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Topic: is there a price difference between USPS and UPS?

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dorka avatar
Subject: is there a price difference between USPS and UPS?
Date Posted: 8/11/2007 11:52 PM ET
Member Since: 7/27/2007
Posts: 3
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Does it make a difference in cost whether you ship books throught USPS or UPS?  The last couple of books I've shipped were through UPS, and they each were over $4 to ship.  They were also hardcover, so I wasn't sure if that made a difference or not.  The only reason I go to the UPS Store is because it's right around the corner, as oppose to the PO, which is out of my way.  But if it's cheaper to do it thru the PO, then I guess going out of my way will be worth it in the long run.  Any info on this would really be helpful. Thanks!

sslee06 avatar
Date Posted: 8/12/2007 1:25 AM ET
Member Since: 4/11/2006
Posts: 1,032
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Joann, what was the weight for the books that cost you over $4 to ship?  In general, I think it would be much less expensive to ship via USPS media mail than UPS ground.  USPS might be slower but the prices can't be beaten.  It is $2.13 for 1 pound or less and than 34 cents for each additional pound thereafter.  It would take an awfully heavy book to reach $4 of postage.  Even the Harry Potter books aren't that heavy.  Also, does the nearest post office have a APC?  If it does, you can stock up on a variety of stamps from that machine, which would allow you to drop your book in a blue collection box instead of detouring over to the PO each time. 

angelacisco avatar
Date Posted: 8/12/2007 3:44 AM ET
Member Since: 6/15/2006
Posts: 1,691
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Some (like me) would both love & hate you for sending via UPS. 

My UPS guy has to be the hottest thing in brown shorts & sunglasses so I love it when he rings my bell. 

On the other hand, every package I've ever gotten thru UPS I have had to sign for.  They leave a note telling you they will reattempt delivery two more times (and sometimes you can sign that slip and sometimes you can't) or you can go out to their delivery center to pick it up yourself.  I'd be ticked to find out it was just a book I was waiting around for all of the next day to sign their electronic pad.

Now my USPS guy isn't hot but he is my hero.  Everything delivered to my front door -- barrage of boxes from PBS, eBay, SWAPACD, Target, Kohl's, you name it.  Nothing ever lost.  He's great when I have packages to send, too.  My building is his first after lunch so I know exactly when to check for the mail.  He knows my name and my boyfriend's and we live in a very populated are -- all apartments or condos with a handful of stores & other businesses.  He'll stop and say hi when I'm sitting at the bus stop.  (Though the UPS guy waved at me when I was outside last week.)


Bast avatar
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Date Posted: 8/12/2007 12:45 PM ET
Member Since: 6/4/2006
Posts: 547
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The UPS Store is not UPS. It is Mailboxes Etc., which is a privately owned business, so they generally charge more for the service of convenience.

UPS does not have a media rate shipping, so generally, USPS would be cheaper in that instance (sending books only, in the USA). UPS (and FedEx) cannot deliver to post office boxes, also.

mobilemark avatar
Date Posted: 8/12/2007 10:03 PM ET
Member Since: 6/25/2006
Posts: 382
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yet you can send USPS stuff from a UPS store (but they will cost you more) since thats how those stores make their

money from charging more (like we know if media mail is $2.13 ) if you went to a UPS store and mailed

US Mail from there and paid them you could easy pay $4.00 for that same package

you could have mailed from a post office..

although there is one thing that UPS and Fedex does offer for any recipient its called HOLD at Location

this is a service where the recipient can have their package held at a nearby UPS center  or Fedex center or Fedex Kinko


this comes in handily if you happen to be visiting area and not intending to stay)

of course with Fedex the shipment has been sent via Fedex  express


dorka avatar
Date Posted: 8/12/2007 11:16 PM ET
Member Since: 7/27/2007
Posts: 3
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Thanks everyone for your input!  I had a feeling I was having to pay more, especially considering that it should have only been costing $2.13 or a little bit more for the hardcovers.  The books weren't really that much heavier or bigger, so I didn't understand why it would have cost so much more.  Now that I know this, I will definately head to the PO instead. And Susan, I'll definately check about the APC at the post office when I'm there. That would definately help save me some trips.  Thanks again everyone for your help!!!

Breninithaca avatar
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Date Posted: 8/14/2007 11:48 AM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2005
Posts: 11,071
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Also UPS has a habit of "subcontracting" the post office to do the actual delivery on a lot of smaller packages - so you're paying UPS rates for the USPS to do the work anyway! The day Harry Potter 7 came out, the UPS trucks were just pulling up to the post offices and deluging them with Amazon.com boxes and the post office had to deliver them all!

MeadowbrookManor avatar
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Date Posted: 8/14/2007 12:17 PM ET
Member Since: 1/23/2006
Posts: 353
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UPS is typically cheaper than USPS only when the weight hits around six pounds or so. We have a UPS account, and using it is very similar to using Paypal to ship a USPS package. It's GREAT for those big, heavy Christmas-package boxes!

Just like Paypal postage for USPS, you can print out your mailing label with paid postage and just drop it off at any UPS place (including UPS Stores or subcontracted places) without waiting in lines! Plus, it can be significantly cheaper than USPS for heavy packages*, and includes insurance and tracking. I don't think you have to be a business to open an account.

Works great and very convenient for big packages - BUT - I'd stick to USPS Media Mail for PBS purposes, for sure! (unless maybe a big Box of Books, or something).


*cheaper yet if you can arrange to mail to a business rather than residence - ask your recipients for their office address!

thebookpimp avatar
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Date Posted: 8/14/2007 5:59 PM ET
Member Since: 5/27/2006
Posts: 11,985
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I ship packages every day from work via UPS.  According to my price chart, the cheapest you can ship something UPS starts at $4.00 and change. That's for shipping a 1lb package within your own zone. (It can be closer to $6 to ship from say MA -> CA) That doesn't include the fuel surcharge that they now tack on to every shipment that you make. It is definitely cheaper to ship biz - biz with UPS, but the minimum you will pay is the $4+.    Media mail is still the way to go for mailing one or two books.

Coffee avatar
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Date Posted: 8/14/2007 7:36 PM ET
Member Since: 7/18/2005
Posts: 209
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We also do a lot of delivery for DHL.  On the other hand we contract UPS to fly some of our Priority and 1st class.  The shipping world is very intertwined.  I've seen cargo holds on small regional cargo aircraft with a mix of FedX, UPS, and USPS on board. 

Generic Profile avatar
Date Posted: 8/15/2007 12:41 AM ET
Member Since: 2/25/2007
Posts: 73
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And actually, Mailboxes Etc. was bought by UPS so the UPS store is UPS directed, but franchise owned.

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