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Shipping and Handling

Discussion in 'Labels and Packaging' started by faerytech, Apr 27, 2018.

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  1. Apr 27, 2018 #1

    faerytech

    faerytech

    faerytech

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    Hi, I'm sure this question has been asked many times, but please bare with me!

    I'm trying to send soap to a friend of mine in Utah. It's 3 small bars, with their wrapping the weigh 8 oz and are a little over an inch thick. I had used USPS to calculate the shipping cost and it seemed like a first class large envelope would be the best bet, but now I'm confused because I read elsewhere you can't ship anything over 3/4" thick. :'( what is the next cheapest option? What do you use?
     
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  2. Apr 27, 2018 #2

    SoapAddict415

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    I've used the USPS flat rate boxes to ship soaps to my sons in Arizona. You may be able to get your 3 bars in the smallest box. I forget what the dimensions are but they're listed on the USPS website.
     
  3. Apr 27, 2018 #3

    earlene

    earlene

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    Yes, you are right, even a large envelope has a maximum allowable thickness of 3/4 inches to qualify for first class postage or even priority envelope rates.

    But you can still send it using Priority Flat Rate boxes from USPS. The smallest Priority Mail box can hold 3 standard size bars of soap and costs $7.20 to mail. The box is included in the cost. There is no limit on the weight in the box when mailed domestically, but there are wt. limits when mailed internationally. Although there are requirements that the box has to close securely within the confine of the pre-existing lines & folds of the box, if your bars are too wide or long, but you can manage to close the box within those confines, it is okay if it has bulges. In other words, it does not have to remain flat on all surfaces, so you can add a little extra width to the box if your soap is slightly bigger.

    Since you have only 3 small bars totaling 8 ounces, you could add another couple of items in one of the smallest boxes to take up the extra space and make the cost worth your while.

    So far as I have found, the USPS Priority Flat Rate boxes are the bet price for small package deliveries. I have used UPS before, but they actually cost more the last time I used them, so I only use USPS now.
     
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  4. Apr 27, 2018 #4

    cmzaha

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  5. Apr 27, 2018 #5

    Kamahido

    Kamahido

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    I ship things all over the United States that are over 1" thick. As long as they weigh under 16 ounces I can ship them via USPS First Class.

    The only thing I would like to point out is there IS a weight limit of 70 pounds for United States Postal Service Domestic Priority Flat Rate mail. United States Postal Service International Medium and Large Flat Rate caps at 20 pounds (Small is 4 pounds) Don't ask me what would fit in those boxes that weights THAT much! I have no clue! :)

    Source: https://pe.usps.com/text/dmm300/Notice123.htm#_c330
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 27, 2018
  6. Apr 27, 2018 #6

    cmzaha

    cmzaha

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    13 oz is the limit for first class according to USPS. I just asked that question last week. My bars are 1.25" and I send them in thin padded envelopes as long as they are 13oz or under
     
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  7. Apr 27, 2018 #7

    earlene

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    Well it sure is interesting how their different resource links tell different stories. Either that, or our experiences tell us something different. Maybe a combination of both. None of us are infallible, I suspect.

    What I have found on the USPS sites is that it has to be under 3/4 of an inch in thickness for first class envelopes and for flat rate envelopes. They also states the 13 oz limit as Carolyn mentions for first class.

    The 70 pound limit, I did think it was the limit, but yesterday did not find that when I looked, so I must have missed it or found a page that did not include that information. (Either is possible.)

    My experience with mailing from various US Post Offices is that if a particular postal worker accepts a package that doesn't meet the requirement listed on the website or in the printed regulation booklets (size limits), then it goes as if it did meet the requirements. Example: In the past I was able to mail books via Library Rate, but some postal workers in some post offices won't let me because I am not a Library. Apparently you have to actually qualify for that rate, but some postal workers have not always adhered to that stipulation. I was very disappointed when I learned the ones who wouldn't allow it were correct based on the USPS site. https://www.stamps.com/usps/library-mail/
     
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  8. Apr 27, 2018 #8

    DeeAnna

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    Don't confuse the various flavors of first class mail or other USPS services. The best way to get the correct info is to visit the USPS website. Just google your question to find the answer quickly.

    You've been thinking your 8 oz package qualifies as what USPS calls a "large envelope." Here are the requirements for large envelopes, aka flats: https://pe.usps.com/businessmail101?ViewName=Flats To summarize, your package does not qualify as a large envelope because it is over 3/4" thick.

    Instead, it qualifies as a first class parcel -- https://pe.usps.com/businessmail101?ViewName=Parcels

    If a postal worker accepts a package as a large envelope when it does not actually qualify as such, and this does sometimes happen, be aware that the package may be detected in transit as having insufficient postage. Like other carriers, USPS is increasingly using automated equipment to detect whether a package meets requirements or not, so it's more likely you'll encounter this nowadays than in the past. If your package has insufficient postage and you are a regular USPS retail customer, your customer will have to pay the difference and that usually means you'll have to deal with an unhappy customer. It is best to get it right rather than hope your oversize package flies under the radar.

    Here's the easiest way to figure out the cost now that you know what your package qualifies as -- https://postcalc.usps.com/ To see all possible options, choose "Calculate price based on Shape and Size" at the end of the first screen. When the actual list of prices appears, scroll down to see the first class options.

    Yes, as Earlene mentions, sometimes postal workers can and do interpret the rules differently than what is correct (I have a long story about that), but you can always ask to talk to the postmaster or file a dispute on the USPS website if you feel you have a strong case that you're right. But you need to know the rules first -- and the best place to get educated on the rules is the USPS website.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2018
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  9. Apr 27, 2018 #9

    cmzaha

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    DeeAnna is correct about where to get the rules, because not all postal workers know all the rules. When it gets to mailing fragrances it is a nightmare.
     
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  10. Apr 27, 2018 #10

    faerytech

    faerytech

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    Thank you everyone! To be honest I'm going to try the envelope even though it's against the rules and just let him know that he might have to pay a bit extra. For both of us, the difference in shipping costs makes up for the potential issues, since it's not a time sensitive matter. XD But this is really interesting to know, I had actually received soap via large envelope in the past so that was also confusing me.
     
  11. Apr 27, 2018 #11

    DeeAnna

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    You can use any type of envelope type packaging for any first class shipment -- you do not have to use a box. I ship stuff in padded and paper envelopes quite often. What you use to package the item(s) has nothing to do with the determination of whether you are shipping a first class "parcel" or "large envelope". It's the thickness of the package that's the issue. If it's over 3/4" thick, the USPS says it's a package, not a large envelope, no matter what.
     
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