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UPS, FedEx & USPS - How to know which one to use

Offline Travis

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UPS, FedEx & USPS - How to know which one to use
« on: December 27, 2012, 01:00:04 PM »
I recently started selling on eBay again and I have sent a dozen or so packages. Out of the three major shipping companies, UPS, FedEx & USPS, it seems like there are pros and cons to each of them. In my area, I have noticed that FedEx packages arrive so much quicker than the other carriers. I have also noticed that the prices can vary drastically between shipping services based on the destination, size, contents, etc. For example, here are a few things I learned today.

I usually ship things through UPS since the post office is 6 miles away and the UPS store is right down the street. I was shipping a book about 150 miles and the UPS store told me that it would cost $18.00. It turns out that the person that I was shipping to lives in a rural area and that UPS charges "gas money" to get it there. I took it to USPS and since it was media mail, it only cost a few dollars.

I had another package that was going to a P.O. Box and UPS wanted to charge me double what USPS was charging since they can't deliver to a P.O. Box and would have to transfer it you USPS.

These are the things that you learn with experience. Does anyone else have any tips or advice to share?

Do you only use one carrier or do you use different carriers based on the circumstances?

Do eBay buyers have a preference on which shipping company you use?

Offline Alias300

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Re: UPS, FedEx & USPS - How to know which one to use
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2012, 01:48:43 PM »
Not being a shipper type, and i do 99% 'smalls', I just stick to the postal service.   I haven't checked in a while but when I did do comparisons, USPS ws always they cheapest.  I can track, insurance, all that....
And our postal guy is cool.   If I miss the 'pick up' deadline  I just leave a sticky note in mail box and he'll come up.


When I do need to go big it's always  UPS.   Don't even check elsewhere.   I've never had a (major) problem with UPS but I HAVE had problems with FedEx.  Plus the ups guy that comes to my house is awesome and the FedEx guy is a total d*ck.    The ups guy knows I work downstairs and can't hear the door and will come around back.  While the FedEx guy left a laptop (in a box clearly mark it contained a laptop) not only sitting on front steps but out in the rain!   

Offline alloro

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Re: UPS, FedEx & USPS - How to know which one to use
« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2012, 10:13:02 PM »
I use USPS all the time. They are less money and packages arrive much faster. If you call them they will stop and pick up your packages from you so that you do not have to bring them to the post office.

Offline mrbuyout

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Re: UPS, FedEx & USPS - How to know which one to use
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2012, 02:07:06 PM »
Well i have to admit i use both USPS and UPS.depending on the weight and size

Offline Travis

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Re: UPS, FedEx & USPS - How to know which one to use
« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2012, 10:26:25 AM »
Here is another thing that I learned about UPS on Thursday. I tried to ship an item without a box although it was in a plastic hard case. It turned out to be more expensive to ship it without a box because of the irregular dimensions of the hard case. It was actually cheaper to buy a box from UPS (and we all know how expensive that is) than it was to ship it without the box. Doesn't make sense.


Offline rulesforrebels

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Re: UPS, FedEx & USPS - How to know which one to use
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2013, 03:37:55 PM »
people rag on usps but they are reliable 99.9C% of the time. i have sent thousands of packages in the last year and i think i had one lost. the savings of sending usps over fedex or ups more than paid for me recouping that buyer. downside to usps if you have aproblem you can open a claim but that is a joke dont even bother.

fedex and ups charge more for residential nad have gas surcharches. if you have rural buyers you will definately lose money on the shipping as it costs more.

one thing i hate about fedex is the quotes are always wrong they always under quote. i also hate them for their cod they csot my business 7k dropping off merchandise nad not picking up checks. they offered me $200 to remedy the situation

Re: UPS, FedEx & USPS - How to know which one to use
« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2013, 11:16:49 AM »
Do eBay buyers have a preference on which shipping company you use?

I prefer UPS because the tracking is better. Most of the time it ends up being USPS due to price, they are both about the same distance from work, I go over on my lunch hour to drop the packages off. I charge a flat fee for shipping, I figure my own zip code in NJ and use 90201 (pretty much the farthest shipping point from me) can get a quote and round it up, that's what I use as a flat fee shipping quote for my auctions. Usually it's less and I pocket the few bucks difference. Recently I sold some phones online, I listed $45 for USPS parcel post, but since the buyer was in Ohio, I used UPS instead, which was about the same price to ship there. The nice thing about UPS, is they don't put the price on the label, so I can over charge for shipping and the buyer is none the wiser.

I used to do a lot of international shipping, that was all USPS, I used UPS for my first international shipment, but UPS uses a private company to assess the tariff charges, they charged as much tariff on the item as it sold for on Ebay, needless to say the person receiving the package wasn't happy. Since then I used USPS, but the last shipment I sent to Mexico, was returned to me a month later, undelivered, with items missing (Mexican customs took some). So I'm pretty much done with using the post office for international shipments, too much hassle.
 

Re: UPS, FedEx & USPS - How to know which one to use
« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2013, 11:20:24 AM »
Here is another thing that I learned about UPS on Thursday. I tried to ship an item without a box although it was in a plastic hard case.

I ship spools of wire all the time with Fedex at work, but I don't pay the shipping bill, so I really don't care what it cost to ship. It's easier for me to just slap a label on the wooden spool then to try and find a box sturdy enough to put it in.
 

Re: UPS, FedEx & USPS - How to know which one to use
« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2013, 09:16:14 AM »
The benefits of each are different.
FedEx Ground is faster coming from the west coast in most markets. However, if you ship a package to a residential location, they will move it to the HD service and will add costs.
USPS uses FedEx planes to (and I think UPS in some cases) to move the Priority Mail.
USPS however, while overall cheaper initially probably costs more when you add the insurance, tracking,etc. that comes with shipping UPS/FedEx.
The FedEx tracking is great if you have access to a station. There are more codes on their system then available to the general public. Not familiar with UPS's system, but it seems to work the same way.

Never ever ship a package Air if it is in the same state/local area. I had an upper level executive with an oil company mention to me at a holiday party that they use Express to ship envelopes from Northern VA to D.C. They were shocked when they were told it was not put on a plane, rather a trailer and they were still charged the higher rate.
And just because the driver gets to your area earlier does not mean they hit your customers areas early. It all depends on how the routes are routed. There are more UPS routes then FedEx routes. Different products get higher priority. I had one driver tell me they had to drive passed my location daily until the window for the service (10A.M. I think) the package was allowed to be delivered. Otherwise he would get in trouble with management for giving away product. In this case ealier delivery time then paid for.

Offline Cobia

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Re: UPS, FedEx & USPS - How to know which one to use
« Reply #9 on: February 07, 2013, 09:45:28 AM »

one thing i hate about fedex is the quotes are always wrong they always under quote. i also hate them for their cod they csot my business 7k dropping off merchandise nad not picking up checks. they offered me $200 to remedy the situation


Call 1800 FedEx. They have a COD department that handles these claims. I would call for each one as well as file a complaint. Each package that is going COD must have a COD tag applied. The pressure is on for them to deliver each package and a COD that does not have the money counts as a failure overall. Crazy but true.

Am I having deja vu or just going crazy! I could swear there was another member who posted the exact same story of losing $7,000 on a COD mix-up by Fed-Ex! Maybe I recognize the story from another forum. Small World!

Offline MovieMan

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Re: UPS, FedEx & USPS - How to know which one to use
« Reply #10 on: February 07, 2013, 09:53:40 AM »
Am I having deja vu or just going crazy! I could swear there was another member who posted the exact same story of losing $7,000 on a COD mix-up by Fed-Ex! Maybe I recognize the story from another forum. Small World!

No, you're just remembering this thread from "rules".

I think it is Romelll that is having a problem here.

http://storageauctionforums.com/general-auction-talk/dont-use-fedex-cod-service-how-fedex-lost-me-$7-000/msg20919/#msg20919

Re: UPS, FedEx & USPS - How to know which one to use
« Reply #11 on: February 07, 2013, 03:18:59 PM »
Odd how that happened posted under the wrong heading. ???


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