Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Beware the Flat Rate Priority Box

OK, this has nothing to do with nudism, but I feel compelled to warn people about these flat-rate Priority Mail boxes that the US Postal Service is shoving down our throats.

Bottom line is that a one pound package shipped Priority Mail anywhere in the United States only costs $4.95 using a regular box. Once you put the same item into a medium "flat-rate" box, the cost jumps to $10.35, and to $13.95 if you use a large flat-rate box.

It's a scam, folks, in my opinion, so do your homework before you mail anything this holiday season. Most of the time you will be better off shipping in a regular box. The post office does offer regular Priority Mail boxes for free if you can find them, but our post office only offers the flat-rate materials now in the lobby. You can order regular Priority Mail boxes for free online here, or ask a postal employee.

You can calculate your shipping costs online here.

At the very least, be sure to ask your postal clerk to calculate postage for your package both ways, regular versus flat-rate. Sometimes you will be better off with a flat-rate box, generally if it weighs 3 pounds or more and is going across several zones.

The USPS is in trouble, losing tons of money every year, but running a scam at the expense of the American people is not the way to rebuild a company.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The three pound rule is a good one. The other consideration is that the box is free. I ship a lot of auto parts using these flate rate boxes. They are a great deal with heavy items. I have shipped a 56 pound part in a medium box.
The reason the postal service is in trouble is their pension obligation. The union has them over a barrel. They would be running a profit if they didn't have to pay into the pension fund.