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  • Ana Karina Luna
    15 years, 5 months ago

    I was a little disturbed about shipping costs this last week. I ordered magnesium cuts and I paid nearly $9 for 2 small cuts that don’t even weigh half a pound. I’ve mailed comparable stuff via regular mail (USPS) and it cost the same, if not less, and arrived sooner. With another vendor, I paid $8 for 1 only item that could have shipped for less, considering the weight (between $3 and $5??). The list goes on with 2 other vendors. In addition, they also charge handling fees, which, I believe, ironically aggravates (unnecessarily over sized packaging) the whole shipping cost issue.The other day, talking to one of these vendors, I questioned the high shipping prices and they said they could send it USPS too though it would save me only 3 or 4 bucks (he mentioned something about having to run to the post office). I said I’d take it. Well, 3 or 4 bucks makes a difference at the end of the month, because us print makers are always ordering stuff out of the state (plates, cuts, supplies, stuff that can’t just be bought across the street, right?). I could be saving anywhere from 30 to 60 bucks at the end of the month. With this specific vendor, my savings ended up being actually $8!! (UPS was going to cost 10.80, USPS cost 2.72).I had a slightly better experience with M&H Type. Shipping still cost $8 :(, but it was metal type, which is heavier, and it arrived in 2 to 3 days.It seems to me vendors use UPS for their convenience, and I pay for it. On top of that, UPS takes 5 (biz days) to arrive (it’s ground, unless I want to pay more). On the other hand, with USPS, it’s everything air now, thus it arrives with 2 or 3 days, depending on location — at least that’s my understanding.Am I missing something or it’s just the old wasteful thing: “it’s just a few bucks…”? I’d be interested in knowing what others think and their experience. My opinion is that as a courtesy to us customers, vendors should keep our shipping costs as low as possible (I’d probably buy more too…). That’s what I do to my own customers. I’m relatively new to this field, so maybe I’m unaware of its particularities.

    Kseniya Thomas
    15 years, 5 months ago

    I use UPS almost exclusively as well, for several reasons: you can insure the shipment for its full value, the tracking is 100x better that that available through USPS, and they’ll pick up. If cost isn’t an issue, I’m happy to ship things USPS, but, especially with very expensive stationery, the fact that it’s insured and trackable is worth the extra cost for the customer’s peace of mind. It would be nice if vendors asked your preference for smaller things, like cuts, but I suspect that, with their volume of sales, it’s easier and more cost-effective for them not to give shipping options. Hopefully, that extra cost they charge you is included in the project estimate, so you don’t wind up paying extra out-of-pocket.

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