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RussZHC
03-23-2012, 05:15 PM
These postal flat rate boxes are wonderful things even if limited to 20lbs internationally like for me.

But how many of you have used sizes other than the small, the choice of two mediums or the large?

Asked as when buying I sort of try to get the best bang for the buck by getting the box full while staying under the weight limit...part of the reason, or so I thought, of some metal suppliers having pieces in 13" sizes as a regular cut (the longest linear box dimension of those 4 boxes is 13 5/8").

Anyway, in trying to resolve an shipping issue, I made yet another trip to the USPS website...and found there are other size boxes on the Priority Mail International Flat Rate page, and for my use, the interesting one is "Large Board Game Box" 23 11/16 x 11 3/4 x 3.
But there is nowhere that I can find a mention of a weight limit.


I have the question "in" to USPS, anyone happen to know?

Not sure why it would be anything other than 20lbs (it is the same cost as a large box) but it could also mean a 2 foot piece is possible and that opens up a whole bunch of possibilities.

Edit: apparently I am not allowed to ask the USPS a question [no valid US address, zip code etc. etc.] so...

Frank K
03-23-2012, 06:37 PM
Well, I can ask them anything seeing as how I worked for them for 35 years. And the answer is....20 pounds.
Just out of curosity, how are you planning to use USPS if you're not located in the US?

tumutbound
03-23-2012, 06:55 PM
I specify USPS where possible for things I get from US suppliers (I assume RussZHC is getting stuff from the US?)
The Flat Rate boxes are pretty good value for money (compared to DHL or Fedex). If the items wont fit in a flat rate box and are charged at volume/weight then it's not so good.
You should be able to get a quote for a certain size/weight package from the USPS website, I'm sure I've done this is the past.

RussZHC
03-23-2012, 07:50 PM
Thanks for the repliess and thoughts...

Frank, its pretty much like Geoff said, it can be either the weight restriction (20lbs, international) that bites me or the dimensions.

It also depends on who is shipping and how much work they feel like going to for what maybe a one time or fairly small sale.
In most cases the seller assumes there are only those 4 very common size of boxes or that there is no other way to ship via USPS and that knowledge or lack of has cost me dollars in the past or a claim of "can't ship by post, too big to fit in standard box".

The shipment that prompted the question as example, I cut my shipping by a bit over 1/3 by being somewhat insistent since I was pretty sure I knew weight and dimension restrictions. I deliberately ordered nothing larger than the known dimensions and their weight quote was 39lbs packed so...to me that is not 9 or 10lbs in a flat rate box and the rest in just some random box to be shipped by USPS.

Sometimes it has worked in my favor, I had a replacement cross feed screw sent and the seller shipped it in a thick wall tube which was quite a bit cheaper and better packaging than if they tried to fit it into a flat rate box...on the other hand, you would be surprised how often what I seem to need is just that little bit longer than 13 5/8"...which sort of makes sense since some common dimensions on say a 12x36 lathe are just that little bit bigger.

Part of this is, unfortunately, if I don't know the current rates and what is available, the temptation for some is pretty great.

Paul Alciatore
03-23-2012, 08:56 PM
.....

Edit: apparently I am not allowed to ask the USPS a question [no valid US address, zip code etc. etc.] so...

So fake it. Pick a business in the US and use their address. After all, all you want is the rates. I needed a rate recently and they really do not want to post their rate tables on line. I had to use my old Iowa address as a ship to in order to get anything.

Why can't they just post the rate tables?????

TGTool
03-23-2012, 11:48 PM
I purchased a 24" camelback straightedge casting from a guy on PM and he shipped in a USPS triangular flat rate tube just over 24" long. Dunno what the weight is, but it's more of a horse to heft around than I expected. I didn't even know they had this alternative but it worked nicely.

RussZHC
03-24-2012, 12:21 AM
Why can't they just post the rate tables?????

Paul: I figured it would be just as fast to ask here...I agree with the above comment.

In Canada is sort of ironic/funny, I guess here they figured out there is a bit of market and they sell the boxes as well as the actual shipping [not 100% certain but it is my understanding, from USPS the boxes are free] but last time I looked on Canada Post it was really easy to figure, to and from postal code, parcel dimensions incl weight (as there are limits) and you get a calculated price.

38_Cal
03-24-2012, 12:55 AM
I used flat rate boxes when my two older sons were in the military, and will when my youngest gets out of USAF boot camp. Wonderful things...

Did you know that a can of beer fits nicely into a Pringles can with a bit of padding on each end? Especially good when it's going to Iraq...:eek: :D

David

platypus2020
03-24-2012, 09:17 AM
Edit: apparently I am not allowed to ask the USPS a question [no valid US address, zip code etc. etc.] so...


Because they are afraid you Canadians, will steal their highly efficient and money making business plan. :eek:

Black_Moons
03-24-2012, 11:26 AM
...
Edit: apparently I am not allowed to ask the USPS a question [no valid US address, zip code etc. etc.] so...

Just ask UPS instead. Warning: they will want a $50 answer import fee, a $10 con fee, I mean convenience fee for paying the $50 fee, $8 in taxes on the $50 fee, a $9 fee processing fee and a $15 inconvenience fee for making them send you a bill several weeks after you receive your answer instead of using COD like everyone else. Good news is the answer only costs $5 :rolleyes:

Paul Alciatore
03-24-2012, 01:45 PM
I used flat rate boxes when my two older sons were in the military, and will when my youngest gets out of USAF boot camp. Wonderful things...

Did you know that a can of beer fits nicely into a Pringles can with a bit of padding on each end? Especially good when it's going to Iraq...:eek: :D

David

Yea, but how did you keep it cold?

HAP
03-24-2012, 07:00 PM
I ordred some press plate from Swag Offroad and the mailed them in a medium flat rate box 11"X9". I thought the thing was glued to the driveway! The worst part is the mail lady that day was the little frail 70 somthing yo... I really felt bad for her and I still don't know how she was able to off load at my back door??
Plates are 1.5" thick!

http://i890.photobucket.com/albums/ac106/HAPSHOP/IMAG0080.jpg
http://i890.photobucket.com/albums/ac106/HAPSHOP/IMAG0079.jpg

Black_Moons
03-24-2012, 07:33 PM
Hahahahah... As much as I hate package abuse, I hope she just backed up and kicked em off the back of her mail truck! Poor lady!