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Thread: Shipping: how much???

  1. #1
    Registered User Louise NM's Avatar
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    Default Shipping: how much???

    So what's the secret to shipping something?

    I have a mandolin, in a Guardian foam case inside a cardboard box, a bit of bubble wrap, etc., ready to ship to one of my kids. Weight is <12 lbs, overall dimensions (girth+length) are less than what's considered oversized. Why am I looking at around $100 to ship it?

    This particular model of mandolin sells for around $500 with free shipping, and the case sells for $70$80 with shipping ranging from free to $15.

    Any suggestions to finding a more reasonable rate? This is turning into one of those "no good deed goes unpunished" situations!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Shipping: how much???

    Compare USPS, UPS. I shipped and insured mando with higher value for $85+/- through Postal Svc last year.
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  3. #3
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shipping: how much???

    Go to UPS.com, ship UPS Ground and use the promo code EASY.

    Distance matters with UPS — they charge less for shorter trips.
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  4. #4

    Default Re: Shipping: how much???

    I have been using Fedex ground with good success and usually cheaper than the other two in my experience. Do not use USPS. I have a bad experience two straight times, they really do not want large boxes it seams. Do not go into one of the shipping stores as they ad a bunch, sign into an acct with wither Fedex or UPS. Anyway you slice it shipping is not cheap.

  5. #5
    Registered User Louise NM's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shipping: how much???

    USPS and UPS are the two I went to. Over the years, it has varied as to who had the best rates and best service. I generally use the post office, but you hit it, NWSteve, that they don't seem to want big packages. The guy at the counter basically told me to go to UPS. The kid at UPS gave me a paper with the quote on it, and I see he added 2" to both the width and depth. Don't know if that makes a difference, but it seemed the tiniest bit sleazy.
    It is going from New Mexico to the heart of the Rust Belt, so it is a long trip.

  6. #6
    Orrig Onion HonketyHank's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shipping: how much???

    Given that a mandolin will always ship based on box volume rather than weight, two inches in any one dimension makes a huge difference in price. Two inches in two dimensions is HUGE huge. When I ship a mandolin I shoot for the smallest possible box. Lately, I have discovered a high volume furniture store that always has large, heavy duty cardboard boxes from which I can make a very sturdy box. But even at that, shipping from Oregon to the east coast can still end up at $50-$75. And yes, if you create an account with UPS, you do get a little better price if you print the label on line. Then you just slap it on the box and hand the box over to a real UPS employee (like the UPS driver, not the UPS store).
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  7. #7
    Registered User Billy Packard's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shipping: how much???

    Maybe the USPS can vary where you are but they have been exemplary in my experience.
    I shipped one mandolin to Ireland, another as close as 168 miles away as well as others near and far and I have had only perfect, fast results.

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  9. #8
    Registered User Aaron Bohnen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shipping: how much???

    Hey everyone,

    There are several (many?) internet-based companies that act as middlemen between the retail customer (you and me) and the shipping companies (UPS, Fedex, etc.). Because they middlemen companies buy a lot of shipping they get big discounts and pass a portion of that on to the retail customer.

    I've used one called Netparcel a couple of times and they've been fine - again there are a few of these outfits so you can read some reviews and see which if any suit you. I was originally concerned about things like delivery confirmations, insurance, etc. but since the actual service is provided by UPS (or Fedex or whoever) the only thing the Netparcel people do is take your money and print your shipping label. Any other dealings you might have with stuff with delivery, insurance, etc. is with the carrier directly.

    I have NFI (except in the sense they managed to save me some $ on a few occasions) so it might be something to look into. You might even be able to scrounge around and find a referral code or something for a further discount. I don't remember if I did that.

    Enjoy!
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  10. #9
    Registered User Louise NM's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shipping: how much???

    I ended up taking it to a place that packs and ships art and antiques. They are shipping it for a little under $70, including insurance. Volume is the name of the game, I guess. Behemoths like Amazon pay next to nothing, those of us who ship things occasionally pay top dollar, everyone else is in the middle.

    Thanks for all the suggestions.

  11. #10
    Registered User Jill McAuley's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shipping: how much???

    Glad to hear something worked out! I sold a mandolin case a couple of years ago and it ended up costing me the same amount I'd sold it for to ship it via USPS to the buyer so I made zero profit - oh well, at least it wasn't cluttering up my postage stamp sized apartment any longer!
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