For oversized sales more than $250, consider USPS Express instead of Priority

coachfreak

Looking for LVOE
This is the second time this has happened to me, so I wanted to post a note.

USPS now charges a surcharge on all boxes larger than 12x12x12 JUST on Priority packages.

You can always go cheaper and send Parcel Post, but if you already promised Priority in the listing then your customer will be pissed and it will add days to the ship time depending on the distance.

The good news is there is no surcharge on Express. So today I chose to send $39 Express with no extra charge for signature confirmation vs $30 + 1.80 for Priority. The buyer gets the package tomorrow guaranteed instead of Tuesday and if it is late, you get a full refund!

Just a suggestion if the bag you are shipping is large and requires a bigger box.
 

coachfreak

Looking for LVOE
Is the surcharge $1.80?
No sorry I should have been more specific

package 4 lbs 5 oz
22x15x12

to ship
Parcel $8
Priority $12
Express $39

BUT because of the size of the box they added on a surcharge of $18 making the cost $30 instead of $12.

The $1.80 was the cost of sig confirm

The last time I paid $45 for Priority to send a large Gucci horsebit hobo when it would have only been $44 for Express (I don't remember the exact costs but it was ridiculous).
 

adoptastray

springtime lavender
Aug 15, 2006
3,004
6
Yes, I got slammed by this in the past week. All of a sudden it was close to $40 to ship a handbag priority mail. It would have been nice if ebay or paypal shipping or USPS (I even have a USPS account) had warned us of this. I had NOT factored this into my free shipping pricing. It's made selling handbags even more difficult. Most handbags need boxes bigger than 12x12. Ugh. No more free shipping on handbags for me. Sorry ebay, I don't care what it does to my stars.
 

mmmsc

O.G.
Feb 1, 2007
9,364
20
USA
Yes, I got slammed by this in the past week. All of a sudden it was close to $40 to ship a handbag priority mail. It would have been nice if ebay or paypal shipping or USPS (I even have a USPS account) had warned us of this. I had NOT factored this into my free shipping pricing. It's made selling handbags even more difficult. Most handbags need boxes bigger than 12x12. Ugh.
Luckily B bags will fit in a flat rate priority mail box. But oh boy for the insurance (more than actual postage) plus $2.25 for confirmation. Today I sent a $1K bag priority insured + sig. confirmation - all for $21.50. (I charge $20 for shipping so was only out $1.50)
Express mail I will look into for comparison next time I go to P.o., but I think express will much higher than if I can continue to use the regular Priority boxes.
 

adoptastray

springtime lavender
Aug 15, 2006
3,004
6
Yeah, I just ordered a bunch of flat rate boxes from usps.com today...It'll be UPS ground for most of the handbags.
 
Mar 7, 2006
3,387
6
the big apple
Another tip.....if you're shipping something of high value (let's say $800+), it may well be more cost-effective to ship using USPS Express Mail than USPS Priority Mail (where you have to buy insurance + signature delivery confirmation). I've never heard of a package getting lost via USPS Express Mail, and my local post office manager says it's almost unheard of as well (some Express Mail INT'L items may get lost -- still that's pretty rare -- but within the US it's extremely extremely unlikely). Express Mail is the highest grade of USPS mail and has full tracking all the way thru plus signature delivery confirmation by default (their internal system actual shows more scans than what's displayed online when it comes to Express Mail.....it truly is tracked every point along the way). Over the years I've had two or three Express Mail packages delayed in transit (within the US), and in those cases when they delivered after the guaranteed date the post office has always refunded the postage immediately and w/o hassle. You can purchase insurance on Express Mail -- the pro-rated insurance rate is MUCH cheaper for Express Mail than for Priority Mail -- but you don't really have to.

With Priority Mail, even if you purchase full insurance (which costs A LOT for high-value package) and signature confirmation/"tracking", the chances of it getting lost are much higher than with Express Mail. I would NEVER mail anything Priority Mail without full insurance, but w/ Express Mail I do find it extremely reliable. From experience, when it comes to mailing a high-value item from East Coast to East Coast (not headed across the country), Express Mail costs about the same OR even less than Priority Mail with full insurance + signature delivery confirmation.....and it gets their overnight and I often have less to worry about. If it's something being mailed across the country from coast to coast, then Express Mail will be more expensive than Priority, but only by a few dollars (<$5) at most.

The above price comparison only applies to high-value items in my experience. If you're mailing something of $200-$300 in value, for example, Express Mail probably isn't worth it and it would make more sense to send it Priority Mail with insurance + signature delivery confirmation.
 

coachfreak

Looking for LVOE
Yes, I got slammed by this in the past week. All of a sudden it was close to $40 to ship a handbag priority mail. It would have been nice if ebay or paypal shipping or USPS (I even have a USPS account) had warned us of this. I had NOT factored this into my free shipping pricing. It's made selling handbags even more difficult. Most handbags need boxes bigger than 12x12. Ugh. No more free shipping on handbags for me. Sorry ebay, I don't care what it does to my stars.
What I started doing was listing "standard shipping method" instead of a particular one. Then unless a person inquires/requests a specific one go for the cheapest. See, I am one of those people that will usually pay a seller extra just to overnight it because I am impatient. However, I wrote this in part for those that have already promised Priority. I would think if you overnighted this would earn you 5 stars, right?????
 

noshoepolish

Labrador Lover
Authenticator
O.G.
Oct 4, 2006
9,817
116
I keep a supply of uline boxes in various sizes and box as I list. That way I use the calculator and put in all the information up front. I list parcel post as the first option and then PM and Express Mail.

About 80% of what I sell goes in a box that is larger than 1 cubic foot.

Anything I can get in a Priority Mail Box goes that way but I am very picky and make sure my item fits in the box.
 

nataliam1976

Member
Nov 14, 2006
17,227
10
43
if you use USPS express mail, make sure that in the country it goes to, USPS doesnt use Fedex to distribute those parcels instead of regular Post. I lost my LE Lady Dior this way when a Fedex idiot left a "fully trackable, signature required" parcel OUTSIDE my apartment block in the street. that was in Ireland btw.
 

campertwins

Member
May 7, 2007
150
0
Thanks for the tips. I noticed that the surcharge fees is really high for "oversize" package. It usually cost more than $10 to ship a 3 lbs handbag now, it used to be way less than $10. As for oversized item, I have switch to UPS now. For those who has experience with UPS, is "adult signature" required (for additional $4.5) in order to be protected by Paypal?
I nearly pay at least $2 for each package out of my own expense. The business is slow and buyers don't seem to realize that it is expensive to ship a package nowadays.