all of the invoices sent to me that he ships using parcel post, then says in the SAME invoice that the items will be sent out by Media Mail. They are most certainly not the same things.

Also, he stated to me BEFORE I bid on multiple items of his that he would combine shipping costs........and lower costs considerably. Admittedly his idea of considerable is far from my own.


Isn't media mail a form of parcel post (written materials such as books, recordable materials such as cds, tapes, etc), just cheaper?  I'm pretty sure they ship the same way (surface mail by truck or train instead of air) just media mail is cheaper.

I just had a situation where a seller informed me BEFORE the auction that insurance was optional, then after I won the option insurance was MANDATORY because of the fragility of the items (Huh?).  I paid for it, but he definitely will not get postive feedback for his "bait and switch" tactics.

Just for curiousity's sake, how much did he offer to "combine" the purchases for?  Apparantly not very much.  Please remember to let us know exactly how much postage is on the box once you recieve it...

Mike B.

 WWW  

User avatar

Grandstanding Collector
JG Valuation Board
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 5029
Joined: Oct 11, 2004
Last Visit: Jan 16, 2017
Location: Texas

Post Posted: Mon Jan 03, 2005 7:33 pm 
 

BadMike

Did you get my PM this afternoon? If not, then please look at your messages.

BTW: According to the USPS Web Site shipping costs for a 15 pound package from his address to my address should be:
For Media Mail (5-7 days) $6.34;
For Parcel Post (2 days) $13.38. Again according to the USPS Web Site.
So apparently they are NOT the same thing......

That means that if he mails the package by Media Mail (As he stated in a previous e-mail to me), then he is overcharging for shipping by $37.16. 8O  He is charging almost 6 times the actual shipping costs...... 8O  8O  (5.86 times to be exact).
I have no problems with a guy making a little extra from shipping items through E-Bay, but that is Simply rediculous. :roll:


"Guys, I am starting to think Tegel Manor might be haunted..."
Stated by me as a PC during a run of Tegel Manor DMed by killjoy at NTRPGCon 2010

Charter Member of the ATM

  


Sage Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 2884
Joined: Nov 04, 2004
Last Visit: May 09, 2020

Post Posted: Mon Jan 03, 2005 8:42 pm 
 

Aneoth wrote:So apparently they are NOT the same thing......


They're definitely not the same. Different restrictions, different price structure, etc. Plus, parcel post is zoned; media mail is strictly weight-based.

 WWW  

User avatar

Verbose Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 1709
Joined: Feb 04, 2004
Last Visit: Aug 23, 2016
Location: Chandler, AZ

Post Posted: Tue Jan 04, 2005 12:56 am 
 

About Media Mail vs. Parcel Post:  They "are" and "are not" the same thing.  Everyone is right.  As Badmike said:  They are the same in the respect that Media Mail is Parcel Post for "Media".  They are handled, treated and shipped the same way the by the USPS.  The only difference is the rate structure which is much less.

What that means is that:  If someone is unaware and is intending to send books by Parcel Post, they are essentially sending it Media Mail, but paying the Parcel Post rate.  In all situations where this has arisen, I have explained it to the seller and they have agreed to send it Media Mail.


"Gleemonex makes it feel like it's seventy-two degrees in your head... all... the... time! "

  

User avatar

Grandstanding Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 7942
Joined: Jun 23, 2003
Last Visit: Jan 19, 2021
Location: DFW TX

Post Posted: Tue Jan 04, 2005 2:10 am 
 

beyondthebreach wrote:About Media Mail vs. Parcel Post:  They "are" and "are not" the same thing.  Everyone is right.  As Badmike said:  They are the same in the respect that Media Mail is Parcel Post for "Media".  They are handled, treated and shipped the same way the by the USPS.  The only difference is the rate structure which is much less.

What that means is that:  If someone is unaware and is intending to send books by Parcel Post, they are essentially sending it Media Mail, but paying the Parcel Post rate.  In all situations where this has arisen, I have explained it to the seller and they have agreed to send it Media Mail.


BTB is correct.  Parcel Post and Media Mail are mailed exactly the same way; however, Media Mail is cheaper but is also slightly more restrictive.  In effect it's a form of Parcel Post that the USPS gives certain allowances to so it's cheaper to mail this way, but the items have to fit the criteria.

My friend in the PO explained it to me today: Media mail used to be called "Library Mail" or "Book Rate" because it was a special designation of 4th class or Parcel Post used by libraries to mail books, video tapes, CDs, etc.  However, anyone can use it.  I suspect it came around because typically local libraries are constantly cash poor and anything that can help them save money is good for struggling library. There are certain restrictions:  Technically, it can only be used to mail "Media" as defined by their rulebook, which generally means books, cassette tapes, CDs, DVDs, VHS tapes, Record albums, etc (Interestingly, magazines are NOT considered media mail, probably because they carry advertising).  Personal correspondence, raw meat, any publication with advertising inside, Grandma's cukoo clock collection, a car engine, tonka toys, etc cannot be shipped media mail and must be mailed parcel post.

That's the theory; in practice, however, if you bring a box to the USPS counter and say it's books and needs to be mailed media mail, unless they are incredibly bored or incredibly paranoid and decide to open the box, it can go out media mail.  If the item, when shaken, emits a sound like broken glass I would suspect they might decide your item is not media mail and refuse to mail it as such.  I would also suspect that may be construed as mail fraud.  I can say from experience that from hundreds and hundreds of mailings, I've never had the contents of a box opened although I have been asked on numerous occassions "What is the contents?" or "Are there books inside?" when requesting media mail over parcel post.  

I would suspect that "technically" many D&D items are not media mail; boxed sets, miniatures, dice, gaming magazines, would not be media mail as defined. All rulebooks would be, and I make a case for modules being media (I've mailed them as such for years) since they pretty much fit the criteria, and if some snoopy Inch High Private Eye type in the postal fraud dept ever opened one of these, they would appear to be books of a sort, so there.  I have actually been slightly hassled a few times upon mailing very large and heavy packages as media mail instead of 4th class parcel post (since they were losing a considerable amount in postage) but both times the contents were actual D&D novels and modules and I offered to open the boxes right then and there to prove so, and they backed down and gave me the media mail rate.  

So, the windy explanations aside, it appears your guy, Aneoth, is pretending to charge you 4th class parcel post rates while sending the items out the cheaper, but equally slow, media mail rate.  Actually, he is raping you on shipping costs either way, but the way he presented it makes it even sleazier.  I'm with Dreadlord, if this guy wants to eff with you then pay for each item with a seperate payment and demand each be sent in a different, separate box (say they are gifts to different gaming buddies and you want to keep the contents seperate for gift wrapping ease!), give him this hassle if he is going to be such a dick. He'll wish he cut you a deal after he has to package and mail all that stuff.

I got your PM today Aneoth I'll email privately when I get the chance..

Mike B.

 WWW  


Sage Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 2884
Joined: Nov 04, 2004
Last Visit: May 09, 2020

Post Posted: Tue Jan 04, 2005 3:07 am 
 

Badmike wrote:I can say from experience that from hundreds and hundreds of mailings, I've never had the contents of a box opened although I have been asked on numerous occassions "What is the contents?" or "Are there books inside?" when requesting media mail over parcel post.


I've actually been experiencing a surge of media mail resentment with some postal employees lately, including a number of packages being opened and inspected. Also, has anyone else seen new media mail signage in their local post offices? I've seen a number of signs lately that say [paraphrasing]: "We reserve the right to inspect ANY media mail package." The signs I'm talking about have red lettering on a white background.

Also, does anyone else sell comic books? Now, THAT is always an interesting discussion to have with a bored P.O. employee. Are they or aren't they media mail? What about if they're from the '70s and all of the advertising is obviously totally outdated? I've gotten MULTIPLE answers to these questions; it depends on who I'm talking to ...

I actually don't mean to sound down on media mail. It's a wonderful (and cheap!) service, provided both buyer and seller are in agreement about using it. It just seems that some of my local USPS employees are beginning to suspect that a lot of eBay sellers are S-T-R-E-T-C-H-I-N-G the boundaries of what is an acceptable item. Has anyone else noticed any backlash ... ?

 WWW  

User avatar

Verbose Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 1709
Joined: Feb 04, 2004
Last Visit: Aug 23, 2016
Location: Chandler, AZ

Post Posted: Tue Jan 04, 2005 3:54 am 
 

It pays to be nice after all. . . I go to the same post office and am very friendly and polite.  I sell a lot, so they see me often.  I call everyone by name, we chit-chat about how the day is going, etc.

They do little favors for me, call me "hon", let me know of new services they will be offering, and so on.

I have an equally friendly relationship with my Postal delivery man - I send out most packages using auto-label printing with Paypal.  I leave him a little note in my mailbox letting him know I have a package pickup waiting in the door and he will grab them all and send them out (definitely no questioning media mail this way).

Anyway, the point is:  I have never been questioned - ever - about Media Mail shipping.  A few times I have even heard dice rolling around in my boxes and no one has raised an eyebrow in surprise.

The comics/old Dragon mags is an interesting question though - I have my own interpretation of the rules which is advertising doesn't count if it is outdated. . . of course, I would mail out Media items with current advertising as well. . .

The post office should be excited about eBay. . . if they manage their business right, this is the best opportunity they have ever had to actually start turning a profit.

Be nice to eBay and it will be nice to them. . . I say. . .  8)


"Gleemonex makes it feel like it's seventy-two degrees in your head... all... the... time! "

  

User avatar

Grandstanding Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 7942
Joined: Jun 23, 2003
Last Visit: Jan 19, 2021
Location: DFW TX

Post Posted: Tue Jan 04, 2005 4:40 am 
 

Xaxaxe wrote:
Badmike wrote:I can say from experience that from hundreds and hundreds of mailings, I've never had the contents of a box opened although I have been asked on numerous occassions "What is the contents?" or "Are there books inside?" when requesting media mail over parcel post.


I've actually been experiencing a surge of media mail resentment with some postal employees lately, including a number of packages being opened and inspected. Also, has anyone else seen new media mail signage in their local post offices? I've seen a number of signs lately that say [paraphrasing]: "We reserve the right to inspect ANY media mail package." The signs I'm talking about have red lettering on a white background.

Also, does anyone else sell comic books? Now, THAT is always an interesting discussion to have with a bored P.O. employee. Are they or aren't they media mail? What about if they're from the '70s and all of the advertising is obviously totally outdated? I've gotten MULTIPLE answers to these questions; it depends on who I'm talking to ...

I actually don't mean to sound down on media mail. It's a wonderful (and cheap!) service, provided both buyer and seller are in agreement about using it. It just seems that some of my local USPS employees are beginning to suspect that a lot of eBay sellers are S-T-R-E-T-C-H-I-N-G the boundaries of what is an acceptable item. Has anyone else noticed any backlash ... ?


Hoo boy, let me get up on my soapbox, thanks X for giving me the forum!!!!!

(BTW, technically comics are not media mail, but the distinction is very slim, so I'd argue the point...)

There is a ton of resentment to media mail by both employees and management of the USPS, all of it the USPS fault and all a result of idiotic policies they implemented a few years ago.  As someone who has been selling online since 1994 and mailing out packages about that long, I've seen the stupid pricing and shipping policies come and go.  The rise in media mail is a direct result of the USPS losing money, having some moron decide he knew how to get the money back, the method failing miserably, and then backtracking to what they used to do anyway.

Several years ago, priority mail was standardized across the country.  This really made it the best method for mailing the books and D&D stuff I sold online, because I could quote a flat rate price (I believe in the ancient days of the 90's it was $3.50 an envelope or box), then stuff the said envelope or box full and as long as it was  under 2-3 lbs ( I forget the weight requirement) it went anywhere in the US for the same price.  Texas to New York; Texas to Seattle; Texas to Florida; Texas to Los Angeles..you get the picture.  $3.50 a pop. And the best part?  All priority shipping supplies are FREE from the USPS, and they even deliver them to your door!

During the late 90's the government began to crack down on the USPS, mainly because this overburdened, understaffed, manned by crack adicts and morons, supervised by mental midgets that I wouldn't have teaching my cat how to use kitty litter, no-good-idea "business" was (and had been) losing millions of dollars every year of the 90s.  It seems that something called "The Internet" was pulling more and more people away from this industry every year as it became easier and less expensive to pay bills, talk to inlaws, and communicate around the world rather than put up with long lines and surly counter help on a daily basis.

The order went out, the USPS had to start making money instead of burning it on great ideas such as sponsering the American Tour De France team for millions a year.  On the surface, it seemed like it might be a good idea: start charging more for priority packages mailed further distances.  Thus, it takes more time and trouble to get a priority package from Texas to Maine than from Texas to Oklahoma.  The USPS created a price structure to cover this.  Unfortunately, it required a set of charts that had to be consulted each time you mailed something priority, and you had to know the zip code, and weight, before hand.  The problem was, for someone like me selling on ebay, it is impossible to list a set price on items I sold because the buyer could have been from Oregon or Louisiana, and prices vaired several dollars depending on location, not to mention a buyer might pop for two or three other items and you couldn't predict shipping weight. Shipping prices are very important in online auctions, letting your buyers know upfront what they are paying to have the item shipped let's them decide who to buy from and what the final cost would be.

While envelopes were still able to be used as "Flat Rate" (eventually ALL priority envelopes became flat rate), all priority boxes would be different prices depending on weight and distance.  So the USPS rolled out their new pricing structure, rubbed their hands together, and greedily waited for the money to fly in.

It failed miserably. I, and many other Ebay sellers, immediately stopped using priority boxes.  My output went from 10+ boxes a week to literally zero.  Times that by, oh, maybe a million or more sellers? Rather than worry about having to calculate each and every Ebay purchase seperately, I went to an alternative method suggested by some helpful postal employees at my local PO, who noted "I mostly shipped books, just start sending them book rate" (later to become media mail a few years later).  When I looked it up, luckily most of the items I shipped fell under the definition of media mail.  So instead of shipping 10+ priority boxes a week, I was shipping 10+ media mail boxes a week and saving tons of money, not to mention cutting the USPS out of tons of money.  So the packages got there 14 days instead of 3-5, most buyers didn't care, they saved money also. Plus, customers quickly figured out that they could sometimes save as much as $10 bucks by buying their own box or finding a box or heck covering a priority box in brown paper and declaring the contents "media mail".  Particularly those of us making a living mailing this stuff.

I go to the Post office nearly every single day, and have for the last 5 or more years.  I very, very, very rarely see priority boxes shipping out unless it's something that has to get there soon, or the guy in line forgot his box and has to put his fruitcake in something, or the customer just doesn't realize how much it's going to cost.  Everyone now mails their books and such media mail and saves tons of money, even if they have to buy their own padded envelope or box (I get my stuff free or buy bulk so the cost is neglible)

This isn't just speculation.  I spend upwards of 5 grand a year mailing at the local PO and I've become friends with a lot of the employees over the years, and the "Charge by the distance" change to priority boxes helped them LOSE more money the last few years, with nearly everyone just shipping to media mail because it was cheaper and less hassle.   And the funny thing is, the huge increase in media mail meant they USPS had to buy more trucks to haul it in, since they were shipping lots of mail by plane and train before then, and media mail increased ten fold, and it can only go by truck.  Then, the directive that media mail is the last of the last in regards to shipping (that is, if you have a ton of priority mail going out and a ton of media mail going out, such as around the holidays, the priority mail always goes out first) led to piles and piles of the stuff stacking up in the back with nowhere to go all during the months of December (which accounts for much of the hatred towards media mail most postal employees have, they've all had the pleasure of being barely able to move as the boxes pile up every Christmas in the back).  

So, after years of thus, FINALLY, this year a brilliant postal employee management member somehow comes up with the great idea to start making FLAT RATE PRIORITY BOXES this year...JUST LIKE THEY USED TO FRIGGIN DO 10 YEARS AGO!!!!!!!  Everything you can cram into a box for $7.70 up to something like 25 lbs. WHAT A FUCKING CONCEPT GUYS!  Early reviews show that lots of people are using these boxes because, oh, I dont' know, you can predict the amount it's going to be to send without having to know the distance or weight?

Unfrickinbelievable.

Anyway, thanks for letting me rant, as a loyal USPS customer for many years (Even though their policies make no sense and their supervisors are the worst for any business I've ever dealt with), and friend of many of the overworked and underpayed counter help, I felt I had to get that off my chance and illuminate why the postal cops are starting to finally open media mail packages and enforce the restrictions, it took them years to realize how much money they were losing with their dumb priority policies.

And as a post script, I've been using the "new" flat rate boxes and advertising their rates in my auctions, I've gotten lots of buyers of the heavier or bulkier items that don't mind paying a few bucks extra to have their items shipped in these. (I charge $8.50 plus free delivery confirmation to use a box when a priority envelope won't work).  Of course, I have no doubt that the postal genius that decided they needed to go back to flat rate boxes will be fired soon....smarts like that cannot be tolerated in the USPS for long.

Mike B.

 WWW  

User avatar

Verbose Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 1209
Joined: Mar 08, 2003
Last Visit: Jan 21, 2021
Location: Close to GenCon

Post Posted: Tue Jan 04, 2005 5:23 am 
 

The other day I tried to ship some magazines via media mail. The mail clerk told me you can't send items via media mail if they have advertisements. So apparently comic books can't be sent media mail.

  

User avatar

Verbose Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 1709
Joined: Feb 04, 2004
Last Visit: Aug 23, 2016
Location: Chandler, AZ

Post Posted: Tue Jan 04, 2005 6:25 am 
 

burntwire wrote:The other day I tried to ship some magazines via media mail. The mail clerk told me you can't send items via media mail if they have advertisements. So apparently comic books can't be sent media mail.


The question is:  Is advertising that is no longer applicable still advertising?  It is probably an issue that the Post Office does not have an answer for.  If you send a Comic that is 30 years old, the adds are no longer relevant.  It is a collector's item at this point.  The advertising restriction is intended to prevent soliciting and marketing of products while using media mail as the shipping method (If they didn't put this restriction, then a magazine company could ship using media mail as could a catalog company, etc.)

That is what the intent is - whether or not it is clearly defined whether something is no longer subject to the advertising restriction after a given period of time is probably not know to anyone - including whoever makes the rules at the USPS.  

Incidentally, many novels contain advertising as well - just grab a paperback fantasy novel and flip to the last few pages. . . many advertise for other novels by the same author/publishing company.  Same as many hardcover RPG books.  Technically, many items don't qualify for media mail with the advertising caveat. . . that is why you should never ask a postal employee anything. . . just interpret the rules yourself and everything will go a lot smoother.   8)


"Gleemonex makes it feel like it's seventy-two degrees in your head... all... the... time! "

  

User avatar

Prolific Collector

Posts: 851
Joined: Jun 12, 2004
Last Visit: Dec 29, 2020

Post Posted: Tue Jan 04, 2005 11:44 am 
 

Xaxaxe wrote:I've actually been experiencing a surge of media mail resentment with some postal employees lately, including a number of packages being opened and inspected. Also, has anyone else seen new media mail signage in their local post offices? I've seen a number of signs lately that say [paraphrasing]: "We reserve the right to inspect ANY media mail package." The signs I'm talking about have red lettering on a white background.

Badmike wrote:Anyway, thanks for letting me rant, as a loyal USPS customer for many years (Even though their policies make no sense and their supervisors are the worst for any business I've ever dealt with), and friend of many of the overworked and underpayed counter help, I felt I had to get that off my chance and illuminate why the postal cops are starting to finally open media mail packages and enforce the restrictions, it took them years to realize how much money they were losing with their dumb priority policies.

Funny you guys should mention this.  The post office opened up the box that contained my copy of the Castles & Crusades box set (with dice).  Boom, an extra $2.00 s&h because it didn't qualify as media mail, but as priority.  I have a rather mixed reaction to this "policy" and the USPS in general.  As a private corporation (no government funding), there are few, if any guarantees like what exists in federal statutes.  However, opening a package simply to determine whether it needs to be charged more because your company (USPS) is losing money seems to me to fall within the boundaries of unreasonable search, a violation of the bill of rights.

Just one more of those things that really leaves me less than enamored with the Bush government since the government manufactured the war in Iraq.

Shuts the hell up now.



  

User avatar

Grandstanding Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 7942
Joined: Jun 23, 2003
Last Visit: Jan 19, 2021
Location: DFW TX

Post Posted: Tue Jan 04, 2005 11:45 am 
 

beyondthebreach wrote:
burntwire wrote:The other day I tried to ship some magazines via media mail. The mail clerk told me you can't send items via media mail if they have advertisements. So apparently comic books can't be sent media mail.


The question is:  Is advertising that is no longer applicable still advertising?  It is probably an issue that the Post Office does not have an answer for.  If you send a Comic that is 30 years old, the adds are no longer relevant.  It is a collector's item at this point.  The advertising restriction is intended to prevent soliciting and marketing of products while using media mail as the shipping method (If they didn't put this restriction, then a magazine company could ship using media mail as could a catalog company, etc.)

That is what the intent is - whether or not it is clearly defined whether something is no longer subject to the advertising restriction after a given period of time is probably not know to anyone - including whoever makes the rules at the USPS.  

Incidentally, many novels contain advertising as well - just grab a paperback fantasy novel and flip to the last few pages. . . many advertise for other novels by the same author/publishing company.  Same as many hardcover RPG books.  Technically, many items don't qualify for media mail with the advertising caveat. . . that is why you should never ask a postal employee anything. . . just interpret the rules yourself and everything will go a lot smoother.   8)


Bingo.  My interepation has always been the same, such comics are "collectibles" and should fall under the media mail headings.  Besdies, many comics nowadays such as independents and graphic novels have no advertising, yet to the undiscerning eye look exactly like any issue of Spiderman or Batman that has advertising.  I'd agree with btb, make your own informed decisions.  These are the same postal employees that last month were telling me "All of your Canadian mail for the last few months is going to be returned, they are telling us unless they are addressed in all capitals they are stopping them at the border and sending them back." I read the protocols at the USPS website, they supposedly started in October, funny how I haven't had a single returned package since then, nor has a single Canadian customer emailed to complain about his package not arriving or being held up in customs.  This after being told that probably everything I shipped since then is going to be sent back any day now as undeliverable....

Mike B.

 WWW  
PreviousNext
Post new topic Reply to topic Page 3 of 41, 2, 3, 4