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Learned something about USPS shipping costs.

TomD

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#1
Last week I sent 4 packages out USPS priority, insured and signature required. Two of the packages were valued in the $7K to $8K range. The maximum value that USPS will allow for priority is $5000 but I figured I could self insure that much. That resolve was tested when I found that the USPS just left the supposedly signature required 30 pound heavy silver package on a front porch.

Today I sent a package valued at $20K, well past my "self insure" limit, so I sent it USPS Registered and insured for the full value. Based on my $5K insurance premiums, I expected the total shipping cost to be around $300. It was $64. I'm guessing the greatly lower insurance rate is an expression of the loss probability.

I think I've sent my last multi $K package flat rate priority, insured. I'll probably risk $1,000 and below but any higher and it's nothing but registered.
 

BigJim#1-8

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This has probably been discussed before but the USPS "Insurance" is very questionable when it comes to coins/bullion.
 

TomD

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This has probably been discussed before but the USPS "Insurance" is very questionable when it comes to coins/bullion.
Yes it is but not with registered.
 

Buck

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#4
i've kept most on-line 'sales total' limited to $500 + / - a few hundred, just for the risk mitigation factor

most sales are less than $50 which require more labor, but, that's my version of self-insured

as far as signature required, it only works if the carrier is diligent. Some are not...and as i keep hearing about it, that means USPS is lacking in enforcement, regarding 'lack of signature, delivered anyway' situations. These packages always seem to get scanned, just not always signed for...and they're not noted on Tracking as 'failed to receive signature, left on front porch', ever

and if you pay for insurance, watch the rates, there can be huge differences between USPS and private-party insurance costs

GL
 

BigJim#1-8

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Son of Gloin

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I send and receive a lot of packages by USPS. I’ve noticed, lately, that their reliability is somewhat questionable, watching the progress of those packages via their tracking program. Items sit for long periods of time at embarkation points, get lost for periods of time in transit (weeks or months, sometimes), get lost entirely and permanently, get mysteriously damaged, you name it. It’s worse, the past few years than it ever was before. Overall, they do a good job and they do have a good system, but I limit any eBay sale to under $1K, you know, just in case. I think it must be either quality of personel problems or they’re overworking their personel. My opinion.
 

nickndfl

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#7
Buying insurance is one thing and collecting is another. I always get jerked around with claims.
 

Joe King

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This has probably been discussed before but the USPS "Insurance" is very questionable when it comes to coins/bullion.
If by questionable you actually mean, nonexistant when shipping PM's by any means other than registered, then you'd be correct.

Bullion and all other cash equilivants are not insurable by usps when shipped via any method less than registered.

Oh, they'll sell you insurance on it, but they will not pay if the item becomes lost. They'll say that you shipped a prohibited item and deny the claim.


Anyone shipping PM's by regular mail is always self insuring.
 

BigJim#1-8

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Joe King

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Here's some info if anyone can make sense of it.
It reads pretty clearly to me. It says it is only insurable when shipped via registered mail.
 

<SLV>

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#11
Registered parcels are kept under lock and key at all times. (There is a cage in the sorting facilities in which a clerk processes them with the door locked.) They are only transferred between USPS employees with signatures and scans. Every USPS employee is made aware that they are PERSONALLY liable for Registered mail. If you are the last signature in the chain before it vanished, then you are on the hook for it.
 

Joe King

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#13
If you can stomach the maddening slowness of registered and the nonsensical tracking it's the only way to fly.
If you want it to be insured, it is. Otherwise you are personally trusting any postal service employee that may come into contact with it, to not tamper with it.
...and granted, most won't mess with it. Although all it takes is one bad one to find yourself with no recourse.
 

hernancortes

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If you want it to be insured, it is. Otherwise you are personally trusting any postal service employee that may come into contact with it, to not tamper with it.
...and granted, most won't mess with it. Although all it takes is one bad one to find yourself with no recourse.
Registered is not foolproof, dealers have reported stuff stolen/missing through it albeit extremely rarely and as one may imagine, collecting on the insurance is not pleasant but it is paid eventually.
 

itsamess

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#15
via usps.com
  • For currency or bullion, a maximum of $15.

Exception: For items sent by Registered Mail service, the Postal Service provides payment for the included insurance coverage, based on declared value, up to the maximum amount of $50,000.

Something I didn't know until recently, when you file a clam with USPS they require a recipt of payment with full documentation including the letterhead of the payment service used if online. I just had a package lost that was insured, signature confirmation and cost $60 to ship. They denied my claim with ebay proof of payment and insurance proof. They give you three appeals ( wonder why), so I had to resubmit with PP reciept with Paypal name on page. Asked for shipping costs and item value that it was insured for. Still waiting, Used to just have to provide proof of repleacment value, but not now. They lost the package and yet deny payment flat out. BTW the third party insurance ebay offers will not insure bullion or coins and no reimbursement of shipping costs.
 

Silver

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#16
If you can stomach the maddening slowness of registered and the nonsensical tracking it's the only way to fly.
When I ship valuables Registered, I'm chill - when I ship Priority, unnerving.
 

Ragnarok

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#17
Registered/Return Receipt is the best way to send anything to make sure it has the best chsnce of getting to the person it is sent to.
Chain of custody from shipper to receiver. Worth every penny imho.

R.
 

Strawboss

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I wonder if .gov keeps tabs on who is shipping what via registered mail. dont the contents of the package need to be verified prior to sealing?
 

Silver

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I wonder if .gov keeps tabs on who is shipping what via registered mail. dont the contents of the package need to be verified prior to sealing?
You don't have to verify contents before sealing, but in the case of an insurance claim, you have to produce proof of value to collect. All mail is photographed, even 1st Class.
 

gringott

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Is he out of the pen yet?
 

TomD

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#23
As a final report, I sent 9 packages, some priority and some registered. All were delivered with no problems though one $20K package shipped catty corner across the continent went dark for a couple of days and caused me some concern.

I found some Scotch brand pre pasted paper tape for sealing the registered packages that took 95% percent of the hassle out.

Edit: Oh yeah, one package sent signature required was just left on a door step.
 
Last edited:

gringott

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#24
USPS used to require fiberglass tape for PM shipments. Is that history?
Thanks. And thanks for the no-issues sale Mr. TomD!
 

TomD

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USPS used to require fiberglass tape for PM shipments. Is that history?
Thanks. And thanks for the no-issues sale Mr. TomD!
USPS requirements: "Must be sealed with glue, plain paper tape, or cloth tape. (Tape must absorb ink and must visibly damage the envelope or wrapper if removed)."
 

Ragnarok

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#26
I was told at my local post office that Registered was only available for items in the $5K and up category. When did that change, because I know I’ve received registered letters in the past. Are packages treated differently?

R.
 

TomD

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I was told at my local post office that Registered was only available for items in the $5K and up category. When did that change, because I know I’ve received registered letters in the past. Are packages treated differently?

R.
Don't know about that, I sent a $1000 and a $2800 package registered along with some more expensive ones.
 

Silver

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#28
Got a email today from a shipping co:

USPS has announced a temporary rate increase that will raise the price of all domestic shipping services during the upcoming holiday season.
USPS is raising rates to help them cover increased costs from dealing with 3 big headaches; the coronavirus pandemic, record-breaking shipping volumes, and Congress not helping them out

October 18th–December 27th USPS temporary rate increase:
  • First Class Package: 25 cents/package
  • Priority Mail (including Flat Rate, Regional Rate, and Cubic): 40 cents/package
  • Parcel Select Ground: 40 cents/package
  • Priority Mail Express: $1.50/package