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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-07-2015, 09:31 PM Thread Starter
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Question about priority mail!

So I was asking around about priority mail flat rate the other day and someone mentioned shipping the plants priority mail, but NOT FLAT RATE. I was curious about that and I found these priority mail stickers at my post office. To ship priority mail, but NOT FLAT RATE, do I need to just get a blank box or envelope and slap one of these stickers on? If not, how do I do it? Here is a picture.
THANKS!

Bump: Sorry Wrong picture!
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Last edited by aquanauts; 07-07-2015 at 09:32 PM. Reason: Mistake
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-07-2015, 09:47 PM
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-07-2015, 10:05 PM
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you can do that...the only difference with flat rate,is the amount stays the same no matter the weight.In many cases,if you put "perishable" or even "live plants" on the box,it *may* get handled a bit faster.

I work for the USPS,and in the larger plants sorting is done by machine,but in many smaller ones,the packages are sorted by humans.Most people who work here want your things to arrive ok,and will do their best.

in most cases,a small flat rate box will cost less to ship then a larger package.I'm not sure why you wouldn't use a flat rate box,they are handled the same.

MTS? no,I just need one more tank...
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-07-2015, 10:14 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by MtAnimals View Post
you can do that...the only difference with flat rate,is the amount stays the same no matter the weight.In many cases,if you put "perishable" or even "live plants" on the box,it *may* get handled a bit faster.

I work for the USPS,and in the larger plants sorting is done by machine,but in many smaller ones,the packages are sorted by humans.Most people who work here want your things to arrive ok,and will do their best.

in most cases,a small flat rate box will cost less to ship then a larger package.I'm not sure why you wouldn't use a flat rate box,they are handled the same.
The reason is that when shipping aquarium plats, the weight will usually be under a pound. Since the non flat rate packages will be weighed to determine the price, it would be cheaper to pay for just the weight of the product in conjunction with fast shipping.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-07-2015, 10:45 PM
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I definitely found it much cheaper to do priority mail by weight for shipping plants. It's good to hear that the general attitude of USPS sorters is a positive one...
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-08-2015, 12:23 AM
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to answer the OP's question,in the picture is actually a priority mail address label.Go ahead and use that,but there are also priority stickers,and you can put one of those on each side of the box so no matter how the box is sitting,it will be seen as priority.

MTS? no,I just need one more tank...
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-08-2015, 12:49 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by MtAnimals View Post
to answer the OP's question,in the picture is actually a priority mail address label.Go ahead and use that,but there are also priority stickers,and you can put one of those on each side of the box so no matter how the box is sitting,it will be seen as priority.
What is a priority sticker? Didn't see any at the post office. Do I have to ask them for it?
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-08-2015, 02:41 AM
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The place I work ships around a 100 packages a day. The cheapest way to ship is in a flat rate envelope, even shipping the next city over a flat rate envelope will be the same price as a box you buy. The second cheapest is a padded flat rate envelope, which will be cheaper then shipping in your own box when shipping far distances.

Example shipping from oregon to new york (we get cheaper rates then the public due to volume)

Priority Flat Rate $5.05
Priority Padded Envelope $5.35
Priority in small box at least $6.00 probably closer to $8.00

What I would suggest is shipping in a smallish box and placing that box in the padded envelope and then ship, I use 6X4X4 at work all the time. On areas further away. Areas near by just ship in the box, you can add priority stickers if you like your local po will have them or you can order them online, the label will let the postman know that it is priority though. When shipping in state, especially if shipping to the nearest shipping plant it usually only takes a day so priority and first class usually have the same time.

Also go to your local po and talk to the nicest looking person working there, not the person with an I hate live look, cause they won't care. Their is usually at least one person there that actually likes and appreciates their job, and will help get your stuff shipped the cheapest fastest way possible.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-08-2015, 04:03 AM
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Originally Posted by aquanauts View Post
What is a priority sticker? Didn't see any at the post office. Do I have to ask them for it?
you might need to ask,yes.they come in a roll,or sometimes they'l be in boxes.it's just a sticker,about 2x3 or so.

MTS? no,I just need one more tank...
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-08-2015, 04:14 PM
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You can also go online to www.USPS.com and hit the "Calculate a Price" tab on the right hand side to see how much shipping just priority will cost.

Typically for me (more than a pound) I do the flat rate as it comes out better.

Also keep in mind if you ship online with an account (free to make) you typically save a quarter or something like that.
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-08-2015, 11:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Pockets View Post
You can also go online to www.USPS.com and hit the "Calculate a Price" tab on the right hand side to see how much shipping just priority will cost.

Typically for me (more than a pound) I do the flat rate as it comes out better.

Also keep in mind if you ship online with an account (free to make) you typically save a quarter or something like that.
Definitely use the online account! Plus you can just print your own label if you have a printer to stick on your package. Then just drop it off at USPS or wait for them to pick it up from you.

I always request a box (flat rate) instead of just padded envelopes, not sure if it's my location but everything I get goes through some type of roller or something so plants get crushed.
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-09-2015, 01:47 AM
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The small flat rate box is a bargain for almost all shipments that will fit in it. Regular Priority mail costs more for longer distances, so distance can have a bigger effect than weight.

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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-09-2015, 03:27 AM Thread Starter
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The small flat rate box is a bargain for almost all shipments that will fit in it. Regular Priority mail costs more for longer distances, so distance can have a bigger effect than weight.
That is true. Thanks for all the help guys!
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