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Discussion Starter #1
Ok so, I don't ship many items...scratch that, I don't ship any items until secret reaper rolls around. Last year I used Fed Ex and I shipped out some fairly large boxes, one being almost 10 pounds and the shipping came to just under $20. Fine, it was a big box and it was heavy and fragile. Whatever. My husband kept telling me USPS would have been cheaper, but Fed ex is right around the corner from where I work and they have later hours. So anyway, tonight I went in and I shipped a fairly compact (in my opinion ha!) box, 12x12x12 and it weighed 4 pounds...it cost $23! This box is way smaller than the boxes I shipped last year, what's the deal? Maybe I'm just out of touch with reality because I never ship anything, so is this normal, or do you guys get better rates with USPS?
 

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Typical Ghoul Next Door
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You can input the box weight, height/width/length and address it's shipping to at UPS.com, Fedex.com and USPS.com. All three will tell you within a dollar or two how much it will cost you.

And one of the measurements being UNDER 12 inches will net you a greater savings for some reason with all three shippers. Once all three measurements go over 12 inches, it bumps it into oversized package territory. I always measure my boxes and try to find a long, but squatty or a tall but skinny type of box if I know I have to ship something that won't fit in under 12 inches square.

I expected USPS to be cheapest but FedEx looks to be the winner for my SR package too... and at least they have much more accurate tracking codes than I've experienced from USPS. (they lose things frequently and their tracking is a bit of a joke in my experience)

And a few other tips that might be a good idea to ask about at the next SR:

1. Shipping TO a business address (like the recipient's workplace) not only prevents porch thefts, but it also give a discounted rate on shipping since residential deliveries cost you more (business addresses are easier and higher volume than residential neighborhoods.

2. Ask at your workplace if you can pay them to ship the package. In many cases, the office manager doesn't mind as long as you pay them when they receive the bill, and you get to use the company's discounted "company" rate (also a bit cheaper since businesses get a break on cost for higher volume). And the package can be put in with the regular pickups, so no traveling. I usually just filled out the mailing label they gave me and left it with the shipping clerk and they emailed me a week or so later (whenever they got the bill) and I wrote my company a check for the shipping costs.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Great tips! I will keep these in mind for the next reaper. That's odd though, the one measurement being under 12 inches getting you better rates. Weird, but helpful to know. And here I was picking out my box at OfficeMax yesterday thinking this was going to be the cheapest shipping rate I would ever get! Lol Silly me!
 

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Typical Ghoul Next Door
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Great tips! I will keep these in mind for the next reaper. That's odd though, the one measurement being under 12 inches getting you better rates. Weird, but helpful to know. And here I was picking out my box at OfficeMax yesterday thinking this was going to be the cheapest shipping rate I would ever get! Lol Silly me!
Don't quote me on the box sizing, but it seems to hold true every time I've measured out my boxes and checked costs. Your mileage may vary. :D
 

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Any package on the small side is always going to be cheaper at USPS. Unless it's a very short distance Fed Ex moves USPS priority mail around so tracking when it's not in their hands is sometimes difficult. As far as parcel select or whatever they call it now it's a slow haul from one PO to another to keep moving to it's destination. Fed Ex also charges the PO more for moving packages that are too large to fit into sacks that are stacked on their planes. Often if a package is light enough it can be sent first class which is usually only a few bucks. They don't always suggest that option though. Fed Ex ground in my opinion would get there faster if you walked it. Lets face it it's not the Post Office's priority (no pun intended) LOL UPS is a little faster in my opinion but I've gotten quite a few pretty beat up packages. Best bet is probably shop around if it's on the large side.
 

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Keeper of Spider Hill
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I am not sure how big your SR packages typically are, but do not forget about the USPS Priority flat rate boxes. They are a good option if you are shipping across the country. They will allow you up to 70lbs and the boxes themselves are free. I use them a good bit for the website. As far as their service goes, we ship hundreds of orders over the season and have almost zero issues with USPS losing or damaging anything. If you are going larger ( over 12 inch boxes) and across the country, UPS or Fedex might work out better. We are in PA and even or larger animated props in 3 foot long boxes get shipped USPS if the customer is in the east coast. Price is still competitive to UPS.

As others have said, check your pricing online and make sure you do a detailed quote entering your box dimensions. Nobody wants to get there only to find out the shorted themselves on shipping due to the dimensional weight added because of the size of the box. ;)
 

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His name is Roger Clyne
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I do the shipping for work so I tend to use UPS because it's our go-to carrier. We also pay for a daily afternoon pick-up so I know I'll see them Mon.-Fri. around 3:30-4PM. And since it's a business account it's cheaper. If you can ship through work do it. If you can have your package shipped TO work do that too, it's cheaper shipping to businesses.

First, they ALL toss boxes around & damage them, it's just part of shipping nowadays so one isn't better or worse on that end. At least with UPS/FedEx you may get some money refunded if something is damaged in transit, with the Post Office you're just S.O.L. (crap outta luck in forumspeak) if something is damanged, they don't refund any money for anything (at least not in my experiences).

You also have to keep in mind where it's going, that will increase your cost too. So if I send a small box from here in MD to CA it's gonna cost more than sending a larger, heavier box to NC or FL no matter which carrier you choose.

But even before I started doing the work shipping I still used UPS/FedEx for larger parcels for the tracking capabilities alone. USPS can be tracked now but it's still not as good as UPS/FedEx tracking. They've just been doing it longer & have it down better than USPS. They also have better tech than the Post Office does because they're private industry & don't depend on an act of Congress to get better or more funding.
 
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