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View Full Version : Priority shipping is slower than regular shipping via USPS :(


mds2004
12-13-2007, 11:16 AM
So my handgun was shipped out Monday from PA via priority shipping and still has not arrived which means I cannot pick it up until after Christmas due to the 10 day wait.

I had purchased another item on ebay Monday and just had it shipped through USPS's normal shipping and it already arrived yesterday. This one came from Virginia.

Waiting for your first handgun sucks.

At least the new safety to fix my shotgun came in yesterday, this means shooting time to vent :43:

/rant off

5968
12-13-2007, 11:39 AM
I will agree that the postal service sucks! So what pistol did you buy?

SJshooter
12-13-2007, 11:40 AM
Everyone think "Priority" Mail gets some sort of priority, because of the name. It doesn't. It is really just "First Class Mail over 13 ounces." Some of the time Priority Mail ships on FedEx planes while First Class flies on commercial planes, and since FedEx misses fewer flights/has fewer delays, Priority can sometimes get there faster. But this time of year, when USPS is swamped, it is all flying commercial, and hence subject to the same delays as people (mechanical problems, weather conditions, etc).

mds2004
12-13-2007, 11:43 AM
I will agree that the postal service sucks! So what pistol did you buy?

An older W. German P226.

I can't wait.

SJshooter
12-13-2007, 11:47 AM
PS - I just want to stick up for USPS a bit. I think they are great. I have personally shipped more than 15,000 packages this year in my business. Of all of those, I have only lost one package outright, and I had less than a half-dozen show up more than a week after I sent them. I ship about 70/30 First Class/Priority, and I would say that is an excellent record.

xbananax
12-13-2007, 11:51 AM
I work for an online store, and we completely dropped USPS as an available shipping carrier. By far the most unorganized and unreliable shipping company around. Not too mention they lost an unbelievable amount of our packages, and filing claims with them was always a nightmare.

The extra $10 to ship via UPS or FedEx is ALWAYS worth it, trust me. :cool:

xbananax
12-13-2007, 11:56 AM
PS - I just want to stick up for USPS a bit. I think they are great. I have personally shipped more than 15,000 packages this year in my business. Of all of those, I have only lost one package outright, and I had less than a half-dozen show up more than a week after I sent them. I ship about 70/30 First Class/Priority, and I would say that is an excellent record.

15,000 and only 1 lost package? Are you sure you were using USPS? :D

Maybe we were just unlucky, but we were losing at least 1 package every 30 to 70 orders. :eek:

5968
12-13-2007, 12:00 PM
An older W. German P226.

I can't wait.

Nice.:D

SJshooter
12-13-2007, 12:10 PM
15,000 and only 1 lost package? Are you sure you were using USPS? :D

Maybe we were just unlucky, but we were losing at least 1 package every 30 to 70 orders. :eek:

Positive. USPS has been great for me, although I agree that filing a claim with them on a lost package is a nightmare. But there are third-party insurance companies, like DSI, that are much cheaper than USPS insurance and have no hassles on claims.

Losing in 1 in 70 packages would be a real blow to my business. Is there any chance you were a victim of theft, because that is a really high number.

mds2004
12-13-2007, 12:14 PM
Everyone think "Priority" Mail gets some sort of priority, because of the name. It doesn't. It is really just "First Class Mail over 13 ounces." Some of the time Priority Mail ships on FedEx planes while First Class flies on commercial planes, and since FedEx misses fewer flights/has fewer delays, Priority can sometimes get there faster. But this time of year, when USPS is swamped, it is all flying commercial, and hence subject to the same delays as people (mechanical problems, weather conditions, etc).

Why does it say 2-3 day shipping with priority and more for first class? I am in no way bashing or denying what you have said as you have more experience, I am just curious why they would advertise something false.

I also see on their website how it says anything over 13oz use priority mail which is what you stated. I'm just confused.

SJshooter
12-13-2007, 12:17 PM
They advertise that because, as I said above, First Class usually travels on commercial airlines, and we all know how on time those tend to be, while Priority generally ships on FedEx planes which keep on schedule much more often. Notice that the 2-3 day delivery time for Priority Mail is not a guarantee (even USPS' overnight service is not guaranteed!). This time of year, I am seeing Priority packages take 4-6 business days, more if they are in the sticks.

I ship all my packages with Endicia.com, which gives me delivery confirmation for only 18 cents. It also keeps stats for me, and in the last three months, First Class is actually beating my Priority shipments, 2.7 days to 2.8 days. Caveat: my First Class mail labels are printed with barcodes and 10-digit zip for faster processing, so I wouldn't expect the same results from a handwritten address on an envelope. When you ship Priority Mail, you are 99% of the time going up to the counter at the Post Office, and then they put a barcode on the package to make it sort faster. If you did that with your first class mail (stamps.com, endicia.com, pitneybowes.com) then you see nearly identical ship times between classes. But most First Class is handwritten and must go through an additional sort or two, hence they quote a longer time -- but it is NOT handled any differently.

Even though I print my postage at home, I still end up in the post office line about once a week for a special transaction or an international shipment that needs in-person drop-off. While I stand there, I often listen to the clerks upselling the unsuspecting customers. Most people have no idea how the mail works or what they "should" pay. The most common one I see is someone go up to the counter with a package that is under 13 ounces, so it could be shipped First Class Parcel for about 1/3 the price of a 1-pound Priority mail shipment.... well, those clerks talk just about everyone into getting Priority instead. Total rip off. If you send two identical packages, addressed the same way, to the same location, using First Class on one and Priority on another, they will get there at the same time. Naming the service "Priority" was one of the trickiest things USPS ever did.

mds2004
12-13-2007, 12:45 PM
Wow, I am always one of those suckers. I always upgrade to priority.

tenpercentfirearms
12-13-2007, 12:51 PM
I think that it depends on what you are shipping. If it is a package, then priority is going to beat parcel. If it is a first class envelope, it might beat priority. A package the same size as everyone else's Christmas present, it might take a couple extra days. I have been pleased with USPS.

xbananax
12-13-2007, 12:55 PM
Losing in 1 in 70 packages would be a real blow to my business. Is there any chance you were a victim of theft, because that is a really high number.

This actually wouldn't surprise me, the closet USPS Hub to our warehouse is in a pretty bad area. The majority of out lost packages were scanned in, but never heard from again.

SJshooter
12-13-2007, 12:58 PM
Yeah, Parcel Post goes by truck. And for packages 7-8 pounds or less, the cost difference between Parcel and Priority is usually pennies. Worse: parcel post is handled very rough. Imagine a 10'x6'x6' metal container filled to the top with boxes. Now imagine a truck dumping that upside down from one container to another. If you parcel post cross country, your package will do that four times at least. If you ship Priority, they put it into a similar container that is wheeled onto a plane and then wheeled off.

The other one I see at the counter at the post office all the time is someone with a bill they need to send off fast, so they pay $4.60 to put it into a Priority-marked envelope, thinking it will get there faster. .41 cents will do it just the same.

SJshooter
12-13-2007, 1:00 PM
This actually wouldn't surprise me, the closet USPS Hub to our warehouse is in a pretty bad area. The majority of out lost packages were scanned in, but never heard from again.

If so, you might want to open an investigation. I know a fellow eBay seller who started missing a lot of packages. Well, USPS investigated and was able to first narrow down where it was happening, and then eventually identify the perp (USPS sorting centers are covered in cameras). The guy was fired, did 30 days, and is still paying back my friend with garnished wages. I will give USPS credit - while they are pretty lame when it comes to an insurance claim, they really stand at attention when you start alleging theft. They take it most seriously.

30Cal
12-13-2007, 3:17 PM
I think it's a sham that the USPS uses the 1st class stamp to subsidize their parcel business and undercut real business. So I always ship commercial.

wildcard
12-13-2007, 3:26 PM
I actually like USPS Priority Mail. My packages always arrive within two days of the ship date. So If I somebody ships on Monday.. it usually gets delivered by Wednesday and definitely no later than Thursday. That has been my experience at least. And unless i'm mistaken, they also ship on Saturdays! My second choice is UPS.. they've been great too.. much to the credit of the delivery guy of course.

mds2004
12-16-2007, 12:51 AM
"Your item was processed and left our SWEDESBORO, NJ 08085 facility on December 15, 2007. Information, if available, is updated every evening. Please check again later. "

ARGGGH! So let us see how slow USPS really is. It made it from PA to NJ in one week. Now to CA.

TonyM
12-16-2007, 6:30 AM
Priority Mail is handled by Fedex or UPS for the USPS, unless it's a local, within driving distance delivery, and they still handle much of that mail too.

After 9-11-01 the USPS couldn't put any packages that were more than 1 pound on commercial planes, so they started using FEDEX and UPS, who own their own planes. First Class is limited to 13 ounces.

I ship about 90 packages a month, not a huge amount, but more than the average. I've had them lose 2 packages in 3 years, and 2 or 3 went M.I.A. but showed up later. Buy insurance, and keep your receipts for what you are shipping.

Priority Mail is a cheap way to get UPS/FEDEX 3 Day delivery.

If you google some flavor of "USPS UPS Fedex Priority Mail Contracts" you should get a bunch of hits.

mike100
12-16-2007, 8:02 AM
USPS can get letters and small packages across the US in about 3 days for first class postage. I had $3 and $4 soft pack envelopes making the trip in 3 to 4 days earlier this year.

December is a write off though..it's Christmas time..all bets are off on timely delivery. usps is a bargain if you don't get the commercial rates for UPS and have to pay full price.

kris&bela
12-16-2007, 8:16 AM
PS - I just want to stick up for USPS a bit. I think they are great. I have personally shipped more than 15,000 packages this year in my business. Of all of those, I have only lost one package outright, and I had less than a half-dozen show up more than a week after I sent them. I ship about 70/30 First Class/Priority, and I would say that is an excellent record.

I really agree with you on this one. X'mas Season has a lot to do with it and weather on the east side.I had bad luck with USPS and UPS, it's all about timing and luck I think.

Hunter
12-16-2007, 9:26 AM
I think the best thing with USPS is their priority Flat Rate boxes. I ship 65lbs in them a lot. Cost is a whopping $8.95, which includes delivery confirmation AND acceptance Scan. The big plus is most will arrive on the east coast in 2 days, longest has been 3 days.

UPS; FedEx; DHL cannot even touch the shipment for 2x the price. So I have been very, very happy. Also, the USPS picks it up at my front door and brings me FREE boxes when I run out. Once you factor in the price of gas to the post office (or UPS/FEd EX drop point) and costs of boxes, the shipping is a steal.

kap
12-16-2007, 9:39 AM
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2002/05/29/national/main510460.shtml

Priority Mail Isn't First Class
Report Says It's Often No Faster Than Regular Mail, Sometimes Slower

Thinking of sending that important check or letter via Priority Mail? Save your money, reports The Wall Street Journal. Its analysis of Postal Service statistics, in the May 29th edition, says you're not getting your money's worth.

According to the WSJ, the average Priority Mail shipment takes more than half a day longer to reach its destination than regular first class!

The Journal admits some of the disparity is because a greater portion of first-class mail is local, and so can be delivered more quickly.

However, one-third of Priority Mail items intended for delivery within three days didn't make that deadline in the last USPS fiscal year, which ended Sept. 30. The paper also says the average piece of Priority Mail now takes about 13 hours longer than it did last summer.

The USPS argues that was before the terrorist and anthrax attacks, and before new security restrictions were imposed. That requires that most cargo on passenger jets be screened for explosives, forcing some mail off planes and onto trucks. The USPS manager of package services, Jim Cochrane, says service has improved in the last several weeks and is now at its highest level in about two years.

He admits, however, that for mail going less than 600 miles, it "might not make sense" to spend extra on Priority Mail.

The difference between the two services, for a one-ounce letter, is now $3.16, but when rates go up at the end of June, that difference will be $3.48.

For an extra half a buck, mailers can request confirmation of delivery with Priority Mail, but after June 30, that service will also be offered for first-class mail.

The Wall Street Journal reported that of a group of letters it recently mailed from Atlanta to seven cities around the country, about half the first-class mail arrived before or on the same day as Priority Mail packages mailed at the same time.

The difference in costs was between $1.55 and $3.16 per piece.

"Priority Mail is a waste," says rock concert CD collector Greg Hurwitt. "First-class makes a lot more sense."

Priority Mail in the fiscal year that ended last Sept. 30 accounted for about 7 percent, or $5 billion, of the Postal Service's revenue.

mds2004
12-16-2007, 12:31 PM
I know it is Christmas time and that is fully understandable. I am just getting so antsy and impatient because it is my first handgun.

Fate
12-16-2007, 5:13 PM
Everyone think "Priority" Mail gets some sort of priority, because of the name. It doesn't. It is really just "First Class Mail over 13 ounces."
One of my close friends has been a postal carrier for 20 years. He confirmed this to me when "Priority Mail" first came out and has repeatedly mentioned it since. Nice scam, huh?