Discussion in 'Marketplace Discussions' started by kwadguy, Jan 19, 2019.
Coast to coast FCM is $3.09 for a 4 oz CD. Up from $2.66.
AND STILL the most-economically-run, ergonomically-run, consumer-service-oriented company in the US - DESPITE how Congress treats them whenever "one half" of them decides to try and put them out of business periodically.
Is my extra 1/10th of an ounce the tipping point?! I've shipped two packages (1 CD, 4.1 ounces) from Chicago out West in the last week (to Portland and Seattle), and both times I was quoted $4.69. Hard to believe coast-to-coast first-class for 4 ounces is only $3.09.
That doesn't sound right to me. Prices have gone up but not that much. Is this at the post office? It may be cheaper using a service like Paypal. That's what I use.
Yup, the post office. Until last week when the zone-based rate increases kicked in, first-class cost me $3.75 anywhere to the U.S. I've always pretty much shipped the same exact weight every time when it's one CD. About a year ago, it was $3.18, and in the not-too-distant past I shipped one CD first-class for under $2.50. The other day, I gave in and shipped Media Mail for the first time ever. $2.75.
FYI, I just shipped a CD to California that weighed in at 4.9 ounces (I guess I used a bit more bubble wrap than usual). The first-class rate again was $4.69. I asked the clerk what it'd cost at 4 ounces even and she said $3.94.
Yep, after years of sending CDs first class, I recently changed all my listings to Media Mail. $2.75 up to one pound. So far most of them have only taken a day or two longer than first class. Half the time, first class would not get there in three days anyway.
Also, I was surprised to find out the other day that, while it costs $4.69 to ship 4 ounces and change from Chicago out West, the same weight costs $4.39 to travel first-class about 10 miles to another Chicago suburb! For that money, I'd drive to the person's home and be my own postal service. At least it wouldn't take 3+ days.
I use 2 cardboard stiffeners on either end of a CD to prevent the jewel case breaking, the package always weighs at least 5-6 oz, aka paying for 6 oz.
4 oz CD Portland to La Center WA $2.66. Must be in my Zone as this is the same as the old rate.
La Center is right on I5 north of Vancouver so it's close.
I don't know if the Postal Service is improving shipping speeds for small packages, but small shipments the past three weeks have been far faster - both first class and media mail.
Of course, something had to give. First-class letters now seem slower than ever. Local letters that used to take a day or two now take up to 4-5 days in some cases.
Media Mail now comes with tracking included, so it's still a bargain.
According to my Postmaster, Media Mail is treated as First Class Mail within its postal region. It only becomes Media Mail once it travels long distances.
4 oz FCM from Portland OR to Oakland CA $2.70.
QUOTE="Ron Stone, post: 20566607, member: 819"]According to my Postmaster, Media Mail is treated as First Class Mail within its postal region. It only becomes Media Mail once it travels long distances.[/QUOTE]
YMMV on this one. I got over night service with Media Mail back in Milwaukee when we lived there. Not out here in Portland, everything goes through Seattle first.
Of course as soon as I say this my latest Media Mail package was mailed Feb. 5th and STILL hasn't been delivered in Virginia yet. 11 days and counting.
they'll always be a couple, but for the most part they arrive fast like you said. I switched to full media about 2 years ago and overall it's been totally fine
Sad the post office is so greedy..
Sadly, you don't understand what USPS is up against.
Despite my memory of the cost of sending a CD anywhere in the USA being in the low $1 range, even at today's prices I still marvel at the fact that 99.9% of what I carefully package arrives at the destination safely and rather quickly.
While some pricing increases would be normal, USPS is handcuffed by a Congressional requirement (IIRC) with respect to how they fund pension obligations which appears to have fueled the rapid increases.
USPS is already dealing with significantly reduced mail volume given the rise of online billing and bill payment. The latest increase made me wonder if at some point they will end up strangling the golden goose. Shipping of inexpensive items will eventually become cost-prohibitive if these increases continue at the same rate which will result in further reduction of the volume of packages moved by USPS. It is basic economics at play.
What you said they screwed themselves and now we have pay for it.
It's sad.. I remember when could cds sent to me for $1.25..
You are correct about the vicious feedback cycle - as parcel rates go up, fewer will ship small items, cutting USPS's revenues and forcing even more price increases.
I think value of the item is going to be the tipping point. Using CDs as an example, if a title has a real world value of $1.00-$2.00 tops, then why would anyone pay $2.75+ to have it sent to them? This is particularly true if the title is common. USPS may already be starting to see the drop in volume.
USPS screwing themselves is only a small part of the story. They are really no different than any other government entity with respect to the funding of pension liabilities but at the same time, they are quasi-independent yet their employees enjoy many benefits that are the same as a government employee. It was a number of years back, sometime in the 2000's I believe, when Congress chose to treat them different from any other government agency including our own federal and most state governments by accelerating the pension funding process in a manner different from the private sector as well. This led to massive losses which fueled further increases.
It seems that as this snowball continues, there will be a time when a for-profit carrier will step in but that won't necessarily solve the problem of rising shipping prices for the consumer.
It's no secret, corporate shipping forces heavily lobbied for those onerous demands on the USPS to cripple it as a competitor.
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