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Subject: USPS Flat Rate Increase rss

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Jason Fordham
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I'm sure most of you know that USPS raised its postal rates as of January 27.

The new domestic rates are not bad, but the new international flat rates are painful. (From USPS website):

Small Flat Rate Box: $5.80 - US; $19.95 - Canada; $23.95 - Rest of the world
Medium Flat Rate Box: $12.35 - US; $40.95 - Canada; $59.95 - Rest of the world
Large Flat Rate Box: $16.85 - US; $53.95 - Canada; $77.95 - Rest of the world

What I've found is that game boxes, even small ones, never fit in the small box. Unless its a simple/pure card game, you usually have to jump to a medium. Imagine shipping a small box game to Canada. $40.95 shipping. Ouch.

Auctions should prove interesting.
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Hammock Backpacker
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International Secret Santa is going to take a beating I suspect.
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matthew.marquand wrote:
International Secret Santa is going to take a beating I suspect.


As will International Math Trades.

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More here: http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/920252/holy-crap-internation...
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BeyondMonopoly wrote:


As will International Math Trades.



Yeah, just sent out 3 medium flat rates just in the U.S. for a math trade. Ouch. I certainly won't be doing international shipping in Math Trades
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Eric Etkin
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The USPS is going to price themselves into obsolescence...
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MOTHDevil wrote:

The USPS is going to price themselves into obsolescence...


I think this is the USPS's way saying, there's no money to be made in international shipping, so we'll just price it high enough that no one will use it. I guess they think that they can stay afloat just focusing on domestic.
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MOTHDevil wrote:

The USPS is going to price themselves into obsolescence...


The USPS is rapidly failing already. These bumps won't save them.
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I would think high shipping costs would kill used game prices. I already see plenty of good deals in the BGG marketplace, but add in shipping and I might as well get it new from CSI with free shipping (as long as they can still afford to offer it).
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David Fair
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USPS has been consistently a better deal for me for shipping because with UPS and FedEX I have to buy a box first. It may still be a better deal domestically, I will have to check.

The biggest problem that i have with USPS is the complete lack of package tracking. If UPS and FedEX can do it, and USPS can do their Delivery Confirmation, why can't we get updates on that barcode as it moves around the country. You know they scan it in at every point in it's travels, why not get that data on the web? Drives me nuts.
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Eric Etkin
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Honestly I was thinking more of domestic AND International shipping.

Really, the USPS has the same bloat and failure points of most governmental or complacent organizations. I can tick off all sorts of things that would be more effective that periodic rate increases. Offhand:

- Eliminating Saturday delivery or going to an every other day delivery system.

- Modernizing - most of the post offices in my area still require you to wait in the same line as that guy mailing forty boxes to Nebraska just to buy stamps. A simple mechanical vending machine would suffice. We used to have them back in the 70s and 80s.

- Eliminating the ridiculous amounts of promotional and marketing literature and posters that seem to be only within the post office itself.

- re-evaluating the exception or discount statuses of certain organizations that mail lit.

- Time shifting the hours so average working people can actually access the post office. The fact that you open at 9:30 and close at 4:30 or 5:30 isn't helping most of us with jobs...

Anyhow. Just me bitching.




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I never ship (in most cases) USPS Flat rate. I do get the flat rate boxes then wrap in brown package paper and ship via parcel post - cheaper than Flat rate and is delivered about a day later than with flat rate.
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Eric,

You are correct, and USPS wants to end Saturday deliver, but Congress has to APPROVE most ALL changes first and they have not. Of course.
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Jason Fordham
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jjloc wrote:
I never ship (in most cases) USPS Flat rate. I do get the flat rate boxes then wrap in brown package paper and ship via parcel post - cheaper than Flat rate and is delivered about a day later than with flat rate.


I agree, parcel or regular priority mail by weight USUALLY trumps flat, but flat is so much easier.

When I do auctions, I use some of all:

First Class for a few cards or bits.
Medium Flat rate boxes for medium size (average box) single games.
Parcel Post with tracking (85 cents prior to 1/27) for multiple games.

I find the Large Flat Rate box to be almost useless for games due to its shape. It'll hold one average-size game just like a medium box, as it is too shallow.
 
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MOTHDevil wrote:
Honestly I was thinking more of domestic AND International shipping.

Really, the USPS has the same bloat and failure points of most governmental or complacent organizations. I can tick off all sorts of things that would be more effective that periodic rate increases. Offhand:

- Eliminating Saturday delivery or going to an every other day delivery system.

- Modernizing - most of the post offices in my area still require you to wait in the same line as that guy mailing forty boxes to Nebraska just to buy stamps. A simple mechanical vending machine would suffice. We used to have them back in the 70s and 80s.

- Eliminating the ridiculous amounts of promotional and marketing literature and posters that seem to be only within the post office itself.

- re-evaluating the exception or discount statuses of certain organizations that mail lit.

- Time shifting the hours so average working people can actually access the post office. The fact that you open at 9:30 and close at 4:30 or 5:30 isn't helping most of us with jobs...

Anyhow. Just me bitching.



Totally agree, I would take it a step further though and say just eliminate the USPS all together - FedEx and UPS have much better on time delivery and fewer lost packages than USPS. I'm not sure if FedEx and UPS want to maintain a daily route person for letters though.
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jjloc wrote:
I never ship (in most cases) USPS Flat rate. I do get the flat rate boxes then wrap in brown package paper and ship via parcel post - cheaper than Flat rate and is delivered about a day later than with flat rate.


Exactly what I do too.
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CalebSkye wrote:
jjloc wrote:
I never ship (in most cases) USPS Flat rate. I do get the flat rate boxes then wrap in brown package paper and ship via parcel post - cheaper than Flat rate and is delivered about a day later than with flat rate.


I agree, parcel or regular priority mail by weight USUALLY trumps flat, but flat is so much easier.

When I do auctions, I use some of all:

First Class for a few cards or bits.
Medium Flat rate boxes for medium size (average box) single games.
Parcel Post with tracking (85 cents prior to 1/27) for multiple games.

I find the Large Flat Rate box to be almost useless for games due to its shape. It'll hold one average-size game just like a medium box, as it is too shallow.


I disagree with flat rate being that much easier.
I have done enough auctions to know that a small game is under 5 lbs, a medium game is about 3-7 lbs and large games are 8 lbs+. When I do auctions I give the estimated parcel post rates based on this formula and when the auction is done I get their zip code info then I will give them the actual rates which in my experience has always been within $1.
 
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jjloc wrote:
I never ship (in most cases) USPS Flat rate. I do get the flat rate boxes then wrap in brown package paper and ship via parcel post - cheaper than Flat rate and is delivered about a day later than with flat rate.


So YOU are the reason for the price hike! angry
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jjloc wrote:
CalebSkye wrote:
jjloc wrote:
I never ship (in most cases) USPS Flat rate. I do get the flat rate boxes then wrap in brown package paper and ship via parcel post - cheaper than Flat rate and is delivered about a day later than with flat rate.


I agree, parcel or regular priority mail by weight USUALLY trumps flat, but flat is so much easier.

When I do auctions, I use some of all:

First Class for a few cards or bits.
Medium Flat rate boxes for medium size (average box) single games.
Parcel Post with tracking (85 cents prior to 1/27) for multiple games.

I find the Large Flat Rate box to be almost useless for games due to its shape. It'll hold one average-size game just like a medium box, as it is too shallow.


I disagree with flat rate being that much easier.
I have done enough auctions to know that a small game is under 5 lbs, a medium game is about 3-7 lbs and large games are 8 lbs+. When I do auctions I give the estimated parcel post rates based on this formula and when the auction is done I get their zip code info then I will give them the actual rates which in my experience has always been within $1.


It's easier for me because:

I don't want to wrap the Flat Rate Boxes.
I don't want the wrapped (and torn) Flat Rate Boxes getting returned to me (I've heard of that happening--the delivery folk know the shapes of those boxes extremely well.)

But, to each his own, and I wasn't comparing Flat to Parcel (parcel is easy enough) only Flat to wrapped-Flat-Box priority.
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Hugh_G_Rection wrote:
jjloc wrote:
I never ship (in most cases) USPS Flat rate. I do get the flat rate boxes then wrap in brown package paper and ship via parcel post - cheaper than Flat rate and is delivered about a day later than with flat rate.


So YOU are the reason for the price hike! angry


Ahhh, USPS is dying on the vine anyway just thought I'd help it along.
 
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Karadek wrote:
jjloc wrote:
I never ship (in most cases) USPS Flat rate. I do get the flat rate boxes then wrap in brown package paper and ship via parcel post - cheaper than Flat rate and is delivered about a day later than with flat rate.


Exactly what I do too.


I hope you realize that misusing flat-rate boxes in this manner is a federal crime.
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Hugh_G_Rection wrote:
jjloc wrote:
I never ship (in most cases) USPS Flat rate. I do get the flat rate boxes then wrap in brown package paper and ship via parcel post - cheaper than Flat rate and is delivered about a day later than with flat rate.


So YOU are the reason for the price hike! angry


My thought exactly!
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BeyondMonopoly wrote:
Karadek wrote:
jjloc wrote:
I never ship (in most cases) USPS Flat rate. I do get the flat rate boxes then wrap in brown package paper and ship via parcel post - cheaper than Flat rate and is delivered about a day later than with flat rate.


Exactly what I do too.


I hope you realize that misusing flat-rate boxes in this manner is a federal crime.


Yeah, I didn't really wanna be the one to say it.
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Shipping increases, PayPal/Ebay charges increases...I am seriously to the point where I might do all of my transactions once a year at BGG.CON through the MathTrade, Virtual flea market, and the flea market itself. I find I get better deals.

See you guys in November.
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jjloc wrote:
MOTHDevil wrote:
Honestly I was thinking more of domestic AND International shipping.

Really, the USPS has the same bloat and failure points of most governmental or complacent organizations. I can tick off all sorts of things that would be more effective that periodic rate increases. Offhand:

- Eliminating Saturday delivery or going to an every other day delivery system.

- Modernizing - most of the post offices in my area still require you to wait in the same line as that guy mailing forty boxes to Nebraska just to buy stamps. A simple mechanical vending machine would suffice. We used to have them back in the 70s and 80s.

- Eliminating the ridiculous amounts of promotional and marketing literature and posters that seem to be only within the post office itself.

- re-evaluating the exception or discount statuses of certain organizations that mail lit.

- Time shifting the hours so average working people can actually access the post office. The fact that you open at 9:30 and close at 4:30 or 5:30 isn't helping most of us with jobs...

Anyhow. Just me bitching.



Totally agree, I would take it a step further though and say just eliminate the USPS all together - FedEx and UPS have much better on time delivery and fewer lost packages than USPS. I'm not sure if FedEx and UPS want to maintain a daily route person for letters though.


I really hope you're not talking about shipping to Canada. UPS and Fedex WILL charge a $50 "brokerage fee" to the recipient of the package. For Canadians, USPS/CanadaPost was really the only cost-effective option for shipping.
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