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How to pack clothing for shipment - shipping weights, etc. - Page 2

post #16 of 51
I'm not a super veteran (about 200 ebay feedback) but I will give the advice I know. I've sold shoes, jackets, suits, shirts, etc on ebay. First off, you should never go to the post office unless you know for certain what you need from them beforehand. These days the only time I ever go to the post office is to make sure I have the correct customs forms filled out for international shipments, which I find to be a pain. If you research all the rules, I believe you can avoid this, I just haven't gotten around to it. With proper planning you should be able to avoid the post office altogether. How to save money (this isn't shady, USPS welcomes this): USPS Priority is your friend. And USPS Priority Flat Rate is an even better friend. I used to try to save money by using Parcel Post but it's not worth the trouble any more. Priority will get to your buyer in 2-4 days and the materials are free, they will be happy and you will be happy. The only time I would use parcel post now is if the buyer was both a) in the same state and b) the item was very heavy and did not fit in a flat rate box. If it is within the same state they will still get it within a couple of days. Also, Parcel Post isn't even that much cheaper any more. everything which the USPS provides for free, order it at usps.com. You can get every single type of Priority and Express box and envelopes. Usually you have to order 10 boxes at a time but if you have an empty closet or garage space, this shouldn't be too much trouble. If the buyer of your item is across the country, you are probably far, far better off using the Flat Rate boxes, if it fits. I've put jackets in the flat shaped box, and shoes (which are missing the original box) in the cube-shaped box. You will save $2-3 per shipment compared to metered Priority and it is the exact same shipment time. Most dress shoes with original box will fit inside the USPS "Shoe" box, a special size they introduced recently. You probably saw commercials for it about a year ago. I find this more convenient than trying to find boxes of this size in bulk. I might look for a cheaper source if I still shipped parcel post, but as I said I don't. buy common supplies like tape at some place like target. You will get raped at the post office. other more specialized items like box sizes not provided by USPS, or packing peanuts, you will probably have to get at some place like office depot. I usually recycle peanuts that people used when sending to me, or I use crumpled up newspaper. Newspaper is heavier than peanuts but, if you are using a flat rate box, you could pad it with a lead weight if you wanted. Lastly, sign up for an account at USPS. This will make it possible to schedule pickups at your house for priority items. USPS will come to your house as long as at least 1 of your items is Priority. You can specify that they come to the rear of your house, or whatever. I have a patio with a door so I tell them to come there. I have never, ever lost a package this way and I live in a terrible neighborhood. Probably going on 30 shipments thus far. I don't know why you don't see this option but when I print out a label, I see a checkbox to automatically notify the buyer's email of the DC number. Maybe you need a USPS account for this. Also, always, always get insurance and delivery confirmation. I still end up going to the post office when I have an emergency, but it's mainly due to lack of planning. Also I don't have a large apartment so I don't over order supplies. But if I had a house, I would order everything at once and have it ready. One endeavor which I am about to embark on, which I don't know much about is bulk boxes, not from USPS. I need a slightly larger box than the priority shoe box since I sell a lot of sneakers which have larger sizes. Do any of you purchase bulk cardboard boxes?
post #17 of 51
Someone recently sent something to me in a priority envelope that was turned inside out. With the paypal shipping label taped to it. Does anyone do this? Also, with the flat rate box, how do you ship them off? I just assumed you had to take them to the post office. I get so confused with all these different shipment options.
post #18 of 51
It's technically "cheating" if you turn the free priority materials inside out. I think the risk of getting caught and fined is very low, but I don't do it. I find Priority to be very reasonable, no need to stick it to them, I don't hate USPS like I hate Paypal. but if you have some USPS vendetta, do it at your own risk, i suppose.

The flat rate box still needs proof of shipping attached to it. You can print out labels at usps.com or if you sell something on ebay you can click on the label link there without a usps account. You might be able to buy $8.65 stamps but I don't know for sure.

If you have a printer at home, signing up for a USPS account and printing labels at home is the way to go. There is no fee, in fact I think they give you discounts on international rates. If anything, it is cheaper to print it out at home vs going into the post office.

If you are shipping things that need to be in a box, your basic options are either Priority (choose metered or flat rate), or parcel post.

If you are sending printed bound material, medial mail might save you a few bucks. Sometimes I find packing a flat rate box full of printed material is cheaper than medial mail though.

Oh and one last thing, if you are really doing a lot of shipping, you need to get a scale. Typically I don't ship anything above 10 lbs so a small cheap 10 lb scale will probably work fine. I have a digital scale which goes to about 25 kg. They cost about $30 on ebay, you can go much cheaper too.
post #19 of 51
The new Priority Shipping boxes that I've seen have "Priority Shipping" printed on the interior of the box, too, in order to prevent the inside out thing.

With the recent change in the rate structure it has become rare that parcel post is much cheaper at all than first class for things that I ship.
post #20 of 51
Well the envelopes are just white inside and I was reading about it online. Seems the USPS is most concerned with media mail and apparently they regularly search media mail because so many people try to send things off ebay that isn't really media. I was reading that the recipient gets billed the difference. On a side note, my friend owns a shipping store and said that any documents that get sent out of the country are searched and scanned. He says they come in special containers that can easily be opened and resealed by customs.
post #21 of 51
Right now, for me at least, Flat Rate is the champ. Especially since Im in california and a lot of purchases go east of the Mississippi. I can put almost any pair of shoes in a flat rate box and ship it fast for under $10. I have a feeling they are going to raise the price on this soon.
post #22 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tarmac View Post
Right now, for me at least, Flat Rate is the champ. Especially since Im in california and a lot of purchases go east of the Mississippi. I can put almost any pair of shoes in a flat rate box and ship it fast for under $10. I have a feeling they are going to raise the price on this soon.

Your flat rate box must be bigger than mine.
post #23 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by whacked View Post
Your flat rate box must be bigger than mine.

No - that works actually. I was surprised when the USPS clerk told me to use the flat rate box when I sent a pair of EG sz 11 in their EG box... but then I realize that it distorts the shape of the FRB but it can easily be taped sealed.
post #24 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tarmac View Post
Right now, for me at least, Flat Rate is the champ. Especially since Im in california and a lot of purchases go east of the Mississippi. I can put almost any pair of shoes in a flat rate box and ship it fast for under $10. I have a feeling they are going to raise the price on this soon.

I think flat rate went from 8.10 to 8.95 in May. I could see it go to 9.xx soon what with oil at almost $100. I'm gonna see if they'll sell me some flat rate stamps at 8.95 along with a few books of the first class stamps that work forever. I'm happy with saving $10
post #25 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by whacked View Post
Your flat rate box must be bigger than mine.

I put the shoes in diagonally, and in "69" position (sorry), if that makes sense. I just shipped off some 888 EGs in 11.5 (meaning they have an elongated toe, and 11.5 is fairly large already) and they fit fine. This only works for shoes without the original box, of course

Next pair of shoes I ship off, I will snap a pic of how this is done.
post #26 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tarmac View Post
This only works for shoes without the original box, of course
As I posted above, a flat rate box is OK for sending shoes in their shoe box too
post #27 of 51
Really? You gotta take a picture of this. I can't envision any way a normal adult shoe box could fit in the flat rate box.
post #28 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tarmac View Post
Really? You gotta take a picture of this. I can't envision any way a normal adult shoe box could fit in the flat rate box.
I don't have a picture. The clerk told me to do that. You can't close the side of the FRB and try to slide the shoebox in - it won't fit. You slide the shoebox in the sleeve formed by the unclosed FRB - it will change the overall shape of the FRB by folding it around the shoebox. Then you need to tape the sides closed because they will have lost their original shape. So essentially, the FRB takes another shape, i.e. the shape of that shoebox
post #29 of 51
How do you guys handle insurance for international orders? I just sent a tie out but didn't get it insured. Last time I sent one out I got it insured but it cost almost the price of the tie.

Fingers crossed that it gets there, I've sent lots of things from postcards to envelopes to the UK and never had anything lost.

Actually, I've never gotten insurance on any order since I don't ship much but I'm going to start insuring things for sure.
post #30 of 51
I wish there were an easy way to insure international orders, there doesn't appear to be, especially for online labeling and pickup scheduling.

I've actually ridden the gauntlet on this one, I don't remember the last int'l order I did insurance on. I guess I have figured that Priority international with the confirmation number is enough for fraud deterrence. I'm probably wrong. I recommend insuring it and passing the cost to the buyer, unfortunately.

one good thing though - Priority International confirmation has far more details on the tracking than domestic DC does. It will tell you when it the label was ordered, when it left the US port, when it arrived at foreign customs, when it leaves foreign customs for delivery, and when it is delivered.
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