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To those who do In-House Fulfillment
LongView




msg:651368
 4:48 am on Feb 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

A few of you mentioned doing in-house fulfillment rather than going with a fulfillment service.

A few questions for you and anyone else who may know:

1) I was going to be using USPS for international shipments. Do they have a pickup service or is that organization still so archaic that you have to walk it to the post office and stand in line with the guy who is just there to buy a stamp?

2) What do you use for domestic? I know UPS and FedEx have pickup services.

I think doing it in-house will save me a ton of cash, and packing up boxes is a piece of cake, but Im not sure how Id get them out my front door, literally.

Thanks

 

pendanticist




msg:651369
 4:52 am on Feb 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

#1. I doubt it. But you could call them on the, uh, phone.

LongView




msg:651370
 5:42 am on Feb 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

And sit on hold and go through 50 prompts and hope I find someone who knows. True.

pendanticist




msg:651371
 5:47 am on Feb 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

Look at it this way. If they were to have such a service, you'd have heard more about it than Carter used to have little liver pills. It would have been alllll over the news.

fabfurs




msg:651372
 1:27 pm on Feb 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

If you use USPS "Click n Ship" to generate the label and pay postage online, you can request a pick-up online. They'll show up the next day, usually.

Better yet, if you do regular shipments and the USPS works your neighbourhood daily, talk to the driver about him cruising your street each day and set-up a signal for him to stop for a pickup... use a bright colored paper in a window as the signal.

I don't know if this works in major urban areas but it does in our neck of the woods.

craftedev




msg:651373
 2:28 pm on Feb 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

We rely on the USPS for most of our domestic shipments and we also use them for a few international shipments. We arranged for a daily pickup through the USPS website. I believe you can make requests as far as 3 months out.

Their daily pickups make them much more attractive than UPS who wants $5/day to pickup in our area. I'm sure UPS would waive some of that fee if we had more volume with them. Most items we ship weigh less than a pound so USPS is also cheaper. For the heavy items we started using the USPS flat rate boxes. The downside to the USPS is the lack of reliable tracking.

jwurunner




msg:651374
 2:52 pm on Feb 3, 2005 (gmt 0)


As for #2, we use Fedex ground. They charge $7.00 a week for daily pickup. The only problem is they tend to get upset if you don't have a package every day. You will find that Fedex is more reasonable that "Brown". Don't fall for "Brown's" commercials.

Good Luck.

martyt




msg:651375
 3:29 pm on Feb 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

International shipments have to have all the customs forms, etc. attached, so there's little choice at this point but to go stand in line at the post office. You might be able to buy your postage ahead of time at the USPS web site, and have all the forms filled out in advance, but you will still need to personally give the package to the clerk.

For domestic shipments, especially small items where UPS and FedEx are too expensive, the USPS is excellent. We ship nearly all our orders via USPS, either first class, parcel post or priority mail. Postage is handled through stamps.com and is pretty much hassle-free.

A big benefit of using priority mail is that the USPS provides boxes in a lot of different sizes for free. Plus they've recently started a "flat rate" priority mail service -- there are two or 3 different sized boxes that all cost $7.70 or so, regardless of weight or destination. So it can be faster and cheaper than UPS/FedEx in many cases.

You can either give your packages to your local letter carrier or call for a pickup. Either way it's supposed to be free. We still drop things off at the post office daily becaue usually don't have the packages ready when the letter carrier comes around. There's no need to stand in line at the post office when you're packages are already weighed and labeled - just dump them on the counter and leave (which *always* raises the eyebrows of the poor schmucks stuck in line...)

For the larger packages, we have a UPS account but no daily pickup. Instead, there's a UPS Store about 3 blocks away where we can drop off the pre-labeled packages. Saves the cost for the daily pickup service, which would be a waste since we don't ship UPS every day.

I don't worry much about having to drop things off - the mileage is a business expense, so it works out in the long run. Some days it's a bit of a chore to lug all those packages to the PO, but we've been doing it so long that it really doesn't seem like a big deal.

pendanticist




msg:651376
 3:55 pm on Feb 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

I stand corected :)

Playful Melissa




msg:651377
 10:06 pm on Feb 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

Did everyone forget about DHL - they are killing Fedex and "Brown" on price and their service in my experience has been great - the only major problem I'm having is that my fulfillment software doesn't integrate with them - yet.

They are also experts in International.

Sometimes its good to be the quasi new kid on the block and hungry to boot. :)

incrediBILL




msg:651378
 11:49 pm on Feb 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

Yes, I've worked for a company that had USPS pickup daily and that was a while back.

Just go to the USPS web site, and click on SCHEDULE A PICKUP on the top of the page to see what your options are.

BTW pendanticist - USPS has run ads on TV about picking up packages, but you won't see those on PBS so change the channel :)

pendanticist




msg:651379
 11:55 pm on Feb 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

ROTFLMAO!
:)

I am Bus...ted!

Rachel




msg:651380
 4:12 pm on Feb 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

USPS has 2 pick-up services.

*USPS will do free pick-ups of DOMESTIC packages that already have postage applied *in some areas* if they're going Priority or Express Mail. (Mine isn't one of them, unfortunately).

*They also have a service that's $12.50 per pick-up (also not available in all areas). Postage must already be applied. They'll pick up parcel post, priority mail, express mail, Global Express Guaranteed, and Global Express Mail. They’ll only pick up the Global Express if you have a corporate account, though. Otherwise, you will need to take the package to the PO. They won't pick up International air or surface mail.

You’ll also have to take the package to the PO if you require insurance, unless you create the label with USPS’s Click N Ship.

Rachel

MattK




msg:651381
 6:56 am on Feb 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

Hi - first post here :)

While you can go onto the website and schedule a pickup that can be inconvenient for those of us who ship every day - adding an unnecceasry step.

Here's how to arrange a daily pickup;

Call or goto local post office and get the location of the area 'plant' ask for a phone number.

Call the plant and ask for the sales/account rep; go over your volume and needs and they will set it up with your local postmaster or arrange for a large mail truck to come pick up if your volume justifies it.

FYI if you do over $1m a year they'll make custom imprinted boxes for you as well. -That's $1m in USPS postage of course - not sales. :)

/MattK

sun818




msg:651382
 1:54 am on Feb 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

http://carrierpickup.usps.com/cgi-bin/WebObjects/CarrierPickup.woa

Carrier Pickup is free. Requests must be received by 2:00 AM CST for next day pickup. They will accept all domestic and international packages. Remember your packages need all the paperwork filled out ahead of time and correctly dated for the pick-up date.

[edited by: lorax at 1:54 pm (utc) on Feb. 9, 2005]

Rachel




msg:651383
 3:17 pm on Feb 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

Sun, according to our postmaster, and that link, they will not pick-up regular International packages.

From that link: "Carrier pickup is available for sending packages and returning merchandise using the following domestic services:
Express Mail®
Priority Mail®"

sun818




msg:651384
 5:59 pm on Feb 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

Contrary to the wording, if all your paperwork is in place and postage paid, the carrier will pick-up all mail domestic and international mail. When you are in the "Package Details" screen, scroll down to the bottom. Click on "Yes" when asked, "Pick up additional packages not listed above?" On the next page, you can select International packages and "Other". In this case, "Other" would be First Class Mail (FCM), Media Mail, and Parcel Post.

From the Additional Packages page:
Please note: Carriers can only accept international packages – including mail to APO and FPO addresses – that:

  • Have a return address that matches the pickup location;
  • Have a properly completed Customs Declaration form attached.

  • Rachel




    msg:651385
     6:38 pm on Feb 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

    If that's the case, I can't wait until they bring carrier pick-up to this area. Of course, I guess I'd need a smarter postmaster, too. One of the only drawbacks to living in WV, I guess. ;)

    MattK




    msg:651386
     7:04 pm on Feb 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

    If you have a high enough volume it doesn't matter what the website says - according to the site I'm not eligable but because of my volume they happily send someone 6 days/week.

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