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WhenDogsSing
03-09-2015, 07:27 AM
UPS has upped their rates and have just about priced me out of using them in the future. Hopefully, USPS rates are more reasonable.

hoosierhiver
03-09-2015, 07:34 AM
USPS is better for a lot of things. FedEx is also better rate-wise in general.

kohanmike
03-09-2015, 08:16 AM
Wasn't there a post recently that FedEx is also going to raise their prices? You'd think the price would go down with the drop in gas prices.

Photojosh
03-09-2015, 08:28 AM
You'll notice that there's still a "fuel surcharge" on a lot of shipments these days. Because: of course.

hoosierhiver
03-09-2015, 08:36 AM
Wasn't there a post recently that FedEx is also going to raise their prices? You'd think the price would go down with the drop in gas prices.

They did raise their prices about a week after UPS raised theirs, collusion to be sure. But FedEx is still cheaper than UPS for sending ukuleles.

Icelander53
03-09-2015, 08:50 AM
Interesting, so that's why my current uke is being shipped USPS. It's a first for me.

hoosierhiver
03-09-2015, 08:55 AM
Interesting, so that's why my current uke is being shipped USPS. It's a first for me.

With UPS's new dimensional rates, the cost of shipping a ukulele is typically double of what it was.

katysax
03-09-2015, 08:58 AM
They've all raised their rates. USPS has been the cheapest, and it used to be that Priority Mail was the best value. Unfortunately those fees have gone up considerably. I find that I am shipping more and more parcel post. I think UPS has the best tracking but USPS tracking has significantly improved in the last few months. For me it depends on the value of the uke and the distance. If I am shipping to another person in California, it will get there in a day even shipping parcel post. If I am shipping further then it depends for me on the value of the uke.

Fedex is the only service I've used that has permanently lost a valuable item. Of course I'm sure that's the luck of the draw. I've had UPS destroy a few parcels (not ukes). I've had USPS lose items for months and eventually find them and their insurance is useless.

Icelander53
03-09-2015, 09:36 AM
Nothing is going to be perfect. If you expect perfection or even something close you will likely spend your life frustrated and unhappy. So this is the price of doing business now. Complaining won't change much but sometimes bitching and moaning is therapeutic as long as you don't expect it to change anything. In the good old days you'd likely spend months waiting and hoping that something would arrive in some kind of condition. We have it made.

Photojosh
03-09-2015, 09:36 AM
USPS has been the cheapest, and it used to be that Priority Mail was the best value. Unfortunately those fees have gone up considerably.

I will say that for the speed (typically 2 days), USPS Priority is still a really good value compared to similar speeds from UPS or Fedex.

That having been said, it's often still quite expensive to ship a uke Priority.

And yes, years after UPS/Fedex did it., USPS finally stepped up their tracking system.

gobes
03-09-2015, 09:49 AM
I recently had to ship an acoustic guitar. The box was fairly big but it wasn't heavy, around 9 pounds total. For ground shipping, UPS wanted $80 and Fedex wanted $68. I couldn't believe it.

I hadn't shipped a guitar for a long time and I was expecting to pay around $15. I was just a little off.

Hippie Dribble
03-09-2015, 09:53 AM
USPS Priority International has always been the way I have had ukes shipped to me in Oz. 7 years of having instruments sent overseas, not one disaster. The rates are incomparable. For example, when UPS has typically demanded 200-300 dollars, USPS asks for 70-80. For me, it remains the cheapest and most efficient method.

flailingfingers
03-09-2015, 10:10 AM
In our rural Colorado area....VERY rural and remote....USPS has become the most reliable and fastest shipping service, hands down. FEDEX is the worst, UPS is OK but not as good as USPS. It used to be different but USPS has really improved. I would not count on the insurance from any of them.

spookelele
03-09-2015, 10:18 AM
I recently had to ship an acoustic guitar. The box was fairly big but it wasn't heavy, around 9 pounds total. For ground shipping, UPS wanted $80 and Fedex wanted $68. I couldn't believe it.

I hadn't shipped a guitar for a long time and I was expecting to pay around $15. I was just a little off.

It does make you wonder how Amazon Prime can ship some of that stuff for so cheap. Like.. you can order a Makala tenor and have it with delivery in 2 days for $75. Im NOT advocating amazon for Ukes, just pointing out that they use the same shippers, but get shipping for soooo much less than mortals. I think Amazon is one of the biggest reasons USPS delivery has gotten quite a bit better.

Icelander53
03-09-2015, 11:58 AM
All businesses get vastly reduced rates on shipping. I had to send a uke back to HMS and FedEx wanted around $70. So I called HMS and told them about that and asked if they would send a call tag and I'd reimburse them, which they did. The cost was around $35 if I remember correctly.

Doc_J
03-09-2015, 12:46 PM
USPS is better for a lot of things. FedEx is also better rate-wise in general.

I agree with you Mike.

I've been using only FedEx this year, their prices always beat UPS for my shipping. Plus they make it easy to pick up at any of their retail outlets. I used to ship primarily UPS, but this year it's all FedEx. It's easy enough to check the rates for both online. For international shipping the Postal Service is the best way.

Kekani
03-09-2015, 05:52 PM
It should come as no surprise that UPS raised rates. They do it yearly. So does FedEx. So does USPS.

Prices have already been discussed, but not so much products, and services.

USPS got rid of "Delivery Confirmation" and replaced it with "Tracking", for obvious reasons.

Priority Mail, not unlike FedEx and UPS, has dimensional charges past certian Zones. Within Hawaii, there's no dimensional (per se), but since everywhere else in the US is Zone 8, dimensional rates apply. If its light, make it as small as possible. You should know the Zones from your location, and how the dimensional rates affect the prices.
NOTE: Priority Mail Express does NOT have dimensional rates, so it MAY be cheaper.
NOTE2: See online labels below.

Outside of ukulele, if your item can fit in the Regional Rate boxes (again, Zone dependent), you may be able to save money, or you may end up spending more. You should know your Zones, and the rates from those Zones.

Online postage is always cheaper (okay, mostly, with some Priority Express exceptions). Also, online postage doesn't charge Dimensional Rates. Get a scale.

Parcel Select - a product line designed for large commercial mailers (UPS and FedEx are the largest customers of this product line). Amazon ships a LOT of their items Parcel Select, which can almost mirror Priority Mail (here). While you can't print lables for PS on Click-N-Ship, you can with 3rd party vendors like Endicia.com or Stamps.com. If I'm not mistaken, PayPal (Pitney Bowes) can also print PS.

Insurance claims initiated Online is adjudicated MUCH faster than initiating it in person. Guess why (less labor).

Let me get off my box now. . .

dkcrown
03-10-2015, 12:42 AM
I will be shipping two ukes out today to the West coast via USPS Express Mail. It is my method of choice, even though it is somewhat expensive. But when shipping expensive ukes, knowing that they generally get there the next day is worth it for the peace of mind it affords me and the buyer. And I can also insure them for full value, which I don't believe is an option with Priority Mail (I could be wrong here.)

I have been waiting to ship these ukes since the third week of January. It has been that long since we have had temperatures above freezing! My buyer has been patient and understanding as we both want to make sure that these ukes arrive safe and sound with no finish cracks.

hoosierhiver
03-10-2015, 03:31 AM
USPS Priority International has always been the way I have had ukes shipped to me in Oz. 7 years of having instruments sent overseas, not one disaster. The rates are incomparable. For example, when UPS has typically demanded 200-300 dollars, USPS asks for 70-80. For me, it remains the cheapest and most efficient method.

For international shipping, you can't beat USPS.

Ukejenny
03-10-2015, 03:48 AM
With UPS's new dimensional rates, the cost of shipping a ukulele is typically double of what it was.

Ouch. That can be a game changer.

hoosierhiver
03-10-2015, 04:58 AM
Another thing I've noticed is that FedEx has excellent customer service if compared to UPS. You can actually call and talk to someone and it doesn't take an hour.

Rllink
03-10-2015, 06:50 AM
On the receiving end, in Iowa, it doesn't make much difference who delivers a package. We get a lot of stuff from FedEx from my wife's business. But we have a back porch and a regular delivery guy, and everything goes pretty smooth. Here in PR, anything other than USPS it is a crap shoot as to whether it gets delivered or not.

One thing that is a little aggravating here in PR is when a package starts out UPS or FedEx, but then gets handed off to USPS for delivery. I don't know when they actually started doing that, but I just think it is strange that the shipper would do it that way instead of just shipping it USPS. But anyway, if something is getting handed off like that, it stalls in Jacksonville for a week or two. I don't know which side is not connecting, but it sits. If something is shipped USPS to start with, it usually takes a four days, which is a day longer than if it got shipped to Iowa.

hoosierhiver
03-10-2015, 07:01 AM
On the receiving end, in Iowa, it doesn't make much difference who delivers a package. We get a lot of stuff from FedEx from my wife's business. But we have a back porch and a regular delivery guy, and everything goes pretty smooth. Here in PR, anything other than USPS it is a crap shoot as to whether it gets delivered or not.

One thing that is a little aggravating here in PR is when a package starts out UPS or FedEx, but then gets handed off to USPS for delivery. I don't know when they actually started doing that, but I just think it is strange that the shipper would do it that way instead of just shipping it USPS. But anyway, if something is getting handed off like that, it stalls in Jacksonville for a week or two. I don't know which side is not connecting, but it sits. If something is shipped USPS to start with, it usually takes a four days, which is a day longer than if it got shipped to Iowa.

This is very common for FedEx and UPS. Don't ever use FedEx's "smart post", all they do is hand it over to the post office and charge you for the delayed delivery time.