USPS Price increase, WOW!!!
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3 hours ago, FlyingDonut said:

The Legal Sized ones are of interest to me.
https://store.usps.com/store/product/shipping-supplies/priority-mail-forever-prepaid-flat-rate-legal-envelope---ppep14l-P_PPEP14L

Anyone use these before?  How does the tracking work on them?  Has anyone run into issues on that front?

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4 hours ago, JollyComics said:

I am still not impressed with USPS and their service.

 

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Those things are not safe to ship fragile collectibles in.

There are tremendous physical forces that each package is subjected to during it's journey.

It is up to shippers to get wise to this, and pack accordingly.

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That isn't a USPS issue, Fedex and UPS mangle packages too, it's whether these sorts of items should be shipped in envelopes at all. If that is a slab, that is pretty treacherous to try and jam it into a legla size envelope. The nice thing about those envelopes is that if you do pack via the sandwhich method, you can fit a TON of backing into them and make it like 2-3 inches thick or, if you have thn boxes, or mailers that act like boxes, you can fit them in there. Of course, if you are shipping within your region that difference between Flat Rate Legal and a sub- 3 pound box can be nominal.

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6 hours ago, the blob said:

That isn't a USPS issue, Fedex and UPS mangle packages too, it's whether these sorts of items should be shipped in envelopes at all. If that is a slab, that is pretty treacherous to try and jam it into a legla size envelope. The nice thing about those envelopes is that if you do pack via the sandwhich method, you can fit a TON of backing into them and make it like 2-3 inches thick or, if you have thn boxes, or mailers that act like boxes, you can fit them in there. Of course, if you are shipping within your region that difference between Flat Rate Legal and a sub- 3 pound box can be nominal.

This.

Out of the thousands of comics I've shipped through USPS and UPS, the further it goes the more stuff happens. I used to mark in large letters "FRAGILE" and "DO NOT BEND" on individual comic packages until I noticed that anything being sent beyond the middle of the country (I'm on the east coast) would get returns at times. I put comics between two pieces of stiff cardboard and firmly attach the sleeve to them with lots of tape. What was happening was they were arriving with the plastic sleeves breached and the comics inevitably becoming stuck to the tape. This could only have happened if some clown was literally frisbeeing my envelope and hitting something very hard. It happened several times and I lost probably $100 to returns before I changed my packaging slightly. Now I put every book in another Priority Mail envelope and then attach that to the cardboard. This protects against any overzealous postal employees. I also don't mark anything in huge letters anymore which seemed to invite abuse. Haven't had a problem with new method since starting it a year ago.

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In addition to comics I ship the occasional rare book. When shipping a combined order of folio-sized books (H.R. Giger's Necronomicicon, Necronomicon II, & Biomechanics). I protected the books the way I do comics (bag, wrap in butcher paper, cardboard sleeve, into bigger box with packing peanuts and/or airbags), and the end size/weight of the box made shipping costly. *shrug* The things we do for the ones we love at the holidays, right?

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Watching the postman hurl 2 boxes with slabs I shipped today into the truck made my tummy hurt. Thankfully each is inside a cardboard sammich and 11 miles of bubble wrap, so I think they are ok.

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20 hours ago, masterlogan2000 said:

The Legal Sized ones are of interest to me.
https://store.usps.com/store/product/shipping-supplies/priority-mail-forever-prepaid-flat-rate-legal-envelope---ppep14l-P_PPEP14L

Anyone use these before?  How does the tracking work on them?  Has anyone run into issues on that front?

They are $7 / each though. If you ship on ebay it's $6.65 or $6.85.

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2 hours ago, ygogolak said:

They are $7 / each though. If you ship on ebay it's $6.65 or $6.85.

Yes, but two things about this.

1)  I can't buy 250 labels today at $6.65 or $6.85 and ship them out to any address in 2019, 2020, or beyond.

2)  The rate increase for 2019, starting on January 27, goes up to $7.25.

These envelopes are $7 and have a blank address label on them.  They last FOREVER, so you are effectively locking in your price at $7.  (It's the same concept as why you would purchase the forever stamps today at $0.50 vs $0.55 when the price increases take effect.)

Supposedly these come with tracking included, but I wasn't sure if people ran into issues with those tracking numbers.  Considering these envelopes are valid forever, that means the Post Office would either need to keep those tracking numbers in their systems forever, or be able to dynamically generate and track the numbers as they get scanned into their systems.

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15 hours ago, the blob said:

That isn't a USPS issue, Fedex and UPS mangle packages too, it's whether these sorts of items should be shipped in envelopes at all. If that is a slab, that is pretty treacherous to try and jam it into a legla size envelope. The nice thing about those envelopes is that if you do pack via the sandwhich method, you can fit a TON of backing into them and make it like 2-3 inches thick or, if you have thn boxes, or mailers that act like boxes, you can fit them in there. Of course, if you are shipping within your region that difference between Flat Rate Legal and a sub- 3 pound box can be nominal.

Those USPS cardboard envelopes are trash and they don't have enough space to accommodate cardboard sandwiches as they put pressure on the sides and corners of the books. If you want to ship priority mail then use the padded flat rate envelopes. Your buyer is eating the cost difference anyway. 

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4 minutes ago, darkstar said:

Those USPS cardboard envelopes are trash and they don't have enough space to accommodate cardboard sandwiches as they put pressure on the sides and corners of the books. If you want to ship priority mail then use the padded flat rate envelopes. Your buyer is eating the cost difference anyway. 

The flip and ship cardboard mailers work great inside Legal size priority mail prepaid envelopes. They fold all around the books and the cardboard of the mailer extends about an inch on each end of the book. 
And one reason they work so well is that these flat rate priority mail envelopes travel with letters (flats) not with the boxes. 

I order about 50 at a time and they run about 50 cents each. Work great for maybe eight comics or less. 

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1 hour ago, darkstar said:

Those USPS cardboard envelopes are trash and they don't have enough space to accommodate cardboard sandwiches as they put pressure on the sides and corners of the books. If you want to ship priority mail then use the padded flat rate envelopes. Your buyer is eating the cost difference anyway. 

Legal size, if you can find them, are quite roomy.

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4 hours ago, masterlogan2000 said:

Yes, but two things about this.

1)  I can't buy 250 labels today at $6.65 or $6.85 and ship them out to any address in 2019, 2020, or beyond.

2)  The rate increase for 2019, starting on January 27, goes up to $7.25.

These envelopes are $7 and have a blank address label on them.  They last FOREVER, so you are effectively locking in your price at $7.  (It's the same concept as why you would purchase the forever stamps today at $0.50 vs $0.55 when the price increases take effect.)

Supposedly these come with tracking included, but I wasn't sure if people ran into issues with those tracking numbers.  Considering these envelopes are valid forever, that means the Post Office would either need to keep those tracking numbers in their systems forever, or be able to dynamically generate and track the numbers as they get scanned into their systems.

It would make sense to buy a bunch before the rate change, but not with the idea of stockpiling for years. Money invested in $7 envelopes is not generating income or growth. If you are paying debt elsewhere whatever savings will evaporate. Unless postal rates spiral out of control and increase 5-10% a year. Then these are a good investment.

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25 minutes ago, the blob said:

It would make sense to buy a bunch before the rate change, but not with the idea of stockpiling for years. Money invested in $7 envelopes is not generating income or growth. If you are paying debt elsewhere whatever savings will evaporate. Unless postal rates spiral out of control and increase 5-10% a year. Then these are a good investment.

You're definitely correct here that there are better investment opportunities out there compared to preloading up on USPS labels.  lol

However, the "investment" here isn't horrible, as you're bringing a ~3.5% total return for 2019 ($0.25 return on $7 investment, assuming you sell through whatever amount of labels you purchased).  Additionally, margins on comic sales are being squeezed each year with constant fee hikes and increases in shipping costs and supplies.  That 25 cents goes a long way to try to stop some of this bleeding.  Plus, it's likely safe to expect another postage fee increase for 2020, if not sooner than that.

With all that said, there are definitely worse things to invest your money in.

I mentioned the 250 labels because that is the limit you can purchase (likely per order), not because that's what I plan on doing.

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On 12/7/2018 at 5:46 PM, lizards2 said:
On 12/7/2018 at 1:00 PM, JollyComics said:

I am still not impressed with USPS and their service.

 

IMG_6326.JPG

IMG_6324.JPG

Those things are not safe to ship fragile collectibles in.

There are tremendous physical forces that each package is subjected to during it's journey.

It is up to shippers to get wise to this, and pack accordingly.

Well, based upon how this was packaged, hopefully it's just sheets of papers in there and nothing of any real value.  :wishluck:

If it's a comic book that the shipper did not want to incur any damage during transit, it looks like this was clearly not packaged properly.  Especially since I don't believe there's enough room in that flimsy package for anything more than some thin cardboard, let alone the necessary bubble wrap, packing peanuts and sturdy cardboard exterior box to safely secure the package for shipping.  :preach:

From my point of view, this looks like the fault of the shipper more than the post office here due to improper packaging.  :gossip:

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5 hours ago, lou_fine said:

Well, based upon how this was packaged, hopefully it's just sheets of papers in there and nothing of any real value.  :wishluck:

If it's a comic book that the shipper did not want to incur any damage during transit, it looks like this was clearly not packaged properly.  Especially since I don't believe there's enough room in that flimsy package for anything more than some thin cardboard, let alone the necessary bubble wrap, packing peanuts and sturdy cardboard exterior box to safely secure the package for shipping.  :preach:

From my point of view, this looks like the fault of the shipper more than the post office here due to improper packaging.  :gossip:

The book is $60 and just two cardboards were used.  When I use the flat rate envelope, I intended to sandwich the comic books (up to 3 books) with two more cardboards then put two more cardboards to make it sturdy. The seller will improve his packing method next time and I will tell my favorite seller to add the extra protection like mine (flat envelope can accept up to 70 lbs that is what they said!).  USPS employees usually throw all envelopes like frisbees I have seen.  The verdict is...the seller is at 60% fault and USPS is at 40% fault for improperly handling.

Edited by JollyComics

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24 minutes ago, JollyComics said:
6 hours ago, lou_fine said:

Well, based upon how this was packaged, hopefully it's just sheets of papers in there and nothing of any real value.  :wishluck:

If it's a comic book that the shipper did not want to incur any damage during transit, it looks like this was clearly not packaged properly.  Especially since I don't believe there's enough room in that flimsy package for anything more than some thin cardboard, let alone the necessary bubble wrap, packing peanuts and sturdy cardboard exterior box to safely secure the package for shipping.  :preach:

From my point of view, this looks like the fault of the shipper more than the post office here due to improper packaging.  :gossip:

The book is $60 and just two cardboards were used.  When I use the flat rate envelope, I intended to sandwich the comic books (up to 3 books) with two more cardboards then put two more cardboards to make it sturdy. The seller will improve his packing method next time and I will tell my favorite seller to add the extra protection like mine (flat envelope can accept up to 70 lbs that is what they said!).  USPS employees usually throw all envelopes like frisbees I have seen.  The verdict is...the seller is at 60% fault and USPS is at 40% fault for improperly handling.

The verdict is..., that if you continue to poorly package books, expect different results (as far as shipping damage), and blame the post office for it - that's insanity.

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36 minutes ago, lizards2 said:

The verdict is..., that if you continue to poorly package books, expect different results (as far as shipping damage), and blame the post office for it - that's insanity.

:grin:

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This thread should have more traffic...i love looking at smashed and damaged packages (when they're not mine)

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The customer must bear some of the responsibility, too.  Don't give your patronage to sellers who either don't know how or bother to ship your comic purchases securely.

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