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I'm trying to decide the most economical way to ship items to my customers.  USPS flat rate boxes are convenient but not that economical.  I shy away from USPS anyway, as they have a bad habit of losing things and/or destroying boxes.  I just got over a very tense week where a box containing two holsters I made vanished for a week.  Luckily it showed up yesterday and even though the box was crushed the holsters weren't damaged.  They've also lost several boxes I've had incoming.  So, I have little faith in them.


What does everyone use and have had good success with?

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sorry to tell you no matter the shipper, you will find someone with some sob story.  i know you want guarantees, but you will need to pay for it.  Then again, S happens too.

So if you arent willing to pay for it, then i would do my due diligence and check shipping charges via all options and then make a decision.

for what its worth, ive shipped stuff back home for Europe and S.America.  Even form places like ITaly where its said that everyones a crook and the postal service more so.  But i guess i was lucky in that i actually got my packages.  And the funny thing is that i usually use their version of the USPS too boot.  

fwiw, im downsizing and selling my toys.  I do my due diligence and check the price on all carriers.  but so far the USPS is a good deal if i dont want to use ground.  Most of the times UPS is good for ground.  But what i do is to look at the cost of Ground, 2nd or 3 day and the USPS Ground and priority.  its not like you cant do a shipping estimate.  I try not to eat the cost of shipping since i will add up over time.  At one time i was just estimating to cover USA, AK/Hi and call it good, but now im just doing actual cost.  It wil vary with distance so the buyer will need to provide me with zip and then i can tell them about the shipping cost.  ALso, usually the difference between UPS ground vs USPS Priority mail is < 20 bucks at least what i have been shipping.  I will also state when i was estimating costs to ship, i would get a cost/estimate from my location to WDC, AK, HI.  If AK/HI were > 20 bucks than i would have separate prices for USA and outside.

also, fwiw, i sent about 10+ USPS Priority mail boxes up to Nova Scotia to a tack shop up there.  he got them all.

here are some hints i use on my travels when i ship stuff home.  Its up to you if  you want to use or not.  You can cherry pick too.

 > i make preprinted labels for my home address and bring them with me.  That way no one has to read my crappy hand writing.  i also add "USA" to the bottom.  

 > everything i send back, i put into those plastic shopping bags.  THen i tape it closed and apply one of those labels on the bag.  That way if the box is crushed/torn open, the contents may not fall out.   Also, if the side with the label is damages, there is a label on the bag inside.  If i dont have a plastic bag, then i use a paper bag.  But i always wrap things up into another bag and its tapped so that things cant fall out if the box is breeched.

> i will use some clear tape on the label.  So that the label stays on when its running along on the conveyors.  Also by using clear tape on the label, its not just the label but i will 1+ complete loop of that clear tape over the label.





Edited by $$hobby

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A good option is the USPS Regional Rate boxes (available free at website, delivered to your door).  You can get a medium size box with a 15 lb weight limit and if it ships within a state or two of you, the price is about the same as the small flat rate.

Shipping time is about the same as priority mail... at least until we got a new postmaster who was instructed to slow down the mail in order to avoid mail-in voting for the election.

Build in a dollar or so per product fo pitch in for shipping, and then you can charge 5.95 or some other flat rate to ship.  Holsters shouldn't be too bad to ship but probably you want tracking and insurance.

You can risk it with first class if it is under 13 oz but you will get no tracking numbers, etc.

Only when you get to larger boxes can UPS compare.  DHL doesn't compare in the US, and FedEx won't either.

If you are shipping a few packages a day, none of these will offer much discount.  You can consider stamps.com or other memberships that use their collective shipping to earn discounts.

Edited by johnv474

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