Parcel Post vs. Media Mail & USPS vs. UPS Ground
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Post Posted: Mon Jun 12, 2006 3:22 pm 
 

I always find it a lil annoying when auctions for D&D Items are listed with parcel shipping rate but not Media mail rate. Usually these items qualify for media mail rate which ships in the same amount of time and is considerably cheaper if the item is travelling from several states away. Another thing I dont quite understand is why some sellers prefer to ship UPS Ground rather than the Post office. UPS is much more expensive and many people would rather recieve mail in thier post office box and not at home where the USP delivery guy just leaves the box sitting unsecured outside your front door. I am always hestitant to bid on auctions from sellers who do this,  Just my two cents worth.

  


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Post Posted: Mon Jun 12, 2006 4:17 pm 
 

Here's my addition to this thread...

You can't send items less that 3/4" in thickness via media mail, plus media rate shipping is subject to inspection. If you're shipping items with advertisments in them, you're not suppose to send them via media rate. Those are the 2 reasons why I ship most of my single item orders via priority mail. If there are more than one item being ordered, and they can measure a thicknedd of 3/4" or more, I usually add media to the invoice as an option. 3/5 people notice and take the option.

As far as UPS goes... I don't know why people use it for simple items. I used them once to ship a box to Germany, and I was not happy with the cost or the results. The box had heavy damage and there was water on it. Fortunately, I had secure the contents so that they were not effected by either problem. :)


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Post Posted: Mon Jun 12, 2006 4:30 pm 
 

1) Not everyone knows about media mail.  Why not send the seller an email asking about and explaining it?  This works 9 out of 10 times.

2)  Box Sets don't qualify for Media Mail - even if they are only filled with books (which they aren't as they contain maps, counters, cardstock sheets, etc.).  If I send out 20 box sets, the post office will probably open at least 1 of them - then they send it on to the recipient as postage due.  To make things simpler, I now only ship box sets by Priority or Parcel Post.

3) Some people have UPS accounts and use them regularly with their business.  They may have pretty good rates (especially when shipping large packages).  UPS comes to their business every day with drop offs and deliveries.  Same goes with FEDEx.  There are advantages to using them I'm sure - after all, UPS is a massive Billion $ business so they must be doing something right.


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Post Posted: Mon Jun 12, 2006 4:38 pm 
 

The Wraith wrote:Here's my addition to this thread...

You can't send items less that 3/4" in thickness via media mail, plus media rate shipping is subject to inspection. If you're shipping items with advertisments in them, you're not suppose to send them via media rate. Those are the 2 reasons why I ship most of my single item orders via priority mail. If there are more than one item being ordered, and they can measure a thicknedd of 3/4" or more, I usually add media to the invoice as an option. 3/5 people notice and take the option.



This is not true . . . really, it isn't.  That is a restriction for sending First Class parcels with the ebay shipping service.  I've sent upwards of 1,000 Media mail packages less than 3/4" thick and there's never been a problem.  I also just double checked media mail requirements and that isn't one of them.


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Post Posted: Mon Jun 12, 2006 4:53 pm 
 

The Wraith wrote:You can't send items less that 3/4" in thickness via media mail

Never even heard of this.

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Post Posted: Mon Jun 12, 2006 4:56 pm 
 

Beyondthebreach wrote:3) Some people have UPS accounts and use them regularly with their business.

Ah, Breach beat me to this thought. Also, I've heard from some full-time eBay sellers (i.e., selling on eBay is what they do for a living) that the USPS tracking system can be slower and less reliable than the systems used by UPS and FedEx. I'm a USPS guy myself, so I can't vouch for the accuracy of the statement, but the sentiment is out there.

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Post Posted: Mon Jun 12, 2006 6:57 pm 
 

Xaxaxe wrote:
Beyondthebreach wrote:3) Some people have UPS accounts and use them regularly with their business.

Ah, Breach beat me to this thought. Also, I've heard from some full-time eBay sellers (i.e., selling on eBay is what they do for a living) that the USPS tracking system can be slower and less reliable than the systems used by UPS and FedEx. Im a USPS guy myself, so I can't vouch for the accuracy of the statement, but the sentiment is out there.


The USPS tracking can be less reliable, but with me I know USPS will more then likely ring my doorbell, where as FedEx/UPS just drop the package off (had problems with some drivers delivering to the wrong house - and with no signature system in place things got kind of scary - though all packages were recovered)
As for my shipping method, Priority/Global is easy due to supplies being free and them picking up packages is no hassle (getting to the Post Office is), so instead of messing around with different rates, keeping various supplies on hand for those methods of shipment, I just set the price to ship and if buyers want to adjust their bids to account for that, then I live with it.

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Post Posted: Tue Jun 13, 2006 8:39 am 
 

When I see auctions with UPS or Fedex, I generally stay away. The shipping cost is usually way out of bounds.

Also, I have to believe that many people who are using those services are getting a free ride via their employers. They package item take to their mail room and voila, free shipping. Anyone in a larger company or office is going to have open access to their mail rooms.

So basically, the seller is cleaning up on those charges.

I tend to send everything via Priority Mail or GPM. Free shipping materials and the cost is generally fixed. I love the tracking feature and use it as a cheap form of insurance. Since going to that system I virtually eliminated the buyer claims of unreceived packages.


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Post Posted: Tue Jun 13, 2006 9:23 pm 
 

bbarsh wrote: I love the tracking feature and use it as a cheap form of insurance.


Me too - although with Media Mail. I send as much as possible by Media Mail, and since it is so cheap that lately I've been adding Delivery Confirmation for $0.60. Since occasionally Media Mail will take quite a long time to arrive, this makes it easier to keep track of where the package is.

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Post Posted: Wed Jun 14, 2006 3:20 am 
 

Afrika Corps wrote:I always find it a lil annoying when auctions for D&D Items are listed with parcel shipping rate but not Media mail rate...

That's funny. I always find it a little annoying when someone doesn't come back online to check the board and correct mistakes they've made.

Have you read all the comments people have made about the inappropriate size of your avatar? It's nothing personal and I'm sure it's a real cool picture, but it pushes the margin out and reduces the space everyone is here to see; the space with the messages in.


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Post Posted: Wed Jun 14, 2006 4:02 am 
 

zhowar wrote:lately I've been adding Delivery Confirmation for $0.60. Since occasionally Media Mail will take quite a long time to arrive, this makes it easier to keep track of where the package is.

Just as an FYI: delivery confirmation for Media Mail can be had for 14 cents per package if you use a PC Postage-compliant service and print your own postage.

I've been doing this (through Endicia) for some time now, as the books I sell through Amazon are almost always shipped via Media Mail. Without some sort of proof of delivery, I figured I would be completely at the mercy of any asshat buyers.

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Post Posted: Wed Jun 14, 2006 4:35 am 
 

can foul or one of the mods auto-reduce it or something?

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Post Posted: Wed Jun 14, 2006 4:43 am 
 

killjoy32 wrote:can foul or one of the mods auto-reduce it or something?

Al


I know Foul can, he did so with mine (course I believe he had to save the smaller image on the site)

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Post Posted: Wed Jun 14, 2006 8:39 am 
 

bbarsh wrote:When I see auctions with UPS or Fedex, I generally stay away. The shipping cost is usually way out of bounds.

Also, I have to believe that many people who are using those services are getting a free ride via their employers. They package item take to their mail room and voila, free shipping. Anyone in a larger company or office is going to have open access to their mail rooms.

So basically, the seller is cleaning up on those charges.

I tend to send everything via Priority Mail or GPM. Free shipping materials and the cost is generally fixed. I love the tracking feature and use it as a cheap form of insurance. Since going to that system I virtually eliminated the buyer claims of unreceived packages.


Ditto with Bbarsh. Usps is the way to go.....can't beat the free shipping supplies (which they will deiliver to your door if you order them) and flat shipping rates.  Nota big UPS fan, although I can see why a lot of people lose them. When I first started mailing stuff regularly many years ago, I used UPS, and they promptly lost a few packages, so I switched back to USPS and have had virtually no lost packages in ten years.

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Post Posted: Wed Jun 14, 2006 8:40 am 
 

bbarsh wrote:When I see auctions with UPS or Fedex, I generally stay away. The shipping cost is usually way out of bounds.

Also, I have to believe that many people who are using those services are getting a free ride via their employers. They package item take to their mail room and voila, free shipping. Anyone in a larger company or office is going to have open access to their mail rooms.

So basically, the seller is cleaning up on those charges.

I tend to send everything via Priority Mail or GPM. Free shipping materials and the cost is generally fixed. I love the tracking feature and use it as a cheap form of insurance. Since going to that system I virtually eliminated the buyer claims of unreceived packages.


Ditto with Bbarsh. Usps is the way to go.....can't beat the free shipping supplies (which they will deiliver to your door if you order them) and flat shipping rates.  Nota big UPS fan, although I can see why a lot of people lose them. When I first started mailing stuff regularly many years ago, I used UPS, and they promptly lost a few packages, so I switched back to USPS and have had virtually no lost packages in ten years.

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Post Posted: Wed Jun 14, 2006 9:08 am 
 

I will point out that sometimes when I bid on large lots of books, the seller has both Priority Mail and UPS listed . . . often UPS is cheaper the US Priority Mail.  Once the weight starts gettting up there, Priority can get fairly expensive if you are in a state half the country or more away from the seller.


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Post Posted: Wed Jun 14, 2006 10:08 am 
 

Xaxaxe wrote:Just as an FYI: delivery confirmation for Media Mail can be had for 14 cents per package if you use a PC Postage-compliant service and print your own postage.


I didn't know that. I've never tried printing my own postage. I assume you need an accurate scale for weighing the packages? I don't think my bathroom scale will cut it. Do you ever run into problems where the post office says the weight is different from the weight you printed out postage for? Also, if you do this can you skip the line at the post office and just drop off the packages? (I know you can arrange pickup but that wouldn't work well in my apartment building). I sometimes use the machine in the lobby but it won't handle Media Mail.

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Post Posted: Wed Jun 14, 2006 10:40 am 
 

zhowar wrote:
Xaxaxe wrote:Just as an FYI: delivery confirmation for Media Mail can be had for 14 cents per package if you use a PC Postage-compliant service and print your own postage.


I didn't know that. I've never tried printing my own postage. I assume you need an accurate scale for weighing the packages? I don't think my bathroom scale will cut it. Do you ever run into problems where the post office says the weight is different from the weight you printed out postage for? Also, if you do this can you skip the line at the post office and just drop off the packages? (I know you can arrange pickup but that wouldn't work well in my apartment building). I sometimes use the machine in the lobby but it won't handle Media Mail.


Digital scales can be bought pretty cheap, but in your situation if the postal carrier doesn't usually deliver when you are home, it may not be to wise to have the delivery pick up. I believe you can print up postage and take it to the post office with no problems..would have to check on that.

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Post Posted: Wed Jun 14, 2006 1:15 pm 
 

zhowar wrote:
Xaxaxe wrote:Just as an FYI: delivery confirmation for Media Mail can be had for 14 cents per package if you use a PC Postage-compliant service and print your own postage.


I didn't know that. I've never tried printing my own postage. I assume you need an accurate scale for weighing the packages? I don't think my bathroom scale will cut it. Do you ever run into problems where the post office says the weight is different from the weight you printed out postage for? Also, if you do this can you skip the line at the post office and just drop off the packages? (I know you can arrange pickup but that wouldn't work well in my apartment building). I sometimes use the machine in the lobby but it won't handle Media Mail.


Zhowar,
I have a small kitchen scale.  Keep in mind also that once the 1 pound mark is reached, all US postage is by the pound, so exact accuracy isn't always important unless you are on the verge of going into the next "pound" rate class.

Also, Flat rate envelopes don't really need an accurate weight, nor do Flat Rate boxes.  Since media only increases about .30 per pound, I sometimes estimate a pound on the high side for heavy packages (that way there will be no doubt it is enough postage).

All mail packages over 1 pound must be handed over to a US postal employee - that means you can't put them in a drop box and bypass the lines.  You can have your mailman pick it up or hand them over in person at the counter.

Finally, delivery confirmation is FREE with Priority and only 13 cents more for Media or Parcel.


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Post Posted: Wed Jun 14, 2006 1:57 pm 
 

Thanks for the info, BtB, I will certainly consider this option.

Beyondthebreach wrote:All mail packages over 1 pound must be handed over to a US postal employee - that means you can't put them in a drop box and bypass the lines.  You can have your mailman pick it up or hand them over in person at the counter.


I assume this is so that the employees can ask if you are actually sending books (if sending by Media). There's a machine in the lobby of our post office where you can print postage yourself, including delivery confirmation, and has a drop box where you put the package. So you never see an employee. I believe it is open all night, too. But it won't let you send Media Mail, presumably because then everyone would send all of their packages that way.

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