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Old 11-16-2010, 06:27 PM   #1
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Default Shipping Advice

I am about to start selling some parts that I can not use anymore, and would like to hear from members that ship regularly.

Are there any methods that I should use to insure the buyer gets an undamaged part, without spending too much money. What are your thoughts on insurance?

Do most of you package the stuff yourself, or do you regularly use packaging services like the UPS store? What about heavy parts?

I wanted to compile shipping advice into one thread for future reference.
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Old 11-16-2010, 06:52 PM   #2
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A differential pumpkin fits in a 5 gallon pail and travels well packed in rags.
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Old 11-16-2010, 07:00 PM   #3
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I normally use stuff around the house unless its a very expensive/fragile part. UPS store is a giant ripoff IMO. Normally USPS priority with tracking/insurance is the cheapest, but if buyer prefers I use Fedex. Others like UPS, I hate them and they're usually a lot more expensive than usps/fedex around here.
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Old 11-16-2010, 07:16 PM   #4
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I use a shipping facility have I have used in the past for tons of stuff in the past. They will ship any company fedex/ups/usps/etc and let you know the best price for your package.
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Old 11-16-2010, 07:21 PM   #5
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Keep in mind most of those facilities (at least around here) charge you the fedex/ups/usps/etc normal price PLUS their fee.

I used to do that then compared the pricing to going directly to the shipping company and it was always cheaper.

maybe we're talking about different things though
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Old 11-16-2010, 07:24 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 18psi View Post
Keep in mind most of those facilities (at least around here) charge you the fedex/ups/usps/etc normal price PLUS their fee.

I used to do that then compared the pricing to going directly to the shipping company and it was always cheaper.

maybe we're talking about different things though
I'm sure there is a small fee, but they are good people that provide good service so I'm more than happy to pay it. Shipping is usually on par with what I get quoted online either way.
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Old 11-16-2010, 07:32 PM   #7
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I've used USPS Priority flat rate boxes quite a bit, as you can ship small heavy items cheaper than other ways most of the time. I tend to be pretty particular about packing stuff, too, and try to make sure that there's 2-3" between any item and the box wall, use high density foam on any sharper corner (like the pink foam sheets used in home construction), tons of newspaper crumpled to prevent any shifting of the item, etc. I've gotten too many items just tossed in a box and mailed to want to do that to anyone else.

If you need an absolutely trackable number on the package, you'll need to use USPS Express Mail, Fedex, or UPS. The 'confirmation' numbers from USPS are useless.

I never use a shipping store as their fees aren't worth it to me.

UPS and Fedex will ship up to 150lbs by their ground service. I've sent lots of transmissions this way. If it's something this heavy, I've used heavy/double walled boxes (like the "Dish Box" that Uhaul sells), that hard pink foam I mentioned above, and spray foam insulation to fill any dead space. You HAVE to wrap anything you spray that foam on with plastic or it will stick and potentially ruin the object.
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Old 11-16-2010, 07:33 PM   #8
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I've got a UPS shipper account at my workplace so that's what I use -- we also have a Fedex account but they ripped me off when I shipped a bike (they laid the box flat despite the being clearly marked, then claimed it wasn't packed well enough to prevent frame damage). If your UPS and Fedex quoted rates are vastly different, that has more to do with what kind of incentives your shipping store or agent is getting from the 2 companies.

USPS can be cheap for stuff that fits in flat rate boxes, but no real-time tracking and high chance of getting screwed if it gets lost or damaged.

EDIT:

Oh yeah, UPS automatically covers $100 on ground packages. Pretty sure Fedex is the same.
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Old 11-16-2010, 07:40 PM   #9
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I pack things myself as much as I can, but pay to pack some things at the local place, especially if I want them to be held accountable should it be an item that compromised packaging could damage.

I almost explicitly use UPS unless it'll fit in a flat rate box, and they have been great. I like the good tracking, instant email updates, and there being one in my town.

I usually don't insure things...but I do stop for a moment, consider how the deal with the buyer would work out should this package get lost or damaged, and then decide whether it's worth insuring or not. I'll usually let the $100 that comes with it cover anything below $250, and anything above that which could be easily damaged I insure.

Shipping parts is really the bane of my existence. I need to find ways to make it cheaper...I spent a LOT more than planned in nearly every case during this last partout, and that's after a lot of experience. I thought I was to the point I could quote most things within $5, but you're better off asking the buyer to pay for the part up front, and then reimburse you for shipping when you provide tracking or a receipt.
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Old 11-16-2010, 10:58 PM   #10
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Lots of good advice guys. Keep it coming.

Anyone care to comment on shipping supplies?
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Old 11-16-2010, 11:09 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miata2fast View Post
Anyone care to comment on shipping supplies?
The flat rate boxes, that I use all the time, are not that sturdy really. I use alot of bubble wrap around the item and then lay in the box filled with packing peanuts.

I try and get the peanuts to completey incase the bubble wrapped item, that way it has less chance of moving around and sliding when it gets handled.

I usually have the package insured, just in case.

So far so good with that method. Good luck with your shipping
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