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How to Ship Packages with FedEx, UPS Ground and the Postal Service

October 6th 2005

How to Ship Packages with FedEx, UPS Ground and the Postal Service

Choose a Shipping Co.

There are some tricks you need to know for selling on eBay, but there are also some practical things you need to know, one of them being how to ship packages.  What shipping company should you use?  Should you use UPS, FedEx, DHL or the old Postal Service?

Typically, if an item weighs less than 2 pounds then it is better to ship it USPS Priority Mail.  The postal service will give you the boxes saving you between 50 cents and a buck on each package.  Take advantage of that.

Several years ago we shipped everything that weighed under 5 pounds Priority Mail.  Then the Postal Service raised their rates.  They also created shipping zones for anything over two pounds similar to FedEx and UPS.  So if you are in California and want to ship a package to New York it costs more than if you were shipping it to Las Vegas.  We calculated that in most cases it was cheaper to ship UPS or FedEx Ground for anything over two pounds.

 
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You will want to get a large-base digital shipping scale.  Bite the bullet and buy a good one.  Remember if a package weighs 1 pound and 1 ounce, the postal service considers it 2 pounds.  The postal service uses accurate scales and is diligent in their measurements.  UPS and FedEx Ground are less diligent.

The postal service does not pay for 1st class packaging like the do for Priority Mail.  In many instances it is cheaper to stick the item in a Priority Mail box than buy your own padded envelope and ship it first class.  Every penny counts. 

There are services that allow easy printing of postal labels.  Endicia is a popular company that you can sign up with to print postal labels.  You can also import the customer list into their Dazzle program saving you from typing in the address for each label. 

The Postal Service also offers an online service.  As of yet they do not have an import function so that you can import the customer list, but you will save the monthly service fee you would normally pay with Endicia.  Weigh the benefits and decide for yourself which is best.  Both accept payment via credit card or debit card.

On packages over 2 pounds you can choose between UPS, FedEx and DHL.  We have not used DHL so I canít describe their service for a comparison.  We did compare FedEx to UPS and found that UPS damaged more of our packages. 

This is what you want to do.  Start shipping with FedEx or UPS.  They both have a program you can install on your PC to print shipping labels.  You can import the customer list into either program.  The import list can be generated by one of the eBay selling tools we described in another article.  It will usually come out as a spread sheet file or .CSV file. 

 

Open the file in Excel and save it as an import file.  If this sounds complicated donít worry, both FedEx Ground and UPS have tech support teams that can walk you through the whole process.  They use toll free numbers and are friendly.  The whole point to this is that you donít want to have to type in every address, phone number etc.  You type in a customer number and immediately the address, email address and everything is pre-filled.  Then look at the scale and input the weight. 

Some programs allow for direct weight measurement form the scale and you donít even need to fill that in if your scale is hooked to the computer.  But remember, these two companies are more forgiving.  If the package weighs 5.3 pounds you will likely be able to call it a 5 pound package, unlike the post office.

FedEx will give you a Zebra Label Printer after you have been with them for a year.  UPS does not do that.  UPS will charge you a monthly fee for theirs forever.  That is another advantage to FedEx.

So after you have been shipping with these companies for a year and have built up some numbers, ask them for a discount.  There will be a sales rep assigned to you, ask him or her.  They will usually take a few days and come back with a plan.  Take those numbers to the competitor and see if they can beat it.  Do a little negotiating; this could save you thousands of dollars a year. 

In a future article we will tell you how to box your package

 

By Dan Wilson
Best Syndication Staff Writer

 

Keywords and misspellings:  postal postle shiping packages Fed Ex Ground UPS USPS UPSP way wiegh


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Copyright 2005 Best Syndication                                     Last Updated Saturday, July 10, 2010 09:39 PM