Mailing Racquets through USPS (or better suggestions please!)

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by Bud, Mar 9, 2009.

  1. Bud

    Bud Bionic Poster

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    Basically, the USPS is a big PITA when mailing racquets! Every time I take a racquet down there, I have to fight with them to take the parcel.

    As we all know, many who use USPS, to ship racquets, simply tape two of the 'Priority' boxes together, which makes the perfect shipping container for 1-3 frames.

    Well, I go to ship a couple racquets... and TODAY... their policy is they no longer accept these 'modified boxes' - for what reason I'm sure none of us could possibly even venture to guess. It's a used tennis racquet for christ's sake... not the Arc of the freakin' Covenant! Keep in mind too... I just received this same 'modified' box yesterday from another TT member, via USPS. Therefore, at his USPS branch, apparently it's OK to use these mailers :mad:

    I read lately that USPS is in financial trouble... it does not surprise me with such lousy customer service and these silly, nonsensical rules that are selectively enforced depending on the USPS branch location.

    OK... Enough commentary on our lousy USPS :twisted:

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    Here is my question:

    What other shippers/shipping services do TT members use for shipping racquets?

    Where do you get the boxes? How much are they?

    Do you simply cover these unacceptable boxes with shipping paper if your idiot post office won't accept them?

    Any other pertinent comments or helpful suggestions appreciated!
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2009
    #1
  2. [d]ragon

    [d]ragon Hall of Fame

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    Sorry to hear Bud that you couldn't send your frames. I've never used USPS so I've never had any problems. I usually send my stuff via FedEx. Fedex is pretty good except once their online order tracking said my racquet was still pending delivery the next business day even though it had already been delivered. I've never used UPS to send any racquets but I get my stuff from TW and send stuff back via UPS and have never had a problem with them. I hear some rumors though that UPS is notorious for throwing and kicking packages during transit (some posters here have complained of damaged packages and theres some videos on Youtube but not sure how real those are).

    For packaging, I usually find some cardboard and make my own boxes LOL. Just some scissors, a ruler, and a staple gun, maybe some tape and that usually does the trick.
     
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  3. TheShaun

    TheShaun Hall of Fame

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    we don't have those type of boxes provided to us in canada, so what i do is pop in to the fed ex depot grab two of their large flat boxes (these are free) come home and make a similar one to the USPS two boxes, then i just wrap it up in that brown package wrapping paper. or i should say my girlfriend wraps it for me. (sorry to the one TW buyer who got one wrapped by me.)

    so i guess my point is just wrap the package with that brown paper.
     
    #3
  4. lefty10spro

    lefty10spro Semi-Pro

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    You bozos ever hear of racket boxes that the things come in? I use those and have shipped dozen usps with no problems!
     
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  5. HeadPrestige

    HeadPrestige Professional

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    left10spro... Most of us do not have a cache of racket boxes sitting around, and have multiple old frames.

    Do you have a magical house/ apartment that can spawn racket boxes? Before you call people "bozos" try thinking a little.
     
    #5
  6. jayserinos99

    jayserinos99 Hall of Fame

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    I use USPS Priority or if I'm in a pinch FedEx.

    I use the modified USPS box method; I did get chewed out once when I used the flat rate boxes as the racquet box and I had to get that changed out. Other than that no issues.

    If the USPS doesn't take my racquet box I'd probably invest in shipping paper. I used to go to the local tennis shop and pick up some of their racquet boxes and they used to give them out for free although I'm not so sure now.
     
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  7. Kot_Bigemot

    Kot_Bigemot Semi-Pro

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    For real man!!!
    WTF left10spro? Just watch what you say.
     
    #7
  8. Kot_Bigemot

    Kot_Bigemot Semi-Pro

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    I was really surprised when i read your post man. My local USPS is cool, no problems. In fact i just sent a racquet on Sat. I walked in to post office with racquet in case, took 2 flat rate boxes, taped them together and went to the guy. No problems, he did masure the box and just took it.
    Have you tried different post office? I noticed that the post office i used to go to, always gave me problems - the guy was just a plain A..hole. But again, it was just one lousy employee,, not USPS.
    I say try different post office.
     
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  9. Bud

    Bud Bionic Poster

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    If we had spare racquet boxes lying around... you think we wouldn't use one?
     
    #9
  10. Bud

    Bud Bionic Poster

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    I think I will buy a roll of shipping paper. I was thinking earlier... I bet the loser USPS clerk feels through the paper for a modified box underneath :evil:

    What annoys me is the fact that this modified box 'rule' is selectively enforced at different USPS locations.
     
    #10
  11. Il Mostro

    Il Mostro Banned

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    Box City, or your local equivalent, guys. I suspect that the box-****'s are post office specific though. Hopefully, the PO isn't making this a universal policy. You'd think they'd have other, more business critical, things to worry about.
     
    #11
  12. zidane339

    zidane339 Hall of Fame

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    Are you using the flat rate boxes or priority mail boxes?

    I tape two priority boxes together
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2009
    #12
  13. Keifers

    Keifers Legend

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    I've gotten racquet boxes from my LTS. I just make sure to ask for only a couple of them at a time. Only downside: they're usually the thicker ones that can accommodate 2-3-4 racquets, not the nice thin ones.
     
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  14. m1stuhxsp4rk5

    m1stuhxsp4rk5 Professional

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    that has happen to me before. this lady was a real jerk about it. saying she had never seen anything like that and it wasnt safe. she even charged me extra. i had to keep arguing with her. good luck with your problem
     
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  15. joe sch

    joe sch Hall of Fame

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    Bud,

    Most of the PO's in OC, CA let me use 2 flat rate boxes taped together, although they claim the priority rate must be paid since this is a higher rate. I did have one double flat box get returned and I had to resend it.

    It is frustrating to get different stories from different PO's.

    Joe
     
    #15
  16. antgun007

    antgun007 Rookie

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    When I shipped my racket through USPS, I just brought the racket into the PO and said box it and ship it to this address. She look at me for a sec and said 'no problem sir.' She got a box and taped it up good and tight and shipped it. SoCal is the place to be. Everyone is so chill here.
     
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  17. Thaychua

    Thaychua Rookie

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    Bud,
    you can try inverting the box inside out. Take the two boxes and just peel off the tapes on the sides-and then just wrap it the other way around and you have a blank box--combine them and you're set.

    I really don't know why they won't accept it at your post office. Maybe you are using flat rate boxes? My post office wont take the flat rate box because the flat rated is restricted to that box's dimension--if you combine them, the flat rate will not apply to the new dimensions.
    They do have the non-flat rate boxes too--maybe you should try that.
     
    #17
  18. SteveI

    SteveI Legend

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    Hi Bud,

    The racket I shipped to you was the two box USPS Pri Mail system.. and they never give me a problem. I do have to be very careful when shipping Parcel Post. If the box was used at any point for Pri Mail.. you have to get all those makings off the box or it is a no go. They also really give you a hard time when you ship Media Mail... they keep asking... are you sure there is only media in there..and then they say.. they have the right to open the package to check.. I say.. go for it.. :)

    They can be a pain.. In my case. I do not have a really close UPS or FedEx location...

    Regards,
    Steve
     
    #18
  19. Marc The Shark

    Marc The Shark New User

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    I didn't go through all the reply but could you simply keep doing the modified box thing and use that flat brown wrapping paper and wrap the box up so they can't tell it's a "modified" box and just ship it that way?
     
    #19
  20. NineMileSkid

    NineMileSkid Rookie

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    Two words: FedEx Ground
     
    #20
  21. NineMileSkid

    NineMileSkid Rookie

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    I've worked loading the trailers at UPS.

    If you use them, you had better pack your package real, real, well.
     
    #21
  22. psp2

    psp2 Banned

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    Here's another reason to befriend your local mom/pop tennis shop: FREE racquet boxes and plastic bags. I bet they throw away too many.
     
    #22
  23. vkartikv

    vkartikv Hall of Fame

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    It might just be that particular post office because I have had no trouble at mine. I mailed a frame a week ago and the postman gleefully accepted it :shock:
     
    #23
  24. Thaychua

    Thaychua Rookie

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    Even better--befriend the local Usps worker. That's what i did. Everytime i come to ask for boxes, she'll give me a box full of those boxes(around 30?) And gives me discounts/advices etc..
     
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  25. Schills

    Schills Rookie

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    And if you don't have the brown paper, just cut up two grocery bags. Works like a charm.
     
    #25
  26. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I recently sent something abroad by their so-called Global Guaranteed Express and paid big bucks for it. While tracking the package on the web, I found that it was still sitting in the US after 2 days! I called them. The first operator could not get her computer to work, and she transferred me to the "international" operator. That guy scolded me for enquiring about the status, and hung up on me. I wrote a complaint thru the web form, and received a stock reply.

    Finally, the package reached late. Now I have started the refund process because I am supposed to get my money back. I am told the check will arrive after 6 weeks.

    Truth be told, the shipping partner of USPS for this service is FedEx, and they were the ones who didn't ship it out of the US in time. So I am not totally blaming the USPS for the delay, but only for their rude service.
     
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  27. nhatduongchi

    nhatduongchi Rookie

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    To BUD: As others said, you have to use the "regular" boxes, they're the same shape but don't have the words "Flat Rate" on it, then you can combine them and ship your rackets that way.
     
    #27
  28. superjumbo

    superjumbo New User

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    I've been having the same problem as the OP for a few years now. I made a similar post in the past. For me, it usually depends on the person behind the post office counter. Some take the package without hesitation, others are real sticklers. It's most annoying when you get a person that's willing to take the package, then their anal retentive coworker comes out from the back office sees my package and then tells them to reject it.

    They tell me taping the boxes together is called "piggy-backing" and that it can mess up the equipment in their system. I don't think it matters what type of boxes you use. They won't accept 2 boxes taped together in that way.
     
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  29. Bud

    Bud Bionic Poster

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    Two Priority boxes taped together!

    The funny thing is... I just received that box via USPS the day before from another TT member.
     
    #29
  30. furyoku_tennis

    furyoku_tennis Hall of Fame

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    what i do sometimes is i turn the boxes inside out so it doesn't say anything and then tape it and send it off. i haven't had any trouble from usps or ups when doing that.
     
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  31. superjumbo

    superjumbo New User

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    If you try putting paper over the two boxes, you have to then cover the entire package in tape. So you wind up wasting a whole roll of tape.
     
    #31
  32. Bud

    Bud Bionic Poster

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    It's a scam... there was another guy in the PO waiting for a supervisor... he had a very large box (5' tall) that had a very well taped cardboard 'cap' on top... and they were making him buy excess insurance in order to ship it.

    The clerk was stating to him... if something happened to the box, she had to pay for the contents out of pocket :lol:

    Come on... who'd believe something so ridiculous :roll:

    I guess USPS won't be satisfied until they're out of business. Priority shipping is the ONLY thing they have going for them at the moment.
     
    #32
  33. Bud

    Bud Bionic Poster

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    I tried that, too... and they turned it away because it was a 'modified box'.
     
    #33
  34. Bud

    Bud Bionic Poster

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    I already corrected my original post. I meant the 'Priority' boxes.

    Like I stated, I had just received a delivery from USPS in this 'modified box' the day before I tried resending it out.
     
    #34
  35. Bud

    Bud Bionic Poster

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    Yes, I always pay the priority rate when I use the 2 Priority boxes taped together. They will NOT let you send this 'box' via Parcel Post due to the fact it has the word priority on it.
     
    #35
  36. Bud

    Bud Bionic Poster

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    I'm in San Diego... that's as SoCal as you can get :p

    No go on taped boxes.
     
    #36
  37. Bud

    Bud Bionic Poster

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    Hi Steve... yes, it was your box I tried resending out.

    It's simply a case of selective enforcement throughout the USPS system. You get a clerk who's on the rag (most of them) and they think they're GOD. I have to chuckle when they pull such a 'power play'.

    Again... I was in there last Friday and the SUPERVISOR took the same type of taped box from me (because they were very busy and the postage was already on the box)... and threw it in the back, no questions asked.

    They need to get their acts together.
     
    #37
  38. Bud

    Bud Bionic Poster

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    Yeah, I mentioned that in one of these posts. Going to wrap it in shipping paper.

    Hopefully, the clerk won't try feeling up the parcel to determine if the box underneath is 'modified' :shock:
     
    #38
  39. Bud

    Bud Bionic Poster

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    What does the average cost usually run for 1 racquet? 2 racquets?
     
    #39
  40. Bud

    Bud Bionic Poster

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    I believe this has much to do with it.
     
    #40
  41. Bud

    Bud Bionic Poster

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    Great suggestion! Thanks.
     
    #41
  42. Bud

    Bud Bionic Poster

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    Lol! We must use the same post office. That's exactly what happened. The clerks are like a bunch of automatons.
     
    #42
  43. furyoku_tennis

    furyoku_tennis Hall of Fame

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    Hopefully they won't deny it because the shipping paper is 'modified'
     
    #43
  44. Shaolin

    Shaolin Hall of Fame

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    Bud--just use 2 Priority boxes taped together like you usually do, but get some cheap butcher-type paper (cheap brown paper that comes in sheets) and cover the box in that. Butcher paper is really cheap, would probably cost you like 50 cents to cover the box. You can still ship it Priority but they wouldnt know you are using 2 boxes.


    edit, didnt see the above post by Schills...
     
    #44
  45. Bud

    Bud Bionic Poster

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    The idiot clerks at my post office would probably ram their fingers through the paper to see the box :grin:
     
    #45
  46. superjumbo

    superjumbo New User

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    I've tried covering the box in heavy brown paper, like paper bags but in a longer roll. When I do this they tell me the whole box then needs to be covered in tape. That wastes a whole roll of tape.

    I haven't tried it in a while so maybe things have changed.
     
    #46
  47. superjumbo

    superjumbo New User

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    I have 5 different post offices within driving distance. They all give me problems. I usually just keep trying until I find an employee that accepts it. It's a huge pain!!!

    I've tried UPS but their rates are ridiculous. UPS was like $13 and USPS was $7. Plus USPS priority mail gets there in 2 days!
     
    #47
  48. Shaolin

    Shaolin Hall of Fame

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    Good lord, what kind of n a z i s are running the USPS nowadays?
     
    #48
  49. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    ROTFLMAO!! I'm sorry but this line really made me laugh. :lol:

    Anyway, I've used the two Priority Mail boxes taped together method tons of times at different post offices here in NorCal and I've never had a problem with USPS accepting them. Once in a while, I'll get a funny look from the clerk but they always accept it without hesitation.
     
    #49
  50. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    They are called mail carriers these days, because many of them are women :)

    Also, the PO counter guys are usually not mail carriers.

    His glee is a little worrisome - he may have taken the stick for a demo in the evening ...

    And of course whenever I go to a PO, I am reminded of the fat guy in Seinfeld (what's his name?) and how Jerry explained to him that the postal service is not really needed :)
     
    #50

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