Any interest in a shipping tutorial?
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Any interest in a shipping tutorial?

Posted in Off Topic

When people send me things, sometimes I notice they overpay shipping by a bunch. Do you think it would be helpful to have a shipping guide in the Tutorials section? It would cover the basic stuff like buying postage online, what the difference is between First Class and Priority Mail, etc.

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EDIT: Here's a quick guide, I'll try to answer any questions.

I'll be covering the most commonly-used shipping services the USPS offers. (United States Postal Service)

*Postage costs less if you buy it online than if you buy it at the post office in person. The savings add up quick! I'll be referring to online prices here.

**Tracking is free when you buy postage online.

***Buy a scale, you need it to weigh your packages to calculate the shipping cost. They cost like $10, try the Home and Kitchen section of your local department store.

First of all, if you don't already, it's a good idea to get an online payment service that lets you buy postage and print labels through them. Paypal is a popular service for this, almost everyone I trade with uses it. If you buy and sell through Ebay, you're probably already using it.

You can also just buy and print postage by making an account directly on the USPS.com website, but they don't offer certain services on their site, so I buy all my postage through Paypal. ( https://www.paypal.com/shipnow )

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FIRST CLASS MAIL
This service is for packages that weigh up to 16oz. (1 pound). The size and shape of the package usually doesn't matter (only if it's super long, like 5 feet), only the weight does. Even if you ship the package from coast to coast, it will only cost between $2.65 to $4.25 at maximum. It can take almost a week for the package to get there, but it's cheapest.

You can buy padded envelopes at office stores or even discount stores, they'll end up costing you like .50 cents per packet. Some online sellers add that cost to the shipping charge, so $4 to $5 isn't unreasonable for something scraping the 16oz. point.

If you're a cheapskate, you can make lots of small packets with some bubble wrap, brown paper bags, and tape. Make sure you make the packets at least big enough to fit the printed label though.


PRIORITY MAIL
If the package you're shipping weighs more than 16oz., you can use this service. This is also the service you want to use if the person you're trading with wants to get their items quickly because it only takes 1 to 3 days to get there.

You can use your own packaging like before, and the price will vary wildly depending on weight and location. Usually it starts like at $7.00.

The convenient thing about Priority Mail is that you can request free boxes from the USPS to ship in when you use this service. You can even order free boxes online and the mailman will bring them to you.

Some of the boxes are "Flat Rate", this means that no matter how heavy the box is it'll ship for the same price.

-The Small Flat Rate box ships for about $7.00, you can stuff like 4 to 5 skinny 6-inch loose figures in there.

-The Medium Flat Rate box ships for about $13.00, you can cram a bunch of stuff in there.

-The Large Flat Rate is like $18, that one is good if you're shipping large heavy stuff.

-They also have Flat Rate Padded Envelopes that ship for like $7, they're about the size of a textbook.

Priority Mail also includes free insurance up to $50.


FED EX / UPS
I use these shipping companies when I need to ship something really big and heavy, like a paintball gun or computer. They tend to have better prices than USPS for shipping large items.

Posted by Henchmen4Hire
on Tuesday, December 20, 2016 - Updated on Wednesday, July 11, 2018
User Comments
Henchmen4Hire -
Saturday, December 31, 2016
I should point out, it's entirely possible to ship an in-package figure with First Class.

For example, if you buy a 6-inch Star Wars figure MIP, you should only pay like $4 MAX, they don't weigh much, even after being packed. If you're getting charged $8 for shipping, then the seller better use Priority Mail. Ask them beforehand what shipping service they're using, and see if they'll ship First Class instead for cheaper.
SGT_PEZ -
Friday, December 23, 2016
This is a great post. As weird as it sounds I buy, sell trade Pez dispensers daily. Shipping can make or break your operation lol
Henchmen4Hire -
Saturday, December 24, 2016
Have you found any cheap ways to ship things internationally? What carrier do you use?
Redmist -
Wednesday, December 21, 2016
yikes...yeah I overpaid a bit just by using the wrong sticker LOL but the line was hella long & I didn't wanna get back on it so I paid 2x as much for the stuff you'll get later this wk, Doc...oh well. Next time!
obliterator999 -
Wednesday, December 21, 2016
I would love to know if there's any secret way to have people ship to me in Canada for much less...
Henchmen4Hire -
Wednesday, December 21, 2016
I don't think so, International First Class Mail starts like at $7, I think Priority Mail starts like at $20 for the Small Flat Rate box

The rates for the other shipping companies tend to be worse for smaller items.
Jaida -
Tuesday, December 20, 2016
I know I would definitely be interested, I just paid 6 bucks for a BAF head recently...in shipping.
Henchmen4Hire -
Wednesday, December 21, 2016
Blegh, that should only cost like $3 to ship, even less if they buy their postage online.

I updated the topic with a quick guide.
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