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TOPIC: Beware of USPS Shipments

Beware of USPS Shipments 11 months 2 weeks ago #13

USPS VS UPS
It’s like,
USSR VS USA

The 4 letter ones need help,
I used to work in Shipping,
USPS was always a problem,

It would be nice to Have a
UPS option for $15,
Well worth it on a expensive or
Very important orders.
When a Falcon's Strike breaks the body
of its prey, it is because of timing.
Sun Tzu
Art of War 500 B.C.

D&D, been playing 35 years
GenCon, been going 23 years Straight
True Dungeon, been playing 16 years Straight and all 4 events last year.

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Last edit: by The Falcon.

Beware of USPS Shipments 11 months 2 weeks ago #14

Well, I am now officially worried. Monday I sent two medium flat rate boxes full of transmutes, one was delivered to a True Adventures on time, The other one shows no tracking since left my town... and marked late.

I didn’t insure it, so I am a bit worried... 3 kilts dungeonbane, two each of new 2019 relics, 10 gf, and lots of trade goods...

My own fault... weight was over 65 lbs of tokens between two boxes... had 6 small flats rate boxes inside each so should have been packed well...

Sad sad sad... at least wasn’t the legendary transmute yet... but was hoping for the relics for last transmute

All in all maybe $3000 in transmutes... but the missing box I think had the good stuff.

One of two boxes is now three days late... both sent same time...

Oh well... my own fault... but didn’t want to carry 65 lbs on plane to Origins or WhosYourCon...

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Last edit: by Mongo.

Beware of USPS Shipments 11 months 2 weeks ago #15

Mongo wrote: Well, I am now officially worried. Monday I sent two medium flat rate boxes full of transmutes, one was delivered to a True Adventures on time, The other one shows no tracking since left my town... and marked late.

I didn’t insure it, so I am a bit worried... 3 kilts dungeonbane, two each of new 2019 relics, 10 gf, and lots of trade goods...

My own fault... weight was over 65 lbs of tokens between two boxes... had 6 small flats rate boxes inside each so should have been packed well...

Sad sad sad... at least wasn’t the legendary transmute yet... but was hoping for the relics for last transmute

All in all maybe $3000 in transmutes... but the missing box I think had the good stuff.

One of two boxes is now three days late... both sent same time...

Oh well... my own fault... but didn’t want to carry 65 lbs on plane to Origins or WhosYourCon...


For the good guy you are I really hope that everything ends up okay in the end. I am officially taking all of my stuff to origins to get transmuted.

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Beware of USPS Shipments 11 months 2 weeks ago #16

Mongo,

Most likely it will eventually show up with or without tracking updates. As most of you know I ship an incredible number of packages and envelopes each year. 90% go smoothly, 9% have spotty tracking history, and 1% never get scanned. But, knock on wood, every one of those 1% has eventually made it, sometimes over a month delayed.

Without knowing exactly how the box shown in the first post was packed, I can guess that the box was fairly empty which allowed the crushing but the tape saved it.

My packing tips:

1) never pack loose tokens, put them in strong inner bags or boxes.

2) don't use paper envelopes or bubble mailers

3) use lots of tape, even on small flat rate boxes which often don't hold up as well as people expect. Tape all seams and edges.

4) use positive pressure. You know like a CDC containment lab. Your box should always be stuffed fully and evenly so it is hard to close. It should be bulging out when you are done. If you push on any side it shouldn't push in.

The reason for #4 is if any wall of a box gets pushed in then the package loses its structural integrity. Obviously I'm not promoting abuse of postal supplies, but if you did some simple experiments with small flat rate boxes you'll quickly see the benefits.

If I'm using medium or large flat rate boxes then whenever possible I stuff them full of 6 or 9 small flat rate boxes. That solves #4 easily. And if some of them are empty then don't seal them shut. The recipient can reuse them so nothing is wasted.
My online token shop: www.tdtavern.com

We buy, sell, and trade True Dungeon tokens. We also have a convenient consignment program where you can sell your own tokens.

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Beware of USPS Shipments 11 months 2 weeks ago #17

Why don’t use bubble mailers? Or is this only when shipping lots of tokens?

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Beware of USPS Shipments 11 months 2 weeks ago #18

jon wrote: Why don’t use bubble mailers? Or is this only when shipping lots of tokens?


I’ve never had a bubble mailer problem.

And I agree completely, use peanuts or crumpled paper or anything to pack those boxes tightly. You don’t want things rattling around, or the box walls caving in.

And I disagree with you, Mongo. Unless you sent them in a plastic garbage sack, it’s not your fault. For whatever reason, the USPS tracking system seems messed up lately. I’ve sent and received a few things lately that got delayed or fell off the radar, and they all made it safely. Eventually.
barkley.neo.rr.com -->see my trade thread HERE , my eBay store HERE or my web store HERE
"Ceci n'est pas une pipe" - Magritte

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Last edit: by Brad Mortensen.

Beware of USPS Shipments 11 months 2 weeks ago #19

Brad Mortensen wrote:

jon wrote: Why don’t use bubble mailers? Or is this only when shipping lots of tokens?


I’ve never had a bubble mailer problem.

And I agree completely, use peanuts or crumpled paper or anything to pack those boxes tightly. You don’t want things rattling around, or the box walls caving in.

And I disagree with you, Mongo. Unless you sent them in a plastic garbage sack, it’s not your fault. For whatever reason, the USPS tracking system seems messed up lately. I’ve sent and received a few things lately that got delayed or fell off the radar, and they all made it safely. Eventually.


At a guess, Kirk ships considerably more stuff than I do, but I've shipped several hundred packages in the last few years.

I use bubble mailers for almost every shipment (unless it's more than ~25 tokens or so which gets up above the weight limit where I start using flat rate boxes).

In all that time, for my bubble mailers or flat rate boxes (from small to large)

* 1 shipment go missing in USPS (it was later delivered months after the fact)

* 1 shipment show as delivered but the recipient said they never got it (although they indicated their apartment office that received mail had a habit of 'losing' packages)

* 1 shipment get really damaged on the way through - it was delivered in a larger plastic bag with a note from USPS saying they were sorry they mangled it.

* several hundred shipments get where they are going with no problem.

What is my secret? Put the tokens inside a ziploc back in the bubble mailer. I'm not sure if this is necessary but it doesn't seem to hurt.

I would agree also that the tracking notices are unreliable (never scanned, scanned but way behind where the package is, etc.).

If you ship any kind of volume you can't beat the price of $3 to ship in a bubble mailer (or other thick padded mailer). By the time something goes wrong you'll have saved for the value of the package many times over versus shipping with a parcel service (which tend to have a minimum price of $10 or more).

Plus USPS priority often gets there in 3 days, sometimes in 2, rarely more than 5, and counts Saturday as a day. UPS's ground is a week every time (unless it's more because there was a holiday).


I did used to send small orders of 1-4 tokens with plain white envelopes, stamped and posted for non-machin handling. This I would not recommend (too many incidents of the envelope getting trashed as it was put through a machine anyway).

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Last edit: by Matthew Hayward.

Beware of USPS Shipments 11 months 2 weeks ago #20

I'm actually having an issue right this moment with a package that I shipped USPS to another forum member.

Dropped the bubble mailer in the mail on Monday but the tracking has not updated yet. A full work week has gone by and the package has yet to arrive at its destination.

I'm hoping for the best, but I'm afraid that it's gotten lost. Hopefully it just takes a month like Matthew H & Kirk experienced. I've told the buyer that I'll refund them at the end of this upcoming week if it still doesn't arrive.

Kirk & Matthew - How did you guys handle the delayed (upwards of a month?) package?
"IMHO we like to solve problems here on the forums that are only perceived problems due to a myopic view." -Bob Chasan
My Elemental build
My trade list

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Beware of USPS Shipments 11 months 2 weeks ago #21

Arnold wrote: I'm actually having an issue right this moment with a package that I shipped USPS to another forum member.

Dropped the bubble mailer in the mail on Monday but the tracking has not updated yet. A full work week has gone by and the package has yet to arrive at its destination.

I'm hoping for the best, but I'm afraid that it's gotten lost. Hopefully it just takes a month like Matthew H & Kirk experienced. I've told the buyer that I'll refund them at the end of this upcoming week if it still doesn't arrive.

Kirk & Matthew - How did you guys handle the delayed (upwards of a month?) package?


I definitely have packages with tracking that doesn't ever register, but it gets delivered.

I don't have much experience with the problem you are describing.

You can start a missing mail search request beginning here:

www.usps.com/help/missing-mail.htm

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Beware of USPS Shipments 11 months 2 weeks ago #22

For me when there is a slow shipment I reach out to the customer to find out if time is an issue. If it is I will ship them a replacement (if possible) and if it shows up we can arrange a return. If they aren't in a hurry, then I'll give it a solid 30-45 days before issuing a refund or shipping a replacement.

I should clarify on bubble mailers: not all bubble mailers are created equal. Some will have weak or paper seams. Others will be a bubble "pouch". The pouch version would worry me much less, and as Matthew says I would use an inner bag. Personally I would probably tape the inner bag to the bubble wrap as well, especially if it was a high-valued token. I also wouldn't put over about 10 tokens in a bubble mailer due to weight, unless they were cheap ones I didn't mind losing.

I use sturdy cardboard photo mailers and have had excellent luck: only one broken token out of thousands of shipments over the years, no lost tokens.
My online token shop: www.tdtavern.com

We buy, sell, and trade True Dungeon tokens. We also have a convenient consignment program where you can sell your own tokens.

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Beware of USPS Shipments 11 months 2 weeks ago #23

Thank you to both of you.

Matthew, I appreciate your providing the link. I had no idea that you could report missing mail that way.

Tomorrow marks the 8th day, so I'll definitely file the incident at the end of tomorrow.

I'm hoping it just arrives sans scans. That would be much easier.
"IMHO we like to solve problems here on the forums that are only perceived problems due to a myopic view." -Bob Chasan
My Elemental build
My trade list

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Beware of USPS Shipments 11 months 1 week ago #24

Luckily my package arrived today... no idea on condition, however...

Two day priority I guess me means two weeks priority...

Thanks for everyone’s support and kind words...

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