on 03-10-2013 01:12 PM
So I'm a little lost as to determine the best way to ship packages (cheapest for both seller and buyer). For example, I have a 3.3 pound package I am posting in an auction (5 sets of DVDs and the box equals 3.3lbs). As I understand it, anything below 13oz should simply be shipped USPS first class... simple enough. But what about over 13oz? I figured looking into the different types would help/be clear but I'm not getting anywhere. If I select flat rate, it wants to know where it's shipping... I have no idea. I'm only posting a new auction. There is no way to tell where it's going to go! My package doesn't qualify for media mail, so that's out. SO, should I just make the buyer pay a flat shipping rate (with the risk of it being more and me paying for the difference, or it being too much and ripping the buyer off), or which shipping method is cheapest for that weight without knowing where it will be shipped to. After some research, it seems like USPS is best bet for price, so I'm sticking with them. I hope this isn't too confusing, but I just want to learn the most effective and at the same time cheapest way to ship a package above 13oz... or at least some feedback/opinions/experiences... PLEASE HELP
on 03-10-2013 01:18 PM
Above thirteen oz. and you gotta ship Parcel or Priority. Priority is competitvely priced in lower weight classes, and ships so quickly, buyers are always pleased. Priority flat rate is expensive except for heavy dense objects.
on 03-10-2013 01:18 PM
Have you considered shipping in the Priority Flat Rate boxes? These are free at the post office, and have small, medium and Large options. I would go grab a few and see which one your items fit in, then set your shipping cost accordingly.
For smaller non-fragile items, consider the Flat Rate Priority envelopes- the padded ones work great, and are free through the USPS website. It does take about 2 weeks to receive them through the mail.
on 03-10-2013 01:24 PM
First of all, since your package is over 3 pounds, it will ship at the 4-pound rate (not at 3 pounds, as in the listing title).
Second, the USPS Medium Priority Mail flat-rate box will be cheaper than regular rates (for 4 pounds) if your package is going to Zones 6 - 8, but as you've mentioned you won't know that until after the transaction.
So the solution is to put the shipping calculator in your listing (at the 3+ to 4 pound rate) and to also offer the Medium flat-rate box as an additional option (for buyers in farther zones).
CDs and DVDs are usually eligible for Media Mail shipping; why do you think yours aren't?
on 03-10-2013 03:11 PM
"My package doesn't qualify for media mail, so that's out."
DVDs are media. USPS Media Mail policy: http://pe.usps.com/text/dmm300/173.htm#1113509
on 03-10-2013 09:04 PM
WOW! I didn't expect so many responses... thank you all so much! I REALLY appreciate the feedback
So before even coming back to this feed, I decided to use the medium sized priority mail envelope (15x12 give or take). I selected "calculated" under shipping along with Priority Mail (no flat rates, since I wasn't using one of those boxes). Since I was already aware that it was over 13oz, I didn't have a possible total for that option. So, I had to decide between Priority Mail or Priority Flat rate. I do already have some boxes that I ordered from the website from a while ago. But after seeing what that total COULD have come out to be (it was saying like 70 something for shipping alone), not including what my auction started at, I felt that the envelope was a good decision. It came out to be somewhere between 7 and 13 for shipping? MUCH better, since it is a little bit heavier.
SO YES! I figured that situation out. Thank you all very much for the help!
But since I am already on here with a great group of people helping me out, here's another question (might be pretty stupid, but I'm new to all of the shipping stuff).
If I select priority mail (NOT flat rate), do I have to use "priority mail" packages like the ones off of the USPS website (like that envelope I used for my last shipment)? Or can I use any packages I have, like empty boxes or envelopes? Because I know you have to use the boxes they provide for flat rate packaging. So I was wondering if that was the same for regular priority mail or not.
ONCE AGAIN, I really appreciate all of the feedback and suggestions
I will definitely keep this site in mind for further questions!
on 03-10-2013 01:19 PM
don't ship flat rate, ship calculated, then check the flat rate boxes that the dvd's will fit it and parcel select (just pick a zip far away), see which is cheaper and go with that.