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  1. #1
    LSP Instructor #2119

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    Shipping Marketplace Items

    Wasn't sure which forum to stick this in, I guess this one makes sense. I sell a lot of crap online so wanted to share some shipping tips, inspired the the recent post where someone wanted to charge $25 to drop something off at the Post Office.

    DO NOT WALK INTO THE POST OFFICE AND SAY "I'D LIKE TO MAIL THIS THING PLEASE" unless you're 150 years old, hate money and have tons of free time.

    Shipping things is EASY. You really only need 3 pieces of equipment: a scale that does ounces, a ruler and a printer.

    If you need a scale, you can get real fancy for $26 or just get a kitchen scale for $11.

    Accepting payment:
    • PayPal Friends & Family
    • PayPal Goods & Services (additional fees for the seller, but includes purchase protection. You can calculate G&S fees here:
    • Venmo
    • CashApp

    Venmo and CashApp are smartphone apps, PayPal you can do from a browser. No matter what you use for payment, DO NOT PUT ANYTHING FIREARMS-RELATED IN THE NOTES AREA. All of these companies are very anti-gun, and if they get a whiff of anything fun, you'll get your account suspended. I'd recommend just using a food emoji or saying something creative like "rent" or "groceries" (If you don't know what an emoji is, this post doesn't apply to you anyway.)

    Do you trust the person you're buying from? PayPal G&S is the only payment option that offers built-in buyer protection, but it's also the only one with fees. With the other three, once the money is sent it cannot be recalled. If you don't know or trust the person, use G&S (remember the seller absorbs the fee). Shooter is a pretty good community, so the odds of some douche mailing you an empty box are pretty slim, but this is important to know how to CYA. If you know the person or if they have lots of positive feedback on their iTrader rating, use one of the others to save paying fees.

    Packing your stuff:

    This one's pretty self-explanatory. Save your amazon boxes and bubble mailers, get some packing tape, and you're good to go. Now is when you stick it on the scale and measure how big it is.

    Buying postage:

    Under a pound, you have three options...
    • -- commercial pricing, usually about 30% less than post office, can pay however you want
    • PayPal Shipping -- commercial pricing, usually about 30% less than post office, but you can only buy postage with your PayPal account
    • -- good option if you want to pay full price for the same thing

    Over a pound, you have two options...
    • PirateShip, which somehow has access to cubic rates which they somehow have magical access to, and is way less than the usual by-weight rates.
    • USPS flat-rate boxes, which you can fill with concrete without changing the price. They have padded envelopes and 4 sizes of boxes, and they're free to pick up at the post office.

    Insurance... USPS is a dumpster fire so best practice is to put insurance on your package. USPS provides insurance but it's a nightmare trying to make a claim. PirateShip uses a third-party insurance company called Shipsurance that's much easier to deal with.

    Firearms and ammunition... rifles and shotguns can go through USPS, but ammo and handguns need to go through FedEx or UPS. A nonlicensee can ship to another nonlicensee within the same state without an FFL (it's true). A nonlicensee must ship to an FFL if it's going out of state.

    Labeling... this is where the printer comes in: just print off the label and stick it to the package! If you want to get fancy, you can use sticker sheets. If you don't just tape or spray-glue the sucker down.

    Mailing the thing:
    • If your mailman likes you and the thing is small, you can just leave it in your mailbox and they'll pick it up on their normal route
    • If your mailman doesn't like you and the thing is small, you can drop it in a blue box
    • If your thing is large (won't fit in a blue box) or expensive (want to be extra-sure it gets scanned in), then head to the post office and drop 'er off.

    So how much does this actually cost? Most things under a pound (which is probably 90% of the stuff on here, other than guns) will cost you about $5 including insurance, and take 2-3 days in-state. (If you wonder why I offer to ship things for free or pretty cheap, this is why.) If you want to sell something bigger like an upper, that'll go by weight and could be around $15-20 insured. Shipping a pistol in a FedEd flat rate box with insurance will get you closer to $30.
    Last edited by southerncanuck; June 5th, 2021 at 02:43 PM.

  2. #2

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    i typically keep it simple... i dont have a business in selling stuff on line so the $2-3 is not that important to me, with shipping 1-5 things a month

    flat rate padded bag/box 2-3 day ships as much as you can cram in there for $8
    (can fit 6 pmags in these)

    more than that

    flat rate med box. ship up tp 70 lbs 2-3 day for $14
    (you can fit at least 25 pmags in one of these)

    yup, i print the labels and tape them on the box mail lady will pick any prepaid shipping up and scan it right there ... or just go to the usps and drop them off pre printed or get them to print a label and pay them
    Last edited by Bigchillin83; June 5th, 2021 at 02:47 PM.

  3. #3

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    yes and shipping ammo sucks for me... im a ways away from the ups hub that accepts it.. so i usually dont ship ammo

  4. #4

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    Iím a flat rate box or envelope guy. I print my stuff off usps website

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    Censored by "them"

  5. #5
    La. CHP Instructor #409

    Premium Member

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    I use USPS which is approximately 2 miles from me.
    I did lose an insured $550 package between Walker and Baton Rouge many years ago and USPS would not pay because I could not show them a receipt for the stolen items.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by MOTOR51 View Post
    I’m a flat rate box or envelope guy. I print my stuff off usps website

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    The same for me. Once I had a usps clerk wanting to charge me $9.76 for a media mail package that was under 15ounces. I said no way. Went home, got on the usps website, plugged in the info of my package, which came out to $2.98, but I could not buy the postage on the site. I printed out the info and took it back to the post office to prove she was wrong in her quote. She then agreed that she made a mistake and promptly charged me the $2.98 for my package.

  7. #7

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    Good info. Had me laughing as well

  8. #8

    Premium Member

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    PirateShip and PayPal are the way to go.

    I shipped an upper for about $13 and I recently shipped sights to California for $3.

  9. #9

    Premium Member

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    Many thanks for this most informative post! Only wish I had access to it Friday. I'm relatively new to using the forum and a very first-timer at shipping items out of town and finding out what it costs. Yep! After muddling through the USPS multiple sites -and- not finding the right search terms or selecting the wrong buttons... befitting the poster child image you painted for the DON'T DO - I went to the USPS office. I asked for a rate chart, insurance costs, etc.(I have a postal scale). The clerk was devoid of info - other than referring me BACK to I KNEW what I didn't know, professed it, and was basically told I SHOULD be able to figure it out - I was on my own.

    The info I eventually pulled together Friday evening proved to be a waste of time - as it was all in a few sentences of your post - simple and free. And... there was much more helpful advice therein, and also - the replies/comments contained info that I have, in the past, tried to search out - with limited satisfaction.

    IMHO - you and the other contributors, have made things better for us neophytes, distilling and distributing the basics of "how-to" gained from experience and research.

    Thanks Again!

  10. #10

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    I keep it simple. Go into the post office and grab some flat rate boxes. It’s as easy as that and about $8.50 to ship something. I don’t understand how people are still nuking this. As far as shipping something larger than what will fit in a flat rate box this is great info.
    Last edited by Jstudz220; June 5th, 2021 at 08:31 PM.

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