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Seeking Advice On Future Dealings With USPS Shipping


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Just finished selling my 1938-39 Bantam Grille on eBay and mailed it out of my local post office with a Priority Mail label generated on eBay. That was on the 15th. Tracking says last scan was a day later 11 miles up the road. Today nobody knows where it is. How can this happen? Buyers Post Master says it is not in his state, my post master says it is and all official tracking says it is on it's way.  Having heard nothing but horror stories on trying to get reimbursed for insurance on rare collectibles lost by the post office I have given up on insuring anything as just a waste of money.  What do you think? Are the days of trusting anything the least bit valuable to the USPS over for good?  What are the other alternatives? I've been ripped off by Fedex and UPS for increased fees over what was originally quoted so am not ready to trust them again.  I'm at wits end and would like thoughts and suggestions, Please.

 

Howard Dennis

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Sad as it makes me, it appears that the USPS has been pretty badly broken. We don't use it for anything anymore--they have like a 60% failure rate these days. Pay extra for UPS or FedEx if it's important. We use both all the time and haven't been nicked for additional fees, so I'm not sure what's involved there. They tell us how much it will be, we pay it, the parcel gets shipped. Easy.

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I shipped a large package USPS a few months ago, its destination was about 100 miles or 3 counties away in the same state I live in. Estimated delivery time was less than a week but it took 4 weeks to get there. I could have hand delivered it in 3 hours time. It got stuck in a Phila. shipping hub without going anywhere for 3 weeks but it finally arrived safe and sound. Fortunately the guy on the receiving end of the package was very sympathetic to the current USPS situation. Worst shipping experience I've ever had but it DID get there eventually.

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If your USPS package goes through Atlanta you can forget it. I use to sell a lot on eBay and I called Atlanta the Black Hole of USPS. I had lots of packages that went in there and never came out.

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What Matt says! USPS has gone down the tubes since the pandemic started and everyone was buying on line and having shipped out of fear of contact with anyone.  A friend lives 12 miles NE of me got his media mail magazine 4 days before I got mine in the mail. I think a lot has to do with the load the person delivering the mail to your door has to pile into their delivery vehicle. To hot now to lung around packages that are over 2 lbs. so let it sit until they have the energy. If it does even get to the local post office.

The USPS is broken , and all of us who have parcels that have odd/weird/rare bits in them are in fear that it may just disappear when mailed.

I only pay for tracking now as well, insurance is a waste of $. Your tax dollars at work.

It is been some years ( about 5) but I sent a pair of headlamps to England via Fedex and all arrived as promised on the date or before.

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While this topic (too) has nothing specifically to do with old cars, I can say my experiences* seem to suggest that shipping with USPS (and other small parcel carriers) is same as it's always been. Just last week (Tuesday ?) I sent a small Priority Mail package to Europe and apparently it was received yesterday.

 

* I'm not a high volume shipper, but do send few small packages each month, both domestically and internationally, using mostly USPS or UPS (+ occasionally with FedEx Express) and haven't experienced any notable issues with either.

 

My only recent (6+ months ago) major problem was with UPS Freight, which contrary to their website pricing for 4 large, +/-150 lbs crate shipments (consisting large vintage car windshields I produce) billed/charged me almost 4.5 times than initially quoted (and what I charged/collected from buyers/recipients).

All 4 shipments were expected to total little over $1500.-, but invoices I later received from UPS Freight for them totaled over $6500.-.

Took me over 2 months of utter BS to get excess refunded and I'll never give them any business again, even if they'd offer to do it for less than half compared to any other carrier or free. 

 

 

Edited by TTR (see edit history)
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File a "where's my mail" form on there website.. That always gets the item moving again.. they can't brush it off like they can with a phone call or a stop by.

 

I ship thousands of items a year and have not had an item lost with the postal service, yes there have been some loooong delays and items not showing up on tracking but they all got there.. 

 

I have not shipped anything with the bafoons at UPS for over 3 years, however 3 times last year they sent me bills clamming I owed them money for packages I supposedly shipped.  It took several phone calls totaling over 2 hours of my time to get the charges dropped on each account.. I found it interesting they kept insisting they couldn't tell me where the item entered their system..

 I wont go into the nearly indestructible items that have destroyed...  Their new motto should be "We can destroy an anvil packed in a sand filled bag"  

 

Two months ago they have decided BHWINCVAP must stand for vaping products so they are closing my accounts.. Funny I had requested all accounts closed a year ago!

 

 

Edited by BHWINCVAP (see edit history)
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The USPS is a completely failed system. I try to avoid using it at all cost. If you are anywhere near a large city, their services are totallly  useless as your items or letters  are routed through massive inner city hubs that are a complete clustermess. 

 

    I only use FedEx (mostly FedEx Ground) for shipping these days. FedEx is actually easier for me since they have a location right near my house and the US Post Office is downtown, always packed, and there is no parking. Generally speaking, the staff at FedEx is extremely helpful and courteous as opposed to the useless lumps that typically work at most inner city or larger suburban post offices.

 

 I have even gone to FedEx Ground for shipping important documents and paperwork so I  do not have to go through the aggravation of dealing with lost or delayed mail. I will never, ever, ever, ever have a title shipped through USPS.

 

 The USPS Priority Mail system used to be an adequate service, but now it is just as useless as the rest of their services.

 

  For packages, FedEx Ground is basically the same cost as USPS but they provide adequate tracking, insurance, and their reliability rate is about 1000 times better than USPS. Also, FedEx Ground will take larger/heavier packages that USPS will not accept.

 

     For parts shipping, I tell my customers I am using FedEx Ground for their shipments and will include insurance. If they want me to use the US Post Office, I charge extra for the inconvenience and tell them I am not responsible for the outcome.

 

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We have a cluster box for mail delivery on our street.  Frequently, we have mail for our neighbors.   I have also witnessed our USPS mail delivery person drop packages on our porch for our neighbors.   Packages are clearly addressed and our homes are all clearly numbered with address visible.  It always amazes me how the mail delivery person can so easily mix up addresses.   There is only one answer which I will refrain from stating.   

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I have been sorry to hear about the reported problems with USPS but personally have had no problems. I buy and sell regularly on Ebay and continue to use USPS exclusively for hundreds of transactions every year without any issues other than a few minor delays that have been quickly rectified. I agree with some above comments regarding UPS, my experience with them has been uniformly bad, they love to damage packages and they are very expensive. Perhaps I have just been lucky but I think the reality is that all carriers currently have issues due to increased shipping volumes and short staffing.

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I have received 2 USPS shipments in the last month, to Canada as a potentially extra complication. Both arrived in a reasonable time frame and undamaged. But both were reasonably small. { a book and a emblem }

 Sorry to hear USPS has gone downhill as it is the only practical way to ship to Canada. Extra charges / costs , usually undisclosed , on any other carrier besides USPS make them a complete rip off and boost the final price through the roof.

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I’ve seen USPS tracking stop and then a week later pick up again and move along.  If it’s going cross country once it’s on the truck there is no data to track while it’s there.  We also get the same thing from FedEx shipping.  We send packages from PA to CA about every six weeks.  FedEx at times seems lost and then it’s active again. Expected delivery dates from them seem optimistic as most of out packages arrive after the estimated date.

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FedEx, DHL, UPS know, to some degree, that if they screw up enough, people will use their competitors' services and they will lose their jobs.  USPS still acts like a monopoly.  They do not meet the on-time delivery target they set - see anybody concerned about it?  What happens when you miss your metrics in your job?

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56 minutes ago, Mark Huston said:

We have a cluster box for mail delivery on our street.  Frequently, we have mail for our neighbors.   I have also witnessed our USPS mail delivery person drop packages on our porch for our neighbors.   Packages are clearly addressed and our homes are all clearly numbered with address visible.  It always amazes me how the mail delivery person can so easily mix up addresses.   There is only one answer which I will refrain from stating.   

 

Happens in my neighborhood all the time.

For some reason (probably because I have the biggest mailbox in a row of 6 or 8) I get stuff  from as far a a quarter on a mile away.

That's only a few homes and we all kind of know each other. Gives me an excuse to take the dog for a walk and visit across the fence so to speak.

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2 hours ago, BHWINCVAP said:

I wont go into the nearly indestructible items that have destroyed...  Their new motto should be "We can destroy an anvil packed in a sand filled bag" 

  X2. I almost NEVER use UPS anymore as they seem bent on destroying anything, even when crated! I've had a few hiccups with USPS over the last year or so as well, but even though some packages were delayed for an unusually long time, they always get there eventually.

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2 hours ago, BHWINCVAP said:

File a "where's my mail" form on there website.. That always gets the item moving again..

I disagree...  They just say they are looking for your package, but it just delays the process of admitting they lost it.  Then you get much less than the lost item's insured value you paid with no justification. 

I no longer use USPS.

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I only use usps as they are the only ones that will pay off the screw ups. And they ALL screw up. I insure a part for what a buyer paid so there is a paper trail and tracking comes with priority. I’ve had a couple things lost/damaged and postal paid both. Fed Ex and UPS have both been happy to take my money for extra insurance and then told me to GFY when it arrived damaged. Haven’t had either lose anything so they have that in their favor but both have damaged parts and lay the blame w me. It’s ALWAYS your fault, not theirs. Good luck.

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My most recent experience with UPS is they lost a driveshaft and never found it.   I located a second driveshaft and the shipper put it in schedule 40 PVC( the heavy stuff) and they managed to drop it, break the package and almost lost that one too.  The end was broken open.

Edited by Larry Schramm (see edit history)
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I'm down to USPS and UPS, I pack everything as I was going to receive it. COVID19 slowed everything down, on under $10.00 items it was easier to send a full refund on lost or slow delivery items to keep buyers happy, most repaid in two weeks after the item finally arrived. The size VS weight greater is what you pay deal bothers me but I'm not delivering anything to Oregon.  

Edited by 1937hd45 (see edit history)
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I don't have the same bad experience's with USPS as the others do. I ship anywhere from 10-40 packages a week from my home in the past year from my home nothing has gotten lost, everything arrives within a few days. I had one item get damaged, the box was crushed (their box a USPS and the refused to pay) They physically wanted to inspect the item, which the do not tell you with you $50 of included insurance. 

Edited by John348 (see edit history)
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Posted (edited)

I ship maybe a dozen things a year. I go to a mail depot, he gives me a quote from all the carriers including usps, Fed ex is always the cheapest and the ones I use. Never had a problem. On the other hand I had a steering wheel restored by a person in MI and they refused to use fed ex, said they had nothing but problems with them. They used ups. 

 

Not a car part, but I ordered a lid switch for my washing machine off of amazon. This was a week ago this past Monday. When I hit the order now it said delivery by Thursday (last week). Then the update said delivery Thurs thru Monday?  The part is travelling North Carolina to MD. I can drive there in 10 hrs time!  Got an update this past Sunday, the part was in Baltimore. Monday they said delivery on Tuesday. Tuesday they said it will be delivered by 8 pm on Wednesday. Today the update said part was still in Baltimore with no delivery date. WHAT THE .............!

 

As I am writing this my wife just showed me an update that just came across her phone, delivery between July 1 and July 6!! 

 

And I drove through Baltimore twice today.

 

Sorry forgot to add  Delivery system is USPS.

Edited by TAKerry (see edit history)
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I have had the worst experiences with UPS as it seems that the heavier the shipment the harder they throw it.  I haven't had any recent problems {post pandemic} with the USPS but I have had occasional problems in the past.  I have had the best luck with Fedex.  I suspect that different local hubs are a little different and you can have problems with all of them.

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I sell a bit on eBay, and recently have been buying a lot of parts for my latest automotive project. I really haven't had any trouble with the post office at all, aside from some tracking being haywire. Numerous purchases I made in recent weeks beat the eBay estimated date of arrival by several days. A common issue lately is with packages which are shipped as far as our town via UPS or FedEx, then delivered by the post office. This seems to confuse the tracking systems. We've had the most trouble out of FedEx as they use independent contractors to do most of the deliveries (around here, anyway) and they aren't real customer service oriented compared to our regular UPS and postman.

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I have 2 online stores, and have used the Post Office, FedEx, and UPS - they all lose stuff, break stuff, and lie to my face. They are all crooks.

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I've been buying carburetor cores and other car parts now for twenty five years now and shipping restored carburetors and dual quad setups, and other parts, for the same amount of time and have never had anything go missing via USPS, FedEx, DHL, or UPS.  In a very few cases I've had shipments bounce around but finally get there and a couple of times go missing for perhaps two weeks but finally resurface and get there, but never lost completely.  These mishaps have been far and few between and were spaced over the entire twenty five year time frame, no worse now that at the start.  

 

My bad experiences have all been due to poor packaging where some bonehead threw something in the box loose and it therefore beat itself to death on the way here.  Not the fault of the shipper.

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Posted (edited)

We used UPS for about 40 years; we used their shipping software, and they picked up at the door. Then something happened. Fees greater than listed on their software, with no recourse - just pay the fees. And the fees continued to rise exponentially it seemed, and we got a LOT of static from our customers over shipping costs.

 

The final straw was a forklift prong going through a WOODEN box we built to protect a tripower, and damaging the tripower.

 

USPS is much cheaper on small items such as carburetor kits; the service is about the same as UPS. Covid messed up all the shippers. By shipping priority mail, we can charge our customers about 50 percent LESS than if we still used UPS. Above 3 pounds the pendulum switches in the other direction.

 

Will never use fedex because of their insurance policy on "collectibles".

 

Shipping outside of the USA is simply (opinion) not worth the hassle, and the cost anymore. We quit shipping to all but Canada about 6 years ago. We quit shipping to Canada when Covid hit. When a customer calls after not receiving his carburetor kit in 7 weeks, even though we gave him the tracking number proving we sent it, he was not a happy camper. And USPS would NOT pay the insurance because of finger-pointing with USPS and Canadian Customs.

 

And I apologize to all our Canadian customers for what they probably feel is unreasonable on our end; but 3 out of 4 packages were either significantly delayed or just went missing. Makes turning a profit somewhat difficult. Had one $1500. sale that went to the wind because of finger-pointing! Takes a lot of sales to make up for that loss!

 

All in all, there is some good, and some bad about them all. Probably has to do with employees in a given area. (And I will not mention that the USPS regional center in a certain Midwestern state west of Missouri could lose a Caterpillar D-9 in a 3 acre field) ;)

 

I don't really think there currently is a solution, other than hand-carry ;)

 

Jon. 

Edited by carbking (see edit history)
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16 hours ago, 1937hd45 said:

Is it just me, or does the FedEx sponsored  NASCAR driver cause more wrecks than others? 

That's cause their packages keep shifting. haha

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Just got a call this morning from the Post Master of the town where my buyer lives to let me know the Bantam grille had arrived AND he said he was going to call my customer to let him know he will receive it today. FINALLY a postal employee actually doing his job. And just think the extra cost Priority Mail only took 18 days!

Howard Dennis

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20 hours ago, 1937hd45 said:

Is it just me, or does the FedEx sponsored  NASCAR driver cause more wrecks than others? 

 

Not as fast as he used to be. Just like his sponsor.

Denny and a few of other veteran drivers are looking like they might be timing out.

Its the young guys these days.

I don't really see him as causing any more wrecks than anyone else. Its a fast paced sport and the wrecks are part of it. (unfortunately)

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Posted (edited)

I've also had great luck with the USPS all through the years (32 from this location).  But lately UPS is beating them price-wise.  I don't mind a couple of dollars but the last few comparisons were $6-$8-$8-$10-$12 and $17 cheaper.  Although they aren't as good as they used to be, they have gotten better since the virus days.  In those 32 years, they only damaged a package 1 time.  It was insured and we got re-imbursed.  

 

UPS to me was also known to be package smashers, but they seem to be getting better.  So far so good with anything I've shipped, although I put extra effort into packing.  Where we had trouble was when receiving packages, nothing lately though. 

Edited by 62BillT (see edit history)
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If one is shipping more than an occasional item,  you might consider buying the postage online from a 3rd part provider.  I use Pirateship Love the service and it integrates with Ebay.  Rates seem very good with a big discount over window prices plus options like Cubic which really bring the shipping cost down.  I found it when ebay started messing around with shipping and deciding what I could and couldn't ship regardless of wether it qualified or not,  as an alternative and will never look back. 

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