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PSA: Be Aware of Your Shipping Options This Holiday Season

A friend contacted us yesterday with a warning: understand your shipping options or be prepared to be ripped off. It seems she was trying to ship children’s clothes that no longer fit across the country to a relative. She took her box to the post office in Kimball Junction and told the worker that she needed to ship the box and didn’t really care how long it took. The post office worker replied that given the box’s size, priority shipping was the only option. Two points of clarification are needed. First, priority means 2-3 days shipping to most locations. Second, she said this was not a “huge” box; in fact she’d received a shipment from Amazon in it the day before.

The price to ship the box across 4 states via priority mail was almost $37. At that price, she balked and was ready to walk out. She asked, “isn’t there another option?”. The worker finally replied that it could go Standard Post, but that would be via “ground shipping”, and cost $22. My friend replied that she had initially said that time didn’t matter, so of course she was OK saving 50% if it took a bit longer. The worker replied: OK.

In visiting with her, she felt she was being lied to in order for the post office to make an extra buck — something she didn’t expect from the post office. She said it was almost like someone had been encouraging them to up-sell in order to increase their revenues.

So the moral of the story is (as with most things) … do your own research. If you really can wait 7-10 days for a package to arrive make sure you are prepared to demand that level of service. If you can wait and don’t demand it, you may be paying more than you need to.




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