US Postal Service Priority Mail

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The only way to ship!!!

Jan 10, 2000
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:fast, inexpensive, free shipping materials

Cons:none

I sell collectibles on online auctions and have tried just about every method of shipping. I have had some terrible experiences (see my review of DHL World Express), but most were trouble-free and painless, thanks to the good ol' United States Postal Service. One of the methods that they offer is Priority Mail.

Some people do not realize it, but Priority Mail is just a fancy term for First Class that weighs over 14 ounces. Packages sent via Priority Mail take the same time to arrive as lighter items sent via First Class. If you are shipping an package that weighs more than 14 ounces, you will automatically be sending it via Priority Mail.

Many of my customers do not understand the concept and insist on Priority Mail even though their items weigh less than 14 ounces. I believe that they confuse it with Express Mail, which is an overnight service offered by the USPS. I regularly receive checks that were sent in Priority Mail envelopes...the buyers believing that it would either get to me faster or that it would receive special handling. Then they insist on their 5 ounce CD being shipped via Priority Mail. They wind up wasting their money, but it is just too difficult to explain it to some people so I just ship by whatever method that pay for!

Priority Mail has a couple of big advantages over other carriers (UPS, DHL, FedEx) as far as I'm concerned:

1) PRICE

Shipping via Priority is definitely cheaper. Their rates are easy to compute:

(these prices are for shipping within the continental U.S.)
Under 2 pounds: $3.20
2-3 pounds: $4.30
3-4 pounds $5.40
4-5 pounds $6.50
For packages over 5 pounds, rates are based on the weight of the piece and the zone (distance from origin to destination ZIP Code).

2) CONVENIENCE

Items can be shipped from any post office. No need to find a UPS office or Mail Boxes Etc. Shipping packages can not be any easier than this!

3) FREE SHIPPING SUPPLIES

Yes, you read it correctly. At any post office, you can find free Priority boxes (many sizes), envelopes, labels, stickers, etc. If they do not have some sitting out, just ask a clerk!! Believe me, the price of shipping supplies adds up very fast, and it is great to be able to get something for free. You can also order them for free online at (www.usps.gov) and they will be delivered to your doorstep...via Priority Mail of course! They don't even charge you for the shipping. I have not ordered any online in quite some time, but I'm sure that they still offer this service.

4) RELIABILITY

Of all of the Priority packages that I have sent off, only one has been lost...if it was indeed lost. I completely trust the USPS to get my packages where they are going. They also offer a new "Delivery Confirmation" for 30 cents extra where you can check the status of your package online!

For international orders, there is Global Priority Mail, which I have found to be equally reliable.


All in all a GREAT way to send packages. I could not recommend it any higher. I no longer offer shipping by anyone other that the USPS. Just be sure to send packages or letters that weigh less that 14 ounces via regular First Class!! Here are rates for First Class (they might be useful to someone!)

prices go by ounces:
up to 1 oz. : 33 cents
1-2 oz. : 55 cents
2-3 oz. : 77 cents
3-4 oz. : 99 cents
4-5 oz. : $1.21
5-6 oz. : $1.43
6-7 oz. : $1.65
7-8 oz. : $1.87
8-9 oz. : $2.09
9-10 oz. : $2.31
10-11 oz. : $2.53
11-12 oz. : $2.75
12-13 oz. : $2.97

(rates on this review were current on 1/10/99...please double check on the USPS internet page to make sure you have the most current rates)


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