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Using the US Post Office Registered Mail service

NotTheOne

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#1
Recently I've had to send a package by registered mail. Now, I don't use registered mail so, of course, I made a few mistakes. I'd like to share them with you in case you need to send a package.

1. Don't seal the entire package with clear tape.

You know the packing stuff that's about 3" wide. They have to be able to stamp all the entry points of the package with that little red circular stamp. They told me at the ink will smear on the clear tape. So they covered my box with beige masking tape, so that they could stamp it. It looked real pretty when they were done with it, clear tape, beige masking tape, red ink circles.

When I told her I sealed the box as I didn't want the contents to be lost in shipment, she was adamant about the safety of registered mail shipments. At $16 for a small box w/o the postage & insurance cost, I would hope so.


2. Don't use a priority mail or express mail box.

Waste of money. Registerd mail move at it's own pace. It has nothing to do with the packaging it's in. I knew registered mail moved slowly, and thought, if I put it in a priority box, maybe it'll get there faster. Nope. The postal girl said, all registered mail leaves in the same bag (sack). It has no effect on time of shipment if it's in their box or your own.

So I wasted the money I paid for priority mail when I could have just used a plain brown box.

Hope this helps someone.
 
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#2
Priority Mail boxes are good if you have a heavy shipment. It wont get there faster(using registered mail) however, you REALLY don't want to pay full rate to ship a sack of 90%. ;)
 

5150female

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#3
I use the Priority Mail Flat Rate envelopes and boxes. You can order them for free right off of the USPS website & they deliver them to you. The Priority Mail Envelopes and small box (would hold a video cassette) cost $4.80 approx. with free Delivery Confirmationn to ship anywhere and regardless of weight. There are several sized boxes to choose from. There is a discount for purchasing your postage on-line. Flat Rate Priority has saved me a fortune in shipping charges. I encourage you to check it out.
 

ME Co.

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#4
I also get the flat rate boxes for free, though the roll of paper/glue tape cost ME like $11 at Staples but it has sent many a shipment. First one I sent I had clear taped it too and I had to repackage the dam thang at the PO with a long line of looky loos, PO did supply the tape and a wet sponge though. HH Mark

Under my name it says I "found a gold nugget", wonder what I did with it.
 

~BS

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#5
the tape you use is "paper tape". It has an adhesive on the backing that is wet with water. I'd recommend at least 2" wide for ease of use.

I think flat rate boxes are better as well. You pay the flat rate $4.85 or $10.85 or whatever, then the insured registered rate is tacked on. If you use your own box, then postage will be calculated upon size & weight. If you're shipping gold, not really a problem. 100 toz of silver smashed into a small flat rate box, and it could add up quickly.

Also, to further secure the package, you can bring your own clear tape. After the postal worker stamps the brown tape with the seal, request to wrap the entire package length and widthwise with the clear tape. This is helpful to keep the really heavy packages intact.
 

NotTheOne

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#6
I use the Priority Mail Flat Rate envelopes and boxes. You can order them for free right off of the USPS website & they deliver them to you. The Priority Mail Envelopes and small box (would hold a video cassette) cost $4.80 approx. with free Delivery Confirmationn to ship anywhere and regardless of weight. There are several sized boxes to choose from. There is a discount for purchasing your postage on-line. Flat Rate Priority has saved me a fortune in shipping charges. I encourage you to check it out.
The reasons for using registered mail have been discussed many times, mainly pm's are not insured if you use any other method. I wouldn't have used it if the receiver didn't insist on it. And I wasn't interested in covering the cost of the loss (if it happened) myself.
 
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#7
Based on a good bit of recent eBay shipping I've been doing:

  • Parcel Post often costs nearly as much as Priority Mail.
  • Flat-Rate Priority Mail boxes are best when you have something heavy to ship or you are going to have to buy boxes at high retail rates. Otherwise, the standard metered Priority Rates are usually cheaper (and you can use any carton you wish within the 108" limit). I typically save $2 to $5 on something that would otherwise have to go in a Medium Flat-Rate, depending on the weight and destination, but still going Priority.
  • Small items that can be sent in a padded mailer (bubble envelope) can go 1st-Class for about 20%-30% of the cost of Priority Mail.
On the box issue, USPS wised up. It used to be that you could cut flat-rate Priority Mail boxes and turn them inside-out for other shipping methods. They now have "Priority Mail" printed all over the inside to prevent that. Therefore, I save every incoming carton that can be re-used.
 

~BS

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#8
parcel post sometimes tends to "sit", resulting in higher risk of theft. So not only are you risking theft, the buyer is getting irritated because it's taking so long. And you're not saving that much money either.

1st class or priority is better. For small items (maybe 10 toz or under), it's cheaper to ship via 1st class in a tan envelope versus priority envelope or box. Of course if you're talking 10toz of gold, you'd want to ship that registered.
 

<SLV>

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#9
Resurrecting this...

How about privacy?

1. Does registered mail require the contents to be declared?
2. How long does the USPS keep registered mail records? (parcel number, weight, to/from, acceptance/delivery dates, etc.)
 

hernancortes

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1. No, they will just ask you whether the contents are fragile, liquid ,hazardous or perishable.
2. Not sure, I assume weeks or months. I've had Registered tracking numbers expire after awhile. I will test one later and get back to you.
 

Ragnarok

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#11
Nice thing about Regisred Mail is there is a chain of custody from you dropping it off to them delivering it, so that if something is wrong anywhere along the way they can track down whose neck to wring.

R.
 
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Treasure Searcher

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#13
1. No, they will just ask you whether the contents are fragile, liquid ,hazardous or perishable.
Actually its, are the contents fragile, liquid, perishable or potentially hazardous, such as perfume or lithium batteries".
 

Krag

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#14
I could see registered for $10K or above in gold or bullion. But I have shipped and received seven figures in collectibles, gold, etc. without any problems with express. Registered is very slow.
 

hernancortes

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#15
What is the insurance for express on a 7-figure shipment? Its gotta be way higher than registered. That's the other advantage of registered in that you can ship big$$ stuff cheaply.
 

Joe King

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#16
What is the insurance for express on a 7-figure shipment? Its gotta be way higher than registered. That's the other advantage of registered in that you can ship big$$ stuff cheaply.
They won't sell you that much insurance on regular pkgs and should the box come up missing, they wouldn't pay it anyways. Bullion and any cash equivalent contents are not covered even if you buy the insurance. They are only covered if shipped registered and then only up to $25,000.

usps.PNG



Shipping things like bullion using regular mail can be done, but anyone doing so should be aware that the risk is entirely their own.
 

hernancortes

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#17
Right, I do believe that registered is the only service where you can be assured that bullion is covered. Actually now they insure it to $50,000.