Tag Archives: flat rate shipping

Hazardous, Restricted and Prohibited Items

An agreement was reached between the carriers, U.S. DOT and IATA to keep all shipments traveling in the air safe. For this reason the HAZMAT question was created. So, there is a definitive list of items that can and cannot be shipped in accordance with the law. However, while you should never ship liquids like oil, lighter fluid and other flammable substances, there is nothing wrong with shipping a well-packaged bottle of bubble bath via a ground service.

Descriptions that indicate Dangerous Goods include: “Explosive”, “Compressed Gas”, “Flammable”, “Poison”, “Toxic”, “Infectious”, “Radioactive”, or “Corrosive.”  These dangerous goods should never be sent.

The carriers will also restrict shipments with certain commodities due to regulatory laws or concerns about personal safety. Those items include: live fish, alcohol, clinical specimens, human parts, firearms, batteries, tobacco, currencies, or used medical devices.


Hidden Dangerous Goods

While not obvious, these items are classified as Hidden Dangerous Goods and should not be shipped:

Breathing apparatus (may contain compressed oxygen), Camping gear (may contain flammable gas or liquid), Dental apparatus (may contain hazardous chemicals, resins or solvents), Cylinders (may contain compressed gas), Photographic supplies (may contain dangerous chemicals or inks), Household shipments/goods (may contain flammable household liquids, bleaching powders, aerosol paints, lighters, or perfume), Car batteries (may contain corrosive,or explosive materials), Fireworks (may contain flammable substances), Matches (may contain flammable substances), Aerosol sprays (may contain compressed gas), Nail polish (may contain chemicals), Nitrogen-refrigerated liquids (may contain compressed gas), or ORM-D (may contain compressed gas).

Questions about particular items can be directed to the carrier, or you can call Goin’ Postal of Tallahassee at (850) 692-3130, visit us on the web at http://gpoftallahassee.com, or drive to our store at 5810 North Monroe Street, Suite 210A, Tallahassee, Florida.  We’ll help you package your items safely and cheaply!

As always, you can also connect with us on Twitter (http://twitter.com/gptally) or like our Facebook fan page!

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ATTENTION: All eBay Sellers…

Here at our home store, a good portion of our business comes from eBay sellers who are shipping out merchandise. Sadly, all too often we will see a look of disappointment when they hear how much it is to actually ship out their purchase, and realize they were WAY UNDER on their estimate.  Since eBay requires that you input a price for shipping BEFORE you post your item, the best way to protect yourself from LOSING MONEY on your shipment is to contact us here at Goin’ Postal Tallahassee to get an accurate quote based on the weight and dimensions of your item.  All you have to do is call us at (850) 692-3130, or click on the link marked “Contact Us” on our website, http://gpoftallahassee.com, and one of our Shipping Experts will contact you right away with the different options you have for shipping, and the prices of each option.  That way you can make sure you cover your own costs BEFORE you put that item on eBay.

Of course, you can always just drive to our store at 5810 N Monroe Street, Suite 210A, Tallahassee, Florida, and we can help you package your items safely and cheaply!!!

You can also connect with us on Twitter (http://twitter.com/gptally) or like our Facebook fan page!

To Insure or Not to Insure…

THAT is the question. Granted, it SHOULD be the carrier’s job to make sure your shipment arrives in its destination on time and in tact, but when should you spend the extra money to protect yourself in case something were to happen? Here are a few tips:

1) Does your item have DOCUMENTABLE value or SENTIMENTAL value? Unfortunately, the shipping companies do not allow for what something is worth TO YOU, only what it is worth in the commercial sense, in other words—the amount that was on the receipt when yo purchased the item. So, if you put an old polaroid of your family in a $20 picture frame, and the shipper were to damage or lose it, while the picture may be priceless to you, it is only worth $20 to the shipping company.

2) Is your shipment packed properly? Regardless of how much insurance you buy, if the carrier determines that your package was not prepared to adequately protect your shipment against the normal wear and tear of transit, they still can reserve the right to deny the insurance claim.  Things they look for are: items placed in used or already damaged boxes, and items that are not cushioned with enough packing material (foam peanuts, bubble wrap, etc.) In fact, the drivers who pick up the packages are trained to look out for these types of things to protect the shippers against false claims.  So make sure you have your shipment packaged within the guidelines of the shipper you are using.

3) Is it worth the added expense to you? FedEx and UPS automatically include up to $100 worth of insurance; added insurance is usually around $3 per $100 of insurance.  The USPS does not automatically include any insurance; and to add insurance is usually around $2 to $3 per $100 of insurance.  So sometimes it just isn’t worth the extra expense; other times, it is better to be safe than sorry.

Should you have any questions about insurance costs or packaging guidelines, make sure to call Goin’ Postal Tallahassee at (850) 692-3130, visit us on the web at http://gpoftallahassee.com, or drive to our store at 5810 North Monroe Street, Suite 210A, Tallahassee, Florida. We will make sure we help you get your shipments where they need to be, on time and intact.

You can also connect with us on Twitter (http://twitter.com/gptally) or like our Facebook fan page!

USPS Flat-Rate Shipping = Flat Ripoff?

I’m sure by now everybody has seen the commercials for the United States Post Office’s Flat-Rate Shipping. You know, “If it fits, it ships.” Sounds great in theory, but what most people DO NOT know is that unless your package weighs a certain amount, it can actually still be CHEAPER to send it through a private carrier, such as UPS or Fed Ex. Here is a better explanation:

As an example, let us say that a customer has an average size package (about 12″ by 9″ by 6″) going somewhere relatively close in proximity (1-2 days transit time, via Ground Shipping). The ‘Flat-Rate’ shipping cost for this size package is $10.70.  Sounds pretty good, until you realize that unless the package weighs 15 POUNDS (think of your average bowling ball), it is less expensive to ship it through Fed Ex, PLUS you get the added services of tracking and up to $100 of shipping insurance!  Now, Fed Ex rates will increase the farther away the destination is, but even for the farthest destinations (for this test we used rates from Florida to California), the package would still have to weigh over 7 pounds before the Flat Rate cost becomes a better deal than Fed Ex’s standard Ground Rate.  It gets worse, for the USPS Large Flat-Rate box, it would have to weigh almost 30 POUNDS before the USPS Rate is better! The only real exceptions to these rates are destinations outside the continental US, like Alaska and Hawaii–it will almost always be cheaper to go through the USPS. 

Your best bet? Always make sure you go to a Postal Service that has access to not just one carrier, such as the Post Office, UPS, or Fed Ex Stores.  Franchises like Goin’ Postal offer all services, and can give you all the rates–so you can  compare them and decide how you would like to ship your package. If you are in the Big Bend area of Florida, Goin’ Postal Tallahassee offers all these services–without the long lines!  Visit us at our store at 3491 Thomasville Road in Tallahassee, or on the web at www.goinpostaltallahassee.com and one of our expert staff will give you help with your shipments.

Goin’ Postal Tallahassee’s July 4th Promotion

In honor of Independence day (July 4th, 2010), Goin’ Postal Tallahassee will be sending ‘care packages’ to our troops stationed overseas, protecting our freedoms.  You can help by donating items such as:

 food-chips, nuts, beef jerky, candy, energy drinks, etc.—just make sure it is not perishable or need refrigeration.

hygiene items-mouthwash, sanitizing wipes, chapstick, etc.

magazines, books, etc.

We will also accept cash donations, which we will use to buy those items.

When you donate items to send, you will receive a coupon for 10% OFF of your next FedEx, UPS, or DHL Service!!!

Also, if you have a friend or family member in the military, stop by the store and give us their mailing information, and we will send them a care package as well !!!

The deadline to get items over to the troops is Next Saturday, June 18th, 2010.  Visit our website, www.goinpostaltallahasee.com for hours and directions.  Our freedom does not come without a cost—and these men and women are sacrificing everything to protect us—so PLEASE HELP SUPPORT OUR TROOPS!!!

Shipping Support to our Troops…

It may seem hard to believe, but we are rapidly approaching the TENTH anniversary of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and Iraq.  It is now more important than ever to offer whatever support we can to our friends, relatives, and loved ones who are making the sacrifice to protect our country’s interests abroad—and what better way to remind them that their efforts are appreciated than to send them a care package?  Items such as candies, snacks, magazines can help make their time over there at least a little more comfortable; as can hygiene items like mouthwash, cleaning wipes, and lotion.  And the USPS offers flat-rate shipping to APO/FPO destinations for really low rates!

To ensure that cards and packages reach your loved one or friend as quickly as possible, please be sure to:

  • Use the service member’s full name, with or without rank or title.
  • Unit designation
  • APO/FPO with 9 Digit Zip Code
  • DO NOT include the country or the base camp’s city.
  • Include your return address.
  • For parcels: only print on ONE side of the package and put the destination address in the lower right hand corner of the package.

Each country has its own specific restrictions and regulations on items in incoming mail and packages, and each 5-digit military post adheres to these restrictions and may also have additional rules of its own.  To find out if you can send what you want to, just call Goin’ Postal Tallahassee at (850)668-1840 or look up restrictions to APO/FPO addresses online at http://www.usps.com/cpim/ftp/bulletin/2003/html/pb22101/apofpo.html

In general, the following items may NOT be mailed to APO/FPO addresses:

  • Anti-Islamic or religious materials contrary to the principles of Islam for distribution to others (those for personal use only are usually allowed)
  • Coffee, cigarettes, and tobacco
  • Pork or pork by-products
  • Fruits, alcoholic beverages, materials used in the production of alcohol (yeast, hops, malt, etc.)
  • Any materials or items of a pornographic, sexually explicit or graphic nature (including magazines, photographs, videotapes, CDs, DVDs, paintings, playing cards, greeting cards, pens, etc.)
  • Any unauthorized political materials

Special Note: Some Muslim countries may have laws against displaying Christian symbols. Please keep that in mind when sending cards, packages, and letters.  You’ll want to use envelopes and boxes that don’t bear Christmas decorations on them since customs may refuse to allow them to enter those countries.

This information has been provided by Goin’ Postal Tallahassee as a public service.

Goin’ Postal Tallahassee offers a variety of services from stamps sold at face value to mailing and shipping via the United States Postal Service, FedEx, DHL, UPS, freight and other carriers, as well as packing and shipping supplies, eBay services, copying, faxing, notary services, low-cost mailbox rentals, and much more. Visit us at 3491 Thomasville Road in Tallahassee, call us at (850)668-1840, or visit us on the web at www.goinpostaltallahassee.com