Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Is the Post Office Charging You Correctly?

I wouldn't call myself a expert on the post office.  However, after being in the world of online retail for a few years now I have shipped many packages and learned a lot along the way.

A few days ago while I was at the Post Office I heard a postal employee calculating the shipping for a persons package wrong.  It wasn't the first time or the first post office I have seen this mistake happening so I wanted to take a minute to explain the mistake and maybe save you a few dollars next time you have to mail boxes across the country.

OK here is what happened the other day and what I have seen happen many times before.

The formula that the post office is supposed to use to calculate shipping is length+height+width in combination with your packages weight.  However, the other day they were using length+height+girth(length+width+length+width).  In other words a package that measures 12x12x2 should have a total measurement of 26.  However, by the wrong math using girth they were telling this customer it has a measurement of 60.  That is a huge difference and will cost you money unless you tell them they are calculating the shipping wrong.

When I saw this happening the other day I told the postal working he was calculating the shipping wrong.  He went back to ask his supervisor who also told him he was doing it wrong.  Here is the sad part, when the supervisor asked how long he had been doing it the wrong way he said 5 years!  I can't imagine how much money people who had asked him to mail a package had been overcharged, but I'm sure it totals in the thousands of dollars.

Other tips for mailing packages:

*Print your postage with paypal and get free tracking.
*Buy and print your postage online and save 16%
*If you have empty space in a box cut the box shorter.  A few inches can save a few dollars.
*Always ask how much both normal and priority shipping cost.  Strangely enough from time to time priority shipping is cheaper.
*Shipping items in Priority boxes is often cheaper shipping items Priority mail in your own box.  You can check the price difference online.  If you go to the post office and then find out it cost more in your own box, just grab a priority box and put your box inside it.  Then address the priority box.

I hope these tips save you some money next time you have to ship something.

1 comment:

  1. Yikes! For 5 years!! That's horrible!! Hopefully he does it right now!!