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Forum topic by SalvageCraft posted 12-20-2011 07:53 AM 1178 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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274 posts in 2551 days

12-20-2011 07:53 AM

Hey folks,

I’m rolling out a line of crafts made from reclaimed wood (cutting boards, serving trays, keepsake boxes, small shelves). All of these items will be marketed and sold online. They will be be small and light enough to ship in reasonably sized shipping boxes.

My question to everyone is, do you have experience in shipping? If so do you prefer UPS, FedEx, USPS and for what reasons? I’ve heard that shipping is the most annoying part of an online business.

Please share your rants and raves, hopefully they will save me some trouble :)

-- Jesse --

8 replies so far

View childress's profile


841 posts in 3566 days

#1 posted 12-20-2011 08:03 AM

Anything small and under 13 oz. go USPS without a doubt. Anything over I send FedEx. They are the cheapest with bigger and heavier packages and you don’t have to pay extra for insurance. As long as you declare what the amount is, you’re good to go.

-- Childress Woodworks

View Eagle1's profile


2066 posts in 3089 days

#2 posted 12-20-2011 12:31 PM

USPS has those box’s if they fit they ship for one price. Thats what I use the boxes are free just pay for the shipping when you taks it to get mailed.

-- Tim, Missouri ....Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what the heck happened

View NiteWalker's profile


2737 posts in 2601 days

#3 posted 12-20-2011 12:34 PM

I use usps flat rate priority boxes. Never a problem and I like the predictable shipping cost, since it allows me to factor in the cost of shipping on the boxes I sell and advertise “Free Shipping”.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View tenontim's profile


2131 posts in 3769 days

#4 posted 12-20-2011 02:41 PM

Flat rate boxes, if it fits. Fedex is a little rougher on packages than UPS, but cheaper. They will all destroy whatever you ship, if it’s not packaged properly, especially heavier items.

View Puzzleman's profile


417 posts in 2969 days

#5 posted 12-20-2011 05:53 PM

The amount of shipping that you are planning to do will help determine the best shipper for you.

If you are only doing a few a day, the USPS will be your best choice. They come by your place everyday and pickup. You can do priority labels online. They supply free boxes, if it fits.

If you are going to be shipping many packages a day, then FedEX or UPS would be a good choice. They ship quicker and cheaper for things of 8 -9 lbs or more. They can also integrate with a database so that you do not have to put the address in when shipping. When shipping many packages a day, you can also integrate a scale that automatically puts the weight into their systems. This can speed up the shipping process a great deal.

I have personally used UPS for 8 years and then switched to FedEx last year. Their damage rate is just about the same, delivery time is about the same but FedEx was about 10% cheaper. I ship about 40 packages a day them so they come by the shop everyday for pickups.

-- Jim Beachler, Chief Puzzler,

View Don W's profile

Don W

18754 posts in 2592 days

#6 posted 12-20-2011 06:12 PM

I asked basically the same question here and got a lot of good and helpful information.

My advice having just gone through it is as follows:
Shipping sucks, no doubt about it.
Set up an online account for all services. It is a bit cheaper.
If your shipping through ebay or paypal its a little easier, use it.
Order yourself the free flat rate boxes so you have them on hand. They take a long time to get unless you can just pick them up locally.
I spent like $15 on ebay and got a shipping scale. It was well worth the investment

I prefer USPS because you can just stick it in your mailbox. The nearest UPS store is a long haul from me.
UPS charges for pickup if you need to request it. Its not cheap.
Package as if your going to drop it off a 5 story building.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View Wood_smith's profile


260 posts in 3050 days

#7 posted 12-22-2011 05:17 AM

Being north of our border, I use Canada Post, at least 1/3 cheaper than
No matter what side you’re on, I agree with Don W- buy a shipping scale! and with NightWalker- factor in shipping costs in the price and advertise free shipping. People really seem to go for that.

-- Lloyd Kerry; creator of the Kerry-All Pouch,

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2170 posts in 2875 days

#8 posted 12-22-2011 05:36 AM

Shipping doesn’t need to be a pain. If you put it in that category, you’re introducing negativity that will only grow on itself.

Set an area apart, get good tools—a good (not imported) tape gun, quality tape, proper labels. Check ULine or a local package outfit for boxes. They’ll ship them flat, but they still take up room.

You can make your own boxes on an occasional basis, or modify them, with a table saw and hot melt glue. I doubt that you’re going to have anything really fragile, but if you do, double box it. It will make it easier to collect insurance if that comes up.

The little pillows are greener packing that the traditional styro ghost poo.

If you are carting boxes to a shipper, go for a hand truck like this. Costco was cheaper.

Regarding scales, I bought an upscale (sorry) one and to my surprise it registers in tenths of a pound. All the online fillup forms want pounds and ounces. So I convert!

Go after shipping like you’re learning a new shop skill. You’ll get good and take pride in it.

And there’s something emotionally fulfilling to put in a box something you made (and got money for), adding a nice personal note, and taping it shut and putting it by the door. Yay!



-- " his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

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