Just cost me $68 bucks to ship 8 pounds of plastic and foam (+ a little cardboard) to Cali

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What am I doing wrong? For a package 35x21x6" and eight pounds I was quoted $83 for USPS Priority mail and $67 for USPS ground. UPS Ground was $71 and my shipper of choice (after I gave up on the system and bent over) charged me $68.32 to be exact. I'm still in shock...

I know its a long way from ME to CA, but I just got a 16" kids bike shipped from OR to ME for $25 (bigger box and heavier).
 

bluecoupe30!

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Cannot win when trying to ship some personal stuff. Costs are outrageous. Some business shippers get quantity discounts and such, but you and I, trying to ship items, costs have really risen. It is the "dimensional weight" thing that gets me. Translation: "Ooh, larger box, we have a way to charge even more than just by size and weight". I recently ordered some car parts for an Austin Healey Sprite project. Vendor claims delivery can be delayed, supply chain is all messed up, will eventually ship but have to charge a fee on top of costs, because, well, shipping is so messed up! What? But I needed that new clutch and pedal bolt. Backordered in UK. What can you do? Venting does help, however. ;)
 

lip277

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I second the Greyhound option. Give them a look....
Our business used to use them for recurring shipments, they were the best option for us before - I don't know about now - but worth a look.
 
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I have used Greyhound for large/heavy items. I have used USPS 1st class for items under 16 oz. I am talking about an eight pound medium sized thin box ($68 from ME to CA). Something that would have been $26 a couple of years ago. I'm really trying to find a solution because I'm just cringing thinking the dumpster is the most logical place for a major portion of my lifetime collection of parts.
 

CSteve

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This does not help with the parts shipping problem. But if you are sending any kind of print magazine, book, brochure and yes, DVD, CD, Cassette or Cassette Tape(I know, I know), write Media Mail on the envelope and it will go slower but at half the cost or less.
 

Dick Steinkamp

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Using Media Mail

Here's what you can send:
  • Books (at least 8 pages)
  • 16-millimeter or narrower width films
  • Printed music and test materials
  • Video and sound recordings
  • Playscripts and manuscripts
  • Printed educational reference charts
  • Medical loose-leaf pages and binders
  • Computer-readable media
NOTE: Video games, computer drives, and digital drives do not qualify for Media Mail prices.




It's actually a pretty narrow list of items that qualify.

You can send film but not digital drives. Is the USPS living in the stone age or what? o_O :(

I've tried to send vintage car brochures media mail and was told they don't qualify (and they don't...see above)
 

Dick Steinkamp

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If you send brochures just say they are magazines then it’s not a problem.
Magazines aren't included either. Most things I would consider "media" are not eligible for media mail rates.

Here is the detail on the above allowed media mail items...

4.0 Content Standards for Media Mail​

4.1 Qualified Items​

Only these items may be mailed at the Media Mail prices:

  1. Books, including books issued to supplement other books, of at least eight printed pages, consisting wholly of reading matter or scholarly bibliography, or reading matter with incidental blank spaces for notations and containing no advertising matter other than incidental announcements of books. Advertising includes paid advertising and the publishers‘ own advertising in display, classified, or editorial style.
  2. 16-millimeter or narrower width films, which must be positive prints in final form for viewing, and catalogs of such films of 24 pages or more (at least 22 of which are printed). Films and film catalogs sent to or from commercial theaters do not qualify for the Media Mail price.
  3. Printed music, whether in bound or sheet form.
  4. Printed objective test materials and their accessories used by or on behalf of educational institutions to test ability, aptitude, achievement, interests, and other mental and personal qualities with or without answers, test scores, or identifying information recorded thereon in writing or by mark.
  5. Sound recordings, including incidental announcements of recordings and guides or scripts prepared solely for use with such recordings. Video recordings and player piano rolls are classified as sound recordings.
  6. Playscripts and manuscripts for books, periodicals, and music.
  7. Printed educational reference charts designed to instruct or train individuals for improving or developing their capabilities. Each chart must be a single printed sheet of information designed for educational reference. The information on the chart, which may be printed on one or both sides of the sheet, must be conveyed primarily by graphs, diagrams, tables, or other nonnarrative matter. An educational reference chart is normally but not necessarily devoted to one subject. A chart on which the information is conveyed primarily by textual matter in a narrative form does not qualify as a printed educational reference chart for mailing at the Media Mail prices even if it includes graphs, diagrams, or tables. Examples of qualifying charts include maps produced primarily for educational reference, tables of mathematical or scientific equations, noun declensions or verb conjugations used in the study of languages, periodic table of elements, botanical or zoological tables, and other tables used in the study of science.
  8. Loose-leaf pages and their binders consisting of medical information for distribution to doctors, hospitals, medical schools, and medical students.
  9. Computer-readable media containing prerecorded information and guides or scripts prepared solely for use with such media.
 

sfdon

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To be really clear- I received a letter from usps two months ago stating they had opened a package addressed to me and determined it was NOT media and that I had to pay the extra money and I had to go to post office to retrieve the package.
took 2 trips and several wasted hours.
 
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I'm starting to think that the best policy is for vintage used part buyers to be prepared to send prepaid labels to the seller. That way, the seller can provide the best deal knowing there will be no deal breaker shipping surprises. I'm certainly not going to quote a part for $35 (even though it is just a dust collector in my world) knowing the shipping would be $70. The system would work well for bartering as well. A recipient would simply pay the shipping on the item they need - fair deal, yes? Of course items that fit in flat rate boxes are exempt from this discussion due to the fantastic value they provide. All of this is based on the assumption that generating labels online results in discounts.
 

Dick Steinkamp

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All of this is based on the assumption that generating labels online results in discounts.
I only checked USPS, but there does not appear to be a discount for generating labels online. In fact, the lowest rate can only be obtained by going to the counter at a Post Office. Below are rates for a 25 pound shipment 15" x 15" x 15" from Bellingham, WA to Miami, FL.

Screen Shot 2021-07-20 at 7.57.09 AM.png


There are likely volume rates with UPS and/or FedEx, but I doubt if a hobbiest would qualify. Also some companies allow their employees to ship from the company on the company rates (reimbursing the company of course).

In all cases, the shipper and/or the buyer can model online what the shipping cost will be for USPS, UPS, and FedEx knowing the weight and package size so there should be no shipping cost surprise prior to consummating the deal. There may be shock at the higher than expected price, but no surprise. :oops:
 

CSteve

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Right, Don, the PO can but rarely opens Media Mail. My Post Mistress simply asks, letters or notes inside? I answer, honestly, no. Off it goes. I suspect they are more suspicious of anything in "package form" than a thick Manilla envelope.

Don did you agree with the Post Office's determination the item was NOT Media Mail?

Dick, enjoyed the list of valid items, especially player piano rolls. I suspect nobody under 50 even knows what they are.
 

Mot27cars

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Right, Don, the PO can but rarely opens Media Mail. My Post Mistress simply asks, letters or notes inside? I answer, honestly, no. Off it goes. I suspect they are more suspicious of anything in "package form" than a thick Manilla envelope.

Don did you agree with the Post Office's determination the item was NOT Media Mail?

Dick, enjoyed the list of valid items, especially player piano rolls. I suspect nobody under 50 even knows what they are.
Dick, enjoyed the list of valid items, especially player piano rolls. I suspect nobody under 50 even knows what they are.

I have some of those rolls. Who’s interested?
 
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I don't know if they call it a discount per se. In reality though - The calculators are always off in favor of them ( the shipping companies) and retail drop centers often charge over the counter fees. To answer your question, I would guess up to 30%. So the question still remains. What does $68 shipping for an eight pound part do to our hobby and what can we do about it? The fallacy of free shipping in this country has hit close to home for car restorers. The big boxes can send a refrigerator for "free" and who pays? Can someone send me a box of Kleenex for the day the dumpster gets loaded?
 
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