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 Post subject: Shipping?
PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2012 2:41 pm 
You hear that? We're using CODE names...
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What does everyone use? What's the cheapest?


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 Post subject: Re: Shipping?
PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2012 4:18 pm 
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You don't want to use the cheapest shipping for collectibles. The longer a package is in transit the more it's going to get bumped around and the greater the potential is for it getting damaged, stolen, or lost.

I ship everything via USPS priority* which takes 2 to 4 business days. I choose USPS over UPS and FedEx, because USPS is delivered by the same people who deliver the recipients normal mail each day , and they are more familiar with their address so there's a less chance of there being a problem.

Priority mail is actually not that expensive, as long as you keep the box shorter than 12" in any dimension. If it goes over 12" in any direction, then they consider it "oversized" and the price doubles. Wal-Mart sells a box that is 12x12x10 1/2 inches which is great if you are sending larger things priority and need to use all of your allotted cubic foot.

I always get delivery confirmation and insure my packages up to $200. Delivery confirmation is something like 75 cents and insurance is $2. Insurance is not strictly necessary, I just do that because I mail a lot of stuff and I know if I didn't insure everything sooner or later one would get lost. They tend to take better care of insured packages, and they are less likely to get stolen because if an insured package goes missing people are forced to notice it. Delivery confirmation is essential and well worth the 75 cents.

As for packaging, I used to just tear and wad up a bunch of newspaper. Now, I am lucky enough to have gotten a 250 foot roll of bubble wrap for $1.50 (usually these are $17), so I just use bubble wrap, which takes a lot less time.

There's a fine line in the packing material. I always try to fill it up so that the objects being shipped don't move around inside the box, but I try to leave just a little space to allow for compression of the box.

I use a TON of heavy duty packing tape. I tape down every seam of the box multiple times in multiple different directions. There is no way anyone would be able to open one of my boxes without a knife, and without making at least 3 cuts. Often, after I have gotten a box ready to ship out, I think to myself, "this looks like spiderman shot it with his webs".

But before I tape it up, I make sure to apply my address stickers. This way I can apply a piece of tape over the sticker to prevent the address from being accidentally written over or in case something spills on it.

I always use address stickers instead of writing it on the box, as the stickers are usually bordered in red which makes it easier for the postal employee to find. I also make sure to check several times that I have copied the right address down onto the sticker before I apply it to the box.

*Except for very small things which I ship first class. And media, which I use USPS media mail for.


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 Post subject: Re: Shipping?
PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2012 4:51 pm 
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By 2013 Priority Mail as we know it will be done. It will no longer be the 1-3 days that they advertise now. So enjoy it while it lasts. The post office is making so many cutbacks.

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 Post subject: Re: Shipping?
PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2012 5:33 pm 
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They don't advertise priority mail to be 1-3 days, it is 2-4 days and they tell you it can take up to 2 weeks, though that has never happened to me.

You must be thinking of 1st class mail. Priority is considered the expensive premium service and from what I've read there will be no slowdown to priority or express mail.


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 Post subject: Re: Shipping?
PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2012 5:47 pm 
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No James, I'm thinking of the Priority Mail which you can get the boxes for free from the lobby. In my state it's advertised 1-3 days (and just been changed to 2-3 days; it use to be if I mailed something priority to someone in my tr-state early enough they would have it the next day. That's not happening any more.) and only within the last two months has it become up to two weeks.

It's 2-3 Day Domestic, 6-10 Business Days for International delivery. The same also if you use your own boxes and only pay per the weight. But that is all changing within the next year.

Priority is being slowed down because the USPS is closing almost 25% of their sorting and distribution centers around the country and the fact that by 2013 they plan on stopping Saturday mail delivery altogether. Although I simply can't see that happening but it looks like it's becoming a reality. If you're close to anyone who works in the Post Office by you they might show you the new pamphlets which will replace the current ones this summer if you ask nicely.

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 Post subject: Re: Shipping?
PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2012 7:02 pm 
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"More broadly, delivery times for most of the more-expensive classes of mail, such as Priority Mail and Express Mail, will not change."

http://www.dailyfinance.com/2011/12/06/ ... ffect-you/

BTW, those free flat rate boxes from the lobby actually cost you more money to use unless you are shipping something to the zone furthest away from you or mailing something very heavy.


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 Post subject: Re: Shipping?
PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2012 7:15 pm 
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That article is really outdated.

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 Post subject: Re: Shipping?
PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 7:27 am 
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Location: Shelbyville, KY
Rusty Lightning wrote:
What does everyone use? What's the cheapest?



To be honest- it really depends on what you are shipping - and when stuff needs to get there, if you are insuring, etc....

I do use the post office mostly- but if you have access to a business account (or one that you can ship and repay your work to use)-- fed ex and UPS can be much much cheaper..

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 Post subject: Re: Shipping?
PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 8:22 am 
You hear that? We're using CODE names...
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Joined: Sun Mar 18, 2012 8:12 am
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Thanks for the input guys. I didn't think shipping would cause such a heated debate. :D


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