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View Full Version : New UPS policy bad for ukuleles



hoosierhiver
12-29-2014, 06:55 AM
UPS has changed it's pricing, they are now basing cost on size of the package instead of weight. This is bad for large-ish, light weight packages like ukuleles, expect to pay more if you ship with UPS.

RichM
12-29-2014, 06:57 AM
UPS has changed it's pricing, they are now basing cost on size of the package instead of weight. This is bad for large-ish, light weight packages like ukuleles, expect to pay more if you ship with UPS.

I don't think this is new. I have been paying for "dimensional weight" for quite some time now.

hoosierhiver
12-29-2014, 06:58 AM
I don't think this is new. I have been paying for "dimensional weight" for quite some time now.

http://rates.ups.com/


http://www.forbes.com/sites/robertbowman/2014/08/19/with-fedex-and-ups-rate-increases-looming-shippers-explore-their-options/

RichM
12-29-2014, 06:59 AM
I don't think this is new. I have been paying for "dimensional weight" for quite some time now.

But you have to appreciate an oxymoronic phrase like "dimensional weight." It's sort of like "fruit-flavored lighting."

Jon Moody
12-29-2014, 07:18 AM
Yeah, I found that out the hard way when I shipped an acoustic-electric bass to Texas a couple weeks back. If the place packaged it one way, it was in a slightly bigger box that would've been three times the cost of shipping, as opposed to just putting it in a smaller box that wasn't covered under their insurance.

Liquidayno
12-29-2014, 08:12 AM
I don't have a UPS or FEDEX account, and find the post office to be my best priced and safest option for shipping music items (guitars, ukes, amps, etc.).

Redeyejedi
12-29-2014, 08:51 AM
I don't have a UPS or FEDEX account, and find the post office to be my best priced and safest option for shipping music items (guitars, ukes, amps, etc.).
2nd that. UPS delivered a very poorly handled box but mim packed it really well and inside box with my kala was fine.
Also, have had faster deliveries and often at a better rate. I prefer USPS over the package toss champs at FedEx and ups. (Sidenote: I know my ups driver Tim, really nice guy and he is one of the good drivers...he got a workout delivering hundreds of pounds of truck parts, lol! but still see banged parcels on his truck too.)

Inksplosive AL
12-29-2014, 09:23 AM
Its UPS policy to bounce packages to far belts when sorting for the routes. Realize everything you send through UPS is getting thrown and bounced off the floor or other belts at every distribution center stop on the way.

UPS and FedEx have both improperly delivered packages to my business and home. My business door has 12" tall numbers and the business name at eye level.

Sadly after years of quality service from USPS the last few months have seen a package mysteriously forwarded to a different county in my state and a package of ukuleles from HI arrived in a box that was soaked and being held together by only the tape.

LloydAZ
12-29-2014, 09:37 AM
I'd say that USPS is up in the running for package tossing. I recently ordered something from Amazon that had a Sunday delivery on it. I was sitting in the living room and saw the mail carrier pull up in front of the house. Before I could even get out of the chair to get to the door I heard a loud bang on the door and saw that the mail carrier was already halfway across the yard. He literally threw the package at the door, didn't bother to knock or ring the doorbell. Thankfully, there wasn't anything damaged in the package.

timmit65
12-29-2014, 12:27 PM
UPS to me is the safest. Years ago, I interviewed at Peavey. I remember their rate was 70% of damage from RPS (Now Fedex ground, I think) the other 30% split between UPS and Freight truck. Note this was in the 90's, but I've always considered UPS to have the upper hand on tracking and safety of packages. That said, like insurance companies, they'll do anything to get out of paying a claim!!! You Have to double box instruments!! I know this goes against common logic, but WE have to pack it better than manufacturers do! Because:

1-They have the leverage on the carrier-they're already paying a fraction of the price we pay.
2-The numbers on their side- I know a large Japanese company use to not insure stringed instruments, because it was cheaper to lose one to damage than to insure them all. Remember they're paying a fraction of the dealer cost to have the thing made (At least the very large companies are...economies of scale).
3-The carriers at least UPS and Fedex want companies to do Biz with them...While I ship 2 packages a week. As Patti Smith might have said "The Companies Have the Power". So they can be tough guys with me and turn down my claim, but not my dealer that ships 10-30 boxes a day!
4-Since the carriers are competing against each other, the companies that shipping a lot get a deal....and we who ship a couple of packages get charged more....economies of scale! Also, the dealer that ships 10-30 boxes a day gets, lunch for his crew once a month, NFL tickets once a year and other spiffs. I wonder what Sweetwater or Amazon get!!!
5- It's easier to raise prices on the guys you don't know who ship 2 packages a week, or just charge you more for the size of the box and weight!

I do find that USPS is cheaper, but their tracking is sub-standard. And, they'll lose a package every once in a while. I tend to ship small pieces of electronic gear USPS and stringed instruments through UPS. Unless they're very low end then I'll do USPS.

IMHO, I do think that the market has made USPS better, of course they had a lot of room for improvement!!

Just my opinion...

Tim:D

Nickie
12-29-2014, 01:22 PM
Maybe thier trucks are getting smaller....
you could move closer to your dealer/luthier, so you can pick them up yourself!

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
12-29-2014, 01:35 PM
I didn't think it was possible for UPS rates to get any higher! With gas prices going down it makes sense to raise rates (??!!??). USPS Express Mail is 40% of the cost of equivalent service with UPS. The post office gets all my business. FedEX would be my next choice if I could negotiate a good rate with them but I don't ship the volume necessary to qualify. I'd probably not ship at all if my only choice was UPS.

consitter
12-29-2014, 07:11 PM
I didn't think it was possible for UPS rates to get any higher! With gas prices going down it makes sense to raise rates (??!!??). USPS Express Mail is 40% of the cost of equivalent service with UPS. The post office gets all my business. FedEX would be my next choice if I could negotiate a good rate with them but I don't ship the volume necessary to qualify. I'd probably not ship at all if my only choice was UPS.

Heh. The thing is, it wouldn't hurt your business very much even if you didn't ship. Customers would fly in to pick up your product....

And maybe that pesky waiting list would shorten up a little bit.

Rllink
12-30-2014, 05:12 AM
I can see why they are doing this though. I order art supplies, among other things, on line. Places like Amazon and Blick will send a couple tubes of paint, or a couple of brushes, in a 14x9x4 box, filled with packing paper. I bought a movie from some place on ebay, and it showed up FedEx in the giant size box filled to the brim with styrofoam peanuts. I don't know why they do that, unless maybe it is cheaper and quicker to just ship everything, regardless of size or weight, in one size box. But you can't blame the carriers for trying to get the shippers to send things in size appropriate boxes. But regardless, I've always been partial to USPS, and their flat rate boxes. I've sent many many packages flat rate between Iowa and Puerto Rico over there years and never lost a one of them. Three days every time.

actadh
12-30-2014, 06:21 AM
I live in a rural area. My post office is 8 miles east from my house, the Fed Ex facility is 10 miles north of me, and UPS facility is about 10 miles south. My house is on a private graveled road half a mile away from the mailboxes on a secondary road (no line markers.) It is not a private road because I live in a snooty neighborhood. It is private because the county and state don't want to maintain it.

I normally don't mind when stuff is dropped off on my doorstep as the eaves will keep things fairly dry. I appreciate that somebody drove the extra half mile to get me my boxed online goods.

The downfall of my rural mail delivery is that not all carriers drop off at my doorstep. My laptop was left under the mailbox and sat out all day while I was at work. (It is halfway down the line of mailboxes in the attachment.)

So, I would rather pick up a ukulele at the UPS/USPS/Fed Ex facility than having it left for me. I liked that my three best ukes needed a signature from Fed Ex. I went there to pick up my goods from them. So for me, having a signature required is a good thing.

Shipping prices are something I factor in when I buy online. It might be that buying a ukulele in a hard case with minimal outside packing will have to be the way for me from now on.

I agree that vendors need to ship in size appropriate boxes as I had a couple of what-were-they-thinking shipments this holiday season. I also don't mind waiting for multiple orders from the same vendor to come in and be shipped in the same box, instead of piecemeal in oversized boxes. But, that is usually because the primary vendor is themselves getting merchandise from other vendors.

I also love the post office flat rate boxes. My son was in Iraq for a 15 month tour. I got to be an expert on stuffing those boxes to the max for his CARE packages from me.

Rllink
12-30-2014, 06:35 AM
I live in a rural area. My post office is 8 miles east from my house, the Fed Ex facility is 10 miles north of me, and UPS facility is about 10 miles south. My house is on a private graveled road half a mile away from the mailboxes on a secondary road (no line markers.) It is not a private road because I live in a snooty neighborhood. It is private because the county and state don't want to maintain it.

I normally don't mind when stuff is dropped off on my doorstep as the eaves will keep things fairly dry. I appreciate that somebody drove the extra half mile to get me my boxed online goods.

The downfall of my rural mail delivery is that not all carriers drop off at my doorstep. My laptop was left under the mailbox and sat out all day while I was at work. (It is halfway down the line of mailboxes in the attachment.)

So, I would rather pick up a ukulele at the UPS/USPS/Fed Ex facility than having it left for me. I liked that my three best ukes needed a signature from Fed Ex. I went there to pick up my goods from them. So for me, having a signature required is a good thing.

Shipping prices are something I factor in when I buy online. It might be that buying a ukulele in a hard case with minimal outside packing will have to be the way for me from now on.
In PR we live in a gated condo. USPS has a key and can deliver inside the gate. The others will either leave us a note stuck to the gate, to pick it up, or they will just toss it over. I actually prefer the latter, as both of their pick up facilities are not easy for us to get to, considering that we rely on public transportation down there.

Down Up Dick
12-30-2014, 07:10 AM
I buy most of my stuff from stores. For one thing, I like to examine what I'm buying and play it if necessary. I don't usually buy anything on the net, unless I just can't find it elsewhere. I don't care if it costs more, and, if it costs too much, I just won't but it.

One way to get around home delivery is to have the store order it for you. I've done this too if I didn't have to pay in advance. I always ask if I HAVE to buy it when it comes, if so, I go elsewhere.

I know everyone can't buy from stores, but maybe, if they did, there'd be more and better stores. :old:

Mim
12-30-2014, 08:18 AM
I second what Main Mike said... (who is the best handler of packages can be debated for days... and has been... this is about a price increase)

I have had comparable quality from UPS and USPS. I usually "lose" one uke a year to damage from each of the delivery services. So I pack well and suck it up when/if it does happen... BUT...

I use USPS for east coast shipping because it is cheaper. UPS for west coast above a soprano for shipping.
What was once $15 to deliver a package to Arizona is now $28.
A shipment to Montana that usually is $12 is now $26.

And since I usually include shipping this is a sudden and unexpected blow to me and my business.

I get comments every now and then where people allude to the fact that they think I make a lot of money. But honestly, I make enough to get by, support my family, and we live simply as a result. So, the loss of $10-$15 a package is devastating to me and my business and is leaving me scrambling to find a better option. So, I am checking with FedEx and hoping they offer the same rural pick-up service that UPS offers because with this sudden and drastic price increase it really is going to put a major dent in my family's income and it worries me.

Mxyzptik
12-30-2014, 08:30 AM
But you have to appreciate an oxymoronic phrase like "dimensional weight." It's sort of like "fruit-flavored lighting."

"Fruit-flavored lighting" hehehehehehehehe , thanks for that I can't stop giggling.

hoosierhiver
12-30-2014, 08:32 AM
I second what Main Mike said... (who is the best handler of packages can be debated for days... and has been... this is about a price increase)

I have had comparable quality from UPS and USPS. I usually "lose" one uke a year to damage from each of the delivery services. So I pack well and suck it up when/if it does happen... BUT...

I use USPS for east coast shipping because it is cheaper. UPS for west coast above a soprano for shipping.
What was once $15 to deliver a package to Arizona is now $28.
A shipment to Montana that usually is $12 is now $26.

And since I usually include shipping this is a sudden and unexpected blow to me and my business.

I get comments every now and then where people allude to the fact that they think I make a lot of money. But honestly, I make enough to get by, support my family, and we live simply as a result. So, the loss of $10-$15 a package is devastating to me and my business and is leaving me scrambling to find a better option. So, I am checking with FedEx and hoping they offer the same rural pick-up service that UPS offers because with this sudden and drastic price increase it really is going to put a major dent in my family's income and it worries me.

We just dropped UPS and signed up for FedEx today.
They seem approximately the same as the old UPS rate.
Heavy duty boxes are key no matter what company you use.

Mim
12-30-2014, 08:34 AM
We just dropped UPS and signed up for FedEx today.
They seem approximately the same as the old UPS rate.
Heavy duty boxes are key no matter what company you use.

I am calling this afternoon!

Viva la Shipping Revolution!!!

(What I love is when this all went down, Main Mike was the first to warn me! He is a super good friend and I appreciate his help! That is the magic of the ukulele world! We are friends and help each other out!)

Rllink
12-30-2014, 08:44 AM
We just dropped UPS and signed up for FedEx today.
They seem approximately the same as the old UPS rate.
Heavy duty boxes are key no matter what company you use.My wife markets wine for a Napa winery and they switched from UPS to FedEx a year or so ago. A few of her customers quit buying wine from her because they didn't like FedEx, but we personally have not had a problem with them.

hoosierhiver
12-30-2014, 08:56 AM
Just talked to a FedEx business rep. I'm finding them to be more accessible on the phone than UPS.
Anyways, he admitted that FedEx will also be raising their prices in January. Sounds like collusion.

Mim
12-30-2014, 09:35 AM
Just talked to a FedEx business rep. I'm finding them to be more accessible on the phone than UPS.
Anyways, he admitted that FedEx will also be raising their prices in January. Sounds like collusion.

Well, I guess people out west will be getting their ukes in 2 days via USPS because if I am going to pay that much, I am at least going to send it faster!

coolkayaker1
12-30-2014, 01:47 PM
UPS has changed it's pricing, they are now basing cost on size of the package instead of weight. This is bad for large-ish, light weight packages like ukuleles, expect to pay more if you ship with UPS.

Thanks for the info, Mike. The rate hike was known to investors (it amounts to an estimated 4% raise in average shipping rates, i.e. profit), and I mentioned it, on a UU thread, in late Oct/Nov when UPS was 99/share. Now closed today at 112, and note, it pays a 2.4% annual dividend. The rate hike, plus the dramatic drop in gasoline (their #1 non-employee cost), plus gangbuster online seasonal shopping, will have UPS announcing their best ever quarter in late March 2014. Shareholders have already made 12% in two months, and another 12% is likely (but not guaranteed; your results may vary...lol). Note: Dow is up about 6% over same period of time, Oct 31 to now. I hope some of my UU friends were able to take advantage of the timing of ticker symbol UPS 60 days ago.
http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?101570-UPS-what-a-tease

But, yeah, for shipping ukes, it sucks. :p

Uke Republic
12-30-2014, 02:24 PM
WOW! So true the rate increase is crazy! I expected 5% but UPS has moved up 50% on some of the shipments. Can't really understand the reasoning on this either from UPS with fuel prices dropping.
We may have to start driving them to your house :)

Doc_J
12-30-2014, 02:29 PM
Just talked to a FedEx business rep. I'm finding them to be more accessible on the phone than UPS.
Anyways, he admitted that FedEx will also be raising their prices in January. Sounds like collusion.

Yeah, I got an email from FedEx saying a 5% increase was coming 2015. Hope they don't do what UPS is doing.

The USPS has been using "dimensional weight" vs. actual weight for large light stuff for a while.

TheCraftedCow
12-31-2014, 10:37 AM
When we lived in Brookings, Oregon (2miles north of the Ca border on the coast), the UPS driver was there before 1000 every morning. 27 years ago we moved to the capital city of Oregon. They became known as Unusually Poor Service. FedEx opens my gate (UPS had the code also) and puts it inside the door of my shop. Their rates are less. When I inquired about the shipping price for 6 full sized banjos and cases,last week, the supplier sent me the rates of Fed Ex and UPS. FedEx was $75 less.

timmit65
12-31-2014, 02:59 PM
Just a thought...Since FedEx seems to be in the mood to make deals, have you'll thought about going to them as a group? I'm not sure if they would recognize it to begin with, but you could always give it a shot. It would be a sort of AIMM [(The Alliance of Independent Music Merchants) buying group] for freight. I'm pretty sure USPS and one of the others had a booth at NAMM last year. So you come up with a name a list of members, their locations and go to them with and say we will give you all of our biz if you cut us a deal. The"Big Boys" do this all the time. I know for a fact that Peavey used only FedEx exclusively for years, and to this day Shure only ships UPS on their dime. Shure will ship FedEx, but only with the users acct. number. Being the exclusive freight provider seems to mean something for them. For the retailers, you might even get a vendor to throw in with you. Say, Amahi or Kala's (I'm not overlooking smaller makers, but to FedEx it's all about the numbers and I'm pretty sure they ship more 100.00 ukes than smaller builders ship 2500.00 ukes) biz plus all of your retail shipping might turn some heads and get you a deal! Plus, if they have a booth (after going to their website Fedex is Booth# 152 at Winter NAMM), they need to get some value for going....Saying we got the exclusive shipping for X number of Uke retailers and vendors might be enough to rationalization their booth and travel there!

FYI, I'll be at NAMM Thursday - Sunday and would be happy to help. I'll be working most of the time 'till Sunday. I hope to be there as a consumer on Sunday, but should have time to talk or brainstorm then!

Just a thought...http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/images/icons/icon10.png

TheCraftedCow
01-01-2015, 05:53 AM
Just a thought...Since FedEx seems to be in the mood to make deals, have you'll thought about going to them as a group? I'm not sure if they would recognize it to begin with, but you could always give it a shot. It would be a sort of AIMM [(The Alliance of Independent Music Merchants) buying group] for freight. I'm pretty sure USPS and one of the others had a booth at NAMM last year. So you come up with a name a list of members, their locations and go to them with and say we will give you all of our biz if you cut us a deal. The"Big Boys" do this all the time. I know for a fact that Peavey used only FedEx exclusively for years, and to this day Shure only ships UPS on their dime. Shure will ship FedEx, but only with the users acct. number. Being the exclusive freight provider seems to mean something for them. For the retailers, you might even get a vendor to throw in with you. Say, Amahi or Kala's (I'm not overlooking smaller makers, but to FedEx it's all about the numbers and I'm pretty sure they ship more 100.00 ukes than smaller builders ship 2500.00 ukes) biz plus all of your retail shipping might turn some heads and get you a deal! Plus, if they have a booth (after going to their website Fedex is Booth# 152 at Winter NAMM), they need to get some value for going....Saying we got the exclusive shipping for X number of Uke retailers and vendors might be enough to rationalization their booth and travel there!

FYI, I'll be at NAMM Thursday - Sunday and would be happy to help. I'll be working most of the time 'till Sunday. I hope to be there as a consumer on Sunday, but should have time to talk or brainstorm then!

Just a thought...http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/images/icons/icon10.png

WHAT A SPLENDID IDEA!! Thank you for the offer to also put hands and feet to the idea of your head and heart.

hoosierhiver
01-01-2015, 06:19 AM
Just a thought...Since FedEx seems to be in the mood to make deals, have you'll thought about going to them as a group? I'm not sure if they would recognize it to begin with, but you could always give it a shot. It would be a sort of AIMM [(The Alliance of Independent Music Merchants) buying group] for freight. I'm pretty sure USPS and one of the others had a booth at NAMM last year. So you come up with a name a list of members, their locations and go to them with and say we will give you all of our biz if you cut us a deal. The"Big Boys" do this all the time. I know for a fact that Peavey used only FedEx exclusively for years, and to this day Shure only ships UPS on their dime. Shure will ship FedEx, but only with the users acct. number. Being the exclusive freight provider seems to mean something for them. For the retailers, you might even get a vendor to throw in with you. Say, Amahi or Kala's (I'm not overlooking smaller makers, but to FedEx it's all about the numbers and I'm pretty sure they ship more 100.00 ukes than smaller builders ship 2500.00 ukes) biz plus all of your retail shipping might turn some heads and get you a deal! Plus, if they have a booth (after going to their website Fedex is Booth# 152 at Winter NAMM), they need to get some value for going....Saying we got the exclusive shipping for X number of Uke retailers and vendors might be enough to rationalization their booth and travel there!

FYI, I'll be at NAMM Thursday - Sunday and would be happy to help. I'll be working most of the time 'till Sunday. I hope to be there as a consumer on Sunday, but should have time to talk or brainstorm then!

Just a thought...http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/images/icons/icon10.png

I love it, maybe start a petition to present to them that way dealers who don't attend can lend some weight to the cause.

ichadwick
01-01-2015, 06:28 AM
I don't think this is new. I have been paying for "dimensional weight" for quite some time now.

Right. I owned/ran/slaved in a UPS store for 11 years. It's always been the greater of dimensional weight or actual weight. I forget the formula but it's something like L x W x H/166 to get the dim weight. I think it's on the UPS website.

hoosierhiver
01-01-2015, 07:27 AM
Right. I owned/ran/slaved in a UPS store for 11 years. It's always been the greater of dimensional weight or actual weight. I forget the formula but it's something like L x W x H/166 to get the dim weight. I think it's on the UPS website.

This is new, http://www.pressroom.ups.com/Press+Releases/Archive/2014/Q2/UPS+Announces+Dimensional+Weight+Changes

Mim
01-01-2015, 08:23 AM
I love it, maybe start a petition to present to them that way dealers who don't attend can lend some weight to the cause.

I will be there if you want!!! For sure! And let me know how I can help!