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#1
Old 03-14-2013, 01:02 AM
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USPS new economy "Parcel Select" is more expensive than USPS Priority in many cases!

I do a lot of shipping with USPS as an eBay seller. EBay finally put Parcel Select (replacement for Parcel Post) on it's shipping menu as a choice today, and so I tried using it with some of my shipments. My shipments are nationwide and typically range from 1.5 to 6 lbs.

In at least 70% of the shipping comparison scenarios I tried this afternoon it was MORE expensive than USPS Priority, often substantially so. The only real savings seem to be in higher weight 4+ lbs items being shipped a long distance (ie east coast to west coast).

This is NOT an "economy service" replacement for Parcel Post.

As an aside Priority Rates have also gone way up once you get out of your regional market.
#2
Old 03-14-2013, 04:12 AM
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Since the rate increase, every package I've shipped from the local Post Office was exactly the same price for parcel post as for Priority Mail. The clerk told me that this was the deal now. However, Priority Mail includes automatic tracking and parcel post does not. You can also get free boxes for Priority Mail. PM is very expensive IMHO and is a better deal for heavier stuff that you can cram into a small PM box.

I was not happy when I wanted to ship a bulky but lightweight scarf and learned that the cheapest price was about $15.
#3
Old 03-14-2013, 04:10 PM
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A few observations:

1) There's no such thing as Parcel Post - they've replaced it with Standard Post.

2) Priority Mail is the package equivalent of First Class; it is neither Express Mail nor discount parcel service. It's much more expensive than Standard Post for heavy packages and long distances, but not for smaller packages and shorter distances.

3) Parcel Select is, when used with the right business model, a far cheaper service than Standard Post, and a far, far cheaper service than Priority Mail. Thing is, as an eBay seller, you don't do things that way (Presorted packages? Not.) so you pay the unsorted rate, which is more-or-less the same as Priority Mail for lighter packages and short distances, as you noted.

4) There are different rates for retail and business use of Priority Mail and Parcel Select; there is no business rate for Standard Post. The retail rates are about the same for all three for light packages and short distances, because the service is about the same. It's only for heavier packages and/or longer distances that the difference in handling actually affects USPS's cost, so... what else did you expect?
#4
Old 03-15-2013, 01:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nametag View Post
A few observations:

1) There's no such thing as Parcel Post - they've replaced it with Standard Post.

2) Priority Mail is the package equivalent of First Class; it is neither Express Mail nor discount parcel service. It's much more expensive than Standard Post for heavy packages and long distances, but not for smaller packages and shorter distances.

3) Parcel Select is, when used with the right business model, a far cheaper service than Standard Post, and a far, far cheaper service than Priority Mail. Thing is, as an eBay seller, you don't do things that way (Presorted packages? Not.) so you pay the unsorted rate, which is more-or-less the same as Priority Mail for lighter packages and short distances, as you noted.

4) There are different rates for retail and business use of Priority Mail and Parcel Select; there is no business rate for Standard Post. The retail rates are about the same for all three for light packages and short distances, because the service is about the same. It's only for heavier packages and/or longer distances that the difference in handling actually affects USPS's cost, so... what else did you expect?
I was relying on what eBay relayed to sellers as information about shipping changes. They represented parcel select as the replacement for Parcel Post.

This was apparently misleading and incorrect
#5
Old 03-15-2013, 08:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ioioio View Post
Since the rate increase, every package I've shipped from the local Post Office was exactly the same price for parcel post as for Priority Mail. The clerk told me that this was the deal now. However, Priority Mail includes automatic tracking and parcel post does not. You can also get free boxes for Priority Mail. PM is very expensive IMHO and is a better deal for heavier stuff that you can cram into a small PM box.

I was not happy when I wanted to ship a bulky but lightweight scarf and learned that the cheapest price was about $15.
Well, if you usually use those "free" flat rate boxes to ship stuff, that would be why it seems so expensive. Unless you are shipping books or your rock collection cross-country, it is usually much cheaper to use your own box. When I have compared rates for light weight packages (clothing, etc), the flat rate boxes have usually been at least 50% more than using my own box.
#6
Old 03-15-2013, 11:36 AM
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I can't believe how expensive shipping has become. I just some some records on eBay, I told people in other countries that it would be expensive to ship. Someone in Brazil won them. It's going to cost at least $80 to ship, if not more. It's like 6-7 pounds! The guy didn't seem to care so why should I, but I remember it being like $20-30 for such things a few years ago.
#7
Old 03-15-2013, 01:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Edward The Head View Post
I can't believe how expensive shipping has become. I just some some records on eBay, I told people in other countries that it would be expensive to ship. Someone in Brazil won them. It's going to cost at least $80 to ship, if not more. It's like 6-7 pounds! The guy didn't seem to care so why should I, but I remember it being like $20-30 for such things a few years ago.
Would records be a candidate for super low media mail rates?
#8
Old 03-15-2013, 01:43 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: San Jose
Posts: 34,106
The cause of this is weird and rooted in politics. The Postal workers union donates to the Democrat party. The GOP hates that. UPS and FEDEX are run by dudes who donate heavily to the GOP. Thus the Republican Congress passed a new law that makes the USPS pay now for possible future retiree benefits, which is just plain crazy and sick accounting. Thereby a huge Postal funding “deficit”.

Thereby, higher rates and les service.
#9
Old 03-15-2013, 02:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by astro View Post
Would records be a candidate for super low media mail rates?
Yes, but Media Mail is a domestic shipping method. Edward The Head's package was going to Brazil. USPS used to have international surface mail, which was cheaper (but of course took a lot longer). They discontinued surface mail about five years ago however.
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