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I don't use USPS all that much anymore, but enough that I'll pick up some stamps and a box or two before the rate hike. Thanks OP.

jaimelobo said:   But when you ship/pay online, the prices are lower than the current prepaid rates (and still will be cheaper than the new full rate).

So these locked in prices will only be a saving after the next probable price increase.


Yes, buying these will force you to pay non-online rates.
Better deal to NOT buy them and just print postage online to get the 8-15% discount.

Might be good for those w/o a printer...

mannyv said:   FrugalFreak said:   How will new rates compare to FedEx or UPS for same size?

My wife mails a ridiculous amount of stuff for her business. Tips:

* USPS is always cheaper
* FedEx ground is always cheaper than UPS ground
* UPS is mainly for overseas

Use regional rate boxes instead of normal flat rate boxes for better rates.
Flat Rate beats FedEx ground.
Use FedEx Ground when it doesn't fit into a flat rate box or you need good tracking.
UPS is for international shipments.

That seems to be her shipping rules of thumb.


If you link UPS to your PayPal account as preferred shipper they will add a new Shipper code that is 30-40% off retail. You can use as default on ups.com

ttjbricker said:   

2) I di agree that USPS is much cheaper than any other service. I shipped an 8 oz item 2-day FedEx (from GA to WA) as a favor to a seller who accidentally shipped me the wrong item. FedEx considered it 2 lbs. It cost $34--I probably could have shipped it USPS for less than $5 and it would have gotten there just as quickly!


as a general rule, USPS is cheapest when you are mailing something under 13oz as these can go First Class rate. Your 8oz package would have shipped first class for under $3 with tracking if you paid online.

Once you are at the 1 lb + rate, you need to start doing price comparisons, especially if it is heavy but will fit in a USPS flat rate box

Hi there,

I'm a shipper, well, just little things cause I sell things on eBay. Was wondering if you can advise me on some shipping. It seems you have a better knowledge and I will definitely appreciate it. I've also gotten something in the mail about Stamps.com. Do you think that is worthy? Please feel free to email me so we can further discuss. Thank you.

USPS Priority Mail Flat Rate envelopes are going up 45 cents, from $5.15 to $5.60...
Right now I'm paying $4.90 online for a FRE. I'm guessing the new online rate will be $5.35 but who knows (as the earlier poster said).

My other concern is if a Prepaid FRE >13oz can be dropped in any mailbox. I believe the 13oz rule in general is "not if it's paid by stamps" so a FRE paid with a credit card (the $4.90 thing) is okay. What about the Prepaid? Are they considered "paid by stamps" and limited to 13oz in a mailbox, or could a 2lb PFRE be dropped in a mailbox? I like the FRE for mailing when the post office is closed, e.g. Sunday, and have avoided the PFRE until now for that reason.

If PFRE isn't limited to 13oz in a mailbox, I may pick some up.

Thanks!
=aw

I mainly use business sized flat rate envelopes which hold significantly more than the standard for only a little more, no pre_paid available...

ottawa said:   

My other concern is if a Prepaid FRE >13oz can be dropped in any mailbox. I believe the 13oz rule in general is "not if it's paid by stamps" so a FRE paid with a credit card (the $4.90 thing) is okay. What about the Prepaid? Are they considered "paid by stamps" and limited to 13oz in a mailbox, or could a 2lb PFRE be dropped in a mailbox? I like the FRE for mailing when the post office is closed, e.g. Sunday, and have avoided the PFRE until now for that reason.

If PFRE isn't limited to 13oz in a mailbox, I may pick some up.

Thanks!
=aw


IF your package has your return address and has online postage on it, and you can fit it in a blue drop box, you are ok. That 13 oz rule aplies to packages with stamps(ie, no way to track the sender).

It's called anonymous mail.
http://about.usps.com/handbooks/sp1/sp1_c3_022.htm
Mailpieces weighing more than 13 ounces, bearing only postage stamps as postage that are found in unattended locations such as on counters and docks; in lobbies, lobby drops, and collection receptacles; and at postal facility side doors should be isolated, placarded as anonymous mail, and deposited in the designated anonymous mail container(s) at the Anonymous Mail Unit upon return to the postal facility.
Mailpieces weighing more than 13 ounces, bearing only postage stamps as postage from business or residential customers may not be accepted. Customers should be advised to take these items to an employee at a retail service counter at a Post Office for proper acceptance.
Mailpieces weighing more than 13 ounces, bearing only postage stamps as postage left for collection at a customer’s mailbox or a business’s outgoing mail collection point should not be collected. Decal DDD2 should be applied over the destination address, city, state, and ZIP, leaving the addressee’s name visible and the piece should be returned to the customer’s mailbox or the business’s outgoing mail collection point.
Mailpieces weighing more than 13 ounces without postage and with sufficient funds to cover postage are acceptable for collection as long as the return address matches the address at the point of pickup and the customer/business is known to reside or do business at that location.

Thanks.

We've been assuming the new online price for PM Flat Rate Envelope will be 25c off the new retail price of $5.60, i.e. $5.35.

But in fact at https://www.usps.com/new-prices.htm the XLS for "Priority Mail – Commercial Base" says that rate will be $5.05 for PMFRE. "Priority Mail – Retail" XLS says that price will be $5.60. I just bought two stickers (for Small FRB) and they print as "Commercial Base".

Does this in fact mean the current retail price of PM PFRE ($5.15) is still more than the new online price and these are only worth buying for $5.15 today if you have a use for them (e.g. sometimes need to mail without access to computer+printer)?

Thanks!
=aw

You know that if you lose the box you lost the value you paid for it?

Gadz my mail room gets raided all the time for supplies..I would cry if someone used the Prepaid boxes for moving supplies.

forbin4040 said:   You know that if you lose the box you lost the value you paid for it?

Gadz my mail room gets raided all the time for supplies..I would cry if someone used the Prepaid boxes for moving supplies.


Ouch and a very good point. I definitely wouldn't leave them laying around.

idfubar said:   labboypro said:   cpabster said:   Ah, the good old days of 2 pounds, 2 days, $2.99.

Priority service was introduced as 2 pounds, 2 days, $2.35. Gas was also once $0.05/gallon.


Yeah, but gas hasn't been $.05 in living memory (75+ years); $2.35 was the rate like 10-15 years ago... The cost for shipping via USPS Flat Rate has *far* outstripped inflation (not to mention median wages) and arguably is no longer the value proposition it once was (why buy used and sell/ship after use when you can let Amazon.com pick up the cost of shipping and throw stuff away?)...


Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act in 2006 makes this a bad investment.
The price increase in postage may NEVER outpace the rate of inflation.

which means any increase in postage is negated by the decrease value of that future money.

in plain english, postage will always cost less or equal (to today) in the future.

I ship a lot overseas and the postage increase is huge on top of a large increase about a year ago. Flat rate envelopes (regular or legal size) increased from $17.95 to $23.95. The express mail int'l legal flat rate envelope is now $44.95 up from $27.95 not too long ago. Does UPS have something similar that is cheaper than usps for international shipping?

mannyv said:   FrugalFreak said:   How will new rates compare to FedEx or UPS for same size?

My wife mails a ridiculous amount of stuff for her business. Tips:

* USPS is always cheaper
* FedEx ground is always cheaper than UPS ground
* UPS is mainly for overseas

Use regional rate boxes instead of normal flat rate boxes for better rates.
Flat Rate beats FedEx ground.
Use FedEx Ground when it doesn't fit into a flat rate box or you need good tracking.
UPS is for international shipments.

That seems to be her shipping rules of thumb.


yeah I don't think this is true anymore. As an eBay seller I'm going to switch to FedEx Ground or UPS Ground for my heavier packages that do not fit in flat rate boxes.

This post isn't really about the post topic, but more in response to the later replies about comparing costs of various shipping services (USPS, FedEx Ground, UPS), which I have been doing a lot of since the USPS pricing increase. Since the original topic title was about buying USPS Prepaid Forever Priority Mail Flat Rate boxes to Save before prices go up from 01/27, I doubt anyone will even be reading this, but since I need to sort out what I have found out for me over the past month regarding shipper's cost comparisons, here is what I have figured out so far for me about comparing costs of using USPS or FedEx Ground:

I have found that Priority Mail Flat Rate products are cheaper purchasing thru USPS.com online, but DON’T use the Click N Ship Software for Business- because cost using Click N Ship Software for Business- comes up more than just using the regular USPS website online shipping.
For example, I just printed a large Flat Rate Box shipping label at USPS.com site and the cost was only $15.30, instead of the new rate for LFRB of $16.85, I even downloaded (from USPS website) the program called, Click N Ship Software for Business, assuming that I would get best available pricing as a business customer, but the same label to the same address was going to cost me the new standard rate for the Large Flat Rate box of $16.85 - but it was cheaper to just print the label by going to USPS,com and ordering a Large Flat Rate box label to the same address was only $15.30 as opposed to 16.85 (did both ways yesterday)... and just using the USPS website to print my label was not only cheaper than using the Click N Ship Software for Business (which can be downloaded at USPS.com as a business solution) BUT ALSO I found the regular USPS website label much easier to work with (edit copy move,paste address info) than the Click N Ship Software for Business program, (which I found to be more time-consuming and less easy to work with, and generally annoying. Seems like I get every benefit I want using USPS.com online (with an account, you have access to address book, shipping history, etc.), and I do not see any benefit for me to using the Click N Ship Software for Business, especially when using it gives you the new raised USPS pricing, where just printing my label direct from my USPS.com account online for the same size box was $1.55 cheaper using USPS.com website than using Click N Ship Software for Business. I am now uninstalling the Click N Ship Software for Business program on my computer; imo, don"t even bother downloading the program, "Click N Ship Software for Business" jmho, I got better results in both price and ease of use from just using USPS.com website for my example of the Large Flat Rate Box (and I assume similar results with other size Flat Rate Box shipments.)

I also compared shipping the same package (it was 20 lb, going from San Diego area to Phoenix area at FedEx.com even with my slightly reduced FedEx account pricing, and FedEx Ground was over $17 after they added charges for fuel surcharge, residential address,e etc., (compared to 15.30 at USPS.com
or 16.85 the Click N Ship Software for Business program) label printing for my 20 lb LFRB

I use a lot of USPS Large Flat Rate Boxes to ship products from my online store, so doing this tedious comparison will save me money in the long run, since ship this same size often. But it is very confusing trying to figure out which service is a better deal because the price will vary according to weight and distance with FedEx Ground and UPS, and with those added surcharges at UPS and FedEx Ground for fuel surcharge, residential address, etc., Because of these additional surcharges at UPS and FedEx Ground, I usually find that unless you are shipping something that wont fit into a LFLB, MFRB or a into a "Regional rate Box A (this size only available to obtain at USPS.com as far as I know and you can order them there and have them delivered free to your location. (A Regional Rate Box A is slightly smaller than Medium Flat Rate Box, and not as heavy cardboard, but saves around a dollar or so a box over Med FRB ($9.80 across country, and even less to a closer destination was only $5 something to ship within my state a few cities away- Regional Rate Box A is based on distance (I don't like Regional Rate Box B as it doesn't save me money, costs as much as a Med FRB or more is similar size as a Med FRB, but flimsier cardboard and costs same as MFRB, and sometimes more (cost based on distance)

Printing shipping labels from my account at USPS.com also gives you the ablity to use a regional rate Box A, but if you are shipping something that is physically larger than will fit in one of the Flat rate boxes, then FedEx Ground seems to be the least cost, even with the surcharges, but) will take a little longer (instead of 2-3 days is often 4-7 days to deliver.

All of the above is what I have concluded after comparing USPS, FedEx Ground and UPS for shipping packages for orders placed on my website, and trying to ship at the least cost. What I think I am coming to is that USPS costs less with the use of online label printing for lower cost AS LONG AS WHAT YOU ARE SHIPPING WILL FIT IN THE FLAT RATE BOX OR REGIONAL RATE BOX A. If what you are shipping won't fit in one of those, then FedEx Ground seems to be best pricing, even with added surcharges, but only up to 20 lb shipping weight for FedEx Ground.
For me, t is a continuing prioe comparision everytime something with different weights and dimensions needs to ship, however the bottom line I'm finding for me, is:
If the shipment is up to 70 lb and fits in a Flat Rate Box, or Regional Rate box, use USPS.com to purchase and print the shipping label.

If it doesn't fit in a USPS FRB, or Regional Rate box, use FedEx Ground, but only up to 20 lb shipment and be willing to wait 4-7 days to get to recipient instead of 2-3 days via Priority Mail.

Oh, and I haven't even looked into comparing all of this to the category called Standard Post, which is touted as an economical way of shipping which allows packages that are too big for Priority Mail delivery, rates offered to users of Stamps.com and similar services, which I am still tying to figure out whether there would be cost benefit to using, as I know there are ease of use benefits, but not sure yet if there would really be any cost saving after the monthly fee of these services (anyone using care to comment on this part ?) that I haven't had a chance to compare yet Its all so darn confusing, especially for a very small one persons mom and pop biz (without a pop) trying to be budget-consious and not spend all day doing it ( time is money and all these constant comparisions of services that do the same thing but compute pricing ain all these different ways is often tedious, time-consuming and can be frustrating, and costly to a small biz, because customers do not want to pay shipping at all, let alone high shipping, and offering free shipping for certain purchase amounts often can end up putting a very small biz in the hole, or at least barely over breaking even.

Sorry this turned into such a long post, replying to comments on price comparisons of USPS to FedEx Ground and I was pretty much thinking out loud and summing up (to myself as I wrote) what I had figured out about postal rates in over the last few days or month.


RE: USPS new regular pricing:
Small box — $5.80
Medium box — $12.35
Large box — $16.85 (I paid only 15.30 for this LFRB yesterday using USPS.com website)
Large APO/FPO box — $14.85
Regular envelope — $5.60
Legal envelope — $5.75
Padded envelope — $5.95

Frank, I hadn't yet gotten to your post before replying with my LONG pricing and comparisons blah blah reply about USPS vs FedEx,
and you said it all much more succintly
I guess except for pricing using Click N Ship for Businesses being higher than the online price I paid for Large Flat Rate box of $15.80 being less than the cost using the Click N Ship for Businesses I downloaded from USPS.com which wanted to charge me the new price of $16.85 for a LFRB vs what I paid ($15.30) by just printing it from USPS.com online

Judy

Apparently parcel post is gone, at least for a month or so do to some screw up. On some items, this has tripled my shipping costs...

dcg9381 said:   Apparently parcel post is gone, at least for a month or so do to some screw up. On some items, this has tripled my shipping costs...

It's not gone, just a new name (Parcel Select I believe). You can still get it at the PO, or online at some postage sites (usps shipping assistant) But it is NOT yet avaliable on eBay/Paypal - no clue why...

rhino850 said:   dcg9381 said:   Apparently parcel post is gone, at least for a month or so do to some screw up. On some items, this has tripled my shipping costs...

It's not gone, just a new name (Parcel Select I believe). You can still get it at the PO, or online at some postage sites (usps shipping assistant) But it is NOT yet avaliable on eBay/Paypal - no clue why...


It's also not just a rename. Some parameters changed slightly (I'm still trying to figure out specific differences, but an auction item that ended BEFORE the change, but didn't get paid quickly by the buyer forced me into the new cost structure and the same item cost me DOUBLE-- to the tune of $34-- to ship. I had to eat it because I listed as "free shipping").



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