Ship books / cds via USPS?

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jedd (new)

Ship books / cds via USPS?

Postby jedd (new) » Thu Dec 29, 2005 2:16 am

Hi,

I am moving from Santa Monica, CA to Philadelphia in mid-January. First post, but I have learned a great deal reading this message board, and I thank all involved for being so committed to helping others.

I received two on site estimates, one from Andy's Transfer (North American) and one from Gentle Giant (Atlas). The estimates came in at 3200 and 3400 lbs., but these seem very high to me. I live in a 550 sq. ft. one bedroom apartment, and i am NOT shipping a couch, bookcase or bedroom dresser. One of the estimators explained to me that the cu. ft. are multiplied by 7 lbs. to come up with a weight estimate, and that one of my chairs that weighs about 12 lbs. would show up at 60 lbs. on the estimate.

Based on this, should I assume my actual costs will be lower than the estimate? Would my estimate be drastically reduced if I packed and shipped about 10 - 12 boxes of books and CDs via USPS? Their media mail rates seem pretty reasonable ($10 for 30 lbs. of books).

Thanks for your help!

P.S. - I also have spoken with Moovers, but they are unable to perform an on site estimate since I'm in Southern California. Given their good reputation, should I still consider them based on what the other companies estimated?

JayK
Posts: 8
Joined: Thu Dec 29, 2005 2:24 am

Re: Ship books / cds via USPS?

Postby JayK » Thu Dec 29, 2005 2:32 am

Before I saw this thread, I was going to start one on an almost identical topic and actually wrote the question. So here it is:

I am going to be moving from Los Angeles to Seattle, and in addition to my normal household items have maybe 100 or 150 file boxes full of books and business records. Since they weigh alot, and at least some of them CAN'T be lost, I am wondering whether it makes sense to send all or a portion of them by UPS (or some similar service) and have a mover do the rest. First part of the question has to do with how it would affect the overall price of the move; second, which I suspect I already know, the probability of losing some of the boxes.

Thanks in advance for any help on this.

Sam-USPS employee

Re: Ship books / cds via USPS?

Postby Sam-USPS employee » Thu Dec 29, 2005 11:04 am

Yes, if you use the USPS ... you will find that there is a service called "Media Mail" as it was designed to be used by students and all person(s) who wish to mail CD's, DVD's and Books.

If you use this service, you may also include the Delivery Confirmation Service ($0.45) which will help you (Consumers) track the item.

Mind you, it is the lowest of the lowest in terms of shipping and delivery of such items and you can expect it to arrive from anywhere between 1- 3 weeks. There are some instances where if there is room for it on a cargo plane, then it too will be placed along with all the other priority mailings that include Express Mail, Priority Mail and First Class mailings.

So that being said ... there have been times where 70 lbs. (max. weight) has arrived within 4 days of being shipped.

As far as the rates, where else can you send a letter cross country for $0.37?

Japan happens to be just about as big as the state of California and they charge $0.60!

Who says the USPS is not as good as the rest of the world?

The truth is ... every American and those who use the USPS do pay our salaries by way of purchasing our stamps, services and products.

Though we do not use tax payers money ... we do thrive on attaining your business each and every day in order to continue to provide reasonable rates for all both domestically and internationally.

Should you have any questions regarding mailings, services and or inquiries about our rulkes and regulations, please feel free to email me at the following email address: Sammy.Viera@usps.gov

Nancy
Posts: 2255
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2004 7:24 pm
Location: California

Re: Ship books / cds via USPS?

Postby Nancy » Thu Dec 29, 2005 11:25 am

Jedd, if you received quotes from two different companies in the same weight range, chances are they are not that far off. It is definitely possible to have that weight in your apartment.

Diane
Posts: 15824
Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2003 12:18 am
Location: Los Angeles

Re: Ship books / cds via USPS?

Postby Diane » Thu Dec 29, 2005 11:43 am

I agree with what Nancy said.

Thank you, Sam - it's great to have you here. This is just a bit of additional information from my own experience and what I've seen posted here.

On media mail, here is a thread discussing it - http://www.movingscam.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=4359 You can do a search on "media" or "books" to see a lot of other threads. Here is another post where someone used UPS to ship books and papers - http://www.movingscam.com/forum/viewtop ... 9213#39213

On another thread that I can't find now, one person reported having a box lost when she shipped it by media mail. I was kind of surprised by that. In my own experience, the boxes do take a long time to arrive and they look somewhat beat up when they DO arrive. Be sure to use strong boxes and pack all such boxes SOLID, to the point that you could stand on them without hurting the books inside. If there are crevices, fill them with crumpled paper.

To jedd, who asked
P.S. - I also have spoken with Moovers, but they are unable to perform an on site estimate since I'm in Southern California. Given their good reputation, should I still consider them based on what the other companies estimated?

Yes. As long as you can fax them a bona fide estimate from another company, they can probably give you a Binding Not to Exceed estimate based on that. In my opinion you can trust these guys completely. I know them personally. Having come through so much, they are not about to jeopardize their hard-won good name by cheating anybody. . . . Ironic, isn't it, that the most trustable people in the industry may be the ex-cons!

jedd (new)

Re: Ship books / cds via USPS?

Postby jedd (new) » Thu Dec 29, 2005 3:16 pm

Thanks for the thoughtful replies. Diane, i just got off the phone with Jayson at Moovers, and they really seem great. I may just go with them. I gave them the higher weight estimate from the other movers and they priced competitively.

I think I am going to pack and ship my books and CDs. Can I rest assured that I will probably be charged less since the actual weight of my shipment will probably be lower? Do shipping companies actually charge you less with a NTE - is it common?

Thanks again!

Jedd

Nancy
Posts: 2255
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2004 7:24 pm
Location: California

Re: Ship books / cds via USPS?

Postby Nancy » Thu Dec 29, 2005 3:37 pm

Jedd, you got the same price from Mooovers over the phone as the companies who took the time to come to your home? And you're giving them the business? Nice thank you to the two salesmen who educated you and gave you the weight basis to give to moovers.

Can they offer the same dates and service as companies established in your city?

Diane
Posts: 15824
Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2003 12:18 am
Location: Los Angeles

Re: Ship books / cds via USPS?

Postby Diane » Thu Dec 29, 2005 3:45 pm

jedd,

If Moovers quoted you more or less the same amount as the other two companies, I do agree with Nancy that it might be better (more ethical) to go with one of the first two.

Moovers will charge you less than the estimate if your actual weight is less, as long as you have a Binding Not to Exceed rather than a Binding estimate from them. I have discussed several recent moves with them and I am convinced that they are on the up and up. In fact, I worry that some customers may be taking advantage of them.

Yes, all reputable companies honor BNTE estimates and give refunds (or, in the case of University Van Lines, charge the credit card for the smaller amount rather than the amount of the original estimate).

It's going to be somewhat of a hassle for you to box up your books and take them to the Post Office, isn't it? I question whether the cost savings will be worth it. If I were you I would run it by Jayson to see how much you would actually be saving if you reduce your shipment by X number of pounds.

Regardless of which company you go with, please come back and post.

Guest

Re: Ship books / cds via USPS?

Postby Guest » Thu Dec 29, 2005 8:55 pm

Nancy and Diane, I hear what you are saying. I got caught up in the Moovers hype, and also like that it is run by ex-cons trying to rehab, so I figured I'd give them a shot. they did come in a few hundred dollars lower.

However, they gave me an estimate (no packing) of $3180 for 3500 pounds, and I just read a post from 12/6 where someone got an estimate from Matt at Moovers of $2360 for 3500 pounds. Do you know why there might be such a huge descrepency? Here's the original post - http://www.movingscam.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=6721

I have BH transfers coming tomorrow, and then I'll have to decide.

RE: books and CDs, I'm going to pack them all, and see how well I do at the Post Office. I just sent about 100 CDs (24lbs.) via the media mail rate and paid $9.40.

Guest

Re: Ship books / cds via USPS?

Postby Guest » Thu Dec 29, 2005 8:59 pm

Oops ... just read that the $2360 Moovers estimate was from LA to Missouri, and mine is from LA to Philadelphia. Sorry 'bout that.

Jedd

jedd (new)

Re: Ship books / cds via USPS?

Postby jedd (new) » Fri Dec 30, 2005 6:45 pm

Hi Diane and Nancy, et. al.,

I just got an estimate from BH Transfer, and I think I am going to use Andy's Transfer. They had the lowest rate for a similar cubic foot and weight estimate compared with BH and Gentle Giant.

If anyone is keeping score, the GNTE estimate (no packing) was for 468.5 ft3 @ 3,190 lbs. at a cost of $2,698. The shipment will go from Santa Monica, CA to Philadelphia, PA (2,700 miles). The combination of lowest price and GNTE is was sold it for me.

I'll write again in mid-January after pick-up, and again in Feb. when my goods are delivered.

Thanks again for the help.

Jedd

jedd (new)

Re: Ship books / cds via USPS?

Postby jedd (new) » Mon Jan 16, 2006 3:46 pm

Well ... I promised I'd write, so here goes. First off, I shipped roughly 600 CDs in 8 small sized boxes using the media mail rate and the USPS. All boxes arrived safely within 7-10 days, and the total cost was roughly $45.00. I'm going to ship about 8 boxes of books this weeks as well. The per pound cost is much less than the shipping company (39 cents vs. 85 cents), even if it is a little work to take the boxes to the post office. All tolled, I think I'll wind up shipping about 550 lbs. of books / cds with USPS. That's roughly a $250 savings. If you have some time leading up to your move, and you can send things piece meal, I'd recommend the USPS media mail rate.

Next, I used Andy's Moving and Storage in Los Angeles for my move to Philadelphia. They were very responsive, and called to make sure everything was ok. The driver (North American) called me a day in advance to make arrangements for pick up. He showed up right on time today with two loaders, and the load was done very quickly. Andy's sent two people to pack a few breakables two days prior to the pick up. They also called ahead the day before, were right on time, and very friendly and efficient. I'll write back when I receive delivery.

Thanks to all on this board for helping to make the move a little less stressful.

Diane
Posts: 15824
Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2003 12:18 am
Location: Los Angeles

Re: Ship books / cds via USPS?

Postby Diane » Mon Jan 16, 2006 3:59 pm

Hi again - thanks so much for keeping us posted. I'm glad it went so well with Andy's and we look forward to seeing your final report. I'm compiling a summary post on CA movers and will include it.

jedd
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Dec 29, 2005 1:47 am
Location: Santa Monica, CA

Re: Ship books / cds via USPS?

Postby jedd » Mon Jan 30, 2006 10:21 am

I'm writing to report an excellent move with Andy's Transfer (out of Los Angeles) and North American Van Lines. As mentioned above, I moved from Los Angeles to Philadelphia. Andy's sent two people to pack my breakables two days before pick-up. Everything went smoothly.

The North American driver called me two days before he was going to arrive to set up a time. He arrived about 10 minutes early. He and his crew of two packed up my 1 bedroom apartment in a little over an hour.

My belongings were picked up on 1/16, and my window for delivery was 1/25 - 2/4. I got a call from the driver on 1/23 saying he would arrive on 1/25, the first day of the window. The driver and crew were the same people that picked up my stuff in LA. The driver was very patient when going over the paperwork, and more than willing to answer any questions I had.

While my stuff was in transit, I had a few questions to ask Andy's (I wasn't quite sure of the address to be shipped to in Philly, etc.). I had a dedicated representative (Linda) that would answer all of my questions. If she wasn't available there was another person (usually Kim), ready to look up my job and provide excellent service as well.

On top of the great service, the weight was overestimate by about 700 lbs. (remember I decided to pack and ship my books and CDs with the USPS), so I wound up with a credit of almost $600.

All in all, a very good experience. Thanks again for all that helped with advice.

Diane
Posts: 15824
Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2003 12:18 am
Location: Los Angeles

Re: Ship books / cds via USPS?

Postby Diane » Mon Jan 30, 2006 10:35 am

Thanks, jedd. I just added your very positive review of Andy's to my summary post about Los Angeles area moving companies - http://www.movingscam.com/forum/viewtop ... 1253#51253


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