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Bill Kumpf
11-Mar-2016, 08:22
I am in the process of downing sizing my photographic stock. Deal breakers on several items have been shipping costs. In some instants, shipping cost more than the item. Is there any low cost shipping options? I have looked at USPS flat rate box and parcel post. UPS is competitive.

Any suggestions?

DonJ
11-Mar-2016, 08:27
What size things are you shipping?

Bill Kumpf
11-Mar-2016, 08:33
I am currently working on excess darkroom equipment. Processing drums, roller bases,etc. I have one medium format enlarger (FUjimoto G70), probably some 11x14 trays, etc., maybe some 35 mm camera gear...............

http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?129339-Processing-Drums-and-roller-bases-GraLab-Model-300-Timers&highlight=Unicolor

HMG
11-Mar-2016, 08:42
It's been my experience that USPS is always cheapest unless box size is large. Then FedEx Ground is cheaper if you drop it off at one of their locations. For really large items, look into Greyhound package delivery (but you have to drop off and pick up at their bus location).

Bill Kumpf
11-Mar-2016, 10:41
Thanks,

USPS is the most convenience for me. My wife tells me I still in the past. Things just cost more now...........

Willie
11-Mar-2016, 10:56
If you have friends with companies that ship a lot of UPS or FedEx you may be able to pay them the cost and they ship it on their account. Lower cost for volume shippers.
We are rural farm country and no Mail/shipping stores within 90 miles so use a local bus sales company to do this. Works well and shipping cost is a bit lower due to their volume.

fishbulb
11-Mar-2016, 10:58
It's been my experience that USPS is always cheapest unless box size is large. Then FedEx Ground is cheaper if you drop it off at one of their locations. For really large items, look into Greyhound package delivery (but you have to drop off and pick up at their bus location).

I ship a lot of stuff and I would echo this statement.

Randy Moe
11-Mar-2016, 11:03
If you have friends with companies that ship a lot of UPS or FedEx you may be able to pay them the cost and they ship it on their account. Lower cost for volume shippers.
We are rural farm country and no Mail/shipping stores within 90 miles so use a local bus sales company to do this. Works well and shipping cost is a bit lower due to their volume.

That's right, I used to ship from my large manufacturing employer, they encouraged it. Paid exact cash and it was a bargain.

Roger Thoms
11-Mar-2016, 11:41
It's been my experience that USPS is always cheapest unless box size is large. Then FedEx Ground is cheaper if you drop it off at one of their locations. For really large items, look into Greyhound package delivery (but you have to drop off and pick up at their bus location).

My experience too. With FedEx you will get a better rate if you set up an account. Plus you can then print out you labels at home. Then you just have to drop the package off.

Roger

HMG
12-Mar-2016, 09:51
My experience too. With FedEx you will get a better rate if you set up an account. Plus you can then print out you labels at home. Then you just have to drop the package off.

Roger

I believe it's the same with UPS. And much cheaper (using UPS) if you're shipping to a commercial, versus residential, location. Which irks me no end when UPS delivers at least 25 packages a day to my (residential) condo building.

BrianShaw
12-Mar-2016, 09:59
Thanks,

USPS is the most convenience for me. My wife tells me I still in the past. Things just cost more now...........

Your wife is correct. It appalling - not that she's correct but the high cost of almost everything these days.

vinny
12-Mar-2016, 11:48
ship through paypal using usps or ups.

Milonian
13-Mar-2016, 02:05
If I may put in my two pence worth (two cents?) from a UK perspective, I see some great items at good prices on "a certain website" coming from USA but the postage fees are sometimes 3 times the cost of the article. Even very small articles that don't need a box or need only say a padded envelope and are light in weight are priced out because of postage costs. Add to that the fact that the UK charges 20% import duty on the cost of the article including the postage and the price jumps even more. Then the UK mail company take another $20 as a "handling charge" because they have to collect the import duty and pay it to the Government.
Quick example - lensboard at a very good price $7.76 - postage quoted to UK? - $51.47 = total $59.23. Add 20% import duty = $11.84. Add handling fee in UK $19.42. Total cost for a second-hand lens board $90.49. That's 11 times what the seller is getting!
UK postage costs have gone up a lot too and I realise that postal workers/airline staff etc. have to be paid and I'm all for that. It's just making the business of buying rare or hard to find items a lot harder.

B.S.Kumar
13-Mar-2016, 04:38
Milonian, customs duty is charged on "value", not on "price" or "cost". You may be charged duty even on gifts which did not cost you anything, but they have value to you. Gifts are exempt only up to a small limit. And value includes the shipping cost, because obviously, you cannot get that value if the lensboard is sitting in the US! Also, the price you may have paid may not be the accepted value for customs purposes. For example, if you go to the US and buy something on Black Monday at 10% of the actual, normal price, customs may still charge you duty at the actual retail price. They usually don't, because contrary to what one may think of them, they're somewhat human, too.

Shipping from the US is outrageously expensive compared to Japan. And the US Postal Service also has an unnecessarily complex system of options. For example, a 30x20x20cm box with an item value of $2,000 / 240,000 JPY costs $54.75 to ship to Japan via the cheapest option Priority Mail International 6~10 days delivery, excluding insurance. The same box shipped from Japan to the US via EMS costs $25 / 3,000 Yen, including insurance, 3~4 days delivery to most places in the US. The comparable Priority Mail Express International option costs $76.75, plus insurance.

Kumar

neil poulsen
13-Mar-2016, 08:00
It's been my experience that USPS is always cheapest unless box size is large. Then FedEx Ground is cheaper if you drop it off at one of their locations. For really large items, look into Greyhound package delivery (but you have to drop off and pick up at their bus location).

This pretty much sums up my experience as well. If I ever ship USPS, it's by USPS Priority Mail. I would never ship by any carrier, if it doesn't include tracking.

With that said, I've been drifting towards Fed Ex ground. Twice, USPS has lost a USPS Priority package. In the process of trying to follow up on one such package, I learned that USPS tracks only while the package is being shipped to it's destination. But, it's not tracked, if the package is being returned. Both my packages finally made it to their destination, but it took months.

The other thing I learned during one of those fiascoes, is that, if the scanner misreads the typically handwritten zip code, local USPS personnel can't make a correction. It's in the system, and THAT'S THAT! Someone can be looking at the package, they know the system's zip code is wrong, but they can only send it to some redistribution location, adding extra days (or weeks) to the delivery time. They can't make a correction then and there.

I use USPS (Priority Mail), only if I need quicker delivery than that provided by Fed Ex ground.

Milonian
13-Mar-2016, 09:54
Milonian, customs duty is charged on "value", not on "price" or "cost". You may be charged duty even on gifts which did not cost you anything, but they have value to you. Gifts are exempt only up to a small limit. And value includes the shipping cost, because obviously, you cannot get that value if the lensboard is sitting in the US! Also, the price you may have paid may not be the accepted value for customs purposes. For example, if you go to the US and buy something on Black Monday at 10% of the actual, normal price, customs may still charge you duty at the actual retail price. They usually don't, because contrary to what one may think of them, they're somewhat human, too.

Shipping from the US is outrageously expensive compared to Japan. And the US Postal Service also has an unnecessarily complex system of options. For example, a 30x20x20cm box with an item value of $2,000 / 240,000 JPY costs $54.75 to ship to Japan via the cheapest option Priority Mail International 6~10 days delivery, excluding insurance. The same box shipped from Japan to the US via EMS costs $25 / 3,000 Yen, including insurance, 3~4 days delivery to most places in the US. The comparable Priority Mail Express International option costs $76.75, plus insurance.

Kumar
To all intents and purposes whether you call it value, price or cost makes no real difference. I added import duties to the equation but the original question was about postage charges - it appears everyone who has commented so far is agreed that they are high.

I worked for 23 years in the UK Inland Revenue as it was then - now HM Revenue & Customs so I'm glad you think Revenue & Customs workers are human - my wife also worked there for 42 years!

B.S.Kumar
13-Mar-2016, 16:33
:)

Yes, we have gone a bit off track discussing import duties, but bear with me.
It does make a difference in perception, as you pointed out in bold including the postage, which is why one has to pay $82 to get a lensboard that originally cost only $8. The problem is also of trust, and the general track record of the postal systems in different countries. If the buyer and seller trusted each other to a greater extent, and the board was sent in an envelope via regular airmail, the duty would be less, and might even escape it altogether. There is of course the risk that the envelope gets lost. The seller fears getting negative feedback, making it very difficult for him to offer cheaper shipping options that do not require a signature.

Kumar