Can we have a Shipping suggestions sticky on the FS thread?

commissioneranthony

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jul 2, 2008
Messages
1,123
Hi. Can we put a sticky on the for sale thread on shipping suggestions during this health crisis?
I've read a few FS threads where sellers are limiting the times they go out to the post office and minimizing excursions. They don't actually need to go out to the post office at all.
I think it's fair to say that some [H] members are unaware that USPS will ship any package with a USPS label from your home. You can put a box with a usps label in your mailbox or on your step/bench and USPS will take it and ship it out. I've been doing this for years and as of recent 3 times a week. You can leave a note to remind your post guy. They will take it.

Also, I have had success handing off boxes to UPS drivers that are nearby. UPS will also allow you to schedule a pickup. I believe fedex charges you to schedule a pickup.

USPS also will ship you any regional box or flatrate box to your home for free.
https://www.usps.com/ship/online-shipping.htm

Also, paypal provides discounted USPS and UPS shipping labels using this link (need to have paypal account):
https://www.paypal.com/shiplabel/create

Wishing you guys the best in this. stay [H] :D
 

Gillbot

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Feb 27, 2001
Messages
7,642
My pieces of advice:
  1. Pack like your parcel will be used for a rugby match or a car ramp. It will be handled extremely poorly most likely so prepare for that.
  2. Insure it for replacement value and have documentation to back it up should a claim need to be filed.
  3. Everyone has their favorite carrier, whether it be UPS, FedEx, DHL or USPS. As a buyer AND seller, try to be accommodating best you can because inevitably someone will hate one of those and refuse to use them.
  4. Over estimate the size of your parcel slightly when getting a quote. They use dimensional weight so add an inch or two and a ounce/pound or two so you are sure you don't run into the typical troll like excuse of it being returned due to not enough postage. I've actually gotten MANY packages from here and other places that were postage due!!
  5. Remember that insurance protects BOTH parties and there is too much BS about how insurance is the buyers responsibility, etc. NO, just NO. I insure everything, period. If it gets lost, the buyer gets a refund right away and it's on me to get my money back from the carrier.
I may edit and add later but that's what I have for now.
 

sc5mu93

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jul 11, 2018
Messages
203
Hi. Can we put a sticky on the for sale thread on shipping suggestions during this health crisis?
I've read a few FS threads where sellers are limiting the times they go out to the post office and minimizing excursions. They don't actually need to go out to the post office at all.
I think it's fair to say that some [H] members are unaware that USPS will ship any package with a USPS label from your home. You can put a box with a usps label in your mailbox or on your step/bench and USPS will take it and ship it out. I've been doing this for years and as of recent 3 times a week. You can leave a note to remind your post guy. They will take it.

Also, I have had success handing off boxes to UPS drivers that are nearby. UPS will also allow you to schedule a pickup. I believe fedex charges you to schedule a pickup.

USPS also will ship you any regional box or flatrate box to your home for free.
https://www.usps.com/ship/online-shipping.htm

Also, paypal provides discounted USPS and UPS shipping labels using this link (need to have paypal account):
https://www.paypal.com/shiplabel/create

Wishing you guys the best in this. stay [H] :D
^This. Been using since selling here and on fleabay. home pickup is so convenient. I primarily use the priority mail (if it fits, it ships) so there is no measuring weighing etc. There are probably cheaper options, but the convenience is worth it to me as a seller.

Also I second GillBot's point #1. Pack it like it is being dropped from orbit.

Also if it is a self sealing box or envelope, put a layer of packaging around it. In the past I have had repackaging jobs done by non-usps "mail room plus" places which makes the repackaging more evident. (which is why I now I pass it only to USPS employee through home pickup).
 

Furious_Styles

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jan 16, 2013
Messages
1,733
My pieces of advice:
  1. Pack like your parcel will be used for a rugby match or a car ramp. It will be handled extremely poorly most likely so prepare for that.
  2. Insure it for replacement value and have documentation to back it up should a claim need to be filed.
  3. Everyone has their favorite carrier, whether it be UPS, FedEx, DHL or USPS. As a buyer AND seller, try to be accommodating best you can because inevitably someone will hate one of those and refuse to use them.
  4. Over estimate the size of your parcel slightly when getting a quote. They use dimensional weight so add an inch or two and a ounce/pound or two so you are sure you don't run into the typical troll like excuse of it being returned due to not enough postage. I've actually gotten MANY packages from here and other places that were postage due!!
  5. Remember that insurance protects BOTH parties and there is too much BS about how insurance is the buyers responsibility, etc. NO, just NO. I insure everything, period. If it gets lost, the buyer gets a refund right away and it's on me to get my money back from the carrier.
I may edit and add later but that's what I have for now.
You don't actually have to pack it that much. I've sent lots of packages (esp. USPS) with minimal packaging and rarely is there an issue. If I don't buy insurance I pack it a bit more heavily.

And I don't understand #5, the damage wasn't your fault and you may need the buyer to help with the claim, refunding the money right away might not be the best idea.
 

buschman31

2[H]4U
Joined
Nov 8, 2005
Messages
3,246
on the usps mailing from home. at least one package has to be priority mail to do an online pickup request. u can add first class, media mail or whatever all u want but one piece has to me priority mail. and do any of us usually keep a scale to weigh the packages?
 

kirbyrj

Fully [H]
Joined
Feb 1, 2005
Messages
25,801
on the usps mailing from home. at least one package has to be priority mail to do an online pickup request. u can add first class, media mail or whatever all u want but one piece has to me priority mail. and do any of us usually keep a scale to weigh the packages?
I have a cheap postage scale I got from ebay. And I use a tape measure.
 

Lateralus

More [H]uman than Human
Joined
Aug 7, 2004
Messages
15,549
I bought a cheap scale from Amazon that measures up to 110 lbs.

Besides the convenience, the fact that I can take advantage of commercial/discounted shipping rates using Shippo and Pirate Ship means that it has MORE than paid for itself. Several times over by now, I'm sure of it. Depending on the size and weight, sometimes the difference can be huge - like $20-$30 per package (example: a large/heavy monitor going from the east coast to the west coast)! But it's ALWAYS cheaper, even on small packages. That saves you guys money too, because when I give freebies away for the cost of shipping, you get the discounted rate.
 

commissioneranthony

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jul 2, 2008
Messages
1,123
I bought a cheap scale from Amazon that measures up to 110 lbs.

Besides the convenience, the fact that I can take advantage of commercial/discounted shipping rates using Shippo and Pirate Ship means that it has MORE than paid for itself. Several times over by now, I'm sure of it. Depending on the size and weight, sometimes the difference can be huge - like $20-$30 per package (example: a large/heavy monitor going from the east coast to the west coast)! But it's ALWAYS cheaper, even on small packages. That saves you guys money too, because when I give freebies away for the cost of shipping, you get the discounted rate.
10/10. To raise one up to you guys, my scale is even [H]. That's right. Runs an intel eeprom. How should I go about overclocking it :LOL:?

scale.jpg

scale2.jpg
 

kirbyrj

Fully [H]
Joined
Feb 1, 2005
Messages
25,801
^^^ I don't have anything that fancy, but mine does have a detachable face so I can read it when I have a large box on top of it.

Besides the convenience, the fact that I can take advantage of commercial/discounted shipping rates using Shippo and Pirate Ship means that it has MORE than paid for itself. Several times over by now, I'm sure of it. Depending on the size and weight, sometimes the difference can be huge - like $20-$30 per package (example: a large/heavy monitor going from the east coast to the west coast)! But it's ALWAYS cheaper, even on small packages. That saves you guys money too, because when I give freebies away for the cost of shipping, you get the discounted rate.
I never thought to look into discounted shipping web sites. I would notice that if someone paid me via PP Goods and Services it would give me a discounted rate, and I always wondered if there was a way to get that all the time, even if someone paid via F&F. The shipping numbers I looked at were comparable to what Paypal would charge. Thanks for the tip.
 

Lateralus

More [H]uman than Human
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Messages
15,549
^^^ I don't have anything that fancy, but mine does have a detachable face so I can read it when I have a large box on top of it.

I never thought to look into discounted shipping web sites. I would notice that if someone paid me via PP Goods and Services it would give me a discounted rate, and I always wondered if there was a way to get that all the time, even if someone paid via F&F. The shipping numbers I looked at were comparable to what Paypal would charge. Thanks for the tip.
My requirements were:
- No subscription required (because I might sell several things one month and then nothing for 6 months)
- Can have an account as an individual; don't need to be a business
- Access to discounts with multiple carriers

Shippo and Pirate Ship meet those requirements. Shippo charges a flat $0.05 per label created, which is very reasonable, and from what I can tell so far, Pirate Ship is 100% free! I also prefer a couple of things about the way their website is set up, but both are good.

It seems like I started looking into something besides PayPal because PayPal was letting me create discounted USPS labels, but not UPS, and I use both pretty frequently.

I read recently that there are two tiers of carrier fees: retail rates and commercial rates. So for example, if you go to the post office and the clerk weighs your package and slaps a label on it, you're paying the retail rate (vs. the commercial rate that you would get with PayPal, etc). If it's true that there are only two tiers, then that would explain why you're seeing similar pricing across services. But I (perhaps wrongly) assumed that the level of discount varied and that, for example, a huge company like Amazon that ships tremendous volume could negotiate lower rates than Joe's Hardware down the street, and that these different shipping services could have access to different levels of discounts. But maybe all they're doing is providing easy access to the commercial rate.

All I know is, I wish I'd found out sooner. I had been taking my packages to the post office and the UPS Store for years and paying the retail rate to ship packages. I don't even want to think about the hundreds and hundreds of dollars that I could have saved!
 

commissioneranthony

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
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Messages
1,123
It seems like I started looking into something besides PayPal because PayPal was letting me create discounted USPS labels, but not UPS, and I use both pretty frequently.
Excellent information. I'm going to check out the shippo and pirate ship options. To let you know, paypal does provide access to USPS and UPS commercial pricing right through that shiplabel/create link I posted above. I think you have to jump through a few hoops and link your ups account to paypal or have paypal create you one. What is truly weird, is that I setup my discounted UPS and discounted fedex (commercial) shipping accounts from ebay, and they linked to paypal. For some reason, paypal wont let me generate fedex labels but it lets me generate commercial UPS and usps labels. Maybe I missed a step who knows.
Does anyone else have success with generating paypal fedex labels?
 

Lateralus

More [H]uman than Human
Joined
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Messages
15,549
Excellent information. I'm going to check out the shippo and pirate ship options. To let you know, paypal does provide access to USPS and UPS commercial pricing right through that shiplabel/create link I posted above. I think you have to jump through a few hoops and link your ups account to paypal or have paypal create you one. What is truly weird, is that I setup my discounted UPS and discounted fedex (commercial) shipping accounts from ebay, and they linked to paypal. For some reason, paypal wont let me generate fedex labels but it lets me generate commercial UPS and usps labels. Maybe I missed a step who knows.
Does anyone else have success with generating paypal fedex labels?
Thanks, I totally missed that earlier but it does work for me. I'd have been pissed if I had been paying a subscription to access those same rates, lol. Of course, some of the benefits of those other sites are order management, API integration, etc. but that really doesn't mean much to me. Next time I have a shipment, I'll compare PayPal with Shippo and Pirate Ship and let you know what I find.
 

mnewxcv

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Mar 4, 2007
Messages
6,741
Another tip for those worried about weight. You can order A and B boxes from USPS.com (free) there are 2 types of each box and have very generous weight allowances.
The regional a and b boxes are a fantastic deal most of the time. I keep a bunch around. They're my primary boxes for usps.
 

Gillbot

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Feb 27, 2001
Messages
7,642
And I don't understand #5, the damage wasn't your fault and you may need the buyer to help with the claim, refunding the money right away might not be the best idea.
Often, the sender has to file the claim if it’s for loss. If that’s the case I refund right away and deal with the claim through the shipper. If it’s damage you need to follow the guidance of your shipper to resolve the claim. None of this is the fault of the buyer so they shouldn’t be out money until it gets resolved. You picked the shipper not them.
 

Foxhack

Limp Gawd
Joined
Feb 27, 2012
Messages
174
I read recently that there are two tiers of carrier fees: retail rates and commercial rates. So for example, if you go to the post office and the clerk weighs your package and slaps a label on it, you're paying the retail rate (vs. the commercial rate that you would get with PayPal, etc). If it's true that there are only two tiers, then that would explain why you're seeing similar pricing across services. But I (perhaps wrongly) assumed that the level of discount varied and that, for example, a huge company like Amazon that ships tremendous volume could negotiate lower rates than Joe's Hardware down the street, and that these different shipping services could have access to different levels of discounts. But maybe all they're doing is providing easy access to the commercial rate.
There's a third rate, sort of: Priority Mail Cubic. If your package is small enough, Pirate Ship will give you an additional discount because Priority packages below a certain size cost less to ship. This is not available via USPS retail, Click N Ship, or PayPal.

I used Priority Mail Flat Rate Padded envelopes, but USPS jacked up the shipping cost on those right after I ordered a lot of envelopes... and they also seemed to become a bit smaller around that time.

Regional Rate is excellent for heavy packages that don't go very far. Since USPS added a surcharge depending on how far the package goes, normal packages became much more expensive to ship. AFAIK this surcharge isn't present in the regional or flat rate boxes.

Pirate Ship and PayPal also let you ship 16oz First Class packages. They're not priority, the label gets printed as 15.999oz, and my local post office workers said you can dump it in a collection box without issue.
 

Lateralus

More [H]uman than Human
Joined
Aug 7, 2004
Messages
15,549
There's a third rate, sort of: Priority Mail Cubic. If your package is small enough, Pirate Ship will give you an additional discount because Priority packages below a certain size cost less to ship. This is not available via USPS retail, Click N Ship, or PayPal.

I used Priority Mail Flat Rate Padded envelopes, but USPS jacked up the shipping cost on those right after I ordered a lot of envelopes... and they also seemed to become a bit smaller around that time.

Regional Rate is excellent for heavy packages that don't go very far. Since USPS added a surcharge depending on how far the package goes, normal packages became much more expensive to ship. AFAIK this surcharge isn't present in the regional or flat rate boxes.

Pirate Ship and PayPal also let you ship 16oz First Class packages. They're not priority, the label gets printed as 15.999oz, and my local post office workers said you can dump it in a collection box without issue.
Wonderful info. Yes, I noticed that shipping rates have gone up with USPS and really, before I discovered access to discounted shipping rates, it was becoming borderline not worth it to sell many things.

First Class is great for some things when speed isn't critical!
 
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