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Thread: a peril of Priority Mail

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    herenorthere's Avatar
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    a peril of Priority Mail

    Here's a warning for anyone who ships plants by priority mail - pay attention to the size of the box. I had only a vague idea that Priority Mail prices now factor in the size of the box until my wife told me a box she shipped for me had cost $25 because of being so big. It wasn't that big and weighed barely more than a pound. I tried to ship another box yesterday and was told it would be ~$30 because of its size. I brought it back home instead. This box was only 14" x 14" x 14", a size I've used before without trouble, and weighed a little more than a pound. I looked at the USPS website and learned they're using dimensional weight pricing for long distances, meaning large, but light packages are priced as if they're heavy. I followed their formula and found my 1 1/2 lb box would cost the same as if it weighed 17 lb. After some cutting and taping, it was a 22" x 7" x 7" box and cost the expected $7.50 to go to CA. The moral of the story is to make sure boxes don't exceed a cubic ft, which is the size where dimensional weight calculations take over.
    Bruce in CT

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    Admin- I'm growing CPs in the Desert of Tucson, Az. adnedarn's Avatar
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    And they have some new rule where if your box weighs something (1lb 4oz??) you cannot hand it to the mail man. So this means I pack plants, come home and print the label, now I have to drive them to the PO instead of just hand it to the mail person. Pay more money. Get less service. Seems to be their new slogan.
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    War. War never changes. Est's Avatar
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    The moral of the story is to make sure boxes don't exceed a cubic ft, which is the size where dimensional weight calculations take over.
    And if you can't reduce the box size, at least add the extra 16 pounds of weight to make sure they're really working for that money. You wanted to mail that person a can of paint anyway, right? :P

    Pay more money. Get less service. Seems to be their new slogan.
    However, they're probably getting screwed themselves. I think they're just passing on the screwings.


    Thanks for the heads up, Bruce!
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    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    I like to buy Priority satmps in advance, so I could gather plants for shipping and drop them off at the post office, at my leisure, which is before they are open and after they close.

    Unfortunately, if you guess incorrectly about the weight, you may have it rejected. Last night I rushed to get a shipment to post office and got there right at closing. On a lark, I had the clerk double check the weight and postage. It barely exceeded the $4.60 limit and I had to toss in another 70 cents. I am SO glad I checked first!

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    herenorthere's Avatar
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    I can accept them doing it; I just wish they publicized it a little more. When I used to trade orchids, I'd sometime ship enormous boxes that weighed only a couple pounds. Each probably took up as much space as 20 or more of those narrow boxes, yet cost about the same as one. It makes sense for the PO to make people pay the cost of what they're shipping, but I'm still getting over the sticker shock.
    Bruce in CT

    Madness is something rare in individuals but in groups, parties, peoples, ages it is the rule. Friedrich Nietzsche

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    JRFxtreme's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adnedarn View Post
    And they have some new rule where if your box weighs something (1lb 4oz??) you cannot hand it to the mail man.
    I know how you feel, Andrew. I used to request a carrier pickup and they would get my stuff no problem. Then, a couple weeks ago, I was wondering when the mail carrier would show up to get my box. Went outside and checked the mail box and she had left the pick up request form in the mailbox stating "Cannot pick up boxes more than 13 ounces as of 08/**". I was pretty irritated since 1.) my box was 12 ounces and 2.) the online carrier pick up request makes it so you HAVE to round to the nearest pound.

    So I went to the post office and asked the lady there why they wouldn't pick up my boxes anymore and she called out some guy from "suspicious mail" that informed me that the old weight limit used to be a pound but now its 13 ounces due to "terrorists being able to make lighter weight explosives"...

    Anyways, the point is online carrier pickup request is useless now. Even when I was sending out 2 boxes weighing 11 ounces each and put the weight between the two as a pound, the carrier didn't bother to stop by.

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    Moderator Schmoderator Fluorescent fluorite, England PlantAKiss's Avatar
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    I discovered this fact the hard way...two packages I sent off from the NASC auction cost me a fortune. One package cost $18 and the other $25! I had no idea they'd be THAT costly.
    "Fox terriers are born with about four times as much original sin in them as other dogs." - Jerome K. Jerome

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    Hello, I must be going... Not a Number's Avatar
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    If the items fit, use the flat rate boxes $8.95 up to 70 lbs domestic only.

    Boxes available in two sizes:
    Box One: 11-7/8 x 3-3/8 x 13-5/8 inches (ideal for garments, board games, books and other relatively thin items).
    Box Two: 11 x 8-1/2 x 5-1/2 inches (perfect for shoes, model cars, and taller items).
    Rate is $8.95, regardless of weight or destination for items mailed in the Priority Mail Flat-Rate Boxes provided by the Postal Service.

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