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I'm only putting this here because it involves a system I just bought and thought maybe someone can enlighten me as to why shipping costs are so outrageous.

 

I just sent one of my ColecoVisions to get repaired. The post office weighed it in a 6.45 pounds and charged me $38.60 for priority mail.
I had tried to calculate this via the USPS web page and estimated 8 lbs and only came up with $31.50. They gave me some nonsense at the post office about a surcharge because it was a large box - 16 x 13 x 8 - going on a plane.
Prior to this I had checked online for the post office, UPS and FedEx to compare shipping costs and I think the cheapest I could calculate was UPS at (I think) just under $30 dollars.
I just bought a PlayStation 3 online at ShopGoodwill.com and the package came today FedEx. According to the label, it weighed 13 pounds and the shipping cost was only $7.73.
Why the heck was FedEx so much cheaper for a heavier box when the cheapest I could send a lighter box for was around $30. Do businesses get special rates?
It's getting to the point where no one is going to be able to afford shipping charges if they buy person-to-person rather than dealing with a business.
Edited by jblenkle

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Businesses definitely get special rates do to all the business they give the shipper. Everything they mail will be cheaper than you can mail it unless it is a small company that is not doing a lot of business with them.

 

They definitely charge more if they have to use a bigger box as well because then that screws up their container when they are shipping it they lose out on an extra box they could have fit that your box is taking up space.

 

The costs also could differ by ins, signed, and other factors which you haven't mentioned as being all the same or different with these shipments.

 

Yes shipping is expensive though and will probably only get worse until the teleporters get created. :)

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1 yes they do get special rates
2 the post office is a double f you as you have to stand in line then get ripped off
3 the cheapest a normal person can get from USPS is though eBay or paypal and you don't need to sell through pp to ship though paypal
4 dimensional weight it cost less to mail a bowling ball than it does a 50 gallon drum of feathers space cost more than weight

Edited by Osgeld
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Shipping charges are horrible. I have shipped systems where the shipping charges were over $50. It's ridiculous. I often wonder why the post office is trying to make all their revenue off one package. It's difficult to sell anything when the shipping costs more than the item. Btw, distance often makes shipping charges higher. Living in Idaho my packages tend to go half way across the country (or all the way across the country).

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2 the post office is a double f you as you have to stand in line then get ripped off

Buy cheap shipping scale. Print label at home. Drop off at USPS without waiting.

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Buy cheap shipping scale. Print label at home. Drop off at USPS without waiting.

I do #3, its like cheaper than the usps website and like 25% cheaper than having to stand in line for a half hour waiting for granny to be all confused over the 2 options presented to her

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Beyond special rates, if you're just a walk in I find your standard parcel from the USPS after a certain weight limit is higher than Fedex. It used to be around the 4 or 5lb mark, but I haven't bothered with it in awhile.

Also the online quote never matches inside the USPS, they screw you at the counter with basically an (in)convenience fee. If you do it through them or paypal you get a price cut. I never go in to ship unless it's an import package at this point as it's a scam when I can print at home.

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As someone who ships a lot (and heavy stuff) I will say for light small items USPS is the way to go. But, if you have something heavier, UPS is a better choice. UPS goes by the size of the package (how much space it will consume on the truck) over the weight. I found this some time ago when testing different weights on their website with the same size (large heavy duty box) and changing the weights for the heck of it to see the price variation. It did not change, no matter if I chose 40, 60 or even 80 lbs. It was the size of the box that dictated the cost. USPS by contrast seems to go by box weight and size.

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I like USPS Priority Flat Rate for a lot of things. Has been really good for what fits. Anything else I try USPS Priority or FedEx.

 

I generally do not like USPS retail ground or First Class because you cannot order shipping on-line from the USPS website for those, only for Priority. Which means going up and standing in line. Thankfully one of the Post Offices close by has a self-shipping automated kiosk which makes that easier, so I use the web site for pricing. I do not ship enough for a service like Stamps.com and their recurring fees.

 

Larger items go FedEx. I have had a FedEx account for about 15 years. It costs me nothing for the account and I get a small discount over retail rates (not a lot.) Additionally, I can just drop the stuff off at a FedEx Office and they will pack it up really well and charge everything to my account.

 

Tracking and insurance is a huge concern for me. Insurance for both FedEx and USPS is pretty good. I have had a couple of items damaged in shipping with FedEx and they sent me a check and an apology. USPS took a little while longer but I was eventually taken care of.

 

Tracking with FedEx is awesome, not so much with USPS. USPS did not scan an item I dropped off and then lost track of it. It was delivered three days late and because there were no scans other than on the day it was delivered, I was given a late shipping strike on eBay and I have no proof to the contrary.

 

Prices, though, yes, have absolutely gone up. Priority Flat Rate Small has doubled in the last ten years in rather significant jumps. FedEx is not so bad -- I ship my luggage when I travel which ten years ago cost me about $19, and this year with slightly bigger luggage cost me $23.

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I generally do not like USPS retail ground or First Class because you cannot order shipping on-line from the USPS website for those, only for Priority. Which means going up and standing in line.

I wanted to chime in on this for folks that use PayPal (if you don't, then this doesn't apply to you). You can use their USPS shipping label creation tool (https://www.paypal.com/shipnow). When you do so, you get the online rates, and it opens up Parcel Select (Ground) and First Class shipping. I personally find it ridiculous that you can't do this from the USPS website, so I just use PayPal for everything (and have for many years now).

 

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The Goodwill shipping rate was incorrect. The Goodwill employees who deal with eBay auctions are about as reliable as the ones at the cash register. There is no way the equivalent rate was $8.

 

Shipping has gotten very expensive.

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For USPS

 

As far as the bigger box goes, box dimensions do not matter unless you go over 1728 cubic inches which basically means bigger than a 12x12x12 box. In your case of a 16x13x8 the dimensions was not 1728 it was only 1664 so the rates should have been for a package not a large package.

 

Plus rates you see online may differ from rates you see at the PO. You always pay more at the PO as compared to creating a label online. If you are selling through eBay anything other than first class is cheaper to print a label via eBay over PayPal.

 

I currently ship through eBay, PayPal, Etsy, and not so much anymore but I have a USPS online account. EBay gives the best rates for bigger packages. EBay gives better rates over Etsy for shipping to Canada. PayPal sucks balls for shipping to Canada as they don't even offer first class international.

 

USPS online sucks ass for small packages as they don't even allow first class mail.

 

Unless stuff has changed since last I used them these were the cases.

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Yesterday I sent an 11lb box (20x10x7) literally across the US (RI to CA), USPS parcel was $39.59. UPS Parcel was $29.12. FedEx wanted $33.50. All shipped ground/slow yet USPS wanted $10 more than the others. I didn't even check DHL or other shippers. Not worth the sale really.

 

It is getting to the point that, instead of saying "US shipping only" I'll have to start specifying "East of the Mississippi only"...

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Shipping for me hasn't been too big a hassle but the costs aren't consistent at all. I shipped an Intellivision from here in the central US to Washington state priortiy 3-day and it ran me nearly $30 to do so. But then I shipped a 7800 in the same size box to Maryland last week and it was only $16.90 for the same priority 3-day plus I bumped the insurance to $200. Same size box and the weight was within a pound I would say.

 

Then just this past Monday I shipped another 7800 to a lesser distance in the same size box and shipping was about $18?! So it really doesn't make a whole lot of sense and it is because of this that I had to start adding the shipping additional to any mods or repairs that come my way since the shipping prices aren't static and I can't guarantee what it will be ballpark wise until I actually ship the package off.

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Yesterday I sent an 11lb box (20x10x7) literally across the US (RI to CA), USPS parcel was $39.59. UPS Parcel was $29.12. FedEx wanted $33.50. All shipped ground/slow yet USPS wanted $10 more than the others. I didn't even check DHL or other shippers. Not worth the sale really.

 

It is getting to the point that, instead of saying "US shipping only" I'll have to start specifying "East of the Mississippi only"...

 

Anything over first class weight gets listed as calculated shipping. This way it will show someone in PA $10 to ship but CA like $30 to ship. I always add flat rate boxes as an option too if feasible. I'm in NY so I don't ship heavy items to the west coast much anymore. $80 is a lot more attractive to buyers than $100. However if someone wants to pay $30 to ship then have at it. I as well add it in a few bucks for handling fees which helps cover the fees on postage.

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Shipping for me hasn't been too big a hassle but the costs aren't consistent at all. I shipped an Intellivision from here in the central US to Washington state priortiy 3-day and it ran me nearly $30 to do so. But then I shipped a 7800 in the same size box to Maryland last week and it was only $16.90 for the same priority 3-day plus I bumped the insurance to $200. Same size box and the weight was within a pound I would say.

 

Then just this past Monday I shipped another 7800 to a lesser distance in the same size box and shipping was about $18?!

 

Shipping is by zone, not necessarily by distance. (It's the same for UPS and FedEx, btw.) It's entirely possible to have a lesser distance cost more because of the way the zones are laid out. Here's a web app that will show you the zones from your location: http://apps.endicia.com/apps/zonemap

 

You can see that they roughly correspond to distance but not exactly. For example, for me shipping something to Plattsburgh, NY would be zone 2, but shipping something to Brattleboro, VT would be zone 3, even though the latter is much closer.

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I wanted to chime in on this for folks that use PayPal (if you don't, then this doesn't apply to you). You can use their USPS shipping label creation tool (https://www.paypal.com/shipnow). When you do so, you get the online rates, and it opens up Parcel Select (Ground) and First Class shipping. I personally find it ridiculous that you can't do this from the USPS website, so I just use PayPal for everything (and have for many years now).

 

Fantastic information. I shall check into this, thank you.

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Shipping is by zone, not necessarily by distance. (It's the same for UPS and FedEx, btw.) It's entirely possible to have a lesser distance cost more because of the way the zones are laid out. Here's a web app that will show you the zones from your location: http://apps.endicia.com/apps/zonemap

 

You can see that they roughly correspond to distance but not exactly. For example, for me shipping something to Plattsburgh, NY would be zone 2, but shipping something to Brattleboro, VT would be zone 3, even though the latter is much closer.

 

Then USPS prices the zones differently based on origin because I've had plenty of people send me something priority 3 day that ends up costing me a few dollar more to send back even though I used the same box the item originally came to me in.

 

I happened with an Intellivision sent to me where the owner paid like 18+ to send it priority to me. However it cost me over $24 to send it back to them in the same box to the same address and the weight didn't change as it was just a repair.

 

I can tell you that at all the POs here where I live, they only offer 2-day priority at the counter and 3-day is not an option. I have to suspect that is part of the reason my shipping is usually more is because of that. I asked about it once and was told that due to the central nature of where I live, that pretty much all priority arrives to the primary 48 states within 2-days. 1st class postage usually takes no more than about 3 - 4 days from where I'm located to most places in the US. As a result, if you don't want to pay for 2-day priority shipping, then they offer 1st class parcel.

 

Maybe that is just how they do it when you go into the PO to ship things off? I don't mind doing this as the USPS has always been good to me and gone out of their way on several occasions to make sure a package got to me. Now I do know that a package I sent 2 weeks ago they incorrectly priced as a medium rate Priority package but it still got to the owner without any postage due so it can go into your favor as well.

Edited by -^Cro§Bow^-

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Then USPS prices the zones differently based on origin because I've had plenty of people send me something priority 3 day that ends up costing me a few dollar more to send back even though I used the same box the item originally came to me in.

 

I happened with an Intellivision sent to me where the owner paid like 18+ to send it priority to me. However it cost me over $24 to send it back to them in the same box to the same address and the weight didn't change as it was just a repair.

 

I can tell you that at all the POs here where I live, they only offer 2-day priority at the counter and 3-day is not an option. I have to suspect that is part of the reason my shipping is usually more is because of that. I asked about it once and was told that due to the central nature of where I live, that pretty much all priority arrives to the primary 48 states within 2-days. 1st class postage usually takes no more than about 3 - 4 days from where I'm located to most places in the US. As a result, if you don't want to pay for 2-day priority shipping, then they offer 1st class parcel.

 

Maybe that is just how they do it when you go into the PO to ship things off? I don't mind doing this as the USPS has always been good to me and gone out of their way on several occasions to make sure a package got to me. Now I do know that a package I sent 2 weeks ago they incorrectly priced as a medium rate Priority package but it still got to the owner without any postage due so it can go into your favor as well.

 

That is the difference. They likely paid online, you keep going to the PO so yes you are going to pay more.

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Domestic shipping prices are insane partly because we are subsidizing the postage of imported goods from China.

 

IMO it's still workable so long as you play along with the Post Office's game. Almost everything over two pounds I stuff in a Rate A box. Flat Rate envelopes also have their purpose. What's intolerable is that there's nothing between a first class letter at 50 cents and the two-to-four ounces tier of first class package: $2.66. I remember when you could send stuff in a bubble envelope for under a dollar, there's no way inflation has swollen things that badly.

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even flat rate you gotta watch, I sent a 15x12x8 4 lb box to Florida just today and it cost me 9 bucks

 

~or~

 

I could have skimped on the bubble wrap, IE 1 layer of the thin crap and shoved it in a large flat rate box for 18

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Canada is even worst. Even if I ask for the slowest & cheapest shipping at an official post office, if it goes over the border they insist I take expedited which is a good 25% over. If I go to a franchised counter, I can chose the lower cost option... But I have to drive 40km to get to one, 80k round trip...

 

I've resold stuff where it cost me less to get it originally from Germany than it cost me to ship to an adress in VT which is about an hour drive from my home.

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Canada is even worst. Even if I ask for the slowest & cheapest shipping at an official post office, if it goes over the border they insist I take expedited which is a good 25% over. If I go to a franchised counter, I can chose the lower cost option... But I have to drive 40km to get to one, 80k round trip...

 

I've resold stuff where it cost me less to get it originally from Germany than it cost me to ship to an adress in VT which is about an hour drive from my home.

 

The flip-side of this is that thanks to the currency disparities of late for those of us in the US it's been cheaper to buy something shipped all the way from Canada than it is from within the US, even when distances are far greater. It's a currency thing, and while it's great for a lot of Ebay purchases it is still fairly ridiculous.

 

The thing that really worries me is our Supreme Court ruling from earlier today about online sales taxes- now many higher-volume online sellers might to worry about where they're shipping to in the US.

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I shrugged since I am in a shipping hub city, welcome to like 8 years ago for us suckers with warehouses

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