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Shipping relatively small things?

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#26 CJK

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 07:56 AM

Here is an interesting twist. Earlier this week I ordered a diagonal from Orion. They sent it via UPS. I tracked it's progress. It was supposed to have been delivered yesterday (Friday) but instead the tracking information shows they handed it over to USPS and tracking ceased. I hope it is delivered today...


Yep, that's what UPS calls "SmartPost" -- it's generally delivered the day after UPS hands the package over to the USPS facility in the destination city. I've sometimes been able to track packages sent that way by submitting the same tracking number to the USPS system.

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#27 Footbag

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 08:48 AM

Smartpost is the worst shipping service known to man. Besides the fact that you lose all accountablility from FedEx or UPS, you package criss crosses the country with no rhyme or reason.

I've boycotted vendors over it.

#28 meteorite

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 12:51 PM

Well, the USPS did not deliver my diagonal today.

So much for Smartpost.

#29 tag1260

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 04:24 PM

Welllllll, just got back from the PO and USPS has changed their "Delivery Conformation" to "Tracking" and it's now included in Priority and above shipping. You can also purchase it for Parcel Post and First Class. We'll see if it's any better than before!!!

#30 PaulEK

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 05:58 PM

I raise the money I use for my astronomy habit by buying, re-furbishing, and re-selling old Press cameras and lenses on eBay. Over the past twelve years I've shipped more than a thousand items all over the world using USPS. Only once was an item damaged (and I'm convinced this was done by a buyer who 'changed his mind'; the package -- a pretty expensive lens -- looked like it had been stabbed with an ice pick, and the buyer was not a pleasant person to deal with, even before the package was received). No item has ever been lost.

As others have said, USPS recently changed their tracking, and it is now excellent.

The one problem I've had is with International insurance. The maximum amount allowed by USPS is usually pretty low (usually under $1000), and it varies from country to country. My Postmaster says that the limit is not set by them, but by each country. It's not often that I sell something for that much, but when I have, and buyers wanted to pay the extra cost (usually more than double), I've used another shipper.

#31 Starman1

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 09:14 PM

I raise the money I use for my astronomy habit by buying, re-furbishing, and re-selling old Press cameras and lenses on eBay. Over the past twelve years I've shipped more than a thousand items all over the world using USPS. Only once was an item damaged (and I'm convinced this was done by a buyer who 'changed his mind'; the package -- a pretty expensive lens -- looked like it had been stabbed with an ice pick, and the buyer was not a pleasant person to deal with, even before the package was received). No item has ever been lost.

As others have said, USPS recently changed their tracking, and it is now excellent.

The one problem I've had is with International insurance. The maximum amount allowed by USPS is usually pretty low (usually under $1000), and it varies from country to country. My Postmaster says that the limit is not set by them, but by each country. It's not often that I sell something for that much, but when I have, and buyers wanted to pay the extra cost (usually more than double), I've used another shipper.


I use USPS exclusively. When insurance to a particular country won't cover the product, I split it into multiple boxes. Because it reduces the weight of each box, it also reduces each package's shipping cost. Multiple boxes cost more to ship, but insurance is important.

Of course, I ship primarily smaller items. What I said wouldn't apply to larger or radically more expensive items.

When I bought a high-end laptop a few years ago, it was FedEx'd to me overnight from China! Somebody ate some expensive freight, and it wasn't yours truly.

#32 PaulEK

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 01:45 PM

Overnight; wow! I've been very impressed how quickly small things (Camera batteries, filters, etc) come to me from China, especially Hong Kong. And there's often no charge for shipping... but overnight!

What I sell would typically not be easy to split amongst boxes, but it's a great idea that I'll keep in mind.






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