USPS- Caveat Emptor

Discussion in 'Swapmeet Talk' started by KC1GZG, Jan 11, 2018.

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  1. KC1GZG

    KC1GZG Ham Member QRZ Page

    Fellow Scholars:

    I recently had a difficult time with USPS regarding a purchase here on QRZ. The seller shipped his product USPS 2-day priority, with a Priority shipping label.

    Unfortunately, the actual shipping box was a Priority EXPRESS box, and the shipper used some white labels to obscure the EXPRESS part. The shipping post office accepted the package and charged the seller the Priority 2-day rate.

    When I received the package I was dismayed to find out there was postage due- quite a bit of postage due. My only recourse per the post office was to refuse the item and have it returned to the seller (who already had my money). I paid the extortion money and informed the seller of what had happened. To his credit, he offered to split the extra shipping expense.

    I'm certain this was an innocent error on the part of the seller, but I would be careful in dealing with the post office- this feels like a "gotcha" to me. In the future, I will probably insist on FedEx or UPS for shipment, even if I have to pay a bit more.
  2. AG1W

    AG1W Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have a lot of difficulty with my local USPS, their attitude is Godly and atrocious!
  3. WB7OXP

    WB7OXP Ham Member Volunteer DX Helper QRZ Page

    i have often shipped in whatever boxes there were at the post office using other then the box labeled mode. usually that means using firt class or by weight in priority single rate boxes, and have had no such issues.

    usps varies by location. the post office and carriers i deal with re: to my po box and office (different post offices) go out of there way to be helpful.
    KP4SX likes this.
  4. N0TZU

    N0TZU Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Did you speak with the postmaster (not clerk) about this?

    It sounds like two mistakes were made. First, the seller trying to use a higher service class box for a lower service, and the sending postal clerk not catching it. I suspect that then the barcode printed on the box caused it to be sent via the higher express service, which then somehow was caught at the end with postage due, perhaps when someone looked at the postage on the box and realized the discrepancy.
    KP4SX and K2HAT like this.
  5. AG1W

    AG1W Ham Member QRZ Page

    I go 20min each direction to use. Decent Post Office, other than my own
    WB7OXP likes this.
  6. WB7OXP

    WB7OXP Ham Member Volunteer DX Helper QRZ Page

    it has been MY EXPERIENCE that the shipping label which i print on pay pal supersede anything else on the box.

    of course ymmv
  7. KC1GZG

    KC1GZG Ham Member QRZ Page

    I may take it up with the postmaster, I saved the box, the label, etc.
    K2CD likes this.
  8. K7MH

    K7MH Ham Member QRZ Page

    No it won't.
    They are very strict about abusing their free Priority and Express mail boxes. That is why they are printed even on the INSIDE of the box with which service it is. People used to get the free boxes and "turn them inside out" to use them for other cheaper services. They just didn't want to go find/buy a box they can use.
    The seller tried to slip it past them by pre paying the postage online then dropping it off at the counter and RUN!
    It really should have been returned to the seller rather than being delivered. The seller knew better but is just too lazy and dishonest to get the correct box. The he sticks the buyer for half the additional cost for his screw up? What a guy!! Although since you have the item and paid the extra postage he has you over a barrel.
    I would have refused the delivery unless it was just a couple bucks difference but Express delivery can be very expensive.
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2018
    W5BIB, N9LCD and N3AB like this.
  9. N9LCD

    N9LCD Ham Member QRZ Page

    The USPS product & rate structure is overly complex. Options for a service purchased online can be different from those purchased "over-the-counter".

    At Christmas, I tried to ship Christmas gifts in a flat-rate box insured for $150 with signature required for delivery. After close to 10 minutes, the clerk said I could get the insurance & signature required but I'd have to take the shipment home and repack in a regular (not flat rate) box. My cost -- about $36.00.

    I took the USPS' flat rate box to FedEx. It went standard rate with $150 insurance & hold for pickup for about $22.00

  10. WB0MPB

    WB0MPB XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Well I will throw out what I did and then ask if anyone thinks it will go through.
    I have sold things on eBay since eBay started back in the 90's. I have always just used my own box and just use word to make a label with the to and from info on it. I just sold something Friday so I decided to for the first time use a flat rate shipping box from USPS.

    The size it was said it would be $13.80 to ship. So I assumed that the weight did not mater just so the item fit the box. The item is not real heavy anyway. It is an RC transmitter and receiver.
    I had picked up the box when I first advertised it so I had it in the box just waiting for the auction to be up. Then, I have seen this option before but never used it, decided to click on the print shipping label answered all the questions and told it in the drop down that I was using the medium size flat rate box that was listed on the drop down as $13.80 (it took me to Paypal to do this) so when it got to the point of giving me a label it said, and I don't remember the exact wording, you get a 9% discount for prepaying because of some Global Network or something like that.

    So Paypal charged me $12.40 instead of the $13.80. So does anyone have experience with doing what I said above and paying the discount and print the label from Paypal and put it on the $13.80 flat rate box and ship it? It could be a dumb question (I have a lot of dumb questions in my brain!!) but I am I guess just looking for some comfort from someone that I did the right thing cause Paypal has charged me so I don't want to take it to the PO and have them make me pay it again. If they don't accept the discount then I can live with that but since I already paid $12.40 to paypal I don't want to have to now pay $13.80 cause the PO won't accept what I did.

    Kind of a long story and question but thanks for those that read this and give me any feedback if they can. I wanted to get it in the mail tomorrow.
    Thanks, John, WB0MPB
    WB7OXP likes this.

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